I began my healing journey with M&K Ministries in 2002 when I was at the end of my rope and ready to kill myself. I had buried years of severe childhood trauma and it refused to stay buried. I met with Karen Keegan and Minna Kayser to pray and took my first steps forward. What a huge relief! To know I wasn’t alone in my pain, to know God loved me, to know none of it was my fault.
It is 2016 and I am still on this journey. But each time I meet with them, by phone or in person, God meets with us and we move forward, sometimes a step, sometimes several steps. Karen and Minna have always been there for me, encouraging, loving, praying with me. I encourage anyone considering healing prayer ministry to call M&K Ministries.
My healing journey, which is ongoing, has been nothing short of miraculous. I began in the confusing world of DID, caused by severe and ongoing trauma. I was profoundly wounded, believed I had no value and no future. Pain had become my identity, death and isolation my daily reality. Early in my journey my local prayer counselor partnered with MK Ministry in my healing process. Their commitment to be there with me for however long my journey would take, their persistence in turning me to Jesus over and over for healing, and their loving acceptance of who I am gave me the foundation I needed for courage to embrace hope, healing, and move into life.
Today I am no longer fragmented. I am whole, and daily discovering who God created me to be in the profound worth He has given me. I have a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus, who I habitually turn to for strength and healing and love. Although still healing, my life is full of inner peace. I know I have a future. I am no longer alone. My days are filled with the joy of discovery, purpose, and meaning. I am profoundly grateful.
Bill Hayes, Th.M., Ph.D.
If you are looking for a right relationship with God or healing that is part of such a journey, you have come to the right place. I have observed M & K Ministry for over 10 years and have sent some of my clients to them. All that have spent time with them have been pleased with the outcome. Minna and Karen have experience and expertise in leading people to healing that God desires for them. And those qualifications are not enough. Minna and Karen listen to and follow Jesus -- that is what enables this ministry -- and they will help you do the same.
For the past few years, I have been going through a classic mid-life crisis. Many old conditioned patterns were coming up with intense emotional anger and pain. I reached a point of utter despair. Through M & K Ministry, I was able to process and heal a number of painful, bitter memories. When we first started talking, I was crying so hard I could hardly talk. By the end of the session, I was calm and peaceful. It was the beginning of another major step in my healing process. The ministry that Karen and Minna do is a gift from God to many MKs and needs to be supported.
I want to thank you for such a wonderful experience I had with you guys. It was absolutely life changing for me, and as the days go on, I draw from that experience over and over again. In two days you taught me so much about myself, God, my marriage, my family. I can go at any situation now from a standpoint of strength instead of sheer desperation, and it is liberating. I am putting one foot in front of the other every day and actually doing so with a lot of peace in my heart and with God's strength.
The following article was printed in Simroots (Vol 20#1), a magazine newsletter for adult SIM MKs.
I Was Always There
Introduction by Karen Keegan, Editor
When I was growing up, I assumed every MK had a happy home like mine and a positive boarding school experience. Oh, I knew there were some mischievous kids in our dorm, maybe even some who were labeled "rebellious," but their behavior, I felt, exhibited normal childhood experiences. It wasn't until we reconnected as adults that I discovered the term "TCK" with all its own issues, such as adjusting to various cultures, repeated cycles of grief and loss, and rootlessness. Boarding school experiences seemed to have another set of challenges, and hot was the debate in Open Dialogue between those who embraced their time there and those who struggled with it. After a while, we backed off on those dialogues a little to put things into perspective, to celebrate the positive side of our experiences.
But then came the Consultations with SIM and the Task Force involvement, and stories of deeper pain began to surface. No longer were we addressing typical TCK issues, but now we were uncovering cases of child abuse in all its forms (emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual) and from various sources (dorm parents, nationals, peers, family members). In my research, I've discovered that no mission agency is exempt from these stories of woundings. But not every mission board (or church or family or charitable organization) is brave enough to address the issues. I commend SIM USA for its pioneering work in acknowledging the stories and being willing to work with its hurting family members. The subject of abuse is fraught with landmines, but I feel the time is right to open up a dialogue on this topic in Simroots.
Please understand that as editor of Simroots, I do not speak on behalf of the Mission, but on behalf of adult MKs who are hurting and are seeking to find healing for their pain. I've agreed to print the following story because it gives a message of hope. The writer's deepest desire is not to defame a person or an organization, but to get the word out that healing is possible. I'm aware that this story may trigger the opening of some deep wounds, and so I caution you to read with discernment. In the end, I pray that it will be the catalyst for some to find help.
I want to add a note to our parents who read this story. One mission organization that has gone public with their stories reported three different responses from parents when their children approached them with the truth of their experiences. Some refused to believe their children's stories, denying the possibility that abuse could have happened. Others quoted religious platitudes and urged their children to "forgive and forget" and "get on with their life." The last group felt grief and sadness for their children's suffering, acknowledged their own pain in the process, and sought ways to support and reconnect with them. Recognizing that parents need to have a safe place to dialogue as well, please feel free to contact me with your suggestions and input.
In conclusion, I would hope that we as an AMK community can respond with compassion, understanding, and support for our brothers and sisters who have been traumatized.
The following copyrighted story is true. Copies or reproductions are not permitted without the permission of the author, whose name has been omitted to protect her privacy. If you would like to contact her, please write to the editor.
I Was Always There
Submitted by DT
I feel so alone, so betrayed, so hurt. I simply cannot go on. I want to die. Why aren’t you there, God? Where are you? I’d been demanding answers from God for those particular questions for the last thirty years. Why did I have to be so hurt? Why didn’t You stop it? Why don’t You love me? These questions and others drove me on a particularly painful and, in the end, joyous odyssey.
I attended a missionary boarding school from Grades 4-7. I left at the age of 12 completely shattered, angry and bewildered. I continued to be angry at the school and the people in it for the next 27 years. I didn’t recall everything that happened to me. I just knew that somehow I’d been hurt, and hurt badly. The things I could remember were problems I’d had in the dorm, with the kids in my class, or with the adults who ran the school. These shouldn’t have caused all the turmoil I felt. My family encouraged me to forget it and go on with my life. No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t get past it.
The road back to peace began in 1998. I was told that my fourth grade dorm father had died. I felt as if a huge burden had rolled off my shoulders. I wept with joy--and guilt. This wasn’t a Christian way to respond. Something was terribly wrong with me. I am the kind of person who needs to understand things, to put them in logical order. My reaction made no sense at all. So I called my father and poured out my tale of woe.
"Call the Mission," he advised me. There was a consultation coming up, where the Mission gets together with adult MKs to listen to their experiences. Since I was scared to go alone, I called two other women from my school and we met in Charlotte.
What a relief to tell my experiences. One of the things I was told over and over at boarding school was that no one would believe me if I told. The USA Director, Mr. Fehl, listened--and believed me when I told him my experience was not all positive. Over the course of the weekend, as we told our stories of abuse, I was stunned to realize that I’d been repeatedly raped by my dorm father. The memories came in a flash of scenes. I sat through the rest of the afternoon, listening, but feeling apart from things. What was I to do now? Where could I turn?
I returned home devastated and broken. Those little scenes in my head brought up all kinds of emotions--from rage, to despair. I wanted to hit something or just crawl away in a deep cave where no one would ever see me again. I recognized that perhaps there was a reason for why my boarding school years wouldn’t leave me alone. Why I couldn’t just "let it go and get over it." Something was hidden that I didn’t want out. I was in incredible pain and fought to hold it all back, to stuff it back into its box. I knew whatever was in there was terrible, horrific even. If it broke free, I would shatter into a million little pieces and never be really whole again.
At work and with my family I felt like I was living on two planes. How can life continue to go on when I am so shattered on the inside? I felt betrayed and so alone. Doesn’t anyone know how badly I was wounded? Can’t they see I need help?
I asked a friend to pray for me. He said he would but told me, "Don’t rely on past memories. They can lead you down the wrong path to places where people can get hurt. Forget it and go on." I refused to take this advice. I was determined to find my way out of this crazy, tilted world I was in. I went to counseling--I even found a Christian counselor--but I couldn’t get past the pain. I couldn’t even talk about the scenes of rape and bloody beatings that swirled in my head. They were growing worse as time passed. I kept remembering the smile on my abuser’s face as he watched me cower in pain and fear. No matter how I fought the memories, they insisted on being seen, heard, felt.
Finally one night I came to the end. In my mind I could see I was out in a dry, barren and lonely place with one scrubby bush and an outcropping of brown rock. Everywhere I looked it was empty, just me, the sky, and the rock. I threw back my head and screamed with all my soul at the heavens, "Jesus, help me!"
Nothing. Just the wind in the scrubby bush. I got no sense of peace. I was still alone. God had abandoned me for sure.
I quit going to counseling; I stopped going to church. I could barely get out to see friends. I stayed in my house and painted ceramics, trying to stuff the pain, rage, and despair back into its too-small cupboard.
In January 2001, I began suffering migraine headaches. They would last for weeks, break for a few hours, then come back. No one knew what to do. All the medical tests kept coming back normal. All I knew was that it wasn’t a tumor or a stroke, and that I was debilitated. I was getting Demerol shots a couple of times a week just to dull the pain enough to deal with life.
We counted good days; the ones where there was little pain. Then we started counting days between shots. I actually got to seventeen days once. I thought that maybe I was finally beating this thing. Then the migraines came back with a vengeance. I was so discouraged.
About that time people started telling me that my migraines were spiritual pain. God was trying to get my attention. Yeah, r ight.God has abandoned me. He couldn’t care less if I lived or died. And even if He is trying to talk to me, I don’t want to talk to Him. I gave Him the chance and He didn’t take it.
I called Mr. Fehl again and poured out some of my bewildered anger at him. He suggested I write out my experience. I shuddered. I couldn’t even speak about it, much less write my feelings of anger and victimization. But now I had a small sense of hope, like a tiny flower opening in my desert. Somebody cared.
At the same time, other people were telling me to "forgive and forget." They said I needed to stop holding onto the pain, that I liked living this way. Boarding school really couldn’t have been that bad. I had built it up in my mind. They said, "Just let it go. Let God have it all."
Are they crazy ?Who in their right mind wants to live with this much agony? I can hardly breathe, it hurts so much. I couldn’t do what they asked. I didn’t even know how. Besides, why would I turn my problems over to a God who had turned away and left me to my fate?
The memories were getting stronger, more persistent. I could hear sounds: laughter and screams floated ghost-like through my head. I thought I was going crazy. I fought to shove everything into some sort of mental closet and bolt the door. I wondered how long the pressure could stay there.
Just after Christmas 2001 a friend came over to visit. She told me she had gone through similar experiences and was on her way to healing. We talked about a prayer healing ministry whereby God comes in and heals the memories. I had heard about this in 1998 when I went back to SIM. It spooked me then and scared me now.
As I listened to my friend tell me of her healing, I so desperately wanted healing, too. But there was no way I was going to let God that close to my pain. I didn’t trust Him. He could have stopped it before it started and He didn’t.
Of course I didn’t tell my friend this. It wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do. So I talked around the issue for five hours. Every time she’d get close to it, I’d talk about something else. She was so patient. She told me bits and pieces of her story and how God had healed her from her pain. I could see the change in her. Oh how I wanted that!
Still leery, I decided to see if this would work. I was going to give God one final chance to help me. If He did, I’d know He cared; otherwise I was prepared to walk away and forget the whole deal. Of course, I didn’t tell my friend that, either.
I was scared stiff of the whole process. What was going to come out? I didn’t want to deal with the rapes right away. I didn’t want God or my friend to know about them. I didn’t want to know.
God seemed to understand. My friend asked God what He wanted to show me. The first thing I felt was a gentle peace. Then in my mind I saw I was standing in a hall staring down a flight of stairs. I remembered the man threatening to throw me down them, remembered the terror I felt at dying. As I watched, a transparent wall seemed to slide across the top of the stairs. I heard a whisper in my heart, "There was only so much he could do to you."
That’s nice. But what does this have to do with the rapes? What’s only so much? How much more did I go through? I got no answer.
I realized that Jesus was with me as I wandered through my dorm and explored the halls. I felt that nothing could touch me. I loved the feeling of comfort I got. It was the first time I’d ever felt this way. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus really did care?
When we stopped the session, I wanted to continue. I liked that sense of peace, the feeling that someone was with me. I knew that God had saved me from . . . whatever. I still couldn’t get a grasp on what it was. I had work ahead of me and didn’t know what I was working on. Still, that sense of peace and caring from God was so wonderful, I held onto it for all I was worth.
Strangely, the peace didn’t leave me as the days went on. What had I done to finally get God’s attention? Why had it taken so long for Him to hear me? I wasn’t sure I cared what the answers were as long as He didn’t leave me. But just because I now had a sense of the Lord’s presence didn’t mean that my problems were over. I was too afraid to find out what had really happened to me so I continued to stuff the feelings and pain.
The doors of my tightly closed closet finally blew off in February 2002. I simply could not go on. I wanted to kill myself. Terrified, I begged my husband to get me some help. He called Mr. Fehl who got me back in touch with my friend and her mentor. I spent a week with them as we began the long and torturous journey to healing.
I had so many issues: abandonment, rejection, worthlessness, despair, powerlessness, hatred, fear, distrust, personal choice and control, vulnerability, weakness, uselessness, loneliness, rage, retribution, the need to be perfect. I spent hours in the Valley of Despair. I just felt I could not go on. I told my friends that I wanted to die. God can’t possibly love me. I am too ugly and dirty. Something about me is all wrong. It is never going to come right. But His still, small voice kept reassuring me. Time and again, when I looked inside my heart, Jesus was always there. He promised me that we could get through this together.
I went through many issues, but still didn’t know why I felt so despairing, why I felt so powerless. I wasn’t getting at the core issue and I felt frustrated. I wrote a list of all my issues and at the end tucked one small word: sex.
My friends said, "Let’s go there."
I really didn’t want to. "It’s ugly," I told them. I felt so ashamed and transparent.
"Why?" they asked me.
Once again, the images of all the abuse came to me, only this time they were clear. They told me it was safe to explore these memories. The man was dead, after all. He couldn’t hurt me anymore. Haltingly, I told them what happened to me from beginning to end.
Little did I know the memories that would come pouring out. I just got through one memory and here came another one. My friend verified my memories, for she had been injured by the same man. I felt a sense of the most profound shock. I wanted to run away from the pictures in my head, but I couldn’t move as scene after scene unfolded before me. The only way to deal with it was to tell her. I questioned her all the way through. This just couldn’t be true. No one would do this to a little kid. I wept as I told her what happened to me. I felt so ashamed, so dirty, so wicked, so powerless. But it all seemed so unreal. How could he do this to me and I hadn’t been able to remember these incidents till now?
My friends told me the memories had just hidden until it was time to bring them out in a safe place. They explained that sometimes, in order for a severely abused child to survive and be able to function, the brain takes traumatic memories and hides them until they are able to deal with them later in life, often in their mid-thirties to forties.
We walked through the memories one by one and prayed for God to heal the pain I have carried for so long. He is a great healer and He washed away my sense of shame and healed each memory. I still wept, but this time it was for the child I had been that was trapped in a situation from which she had no escape. Then I felt the sweet gentle presence of Jesus somehow surround me and minister to me. The bonds that had held me dropped away. I was at peace. Yes, the memory was still there, but the pain was gone. There was no fear, no anger. It was like a huge load had been lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe it.
That was not the end of my memories. But it was the start of something I’d been wanting all my life: a sense of God working in my life. Each memory was "the worst." I hated what I’d been forced to do, to become. I hated the powerlessness, the hopelessness. At times I hated me.
I had been so dominated and brainwashed by this man that I believed every vile thing he said to me. It became my skin, who I was.
Slowly Jesus tore away at this shroud of lies. He exposed it for what it was--the filthiness of someone else’s mind and heart. I could see it, but couldn’t get out of it. It had me trapped. I looked inside myself and all I saw repulsed me. My life was an ugly wreck and nothing could fix it. I started crying.
My friends prayed, "Jesus, will you minister to her?"
Jesus was very close to me. I could feel Him standing there next to me. I didn’t want Him to witness this. I told my friends my life was like a cesspool. There was nothing good there. I had nothing beautiful to give to Jesus.
He looked at my life, littered and worthless as it was. Again I felt His soft, comforting presence as He promised to turn my ashes to gold. Oh, how loved I felt! I told Him that if He wanted to turn evil to good, it was fine by me.
I had so much more to walk through before I left my friends. As each memory came to light, God healed it. Not always right away. Sometimes I had to walk back and forth through the memory several times, reliving other aspects of it. I found that my mind was great at keeping things out that it didn’t want to know. I fought so hard not to hurt. I even tricked myself a time or two into thinking everything was just fine, only to get broadsided later.
With each healing, some of the lies I had learned to believe fell away. I began to trust God to help me, to be there for me during the difficult parts. He turned my tears to laughter, my doubts to trust, my cesspool to a pool of living water.
One of the things I faced almost immediately was profound disbelief from the people I dared to tell. They told me that it was a dream, I had made it up. After all, I write fiction; my mind works in weird ways. I wanted to laugh. I have a vivid imagination, yes. Stephen King off-the-edge I am not. My mind is simply not that twisted. But I had this peace inside. I knew this was true. And it could be verified. Someone had walked the path before me.
Am I healed completely? Not even. It’s been a year since I started down this path. I have spent countless hours on the phone pouring out my heart, my terror, my memories. There are two notebooks full of my experiences. And beside many of them is God’s answer, His healing. I am slowly learning how to walk between two worlds, one the world of the past, the other, the world of the present. Someday they will merge and I will be whole.
There is joy in this journey. As awful and horrific as some of the memories are, I wouldn’t go back to the place I was before this started. Jesus is so very near. And He loves me. I look back and I can see how time and again He saved my life or placed His angels nearby to help me. I am so grateful.
I don’t have all the answers to my questions yet. I don’t know what will come crawling out of my mind on any given day. But I know where to go when it does. I have a faith in God I never had before.
"Where were you, God?" I ask now in the midst of a memory.
"My child, I was always there," He answers. "I will always be there."