My family moved to a small farming town a year ago to enjoy the quiet life. We joined a local church and I became very involved with the children's ministry. A great deal of the children come by church bus, especially on Wednesday nights and many have parents who want nothing to do with church at all. There is a 70 year old man who has been part of this ministry for a long time, now driving the buses but supposedly used to run the program. When he was in charge it consisted of taking kids to the movies, out to eat, bowling, not very much actual Christian learning. He is also at every elementary school sports game although not to see his grandchildren. For months I, like everyone else just accepted it because it seemed as if many of these children grew up with him as another "grandpa". He would ask me if I would like him to watch my 5 year old daughter but I could not imagine that being something I even needed much less from a strange man. In the middle of all this he became very sick with cancer that kept him away from driving but came back once he was recovered enough for him to drive again. I became aware of a problem when a new family came into town, 2 girls 10 and 7 and a 5year old boy. My daughter became fast friends with the 7 year old and looked forward to seeing her every week. Mom and stepdad had little to do with church. About 2 months ago the girls starting to become very withdrawn from the other children. They were seen sitting on the guy's lap and clinging to him even during church. Normally he was not taking those children home (we have a van driven by one of the moms and sometimes even me and my husband) but I found out the "route changed". A month ago, during a time when the old pastor was leaving and the new one was getting ready to come, I started to get complains of this man taking some of the children to the Quicky mart on the way home with the church bus. I was asked to not let him bring their children home because he was starting to visit all of their homes looking to "watch their children". I told several people in the church but kept getting the "he is like a grandpa" and nervous looks but no action. Even talk about not wanting to upset his 90 year old mother. The whole time I was under the mpression that there was a second adult on the bus. The climax came last Wed, when I instructed the van coordinator to make sure that there is another adult on the bus to quell any problems. But on Thursday night I found out that he dropped off the adult (who was a 20 year old woman who is a little slow but sweet) drove about a mile more, put on some pop music where one of the 10 year old girls stood up and started to dance provocatively. He pulls over the 15 seater bus, pulls out his cellphone and video tapes her with a big smile on his face. The other little girls on the bus are scared and trapped. They go straight to their moms and tell them. I go straight to question the older girl who saw it and was taped. The story checks out on both sides. The girl who was dancing (one of the ones that recently became his new little friends) did not have a problem with it because "he tapes me all the time because he wants to remember me". Ew ew ew. Turns out that the new pastor is informed but could not "do anything until Monday" because he does not take charge. Grandpa Drove some children to church with a chaperone. He rewarded the kids who got on the bus with him by buying them donuts to which he did not offer to every child (making everyone late for Sunday school). The mom of the videotaped girl told other mothers that the video was not "that bad" and that her daughter should not have enticed the man. I am sick over this. I can not even imagine how many other videos there are or what he does with them. And what about the other girls who were exposed to this. I am letting the new pastor take his shot at this hoping he will use his Masters in Counciling to at least steer him away from the children's ministry. I will be leaving the church completely and yes, I think someone needs to investigate him but I think he is a smart man who knows what he can get away with.
Am I just making too much of this?
on Jun. 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM