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It is has been one month since we published Hear Believe Act - a discussion paper.
The website has been live for most of January - the blog for just the last few weeks. We are blessed to have had overwhelming support for the project and the brothers and sisters involved thank everyone for their encouragement and prayers that the project will show fruit to the Glory of The Father.
The response has been amazing - it a strong indication of the need for this resource and the readiness of the Brotherhood to engage in the discussion and to better respond to reports of domestic abuse. This gives us all great heart.
THANKS TO THE SURVIVORS - YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION
For the survivors and their friends and family who have contacted us, and for all those whose experience informed the discussion paper, we are grateful for your courage and willingness to share and your almost universal desire to empower other victims so that they do not need to go through the same terrible experiences of domestic abuse you have told us about. For those who have not sought help yet, please note the help available and reach out to the care networks and counsellors listed on the website.
For those dealing with cases, we trust the resources are useful in better showing the Love of Christ in our response - please remember we need your insights and experience too, to ensure we can build on our successes and refine our approaches.
BE PART OF AN OPEN CONVERSATION - IT IS TIME
For ecclesias, arranging boards and all brothers and sisters please be sure that the conversation needs to be had and that the Brotherhood in general is ready to have that conversation - it is a conversation that needs to be had in the open, so that victims and survivors know that they will be hard, believed and the ecclesia will act to save them - yes, it is that important. We are sad to say many survivors have left the truth or have doubts about God's work in their lives because of our responses in the past - that is to say nothing of the life threatening situations, physically and mentally that some survivors are in. May it never happen again and may we be blessed in reaching out to those who may have left in these circumstances to correct the inaction of the past and that they might see that the ecclesia is the place they need to be.
BE PART OF IT OR GET OUT OF THE WAY
In the short time the website and blog has been operating:
5134 times our Facebook posts have been engaged with
2190 individual visitors have gone to the hearbelieveact.org website
5739 individual pages have been visited
611 people have downloaded the discussion paper
177 people have "liked" the hearbelieveact facebook page
as well as the numerous personal contacts and telephone calls we haven't been counting.
Visitors have come from all over the world, almost literally, and from even shade and size of ecclesia. People in every part of the world think this is a subject to discuss in the Brotherhood.
If you are still averse to being part of the conversation or only wanting to have it in hushed tones, think again - your brothers and sisters are clearly signalling that it is time for this discussion to be had in the open.
If your ecclesia has been successful at responding to reports of domestic abuse please let us know, and if you have concerns about what we are teaching raise them with us and be part of learning with us.
Look out for notifications of events that we will be publishing soon and keep engaging with the content and tell us and your friends and ecclesias what you think about it.
If you know of a seminar or meeting relevant to this topic in a place near you, please let us know so we can help you publicise it.
TELL THE ELDERS OF YOUR ECCLESIA
The website is public to people who may not be on Facebook. Now is the time to start engaging those people in the conversation - many of those people may be your arranging brothers or older brothers and sisters. Don't leave them out of the conversation - share this blog post with them now and encourage them to read the hearbelieveact.org content, download the discussion paper and get involved in the conversation.
PRAY FOR GOD'S BLESSINGS
Finally make it a matter of prayer that your prayers may rise with ours that God's children are more and more a reflection of His love and care and that by His grace we can relieve the suffering of our Lord's little ones and help them to know and experience they are a valued and indispensable part of Christ's body who we want to share eternity with.
If this article raises concerns you have about domestic violence in your own life or those around you can call 1800RESPECT (If in Australia) or similar services in other countries. There is also a list of support services on this website including Christadelphian Support Services.