Posted by: Botolff | July 6, 2009

My Last Letter to the Chairman of the Elder Board

As I mentioned in my last post, I am going to share my last e-mail, of which I have posted word for word, to the head elder of the church I was FT’d from.  My response came on the back side of an e-mail he sent to me in which he asked me how I was doing.

” _______,


How am I doing?  Let me share a story with you and encourage you to consider how you might be doing if it was you.

Let’s say you were adopted into a foster family who, after being with the family for a number of years, asked you to sign a covenant to share your continued commitment to care for and be cared for by the community you entered into.  You do just that, hoping that they really care about you, looking forward to what the years ahead could hold.  Throughout the years that you have been there, the people who run the house praised you for all the goodness you have brought to the house.  There was barely a complaint.  They tell you they love you and hope you stick around.  Then one day when you are sitting at the dining room table, by yourself, thinking about how you can care even better for the family, the very leaders of the house who praised you and told you how much they loved you hand you an eviction notice.  When you tell them you don’t understand and it hurts that they wouldn’t talk to you about it, they grab you by the arms and start dragging you out of the house.  When you tell them that’s not a good idea because it’s going to disrupt the whole family, they again ignore what you say and start hitting you.  While some are swinging maybe others are watching, or they take turns.  All you know is that you are now getting struck over and over again.  Why?  Because the leaders of the house aren’t concerned about you.  They might think they are, but they prove to you over and over again that it is more important to protect themselves from honest conversations that would shed light on their own failures and the failures of a broken system, than it is to care for you.  They want you out of the house, and don’t really care what condition you are in when they put you on the front steps.  The important thing to them is that they get you out of the house.  All the while, the rest of the family is in the other room, but are told to stay out.  They can hear you being drug across the floor, and the screaming and yelling every time the leaders hit you, but the leaders are holding the door shut.  They are trying to reassure the family through the door that what they are hearing isn’t really as bad as it actually is.  Maybe the leaders are even blaming you for being angry that you’re speaking up for being beaten and thrown out.  As you are being thrown out, the Chairman of the group says to you “We want to do this peacefully,” and in essence, “I wouldn’t advise you to speak up for yourself.”  But before you get put out on the steps, while you are bruised and bleeding, the leaders then tell you to reassure the rest of the family for them before you leave, and lock up after yourself when you’re done.

If that story was your story, how do you think you would be doing _______?

If you are at all concerned about me, and I hope you can understand why I don’t believe you are, you can spend time thinking about how it is that you and a group of people who have been entrusted with caring for me could be so mean to me.  Why is it that you have decided to so severely punish such a caring man?

I don’t want the leadership’s financial “favors” _____.  But I will be looking for your individual and collective repentance.

If somehow you personally are still wondering what I am talking about, you can start by asking me, but don’t do it through e-mail.  Otherwise, you can send all my checks (The reimbursement that I turned in last week, July’s checks and August’s checks) to the house early or on time.  Either way, don’t expect me to tell you how I am if you still aren’t ready to consider and apologize for any of the mess you just helped create.

Still praying for the truth to be told,



I never heard from him again.

As I just reread those words, I am almost in tears.  Why?  Because it hurt like touching hell to write that, and it hurt 10 times worse to experience the hell that others I cared for and trusted sent me into because it was true.  How could it be true?  These are Christian leaders of a church after all.  Exactly.  It’s true because it’s true, regardless of who it is.  Because sometimes we human beings choose to lie, cheat, steal, rape, murder, abuse, abandon, etc., especially when we have an agenda, and part of that agenda is avoiding being exposed.

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