Since its founding, Kanakuk Kamps has hosted thousands of families, kids, and staff members at its numerous campsites overnight situated in Southwest Missouri. The camp is supported by notable Christian leaders, groups, and famous people. The Kanakuk philosophy and experience have taken over communities across the country and worldwide.
However, Kanakuk’s fame and power hide a dark truth. For many decades, Joe White and other camp leaders were aware of and supported activities and behaviors which are considered to be sexual abuse of a large number of children. This is a pattern that may continue even to the present day. The same leadership remains in charge.
Despite numerous indictments and convictions and convictions, the sexual scandals surrounding Kanakuk haven’t received the scrutiny needed to effect actual changes. The non-disclosure agreement (NDAs) and significant settlements in financial terms have concealed the truth to protect the ministry’s brand and economic power.
This site is committed to providing information on what is needed to be revealed. Parents need to be aware of the facts before they decide to let their children be part of the Kanakuk program. Donors and alumni deserve the truth too.
Also, read 10 Interesting Facts About Memorial Day
It is a central source to gain knowledge and sharing knowledge and experiences. This is a space where the victims of Kanakuk abuse will finally be acknowledged, heard, and respected. We want their suffering, pain, and silence to be recognized.
“There is no statute of limitations on the truth.”
Kanakuk Kamps is among the biggest Christian camps around the globe. Since its establishment in 1926, the center has claimed to have served over 450,000 campers. About twenty thousand children pass through its gates in the summer, both outside from Branson, Missouri, and elsewhere. Many families from the churches I pastored have had excellent encounters with Kanakuk.
And now, tragically, Kanakuk is back in the news for all of the wrong reasons.
A former Kanakuk Director, Pete Newman, went to prison in 2010 after he was found guilty of abusing children. Nineteen of the victims were identified during the initial investigation into his actions. But, Christian journalists David and Nancy French recently published an entire article stating damages that could have been greater.
They have described Newman as extremely charismatic “Girls wanted to date him, guys wanted to be him, and children wanted to follow him.” But, they also note that Newman abused boys in the camp cabins at the gym, on the beach, in the showers, during father-son retreats, and on a mission trip to China. The camp’s leaders were incredibly slow in responding to abuse allegations against him.
A website called “Facts About Kanakuk” provides a list of other ex- Kanakuk employees and associates who were found guilty of sexual abuse of minors. Christianity Today is reporting that one victim from Newman’s case passed away by suicide in 2019.
The report also mentions that Kananuk has put on training for child protection workshops for leaders from more than four hundred fifty other Christian camps and ministries. Kanakuk has now provided specific guidelines on interactions, contact, and discussions that staff members can have with campers.
But, David and Nancy French acknowledge that the total amount of Kanakuk victims who have come forward is unknown, as many cases were settled through confidentiality agreements. They explain the reasoning behind their research: “There is no statute of limitations on the truth.”
A major flaw of our ourology
The biblical response must start with the truth. It is true that God has a love for children. He punishes those who harm children. Jesus said clearly that for a predator like this, “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” ( Matthew 18:6). The abuse of one child in any part of the world is a scourge to God’s heart and is to be condemned most fervently.
How could a Christian camp run by evangelical Christians be vulnerable to such terrible sin? It appears to me that evangelicals are suffering from a devastating lack of theology.
Also, read 35 Incredible Facts About Maryland
We are aware that salvation can be described in three Tenses:
- We have been delivered from being condemned as sinners and given salvation as God’s children. God.
- The daily process of cleansing saves us.
- And we are saved from death on earth to eternal eternity in heaven.
We are aware that we must be dependent on God to fulfill the first and third sentences of our salvation. We cannot free ourselves from our own sins ( Ephesians 2:8-9). We are not able to escape death when we die, and we are dependent on God for our resurrection to eternal eternity with Jesus Christ ( John 11:25-26).
We all tend to forget that we are equally dependent on God to fulfill the second tense of salvation. We fall for the falsehoods of our fallen society that encourage self-reliance and reward external achievements. This is especially true for famous figures such as Pete Newman, brilliant communicators such as Ravi Zacharias, and innovative innovators who are trendsetting such as the Bill Hybels. A lot of leaders do not realize the fact that “we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” ( James 3:1) and that “each of us will give an account of himself to God” ( Romans 14:12).
It is the body that Christ is in some way complicit. The more well-known a Christian leader is and the more we are able to hold them responsible for the sins to which every person is susceptible. We seek heroes we can admire and follow and are able to ignore our biblical obligation to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” ( 1 John 4:1).
As long as this pattern of avoidance of accountability persists further tragedies will be making more headlines, discrediting God and causing heartache to him.
“Encourage one another and build one another up”
This is the point where Easter is particularly relevant.
On the day that billions of Christians were celebrating Christ’s resurrection Jesus Christ, the fact is that he’s just as active and alive as Jesus was when he was raised from the dead. He’s as dedicated to praying to our needs ( Romans 8:34) as well as walking with our feet ( Matthew 28:20) as well as accepting our forgiveness ( 1 John 1:9) and encouraging the believers ( Acts 1:8) like he did when he was first walking through the earth in a broken state.
However, just like his first followers, we have to decide to follow Jesus. We must acknowledge that Jesus was on the right track when he said to us, “apart from me you can do nothing” ( John 15:5). We are to submit to his Holy Spirit throughout the day, and throughout all of the time ( Ephesians 5:18). We should seek to be made as like him ( Romans 8:29) “through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” ( 2 Thessalonians 2:13).
Also, read 11 Crazy Facts About The Black Death!
We need to hold each other accountable to God’s ideals in ourselves ( Proverbs 27:17) in order to “encourage one another and build one another up” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Every day we must begin with acknowledging that we depend on Jesus to help us through his infinite grace.
Christless Christianity is not Christianity in any way.
Alexander Maclaren was right: “The risen life of Jesus is the nourishment and strengthening and blessing and life of a Christian.”
Are you willing to allow Jesus Christ as your Lord to be glorified today in your life?
Note NOTE: As Christians, we are created to walk closely with Jesus each day, and to become more like him through a life of prayer. This is why I chose to write my latest publication, Every Hour I Need You A Practical Guide for Daily Prayer. You’ll find simple ways to open the throne of God and lead you to the Presence that feeds your soul and gives you joy. I’ll mail you an electronic copy of Each Hour I’m Needing You to express my gratitude for your contribution to helping other people see the world differently, and make more changing Christians. Please request the book today, and I’ll be grateful for your kindness.