I listened to this short podcast yesterday (an interview with Rachael Denhollander) and I feel it's a significant topic to bring up. I will try to keep this really brief. Many of us didn't have the privilege of growing up in a biblical or healthy Church. Many of us were given a very broken model for issues of justice, abuse, exploitation, and forgiveness. In this podcast, Denhollander talks about the Word of God being "weaponized" to silence and manipulate victims of abuse. This is something I have experienced in my life. So I want to bring up Romans 12:2 in the context of her interview. The Word of God tells us to not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When we interact with men or women who have experienced trauma, it's absolutely critical that we engage from a God-honoring and Biblical framework. It's absolutely essential that we break free from any flawed or wrong beliefs, even if they were modeled by the Church itself. I want to invite you to begin by considering what forgiveness is. What definition would you give for it? How do we do it? (How do we forgive?) The related topics - At what point does a person bring this into a conversation with someone who has been hurt?, and in what way? - can hopefully come in time. Please share as you are able/willing.
My kids are 15 and 13. Last year I helped my son (15) connect with new friends in Turkey and Indonesia through a site called Pen Pal World. They mostly just emailed back and forth but after a few weeks both of the other boys sort of disappeared. They just quit emailing. He was discouraged by this. Recently I've been connecting with Os. in Turkey who has a family much like mine. He has a 16 year old son and a few weeks ago, I asked him if his son would like to connect with my son. My son speaks pretty good Turkish but his son also speaks pretty good English (both Os. and his wife are teachers and his wife is an English teacher). So, I gave him my son's email address to give to his son. His son emailed right away and they then connected on What's App (I had to help my son download the app and set it up). Last week they had an hour long call. They are planning on calling again this week. As a family we are praying for this family more and more. I stay in pretty good communication with my son about the connection. Here are a few questions I'd love to hear the answers to from some of you as I think about helping others help their kids get started connecting with Muslims online. 1. What initially bubble up in your mind as you read about my son's connection with a Turkish Muslim teen? 2. What are the risks that you could forsee in helping teens make connections with Muslim teens online? 3. Any other things that excite you or concern you as you think about possibly helping your own kids make connections online?