Missionary children speak their version, but are now documented by Rene Ask’s cartoons. 

Like the 1989 Caligrasmos painting, this book creates strong emotions and remorse.

Rene Ask (Born 1974) is a writer and illustrator. She is a photographer, illustrator, cartoonist and writer for many books. Her first book in 2006 was printed with 50,000 copies.

Rene Ask spoke to 10 former missionary children in her last book. There is strong evidence of guilt, bullying, neglect and abuse. The book has received a two-page review in several Norwegian newspapers. This book looks innocent, but contains explosives. No other country has as many missionaries in relation to population as Norway. Many of the missionaries who traveled had children. Children were often placed in their boarding school under the auspices of a mission, far from their parents.

  • – – When I was a kid Rene Ask says – I went to school on Sunday and listened to a brave missionary. People who traveled to countries with exotic names like Madagascar and Cameroon and talked about Jesus. In my book, “Abide with me,” I interviewed 10 people who grew up behind the call of their parents’ missionaries. They lived in a boarding school far from their parents. Their story is about longing, loneliness, alienation, and sometimes abuse. I gathered their stories and explained their words. This is a secret story of missionary history told from a children’s perspective.
  • – – Before drawing Rene Ask continues, – First create the text. The text comes before the illusion. I can’t plan what to draw. But when I have the text, there may be some blanks I fill out in the drawing.

In many countries, local schools have been difficult for foreigners. Missionaries may have left their children in orphanages or sent them home by relatives before the start of international school. Later, the Norwegian mission organization started its own boarding school so that children could meet their parents more often. However, traveling was not easy due to bad roads and long distances. From time to time, parents were placed far away in the countryside and even in other countries. Many children meet their parents only twice a year. Others can live in the same city as the school.

TThe Norwegian school in Taiwan started in Pingtung in 1966. It was then moved to Taichung and closed in the early 1990s.

International school issues, exams from overseas junior high schools were not accepted due to admission to a Norwegian high school. Therefore, after junior high school, students had to go to the United States to study. Therefore, in 1966, a Norwegian school was opened in Taiwan in collaboration with the school office in Oslo. However, even if the school acquired qualified Norwegian teachers, the first year exams from the school were not accepted by Norwegian high schools. At that time, only exams from Norwegian middle schools were accepted.

The Mission Journal wrote a positive story about the missionary family. It’s a negative story, but it’s never about children. Published only when the mission needed more money.

Special teacher in 1987 Inger Christine Rosie I went to Taiwan as a teacher at a Norwegian boarding school in Taichung. She soon realized that she needed special educational support as a direct response to her children and as a guide for her parents and teachers. She contacted three other Norwegian schools in Asia (Nepal, Hong Kong and Japan). And they also found that they needed special educational support.

In grades 1988-89, she completed the project and became a traveling special education teacher for 130 students and about 20 teachers in four schools.

No one has ever put the spotlight on missionary school education.

  • – – Norwegian children in Asia have the same problems as Norwegian children. Dr. Løge told the local newspaper Jærbladet. – – They suffer from social and emotional problems like Norway. However, overseas schools do not have the opportunity to receive guidance or support as needed.

Autumn 1988, Thorkild Andersen We started a gathering of missionary children to discuss growth. He was left as a child in an orphanage in Stavanger while his parents were missionaries in Madagascar.

1989, Child Psychiatrist Siri Linning I asked if a family with children should travel as a missionary. – Mission organizations need to take this question very seriouslyShe told the newspaper Vårt Land in February 1989.

A few days later, Vårt Land Caligrasmo Draw yourself from the childhood memories of a vicious missionary from a Norwegian boarding school in Japan. This started a larger “Me Too” movement and many articles in various Norwegian media. One of the school’s owners invited a former school student to a meeting where psychiatrist Siri Rynning covered three subjects.

– Two cultural issues,

– Separate parent and child.

–Sexual abuse.

After that, the former student started an organization of interest (NORUT) for all Norwegian children abroad. Caligrasmo Released a booklet with her picture Barneskjebner (Children’s fate). Verit Dahl Wrote a book Bortsent (Sent) About her childhood in Madagascar. Some members have started courses for groups that send their families abroad. Missionary organizations paid for psychiatric treatment, but there was little relief. The abuser was not punished.

However, in September 2013, one of the interviewees was Rene AskThe book was brought to court in opposition to a mission that owned a boarding school in Taiwan, and from 1988 to 1989, teachers felt sexually abused by male teachers. Rage I was visiting another school in Asia. Former Taiwanese students have accused the mission of negligence, abuse and lack of follow-up.

Instead of helping her, they held responsibility for the parents who sent their children to the boarding school, even most parents had no school choice. However, the mission leadership and the father of the second interviewee from Taiwan believed that parents were responsible when traveling abroad with their children. The case was settled amicably.

When most boarding schools were closed, so was the organization NORUT. Still, many feel that it was a mental attack separated from the mother and father. Mission boards may have moral responsibility, they do not take the result of it.

Therefore, this year, in 2022, some missionary children are planning a class action proceeding against one of the missionaries.


Almost at the same time that Abide With Me was released in Norway, this book was released. Sent It was released in the United States. It’s a discussion of missions, boarding schools, and childhood. The cover shows two first graders (Norwegians and Americans) waiting to board an American boarding school in Chiayi at Pingtung Station in Taiwan in 1958. They had to change trains themselves in Kaohsiung, and adults did not take care of them during the journey.

Abide With Me has not yet been released in English, but an English translation will be announced at the Taipei International Book Exhibition in June this year. Missionary children speak their version, but are now documented by Rene Ask’s cartoons. 

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