Philippine children– Creative Commons
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV
I had planned a more in-depth analysis of the following information. However, my elderly mother needed a medical procedure today which lasted far longer than expected. That was followed by a planned phone call from a victim which I thought would last about 30 minutes that lasted 2 1/2 hours during which I heard a disturbing story of the sexual abuse of 11-13 year old girls within a church in a denomination that I have not covered on this blog. I was thoroughly sickened by the articulate woman who has offered a number of stories and some disturbing responses by church members. This is one of those conversations that you don’t cut short. I believe that there could be some national interest in this story and I hope to post by the end of next week.
So please forgive me for my lack of discussion. Special thanks to Justice for Sankey who gave me permission to post some of their information. There is a reason I need to get this information up. The admission on the part of the church, especially Joe Coffey, that Tom Randall allegedly forged some information and was fired has opened up this story to further investigation. I believe that this story will attract attention on a national level in the near future. The information posted here will be used in a future story.
TWW readers will be amongst the first to access both of these stories.
For a review of the history of Sankey, please link to the home page of Justice for Sankey.
In the following post, pay close attention to Coffey’s excuse for his unwillingness not to believe the accusations against Tom Randall. Joe Coffey did far more than disbelieve the accusations but that will be discussed at another time.
On June 7, 2019, Christ Community Chapel lead pastor Joe Coffey sent an email to church members which contained an update on the review into sexual abuse allegations at Sankey Samaritan children’s home. This review had been announced in a March 2019 email, which said the review had been initiated in September 2018.
- Coffey claimed that two orphanage workers had been the subject of a “full investigation” in the Philippines. Coffey didn’t mention that these were not simply low-level orphanage workers – one was Tom Randall’s best friend and the director of the children’s home, and the other was the director’s son, Randall’s godson, and a board member. It’s hard to say what Coffey meant by a “full” investigation; it appears that at least two additional workers named in sworn statements were not investigated, and aside from the sworn statements made immediately after the rescue, we have found no evidence that any further investigation was done by the NBI or any other law enforcement body.
- Coffey claimed the review was expected to complete within “the next few weeks.” Coffey wrote, “That process is nearing its conclusion, and we are hopeful that the review will be completed within the next few weeks. The timeline is subject to change based on the availability of information, but upon completion, the findings will be made available to anyone who would like to view them.” As of July 4, 2019, the review has not yet been released.
- Coffey called the review “thorough” and said it covers “all documentation and information in connection to the case.” No explanation was given for why numerous witnesses have still not been contacted by Lewis-Johnson.
- Coffey claimed CCC takes child protection “very seriously” and said the church has comprehensive child protection policies.The email did not mention the March 27, 2019 allegations that Tom Randall had groomed and molested a teenage girl in the Philippines or what steps, if any, were being taken in response.
From: Joe Coffey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Jun 7, 2019 at 1:04 PM
Subject: AOET and CCC Family Update
Dear CCC Family,
In this past weekend’s services, we met Ernest Masaaba from a ministry partner called AIDS Orphan Education Trust (AOET), in addition to learning about AOET’s work. During the service, the option was given for each of you to donate $20 on the spot to help AOET continue to provide education and orphan care to thousands of orphans in Uganda. AOET is on the front lines, fighting for justice and mercy for the most vulnerable. As always, you responded with incredible generosity, going well above and beyond the goal of $10,000 in on-the-spot donations – at the time of this writing, the total is $11,231, with more still coming in. Thank you for being such a generous church, for making Jesus famous, and for caring for orphans around the world.
In that context, we want to take this opportunity to give an update on the status of the review into allegations of abuse at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage in Lucena City, Philippines. In early 2014, the orphanage was raided by authorities, and CCC staff member Tom Randall was arrested along with two orphanage workers. At the time of the raid, Tom Randall was visiting the orphanage in his role as the Executive Director of World Harvest Ministries, the funding organization for the Sankey Orphanage and other mission work in the Philippines. Tom was never charged in connection to the case and was released. The other two orphanage workers were charged and were the subjects of a full investigation and legal proceeding by the Philippine authorities. Eventually, all charges in connection with the case were dismissed.
CCC’s review into the Sankey Orphanage matter is being led by Suzanne Lewis-Johnson. Suzanne spent ten years as a federal investigator of cases involving human trafficking and child exploitation. She is a member of CCC and the Executive Director of RAHAB Ministries. Independent of any CCC staff member or elder, Suzanne has been conducting a thorough review of all documentation and information in connection to the case. That process is nearing its conclusion, and we are hopeful that the review will be completed within the next few weeks. The timeline is subject to change based on the availability of information, but upon completion, the findings will be made available to anyone who would like to view them.
One reason we initiated the review is our desire to discern how we as a church can best partner with AOET and our other ministry partners that provide care for vulnerable children in various locations around the world. We look forward to learning from the review to work better toward justice and mercy in all our ministries. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect children when they are entrusted to our care and follow best practices to keep children safe. We have comprehensive child protection policies and procedures in place in all of our ministries to children and students and require all CCC staff and any volunteers who work with children and students to submit to a criminal background check and attend training sessions designed to reinforce appropriate boundaries and best practices for child safety. If you have any concerns or want to learn more about our child protection policies and procedures, please contact a member of our leadership team or me.
Finally, CCC has been made aware that a group of local concerned individuals plans to demonstrate at upcoming weekend services, most likely on the side of the road across from CCC’s Hudson Campus. In the event of demonstrations, we ask that you treat demonstrators kindly and drive carefully as you attend.
CCC exists to help people come to know Jesus, grow in him, and serve him daily, and we are so thankful for the role that each of you plays. If you have questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity for conversation. Please contact Stacey.DiNardo@ccchapel.com.
Seeking to Make Jesus Famous,
Did you ever wonder what Joe Coffey might sound like as he makes his excuses to his church members? Once again, concentrate on his explanations for refusing to believe anything negative about his BFF, Tom Randall. He was willing to cast shade on some wonderful church members who would eventually be proven to be far smarter and more in tune with the Spirit than he was. Just remember this. Coffey didn’t merely *believe* Tom Randall. He acted on his belief.
Two instances in which Tom Randall appears to have been lying.
- The pro-level basketball player who decided to play in the Phillipines instead of for the jazz. Didn’t anyone ask a simple question? Where’s the proof? Sam Allard of the Cleveland Scene sought truth a bit more diligently than Joe Coffey and the rest of the leadership of CCC.
When I first heard the story of Tom Randall posing as a sacrificial basketball player who gave up playing for the pros in order to play ball in the Phillipines, I wondered what the hoopla was about. Basically, it proved to me that Randall was not the professional athlete that he claimed to be. According to Allard:
In 2002, Randall was interviewed by The Oklahoman about his role as chaplain for the PGA Senior Tour. He recounted to the reporter, as he often does, the tale of his conversion under Judson University basketball coach Dick Helm. During the conversation, he said – or hinted; the material was not a direct quote — that he was drafted into the NBA.
As presented, the above is absurd. Randall claims that he chose to forego a lucrative professional basketball career in the U.S. because the Jazz … already had Pete Maravich? The implication is that he preferred to be a big fish in a small, exotic pond than ride the bench in the NBA.
Except he wasn’t drafted. No player named Tom Randall, nor any player from Judson University, was ever drafted in Jazz franchise history.
2. The forged emails which resulted in his finally being fired from CCC.
Truthseeker posted Is missionary Tom Randall ghostwriting under his supporters’ names?
The internal review posted by the church confirms that the letter purportedly by Josh Kvam was in fact written by Tom Randall. Kvam did not respond to my inquiries, but he told Christ Community Chapel he did not write the letter. Tom Randall, when questioned, admitted that he wrote it. Randall was asked to resign as a result.
I have a question. Does anyone think that if Randall allegedly lied (I use alleged for potential attorneys in the future but I believe he did lie), twice, why do they trust his version of events in the Phillipines?
The 27 page repot by Siuzaane Lewis-Johnson is released and it doesn’t look so good for Randall, Coffey and the church leadership.
In another excellent article by Sam Allard of The Scene; Christ Community Chapel Releases Abuse Report, Pastor Tom Randall Forced to Resign over Fake Emails
A 27-page report produced by former FBI agent and current CCC member Suzanne Lewis-Johnson revealed that during her review of sexual abuse allegations at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage, the children’s home Randall founded in the Philippines, she discovered Randall had falsified an email corroborating his version of events. (This finding was consistent with the Truth Seeker blog, which has covered the Sankey case and reported on July 27 that Randall appeared to be “ghostwriting” under his supporters’ names.)
Here is a direct link to all 27 pages of the report. The following are quotes pulled out by Sam Allard of the Scene as linked in the above paragraph. (Sam Allard is an excellent reporter as well as a great writer. I wish I could write as well.)
Randall’s statements about abuse at Sankey and events preceding and following his detention in the Philippines included “significant inconsistencies.”
…”CCC leadership simply regurgitated what Randall had said,” the report found, “and were inconsistent with the established record…
…For too long, church leadership’s belief in Randall was almost blind. As a result Randall’s spending and directives went essentially unchecked. Because he brought a reputation and significant assets to CCC, he essentially spent funds freely.”
…The report found that despite the case’s dismissal in Filipino courts, abuse likely occurred at Sankey.
There appears to be significant questions over the financial relationship that Tom Randall had with the orphanage. Since CCC also supported this ministry, I would suggest an INDEPENDENT, third party forensic accounting Randall, his charity and CCC. I have a feeling that some members who have given generously to the church and to the ministry might have some worthwhile questions….
He also said that the case had heightened CCC’s awareness of its own members who might be in need of healing and restoration after experiences with abuse. To that end, CCC would be setting up support groups, Coffey said.
Several of the local advocates who have been sounding the alarm about the Sankey case attended the meeting Sunday and sat in the front row. One of them, Sarah Klingler, said on Twitter that they were “not impressed, in fact disgusted,” with Coffey’s remarks.
“Why would you think survivors would want to come to your support groups?” She said. “You haven’t proven yourself safe.”
I would suggest that CCC consider making a full replacement of leadership to include Joe Coffey and all of the elders who went along with this farce. It seems to me that these folks were far more interested in some has been, white basketball player who liked to show off his generosity than in some poor children in the Phillipines. I wonder what Jesus might say about this situation. One day, we will have the answer.
Let me leave you with a letter which was sent to church members. Priscilla (Mauk) Leighton bravely told her own story of being molested by Tom Randall. I originally posted her story when I wrote about Sankey. She expresses her concerns about the 27 page reporrt which she believes does not give a full picture of the abuse at the school.
In the end, I write about victims and it seems to me that it is fitting to conclude this lengthy post honoring one of the brave victims who came forward. I also believe that she came forward due to the love, support and tenacity of the folks of Justice for Sankey.
Aug 9, 2019, 9:52 AM
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I beg you to please carve out the time to read my entire email. Please read it with an open heart and mind. Please seriously consider the implications of this knowledge. Understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and actions. Ignorance is a choice you make and has its own set of consequences.
I am deeply concerned that Suzanne Lewis-Johnson did not present the whole truth in her internal review of Tom Randall, the Sankey situation, and CCC. One of many missing pieces is the fact that Tom Randall groomed and then molested me when I was a young teenager.
My entire story became available for public access through the Wartburg Watch on March 27, 2019. Additionally, it was linked on JusticesforSankey.com. Suzanne Lewis-Johnson was informed about my story through a video conversation with my sister, Miriam. Being a former FBI agent, I have confidence in her ability to seek out sources and get the information she wants. When Skyping with my parents, she was also told about Tom’s behavior with me. However, she failed to initiate any form of communication with me. As of today, I have never heard from her. Additionally, she did not seem concerned about Tom’s behavior when talking to my sister, Miriam, and was only interested in whether or not I had ever reported. She willfully choose to ignore Tom’s grooming behaviors. Because she clearly compromised in this area, I must ask what other facts about CCC did she choose to hide to protect the image and well-being of her spiritual leaders and friends.
According to Susane Lewis-Johnsons report, CCC let Tom go in June of 2019 because they discovered emails he had fabricated. I’m concerned that the leaders of CCC allowed an accused child molester to remain on staff, have access to children and speak at events after allegations were made public. I’m concerned that these allegations weren’t taken seriously or even mentioned. Rather, it was the shady emails that were questioned. These actions indicate that CCC is not a safe place for victims and it is not a safe place for children and young teens. If you are a mother, father, or grandparent, attending CCC, let that sink in.
Abuse situations are rarely isolated. Abusers, specifically child groomers/molesters, never have just one. I’m deeply concerned for other young girls who were groomed and possibly molested by Tom. Moreover, I’m grieved that CCC is not a safe place for them to speak out. Look what happened to those who dared to speak the truth about Toto and Jake (accused child molesters). The reaction of CCC to the allegation of abuse at Sankey made me fearful of speaking the truth about Tom. If information just about Tom’s friends was not even received by CCC, how intimidating and terrifying it is to bring forth information about Tom himself.
It is with humility and embarrassment that I share my story. It brings me no joy. My only goal in sharing something so personal is that it will ignite change in systems, churches, attitudes, and people. My hope is that these changes will protect future victims and make Christian communities a safe place for children and teens, rather than a safe place for predators.
I understand that CCC appears interested in offering an apology to some advocates and victims surrounding the Sankey situation. Apologies are nice. But actions speak louder than words. It is critical that CCC asks an independent, 3rd party team, trained in abuse situations, to bring their professional help to the church and those affected. Hiring GRACE (Goldy Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) https://www.netgrace.org/ would be a start. Following recommendation for restoration published by professionals trained in abuse situations would be the fruits of repentance. Yes, this is hard. very hard. But we can do hard things with Christ and for Christ.
My Story- (please read)
I first remember Tom Randall from when I was about 10 years old (1991). He was a missionary who became a close friend of my father, Joe Mauk. As my parents’ close friend, Tom and Karen showed great interest in me and my sisters. But not all of us and not consistently. He showed us the greatest interest when we were teenagers. So, over all, we are talking about 20+ years of friendship between the Mauks and Randalls.
Being overseas missionaries in the Philippines, we did not have relatives nearby. However, unlike other many other missionary families, we never called people “Aunt” and “Uncle” who were not a sibling of my parents. I clearly remember the day that my parents met with us and we unanimously decided to call Mr and Mrs Randall, Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen. My family has no one else that close who bears that honour. Though everyone calls Uncle Tom, “Uncle Tom”, for our family, it was an honour only given to him.
My family’s ministries was two hours away from the missionary school that my sisters and I attended. It was a long ride over mountain roads. To help with the commute, we spent every Tuesday night with Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen. Aunt Karen was loving and practical, and so much like my mom. She was my mom’s best friend.
Tom and Karen were ministry partners with my Dad. They donated money to finish building “The Villa” at Caliriya. Half of the top floor was my family’s house, and the other half was Tom and Karen’s. The plan was that they would eventually spend more and more time out there.
Around this time, Uncle Tom started Sankey Samaritan Children’s Home. I remember by name and face the first kids to join. My mom and I would make regular trips to the home. And Uncle Tom was always having groups of westerners over to help with the orphanage. Interestingly, I clearly recall that Tom’s reason for starting the orphanage was so that he would have a place to bring short term missionaries. Tom always did short term projects and there was some concern about him diving into something long term. I also remember how odd it was when we were no longer welcomed at the orphanage; eventually we stopped going entirely. But this isn’t about the orphanage. It’s about Tom and me.
We spent Christmases together and Uncle Tom was always good for an adventure and great story. My parents had even told us that if they were do die, we would go to Tom and Karen. They were our Guardians. He would joke about my older sister, who’s a nurse, taking care of him in retirement. He also just loved to buy me things. I think it’s safe to say he bought me whatever I wanted. When I was 12 and still getting to know him, he bought me a horse. I still remember the day that Dutches came to me in the back of a truck. But, Tom most especially loved to take me shopping. In 7th grade, the sister closest to me left the Philippines for college. Tom would make a fuss about her being beautiful and loved to buy her clothes too. As I grew older, his attention towards me intensified. He had a picture of me that he carried around in his wallet. I remember thinking that was kind of odd. Then he added a picture of Aunt Karen to the other side of his wallet. Friends from school would tell me they met uncle Tom and he showed them my picture in his wallet and he really liked me. He called me “his princess” and was always complimenting my appearance. Since Uncle Tom didn’t have kids of his own, it seemed wonderful that he would treat me like a “daughter”. Though really, our relationship was not father-daughter at all.
In high school Uncle Tom and Aunt Karen moved back to America, but still frequently visited the Philippines. He took me shopping for school clothes and I always had to try on the clothes for him to see.
When they were still living in the Philippines, I remember a girl my age (teenager) came to stay with him and Karen. She was from Australia and had a beautiful singing voice. She was also his princess and she and I hit it off. I think I felt connected to her because he called her “Princess,” too.
One Christmas, my sister gave me a push-up bra. Tom thought that was interesting and made a few jokes about it. Later that week we were walking along and he pulled open my shirt and looked down. I pulled away and said “Hey…. what are you doing?” He said that he was just checking what kind of bra I was wearing. I thought that was weird, but since he was such an amazing man, I thought it was okay.
My parents were very strict with me and boys. I was never allowed to be alone with a boy and boys were never allowed in my room.
When I was a freshman in High School, just my little sister and I were making the two hour commute to school with our driver. One morning, our driver tried passing on a hairpin turn and hit a jeepney full on. My knee crashed into my sternum and I felt like I was going to die. Our driver flagged down a jeepney and laid me on the floor. He took us to a “hospital” and called my parents. Uncle Tom happened to be visiting and immediately came to the rescue. Because we were Americans, some of the hospital people tried to keep us in and started claiming additional charges. Uncle Tom paid everyone off and got us out fast.
He was so worried about us. I was in a lot of pain from the crash. My sternum hurt. Uncle Tom was very into massages. Because he was sporty, it seemed logical they he knew about injuries and massages. He insisted on giving a series “medical massages,” as he called them. I did not like this idea at all. It made me very uncomfortable, but it seemed like what was necessary for healing. He was allowed in my room and would close the door all but an inch. My bed was behind the door. Before coming in he would tell me to take off my bra and prepare myself. I laid face-up while he massaged my stomach and chest under my t-shirt. I felt terribly uncomfortable but thought it was normal. I had never had a massage before so this must be what they are like, and people just love massages. He massaged around and around my breasts, touching everything but my nipple- therefore I thought nothing was wrong.
I never really thought about that again until 5 years ago when things came out about the orphanage. I was talking with my sisters wondering how Uncle Tom could allow something like that to happen. Then I reflected that as an adult (32 years old then, now I’m 37), I have had dozens of massages, and not once did a massage person touch me like Tom did. So, I told my sister for the first time. Then I told my Dad. He later told me that what made it even worse was Tom had asked his permission to give me a ‘medical massage’ and he had said yes. He had no idea that Tom told me to take off my bra etc etc.
Anyway, Uncle Tom continued to be a very special person. He gave me money for my prom dress and jewelry. Another time my best friend and I were going to a school party and getting all dressed up. He rented a hotel room for us to spend the night with him after the party. And we did. My friend and I drank way too much iced tea at the party. We were up giggling in bed and needing to pee a million times. We wondered if he was awake in bed too and were very aware of his presence. It was uncomfortable but we got to stay in a really nice hotel room and only got to do that because of him.
I soon went off to college. That’s when our relationship ended. After all the attention, affirmation, and money, Uncle Tom was not interested in me anymore. I just didn’t understand it. I clearly remember my 3rd year of college. He was playing golf in Ventura. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went to watch him play golf. We actually got engaged the following weekend. I was so excited to see Tom and could not wait for him to hang out with my boyfriend and thought he would be so happy for us. However, he didn’t seem that happy to see us. In fact, it oddly felt like a break up. He told me that he had lots of princesses. Being the chaplain, he was giving a talk that night on the validity of scripture. He said he would introduce me to the group and I needed to introduce myself as Uncle Tom’s favorite princess. He said everyone would think that was funny because he had so many. I felt sick and couldn’t explain why.
After getting engaged, our parents and us agreed to have Uncle Tom officiate our wedding. He was our closest family friend. Then I never really saw him again. My husband and I bought a house in Chino California and soon had two kids. Tom was often preaching at a church 20 minutes from my house. I couldn’t fathom why he wouldn’t tell me he was there and never wanted to see me or my kids. Certainly a close family friend, my Dad’s best friend, would let me know when he was 20 minutes away. One time my Dad told me what services he was speaking at and said I could try to catch him. I didn’t want to. He had clearly cut me off. I decided that he was my Dad’s best friend and under no obligation to be nice to me.
In June of 2013, my little sister (Miriam Bongolan) got married. Of course, Uncle Tom was asked to officiate her wedding. It was just months later that the whole thing with Sankey broke out. Understanding how close he was to our family should paint a picture of how serious it was. Tom was our everything- the family we never had on the mission field, the friend my Dad desperately needed, the provider of gifts and treats we’d never be able to afford on a missionary salary, the relative who showed-up to make holidays special, my spiritual hero- always there to save the day and give God the glory for it. I have nothing to gain by sharing this, but plenty to lose.
I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this. Again, please seriously consider the implications of this knowledge. Understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and actions. And who knows, maybe you were born for such a time as this.
Priscilla (Mauk) Leighton