March 2, 2015

Fighting the ugly secret

Written by  EMM staff
A young girl and her parrot in Cusco, Peru. A young girl and her parrot in Cusco, Peru. Photo provided by Lici Roth.

This article appears in the March/April 2015 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.
Far south of the equator, in the southern third of Chile, one finds a beautiful landscape of mountains and islands in the sea. But this beautiful area harbors an ugly secret. Government studies indicate as many as seven out of ten children are being sexually abused.

Five years ago, a Chilean couple who has been discipled by EMM workers Mike and Nancy Hostetter moved to an EMM-managed property on Tenglo Island. Married couple Ricardo Ibaceta and Eliana Medina began a pioneering mission to children suffering from abuse.

Children began coming regularly to Ricardo and
Eliana’s home for tutoring, Bible lessons, crafts, English workshops, and games. With the assistance of other EMM Chile workers, a community and retreat center was begun. By the end of 2013, Eliana and Ricardo had developed a puppet ministry, formed a non-profit organization aimed at preventing sexual abuse in children, and had given their first presentation at the center on Tenglo Island, giving away 30 copies of Cuentos que no Son Cuentos, a sexual abuse prevention book for children.

“Eliana and Ricardo teach abuse prevention in such a positive way that the children have fun and learn without being scared or frightened,” said Bekii Kisamore, long-term EMM worker in Chile.

In 2014, God continued to move and bless this outreach to children.

  • The ministry received a financial grant of approximately $5,000.00.
  • Five workshops were held in three different locations as well as meetings with churches, pastors, and radio stations.
  • A retreat building, part of the Siloe ministry center on Tenglo Island, was renovated by EMM GO! participants Matt and Hannah Byler.
  • EMM workers Keith and Sandi Probst, along with their children, arrived in Chile in December 2014 (after language study in Costa Rica) to focus on a restoration/healing ministry to children.
  • A strong EMM Chile team continued ministering to children -- Bekii and Travis Kismore, Rodger and Noemi Teeter, and Janine Frey on Chiloe Island and Krystal and Deane Weaver on Quinchao Island. Regional representatives Michael and Nancy Hostetter round out the team in Puerto Montt on the mainland. Members of the 2014-2015 Chile YES team are serving in Achao, Quemchi, and Tenglo.

This article appears in the March/April 2015 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.