Marilyn and Beverly Shellrude in Africa

Sparked by the latest (and high profile) endorsement we have received for our documentary All God’s Children, I checked if I had ever posted any of them here on the blog. Apparently I hadn’t. That’s almost shocking, considering that I am so proud of all the positive reactions we’ve received from people who’s work and insight I respect deeply.

So I will rectify this now. And yes, it sounds like we’re boasting. But we feel so honored to have received all these endorsements that we want to share them. Also we don’t have the budget for a PR person to do it for us.

But first a quick reminder about our next public screening:

Sunday June 14th, 2009 – 2:30PM
Curtis Baptist Church
Tannery Road
Campbell, NY 14821
Phone: 607-527-8137 (Shary Kroeker Hauber)

Shary Kroeker Hauber attended Mamou as well, a few years before the MKs in our film. What she had to witness and experience was just as devestating. She is co-hosting this screening together with her pastor Dale Ingraham and his wife Faith – together they run the “Speaking Truth in Love” Ministries (Stopping Sexual Abuse in the Body of Christ).

Dianne Darr Couts, her husband Pastor Bud Couts, Scott and I will attend the screening, which will be in the Finger Lake Region. It’s supposed to be beautiful up there and we’ve never been. So we’re excited about a little relaxing before and after the screening.

Now here the reactions to the film, we are so grateful for:

“I believe that this story is a valuable addition to the growing awareness of how children have been long sacrificed on the altar of God’s work, and that alone will be healing for many of us, so thank you for that.”

William Paul Young, author of The Shack


“All God’s Children is both a disturbing reminder that the Christian community is not immune to abuse and also a deeply moving case study on the complex dynamics of healing from spiritual, emotional, sexual and physical wounds. The redemptive possibilities that emerge when survivors find the courage to tell the truth and support each other in the process of healing are powerfully illustrated.
I recommend it highly.”

Dr. Dale S. Ryan, Associate Professor of Recovery Ministry
Fuller Theological Seminary


“Deeply moving, the film tells of children who were cast onto the rocks of horrific abuse by the siren call of God’s will. Yet years later, the wounded adults manage to shine a little light for all of us. Their stories stand as testimony to the transformative power of truth-telling.”

Christa Brown, author This Little Light
and founder,


“Exposing a horrific scandal that’s virtually never been highlighted anywhere, this deeply moving film is about far more than childhood betrayal. It’s also about the heroic work of wounded adults to hold callous and deceitful church officials accountable for stunning crimes.
It’s both jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring.”

David Clohessy, national director of SNAP,
the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests:


All God’s Children tells a tragic story—one that no one really wants to hear, but one that responsible adults need to hear. It reminds us that all souls need saving, starting with the ones God has seen fit to put in our care.”

Cliff Vaughn,


“I felt all that has been described here, It’s hard to put into words how it affected me. I didn’t attend Mamou but the boarding school I went to mirrored the experiences I saw on this film. I grieve for each of you, and for all of us with wounded children still hurting within us. […]
The word needs to be spread. I felt deeply saddened by it, but also validated, that I’m “not the only one”, and am not alone.”

Suzie Baer – MK and former boarding school student


“[…] brilliantly woven together, picking up the threads of the individual stories and unique personalities, to give us the powerful, collective drama. [I hope] that many more will have the desire and the courage to see this story […] The message is as multi-faceted as the story, in fact. [These] lives stand as a testimony to the transformation of horrific suffering, a transformation that is contagious enough to bring about change in all who are willing to awaken.”

Dee Ann Miller, advocacy writer,
author of How Little We Knew and The Truth about Malarkey


“I’ve watched the [DVD]… it is powerful. […] we both could hardly
sleep last night. I kept remembering things when I wakened during the night hours. I was reminded of the impotency of our lives there, our helplessness. […] I know why I struggle with being an over achiever more clearly now, why I can’t seem to rest, or be at peace.”

Vivian Harvey – author, MK and former Mamou Academy student


“For Canadian Beverly Shellrude Thompson, participating in the project was both difficult and helpful. ‘One of the things that has been my mantra is that the story needs to be told, that there’s healing in telling the story,’ she said from her home in Burlington, Ont. ‘I’ve always carried in my head a deep shroud of secrecy that allowed both the pain and the system to go on.'”

Debra Fieguth, Faith Today


“… Solary and Westphal’s film is sad yet unflinching, and demonstrates what can happen when unsuspecting parents put too much faith in an institution. The tone of the film may be more than just cautionary, however: It could be humanitarian.”

Joel Rozen, Sarasota Herald Tribune

And last but not least, from the page for the film:

I own this DVD. It exposes the abuse that happens in the church and here specifically on the mission field. It shows the long term affect of abuse and the struggles to overcome these affects. Hopefully those who see this will work to stop abuse in our churches and on the mission field. I know these fact to be true and not exaggerated. I also went to Mamou and abuse was happening before the time shown in this film. A must see for church leaders.
— Shary Kroeker H

I had the privilege of viewing this film at the Sarasota Film Festival in 2008, and later was able to speak with some of the courageous victims of the abuses discussed in the documentary. Their stories are disturbing but not uncommon. What is truly remarkable about this film is that its depth is in its simplicity. Rarely is a viewer taken to such a dark place through this type of footage. A year later, I continue to be haunted by the images of lost innocence and the knowledge of the atrocities that can take place when authority goes unchecked. As we watch history repeat itself all over the world, this film’s relevance and message cannot be ignored.
— John Coyne

I was privileged to attend a screening of this DVD and was very impressed with the production and the excellent information on this subject.
— Carolyn

I had to buy this movie. I’m someone who is fascinated by religion’s power over people. Whatever we think of this power, we can all agree that quite often this power is abused by the people who wield it. If you find this subject matter interesting, you’ll want to see this. Especially in this time where many docs seem to strain to provide pure entertainment, it was refreshing to see a film that simply offers an unblinking look at its subject matter. It allows people to just tell their story – and when that story is something these people have kept inside for most of their lives – well, it’s riveting just to hear them speak & oddly uplifting and cathartic to see these truths finally shared. All God’s Children doesn’t have heavy-handed voiceover narration, flashy graphics, etc…I found this refreshing. Instead, it takes actual film footage from the school that is the center of the story, and elegantly and quite hauntingly weaves these images throughout the film. What starts out as innocent-seeming images of children at play becomes increasingly disturbing simply by what you are learning as the film moves along. It’s highly effective. I was glad to have watched this, I think you will be too.

— N. Rufca

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