Shires, Michael & Anita ~ India

To Overseers, workers and friends,

It is with great grief that we find ourselves writing this letter. For the last year, we had hope that we would witness a change in the fellowship, sadly all that we witnessed was lies, denial, cover up, deceit. Moreover, you value the honour of your men more than the facts. Evidence of the fruit of repentance is not visible. The leaders of this ministry have demonstrated a chilling lack of empathy for victims. None have accepted accountability and only burdened others with unspoken rules. Learning about the nature and repeated crimes of Sexual Abuse (SA) and Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) by those who call themselves true servants of God have deeply shocked us and we are extremely concerned and uncomfortable with what we have seen recently. If you are not accountable, you are not credible. If your actions don’t inspire your words won’t.

It is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of our decision to exit from this group. This decision has not been made lightly and comes after much reflection and prayer.

Over recent months, we have observed several instances and patterns that have raised serious concerns about the integrity and transparency within the church’s leadership and operations. Despite our efforts to seek clarification and resolution through appropriate channels, these issues have remained unaddressed. We have become increasingly disturbed by the reports and evidence of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by certain people/workers within this group. Even more troubling is the cover-up of these actions by Overseers/ leadership. These actions are in direct contradiction to the values and teachings that our Faith professes to uphold, and we find it impossible to continue our association with a group that permits such behaviour.

The church is meant to be a place of sanctity, morality, and trust, where members can seek spiritual guidance and a community without fear of exploitation or deceit. Unfortunately, the recent revelations have shattered our trust in the leadership and the integrity of the group as a whole.

As individuals who value honesty and ethical behaviour, we find it increasingly difficult to align ourselves with an institution where such core principles are compromised. Our hope was to find a community where trust and integrity were paramount, and it is deeply disappointing to have these expectations unmet.

We are grateful for the positive experiences and the spiritual growth achieved during our time here. We have built meaningful relationships and have been part of many fulfilling activities. However, staying in an environment where we are no longer confident in the leadership’s commitment to integrity is something we cannot continue to do in good conscience.

We hope that our exit will serve as a catalyst for reflection and change within the church, leading to greater transparency, accountability, and a renewed commitment to the moral and ethical standards that should define a religious institution.

We affirm that we love God and Jesus and are not leaving Him or His teachings. We have not fallen away but are closer to Him than ever before.

Our love has not changed for any of you. Each and every one of you has a special place and we desire that it remains so. We will continue to keep the congregation in our prayers, hoping that these issues can be resolved for the betterment of the community.

Our home will remain open to everyone who loves the word of God, but we will not support a corrupt ministry. Our hearts bleed for victims and their families, we remain committed to being there for anyone in need and pray for healing and justice to all those affected by these events, for those who are obligated to remain here in spite of their awareness of the unhealthy environment. We know that God will deal with every predator because our God cannot be mocked.

Michael, Anita, Stephanie, Andreanna and Jordan Shires
Andrew Yates
July 6th, 2024
Bangalore, India