“It makes me sick!”

One day, during a co-worker meeting at Kwasizabantu Mission, Erlo Stegen informed all of us present that one of his sisters-in-law had shared her concern about the situation at KSB with him, especially with regard to the abusive treatment of children. She had also pointed out two Bible passages to him, to substantiate her unease.

Erlo, who was sitting in the middle of this group of co-workers in the upstairs room then proceeded to read the following two passages from the Bible:

Ezekiel 34:4-6: “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.” (KJV)

Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing!” (NKJV)

As soon as he finished reading these verses from the Bible to his co-workers, Erlo Stegen threw down the Bible on the couch next to him and exclaimed with an expression of disgust on his face: “It makes me sick!”.

Erlo’s reaction clearly indicated that he totally rejected any questioning of his leadership, or of the way things were done at KSB under his leadership at that time. Furthermore, his response also gave the impression that even what the Bible says is not acceptable to him, if it interferes with his authority.

Because KSB members are conditioned to believe that Erlo Stegen is infallible, and that questioning him is the equivalent of questioning God, we did not dare to question or criticize his appalling response on that day.

This incident took place about 20 years ago. Yet, some of us who were present at that meeting are still haunted by Erlo’s shocking reaction.

It is heart-breaking that, since the beginning of the so-called “revival” in 1966, children have generally been treated in an abusive and brutal manner under Erlo Stegen’s leadership.

Yet, up till today, Erlo refuses to acknowledge this fact, to apologize to the victims, and to make amends for all the pain and suffering these children have endured.

In Isaiah 66:2 we read: “… to this man will I look, to him who is poor [humble] and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.” (KJV)