(posted at ubfriends.org, 2015)
Hello, Everybody, My name is Sigrid G. I used to belong to Cologne UBF in Germany, then to Washington UBF until 1996 or 1997. I don’t quite remember when exactly I left. I would like to add another item to Brian’s list of UBF’s unlawful behavior posted on June 3, 2015 and that is, child abuse and neglect.
For example, when some parents could not find a babysitter for their three pre-school age children so that the parents could attend a mandatory UBF Bible conference, they locked the children into their apartment from Friday through Sunday afternoon after instructing them to feed themselves out of the refrigerator.
My own experiences were even worse. When I was pregnant with my twins, missionaries never encouraged me to rest or take good care of myself. Instead every missionary prayed with me “to really overcome my pregnancy.”
When I asked, I never received any clarification of what they meant by this phrase. I thought it meant to put God’s work first because that was the directive in all things without exceptions.
One hot and humid Friday afternoon, after I had just finished a 40-hour workweek, the chapter director’s wife came to my apartment to urge me to go fishing with her at the University of Maryland in College Park, our fishing ground.
Being ignorant, timid, compliant, and brainwashed, I obeyed and went with her although I was feeling exhausted and nauseated.
A few days later, I gave birth to two boys prematurely. They were not expected to live, but survived anyway. However, even now as grown men, they still have many disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, mental handicaps, and blindness.
They are the product of a culture of child neglect and abuse that was common in many UBF chapters at that time according to my observations.
When confronted, the missionaries aggressively denied any wrongdoing or undue influence, but insisted that what happened was all my fault and my own decision.
I have long since forgiven those who brainwashed me and acknowledged the good things that happened to me at UBF.
I do not find it easy, however, to care for two people with disabilities. My children are also struggling. But I am holding on to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God accomplished part I of his plan for my children by letting them live. I am confident that he will also accomplish part II, which is healing them completely.
Thank you and God Bless!