Dear Northeast ND field,
Hello. Phyllis, Brinna and I returned to the field on Tuesday. We are anxious to get started with gospel meetings, but we do not have clear direction yet, of where that should be.
In light of the recent news about the misconduct of Dean Bruer, we wish we could be everywhere, with all of you. Not that we can do anything, but this is a shared grief and betrayal for all of us, and we all need reassurance and comfort and help. Everyone will be affected differently based on their own personal experiences in life. While we all share some of the same feelings of betrayal and hurt, others will be more deeply distressed if it comes close to other heartaches. We know that Dean has close ties with ND, and that adds another layer of hurt and betrayal for those who trusted and loved him as a family member and friend. All feelings are valid, and all feelings will come up as we try to process this. Please feel free to call us or let us know that you need a visit if that would be helpful to you. Or talk to other people you trust, or even seek professional help if you feel it would be a benefit
It seems so unbelievable! There seems to be plenty of evidence that his misconduct is real, and very serious. Dean was not behaving as just a weak human with normal desires, but as a sexual predator, expert at manipulating and keeping things hidden. Both adult and under-age victims have come forward. Of course all of us wonder HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???? And now, what can we do so that it does not happen again or continue to happen. How it was hidden and how it was committed seems baffling to us, because normal people do not think the same as someone with these deviant desires. We want to encourage you, if you are ever feeling harassed or intimidated by ANYONE, EVER, please tell someone. Be careful of anyone who asks you to keep secrets, or promotes the idea that inappropriate behavior on their part is your fault. As much as we warn to think the best of people, we have to acknowledge that there are skilled and sneaky predators in the world. If you see something, say something.
We all feel betrayed because we trusted him. From our understanding, the first victims came forward after Dean had already died. Most of the workers on the ND/SD staff have only known about this since Friday or Saturday last week. None of us are experts at dealing with this, and we are trying to manage our own feelings as well as help others. We are doing our best to communicate openly and handle it wisely. We are feeling our way, praying and seeking help from God, as you all are.
This experience shakes us deeply. I have found comfort in these reassurances Io my own heart:
Dean is dead. He is in the hands of an all knowing God. We do not need to personally condemn or excuse him. The judge of all the world will do right.
“God is faithful to his chosen, in his dealings every day. Both in judgement and in mercy, all along the pilgrim way.“
A childlike spirit is still right and safe. With God, it is safe to trust. I don’t have to fortify myself against this. I need to cling to the One who is 100% true.
This gives Satan opportunity to attack us when we are shaken and vulnerable But anything that is an opportunity for Satan is also an opportunity for God to help us get our feet more firmly on solid ground, and prove to us He is trustworthy and strong. We can come out of this spiritually enriched if we seek God s help.
Please pray for us and we will for you.
Stay in God’s care,
Phyllis, Brinna, and BethArlene
Interesting that these three said “be careful of anyone who asks you to keep secrets”. Wonder why they and all other workers keep secret the fact that William Irvine started this religion in 1897.