Forward

After some soul searching (and listening to the advice of others), I have decided to leave the blog name just as it is. Because the truth is simple: every day is new–and each new day is an opportunity to wrestle with and struggle through old and fresh doubts, pains, fears,and heartaches. These days I find myself in a much better place. My marriage and family are amazing–so is my work with the Lake Harbour Drive church. I am blessed beyond measure. But in another moment of full disclosure… As the man once told Jesus… 

I believe. Help my unbelief…

 

My friend Jimmy Hinton put Angela Williams in touch with me sometime last year. Angela is the force behind Voice Today–an organization that seeks to give a voice to those who have been sexually abused as children.

In her own words from the Voice Today website:

I believe that through communication and education the stigma of child sexual abuse can be removed from the victim and placed on the predator, where it belongs. By giving this epidemic visibility, we are able to focus society on the issue and, as a result, become a VOICE for the voiceless. It takes great courage for a survivor to step out from the silence and shame and reach for healing and wholeness. They must be met with compassion and understanding to feel safe with each step they take. I believe adults need to take responsibility for the protection of children through education. A trained, conscientious and vigilant society puts the predator on notice and gives the child a community of safe people to watch over them. My dream is that one day this silent epidemic will be exposed, leaving no place for a perpetrator to hide. I pray this plague will be eradicated. I have a lifelong mission to help create a world without sexual abuse, a world where children will be safe, growing up whole and healthy with their sexual, physical and emotional boundaries in tact. Will you help me? Please give of your time and resources! Please join THE VOICE MOVEMENT today!

Angela is doing the work of a lifetime and I am proud to be her friend. She is getting ready to publish another book for children–a tool in the hands of parents who want to protect their precious children. This book is being produced in the memory of my son, Cole. Angela has honored me with the opportunity to write the forward and what follows is my first try…

Forward

I really hate that I am writing this forward.
I really hate that you are reading this book.
I hate that you feel the need to read or share with your children anything of this nature.

And yes, hate is a strong word for this man whose mother taught him not to hate anything.
But hate I do.

Even worse, I hate the events that have led me to this place.
I wish I could stick my head in the sand and have it all go away.
I wish I could, but I can’t.
And so here we are.

You are reading a book to help teach, explain, and protect your children from an insidious evil.
This is an evil most never really know exists.
Please make no mistake. This evil is real. It is deceptive. It is treacherous. It is sinister. It is so very subtle.

Those that know these things are faced with difficult choices. You can choose a path of deliberate ignorance and thereby hope to avoid the pain and discomfort this topic engenders; or, you can choose the path of knowledge and empowerment—and by doing so, embrace the opportunity to face down a malevolent force—to take a stand for the lives of children and families everywhere.

Those lives and that family could well be your own.

And since I am a preaching minister, please allow me this brief moment of preaching: That desire to ignore this evil? It will only serve to ensure more devastated lives in the future.

Unfortunately my family was that family of shattered dreams and broken tomorrows.

We were not deliberately ignorant, but ignorant we were. And that ignorance has cost us dearly.

Sexual abuse is real.
It happens.
It robs the innocent.
It redefines life.
It destroys.

This book is dedicated to my son, Cole. He was abused and more, if your imagination can imagine the very worst. Mentally and physically disabled, he eventually found the courage to speak out—to name his abuser, the destroyer of his innocence. Ultimately, it cost him and his mother, Karen, their very lives.

Yes, you read that correctly.
They were brutally murdered as the final and ultimate abuse. Just like the story of Cain and Abel, their blood cries out from the ground. Their lives demand and deserve justice.

So if by reading this book, your children remain safe and whole, then the lives of my murdered family are given fresh new meaning.

And I?
I am given hope.

So read this book.
Love your children.
Save a life.
And smile with me at the memory of a mother who died protecting her son and a boy who loved God and lived the best life he could…

Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison, MS

It Has To Stop

You must meet Clara Hinton.

She is a wife and mother.
She is also a former preacher’s wife.

Her husband is serving hard time for child molestation.
At least 23 counts.
Over at least a 40 year time frame.

He was a preacher.
A trusted man.
A loved man.
A believable man.

At the same time, he was a purveyor of a consummate evil.
He betrayed those who entrusted him.
He used the Bride of Christ as avenue to perpetuate a horror far to great to even try and comprehend.

You simply must meet Clara Hinton. She is on the front lines… she has had an experience of evil that is all to common. She has a first hand knowledge of how those who prey on children work.

To ignore her is dangerous.

On her blog she tells the story of her experiences. Just a little bit of reading will catch you up to where she is in sharing this strange journey. Her wisdom is compelling.

As one who has had the evil of molestation invade and destroy, let me make you a most solemn promise: You want to do everything you can to avoid, evade, and stop molesters.

It is an evil that has a lasting impact.

Here are two things Clara Hinton says in her latest blog post:

Pedophiles are liars and manipulators on every level. Playing people as puppets delights them. They are masters of deception and they know how to take total control.

Pedophiles are conniving, manipulating, deceitful liars who work hard to harm our children. It’s time for us to open our eyes wide and stop this horrendous cycle of abuse!!!

Please take the time to listen to her and her son, Jimmy. He too is writing and sharing information we need.

I don’t know how much speaking and teaching I will get to do on the subject, but I plan to educate as much as possible–it is another way to honor those I have lost as a result of this pervasive horror.

And guys, if I might add one more thing or make one more suggestion, it would be this: trust the instincts of your wife. Even if you have to apologize later, you will be better off doing that than living with the results if she was right and you did not honor the threat she perceived.

Been there and doing that. In that regard, don’t be like me!

God bless and have a happy Lord’s Day tomorrow!

Les Ferguson, Jr.