Letter from Rachael Denhollander
Hi everyone, I’m sorry I couldn’t get a video message to work, but I at least wanted to take a minute to say a huge thank-you to everyone here.
I know the work you do has cost more than anyone will ever know. For many of you, it’s cost your privacy, your community, your reputation. It costs friendships and family. It costs time and resources and energy. And it comes with an incredible emotional toll.
So please hear me say “thank you.”
Thank you for being on the front lines. Thank you for telling your story and putting yourselves out there so that survivors who came after you had a safe place to be. Thank you for being the first to hear their stories, because you are trustworthy, and the first to stand in the gap for them. Thank you for not compromising. Thank you for being willing to think creatively and outside-of-the-box when so many are glued to a system that takes priority over what is right.
Thank you for not backing down, and not giving up.
I admit that the last few weeks, as anniversaries have come and gone, have come with discouragement too, and exhaustion. I am sure it has for all of you also. But it has also been a reminder to me of the community that has arisen and is stronger and more united than ever. It’s reminded me that the problem of sexual abuse in churches is back to being front and center, and conversations are being started that otherwise wouldn’t have. I’m exhausted because it feels like this never ends, but when I see so many of you who have gone before and are still standing and telling the truth and bringing refuge, I’m encouraged and challenged by your steadfastness.
Because of what you do, the conversation isn’t over. Because of what you do, victims know they are not alone. Because of what you do, no one can say “we never knew”.
I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I am encouraged, challenged and convicted as we head into it, because of the example you have set, and it is a privilege to work together. What you are doing matters, and I am thankful for you all.
Let justice roll down like mighty waters.