Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Anonymous.

Yesterday I received an anonymous comment from someone writing from Barinas, Venezuela. As I do to so many rude comments, I deleted it with a sigh at the poor persons ignorance of true love and happiness.

The commenter said that we had raised our children in an abusive environment by forcing them to live in the jungle in a mud hut without the amenities of civilization.

I shared the content of the comment with my oldest daughter. She has written this fine answer to our Dear Barinas Anonymous Commenter.

( The 'Abusive' Parents)

Written by my daughter, Jackie.

Jackie on her wedding day!

Dear Person Who Left the Clueless Comment,

I'll make this quick.

In a nutshell, you left a comment saying that my parents should not have taken their children to the jungle, and that we were raised in an abusive environment.

You are wrong. A mud hut does not an abusive environment make.

No, we didn't have running water at first. We washed our clothes in the river. This taught us how to work hard.

No, there wasn't any electricity in the beginning. So, we went to bed early and by that "missed out" on many dumb, useless activities. Because of this, not a single one of us have ever been on drugs, gotten drunk, or been arrested.

No, we didn't go to public school. We were homeschooled. This means we were taught by the two people who loved us more than anything else. We didn't get to hang around our "peers" (boo hoo) and learned our social skills from two responsible adults instead of a bunch of kids.

We didn't wear Gap, didn't own an XBox, and shared our bedrooms with siblings.

We didn't get paid to do our chores, were taught to obey right away, and helped build our house.

We started teaching Sunday School when we were as young as 9 years old.

We are all bilingual, some trilingual.

We have gone on to higher education and done well.

We have traveled all around the globe and worked many different jobs.

Two of us are happily married in a divorce ridden society.

We have met government officials, doctors, lawyers, professors, and anthropologists. All have been surprised at how well adjusted we are.

Yes, we missed out on many of the materialistic things this world has to offer. And for that we thank God often.

My youngest sister, 14 years old, sings in the church choir, sings opera, draws beautifully, and has friends in Russia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ukraine, and the United States, which she contacts on an almost daily basis.

My middle sister, 18 years old, is a talented seamstress, gardener, and very athletic. She also has friends around the globe and will be leaving for US shortly to study nursing.

My brother, 21 years old, is happily married, excelled in Bible School, sells health insurance, preaches in two different languages, and can make anyone laugh.

I am 23 years old, happily married for 4 1/2 years, mother to two children, have lived in five countries, and am a busy pastors wife.

Perhaps you should write the mothers of Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan? It seems to me they may have grown up in an abusive environment. Why else would they be so unhappy?

While we appreciate your concern about our childhood, rest assured...we're fine.
Not a single one of us regrets our childhood, it was an awesome adventure, and we are grateful.

The 'abused' children .


The 'Abused' children.


Unknown said...

Oh this is great! I wish more parents today would raise their children in "such an abusive environment!!" Then maybe they would appreciate hard work, life, and thier parents. OUr world would be a much nicer place indeed if all children could have parents like you and Clint. There are times I regret not sending my son to live with you all in the jungle. I think it would have served him well.

Anonymous said...

Comments based on opinion related to the topic that is posted is fine. Personally attacking the blogger is NOT fine. I may disagree politically with somebody but I will always give that somebody the respect that he or she deserves.

Glenn B said...


Gecko said...

Lol, beautiful reply!! Why is it that some people just can't mind their own business?

Findalis said...

Well said. Is it not strange that the most well adjusted people are the ones who grew up with the least amount of material possessions and the greatest amount of spiritual wealth.

The greatest gift you gave and are giving your children is LOVE. A lesson the parents of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton could have well learned.

Siberia Tom said...

Hey Jackie. Nicely done. You got some keepers JM. I can "see" why Josh can make anyone laugh (kinda looks like Mr. Jungle Mom doesn't he?).

Rebecca said...

Good for you and hooray for the nursing student!

MightyMom said...

hey JM, you've mentioned raising 2 yekwana kids, do you get to see them often? are they adopted?

Betty said...

The "abused" look fine to me... :)
I hope anonymous gets the message!

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

BLESS YOU! What a beautiful response. I was thinking how sweet those little eyes were poking out of the mud hut in your previous post and forgot entirely to comment on the abuse that was so evident. (eyeroll)

Brenda said...

Hurrah for abused children! :) I too have received comments like that, but in person. A little hardship makes us strong, or, as I used to tell my children, "what does not kill you makes you stronger"

Yekwana Man said...

I am really confused!!!! It was because of HRH Hillary's book "It Takes a Village" that we went to a village. We wanted the best for our children. That they would know Socialism at it's highest and most pure form that we went to the Village. Now another lefty tells us that it is not in a village? Well I am still waiting on HRH Hillary's book on Marriage. What will it be titled?!?!?!

Thursday's Child said...

I should be so abusive! If I could grab my kids and take them off to a jungle I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Liz said...

Rita, I have no words or something extra to say to anonymous. Jackie made the best post, well.. she's your oldest. It seems that you guys taught her well!!!

My son usually jokes about being an 'abused child', you know... whenever he feels treated too well (sarcastic way teenagers show appreciation for their moms)

All can I say is, that I only managed to have one child (in the jungle of cement ~caracas). You raised four of your own and two native and they turned out just great. Maybe the jungle is not that bad after all :D

Un abrazo para tí y tu hermosa familia. Y uno muy especial para Jackie!! eres una excelente hija.

~Karen_ said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that there's at least as much, if not more, ignorance in the cities than there is in the jungles.

redneck preacher said...

Awesome post,

We have family that predicted our kids going off into drugs, sex, and the democrat party. All very dangerous things to do. They are so disappointed.

I can see who should write the intro to your book.


Anonymous said...

This is great. I don't know if you've ever read Kay Washer's One Candle To Burn, but she faced some of the same comments about raising her children in Africa. She pointed out that most of their accidents and serious illnesses happened while on furlough in America!!

It's a great book -- I'd love to send it to you if receiving packages is not a problem for you like it was in Venezuela. I reviewed it here:

ExploreColorado said...

And having food and clothes, let us be content.
Well written. We are often spoiled with lifes amenities, and forget what's really important.

Unknown said...

Well-stated, Sweetie. Sounds like some of you could be qualified to be president some day...

No offense intended.


crazy4danes said...

What a wonderful statement your daughter made! I hope your rude commenter reads that!

Your children are beautiful and look like they are all full of "light!"

Congrats on your families success and beauty! :)

Shane Rios said...

People just don't understand that Blogging is for fun not to fight so sad so sad.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and well done! I also love the face of your son in the mud hut picture--it says, "I'm a very happy boy!"

ABNPOPPA said...

Way to go kid, you told Anonymous! Good parents are hard to find but GREAT parents come along on one in a lifetime. I believe you have found the GREAT parents!


Anonymous said...

JM you pay to much attention to stupid people :)

Some of my best memories were spending time in Todasana, with no water or electricity.

Rita Loca said...

KA, You are probably right! But you should see some of the stuff I get!!!

Humble wife said...

Excellent -excellent response. I personally love this type of abuse and believe that my children are abused too.

And from this post forward I personally have changed the word abused to mean nurtured and loved beyond the word bad was given a new meaning of *cool* same with abused!!

As for the Jungle Hut Gang...I would consider it a great honor to meet in person as I know that you all would not be concerned with anything but are beyond surface and that is why you are so abusive! Thanks for sharing your kids, your life, and this post....perhaps we all could be better parents if we all were as a*abusive* as you!..

(in case any do not get penofjen --- i mean this in totally a great way!!)

Sarah Joy said...

I've seen happy people living with dirt floors, no running water or electricity and a diet of beans and tortillas. Happy, parents. Happy children. If the kids sense that their parents think they don't have enough, they will feel impoverished no matter how much stuff they have.

You know, I understand where these folks get the idea that it's not right to drag your children out to the mission field. If I didn't believe in God, or in a personal relationship with Him, I wouldn't understand it either. But the facts speak for themselves. Your children experienced dependency on God in a way that most Christians only imagine. They got to witness His faithfulness firsthand. That was a blessing to read!

groovyoldlady said...

You rock, Jackie! Thanks for telling it like it is.

We have friends preparing to move with their 3 young daughters to Swaziland as permanent missionaries. It is sad how many of our own church people have tried to discourage them from going "because of the children".

Rhonda in Chile said...

Hooray for MKs!!!!!!! We are a varied bunch, but every one that I know and grew up with seem truly grateful for having had the experience, myself included.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I love that so much!

Lori said...

Came to your blog through Pam's.

What a beautiful post.
You have a beautiful family.
(Looks like they were all abused -- haha not at all).

M.J. said...

I am raising my daughters in the USA. I would give anything to get them into a quaint civilization. I am afraid for my girls, and someday grandchildren, and all they encounter. I wish I would have been so fortunate to be called to be a missionaries wife, and be allowed to raise my children to grow up to be like my AMAZING sister in law. I try hard to achaive this, unfortunately I think it is much harder to raise AMAZING ladies in the "civilized" world!!!!

~Karen_ said...

I also want to say that you are a good-looking family! And since I've met most of you,(those who lived at D & D when we were there) I know that you are beautiful on the inside too.

Can we try to coordinate our furloughs again and live next door to each other? (grin)

Anonymous said...

Jungle Mom,

A great story from a wonderful daughter.

It is easy to see the difference it makes when we witness a family who knows Jesus Christ as Savior.

We pray God will continue to bless your entire family in all things.

Wonderful for your daughter who wants to be a nurse. I have a very special Christian g'daughter who is a neonatal nurse.. and she loves the work.

What a family!!! What a pair of parents!!

In Christ eternally,


Jane said...

BRAVO JACKIE!!! Rita this must have made your heart swell with pride. What a wonderfully well balanced, responsible, loving, Christian, selfless young lady you raised. Now, aren't you ashamed of yourself!!

Anonymous said...

Tell it, Jackie!

EGAD I'm sooooo weary of those who believe "the one who dies with the most toys, wins"!


Mountain Mama said...

Woo-Hoo! You preach it girl.
What a wonderful letter!
You sure put that 'busy-body' in her/his place. Good for you.

namaste said...

wow! you must be bursting with pride. you and your hubby did an outstanding job! kudos to your daughter for her eloquence.

Charles said...

Your children are luck to have been " abused " in this manor. Others should be jealous.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Today I rescanned your blog for about 2 hrs just to locate this wonderful post. So thankful for this.

I was once a missionary teacher. Lately, I volunteered myself to use my skills and talents in the jungle where medical care is ultimately needed beyond my family's knowing as they are absolutely against of me going and serving in the jungles. I was in love with a local who serves as my partner in helping his fellow tribesmen. Yes, I praise God for the healing. We committed sin and I know God's open arms are ready to accept us. I am 6 months pregnant now and am home with my family bearing all the redicules and pains they accused me of putting our family to shame. I did not marry him yet because of my family issues but we are deeply committed and vowed to God 'till He comes and raise our child in the arms of God. My family told me they would never accept my beloved. He comes from a poverty line family, not a professional and an educated member of a tribe. Though they are illiterate, they have a descent family and his parents raised them well with dignity. I'm on vacation now with my family, and struggling because they don't want to me to go back.

I remembered this post I read years ago, and I definitely want my child to grow up in an "abusive environment" where I experienced rivers and seas as my relaxing place to talk with God and my playground. Thankful for the naturally grown fruit trees in the mountains. The chickens, dogs, goats, water buffalo and birds are the greatest toys I could offer to my child for it is such a joy taking care of God's creation. I want my child to be away from TV and all the material things a child would want in the city life. The joyfulness of contentment and not running to work for life is what I longed for. I definitely know the attitude and behavior differences of those kids living with contentment and joyful in new things that those kids with all the material things this world has to offer. Rest assured, I will not deprive my child to know "this REAL ABUSIVE WORLD".

Please pray for me and my partner and our soon angel to arrive. I hope we can be together again to raise this wonderful miracle in God's nature. Please pray for my family to see tribesmen as children of God. I need your prayers.
Thanks and stay to be a blessing to others