home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > November 10th > Child Safety

We have all seen parents abruptly terminate conversations with other adults to keep an eye on their children. Children can wander about easily. They could get involved in acts that are detrimental to themselves. Parental instincts, often reflected more in the mother, is one of those protective gifts that ensures children are kept safe.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.  
Psalms127: 3-5. ESV

One summer afternoon on the west coast of Tasmania, my children, then aged 5 and below, regularly played with our neighbour’s children in the front yard. One such afternoon, I sat inside the house with complete view of the yard, watching them. A small bus pulled over and parked in the carpark in front of the house – we lived close to the West Coast Railway Station then. I noticed two men step out of the bus, stood for a while focused on the children, watching them and talking to themselves. I thought these guys must be wondering what these African kids were doing on the west coast. For those who may not know, Queenstown is a beautiful town on the highly forested West Coast of Tasmania. It is a tourist destination, rich in history. At the time, there were only 2 African families in the town. One of the men got into to the bus and stepped out with a camera. This was 2008 and smart phones were not quite as universal. I quickly left what I was doing and jumped out of the house. I confronted them in a manner lacking the hospitality due tourists. They apologised and said they had not taken any photos. I remained outside until they left. The children were totally oblivious to what was happening. I had no way of guaranteeing there were no pictures of the children on their camera. I could not prevent them from taking photos from the comfort of their car. But at least they knew I did not give consent, I told myself.

The great watcher is God himself.

The Lord watches over you
the Lord is your shade at your right hand
Psalms121:5. ESV

I am thankful that our children had the opportunity to attend the kids church in Legana. November 2010, I was in Queenstown Tasmania, working the final months of my 3-year contract while trying to settle my family in Launceston. I couldn’t fully understand the excitement in my wife’s voice when she called to tell me she had found us a church, until I was able to attend the church service in person. The demographic was great – we saw young families right through to great grandparents all under the same roof. The worship was great, the message was great. People were friendly and welcoming. The church seemed to have something for everyone. With time, I would begin to understand the heart of the pastor and the leadership especially as it concerned children. Pardon me if this comes across as a promotion for Legana Christian Church or Pastor Andrew Corbett’s leadership. In Legana, “child safety” is regularly taught, preached and spoken about. When you come to Legana Christian Church, you will realise the pastor’s office and administration offices all have glass doors and you can see inside those offices from the foyer. The creche and Children’s Education Centre have glass doors. Children are encouraged to speak up if they feel uncomfortable by what someone says or does. Every person with roles in the church must hold a current “Working With Vulnerable People (WWVP)” card – organised through the Tasmanian Government. Every leader must have a current ‘Certificate of Completion’ of “Keeping Children and Vulnerable People Safe” training course organised by ChildSafe – a harm prevention charity. While I make no claim to perfection, it is fair to say that Legana Christian Church is and strives to remain a ChildSafe church.

A few months ago, I was amid renewing my mandatory ChildSafe training course when I heard the sickening news of a Childcare worker who had abused hundreds of children across multiple Childcare centres, in different states and jurisdictions over several years. Ashley Paul Griffith, 45, was charged with over 1600 child sexual abuse material. As a society, we would consider this man an experienced expert in early childhood education, having worked in the childcare sector for decades. He was in a position of power and authority. Position of trust. I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the damage he had caused. This child educator and carer, the person kids run to when hurt or needing comfort while in care, has failed the parents and community who have entrusted him with such privilege and responsibility. Why? Why? were questions I asked.

Talking to leaders who were more concerned about power and greatness, Jesus warned about the danger of causing children to stumble or lose their faith.

 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,  but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18: 5-6. ESV

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 18: 10. ESV

Here Jesus seems to be saying it’s a far greater evil to cause little ones to sin.

When we fail to protect and provide a safe environment for kids, we are surely displeasing the Lord. When we fail to do so in the context of being the responsible adult or child expert, it hurts God even more. One wonders if hurting God may be one of the many reasons why satan targets children.

Jesus is clearly against abuse of children and the vulnerable by those in power. The memories of shocking child abuse uncovered by the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will not fade away easily. The painful damages done in the past by churches, schools – government and non-governmental, sporting clubs and community organisations calls for more vigilance today.

As the body of Christ, committed to obeying His teachings and representing Him to the world He died for, our churches need to not only ensure children are provided for, protected, and kept safe, but be seen doing so. The Lord expects nothing less.




Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Abdulrahman Rufai

    It’s been an engrossing perusal! Looking forward to more interesting contents uncle.

    They say “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them”; only with morally sound perpetuation of children(good parenting) would children be crown to the aged and parents be pride of the children.
    I love it when u stood for them,they’d stand for their kids in the next generation

    • Ali

      Amin, Abdulrahman. Nagode

  2. Kenneth Akwara

    May God help me/ us to guide, protect and care for all the younger ones/ children around us. Amen

    • Ali

      Amen Kenneth.

      • Naomi Danladi

        Child protection means protecting the child or young person from child abuse or neglect, but unfortunately to some adult, they’re just doing the opposite of there responsibility, displayed as an older person to that child…..
        It’s indeed an article full of thought sir.

        I pray for more anointing sir over you 🙏

        • Salome Yunana Sambo

          This piece remind me of a quote by a revered author whom here I shall leave unnamed “Every child you encounter is a devine encounter.” Again, children are like wet comment; what ever falls on them makes an impression, and these children are the leaders of tomorrow. May God help us!

          Really impressed. Keep the good work Sir.

    • Ibrahim Ahmed

      This is an interesting write up on child safety. Only God knows what would have happened if you didn’t interrogate those people.
      It is actually important to continuously remind people of this considering the advances in technology especially social media which is a new platform to perpetuate these vices.

  3. Andrew Corbett

    Amen Ali! Great article and thank you for your kind words.

  4. Ali

    Thank for being a pastor to us in Legana and many virtual others

    • Agu

      These is why is important to live a honest life cause you never know who’s watching and learning from you, your words and character around kids will be those children.

  5. Yilput Manasseh Oliver

    Nelson Mandela would say “let us reach out to the children. Let us do whatever we can to support their fight to rise above their pain and suffering.”

    If we nurture the dreams of children, the world will be blessed. If we destroy them, the world is doomed!

    I seriously love and wish I join you on this.


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Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are all major problems in our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can mever be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous because, to materialists, these are just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help me to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.


Perhaps I was a little unfair to this gentleman though, because it is a well established fact that all men are born with selective hearing (as every wife can testify to) and perhaps this may sometimes spill over into incidents such as the one I just recounted(?). But I also suspect that some women have a similar deficiency.

A few years ago the kids and I were a little concerned about Kim’s hearing difficulties. As it turned out, one day outside a shopping centre that we had just arrived at, there was a government sponsored mobile hearing clinic. We urged the reluctant Kim to go in and have her hearing checked. Much to the utter shock of myself and our children the clinician told Kim that she had “perfect hearing”! This then proved that even women may be able to imitate the innate ability of a man to produce selective hearing 🙂 Therefore, there is a high likelihood that both men and women are equally subject to hearing difficulties.

The problem with any hearing difficulties is that it inevitably leads to the far more serious problem of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is at the heart of nearly every relationship problem that anyone will ever face. Misunderstandings due to mis-hearing or mis-communication frequently leads to disputes that if not handled correctly, which it is mostly not, is likely to lead to relationship breakdowns. But there is a different – almost secretive – way to deal with misunderstandings. Let me explain by using several pictures that will make my point. 


Mark Lowry is normally comedic. But his now classic Christmas song is no joke! It presents baby Jesus as the eternal God the Son, the creator of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of all humankind who turn to Him, the all-conquering Lamb of God, and the Great Judge of all people, the I AM. The event of His miraculous conception is known as the incarnation (God becoming human). But the incarnation was not Jesus the Christ’s first entrance into our world. In fact, it is as though He felt a divine right to enter our world any time He chose. These various appearances of Jesus prior to His incarnation are referred to as theophanies (appearances of God) or more particularly as Christophanies (appearances of God the Son). I want to highlight one of these in particular…

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 6 – The deGorified Newborn The ReGlorified Lamb of God

One of my favourite stories of concealed identity hiding in plain sight is from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, where the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, is pursued for years by now retired Inspector Javert. As it turns out Jean Valjean, who had changed his name to M. Madeleine has now become a successful business man and the Mayor of Toulon. Javert arrives in Toulon and is immediately recognised by Valjean. But Javert does not recognise the now clean-shaven, genteel aristocratic Mayor of Toulon as his nemesis. But when he observes the compassion of M. Madeleine he recalls the time in prison when Jean Valjean had also displayed a similar extraordinary compassion for unfortunate fellow prisoners. The more he observed such acts of kindness and generosity from M. Madeleine the more Javert became convinced of the true identity of Madeleine. There is something about this idea of concealed identity that comes from the story of Christ. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Servant of the LORD would appear He would be largely unrecognised – there would be no form, no beauty, that we would desire Him (Isa. 53:2). But how on earth was this possible? How in God’s Name  could those who were created by Him in His image not recognise Him for who He was? The answer to this great puzzle lies in one word: the kenosis.


Andrew, on occasions, used to wistfully say, “You know, all I really want is…” then he would say some ephemeral pleasure, like ‘a drink of coke’, or ‘quiet’, or ‘to get something finished’. So, one day I decided to ensure that his greatest desire (‘all I really want’) was met. This time all he ever wanted was a coffee, so I bounced up and brought him the best cup of coffee I could make and added a little yummy treat to compliment it. A few days later he once again said, “All I really want…” and I interrupted to finish his sentence for him … “was the cup of coffee that I was able to make for you the other day. I bet it was the best ever. I’m so glad I could meet that greatest desire you have.” He never said, ‘All I really want’ again!


THE LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 5 – He is the Creator of Heaven & Earth and all things Visible and Invisible
While the pagan religions in the days of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel, all conceived of their gods as territorial, the God of Israel, Yeshua, declared that He was the Creator of all things and that He was Lord of Heaven and Earth. And He still is.

Freedom in Christ encompasses Freedom FROM and Freedom FOR

God offers freedom to those who turn to Him in faith, and this, as Pastor Andrew says, deserves a Toyota jump. It is worth celebrating. The freedom the New Testament speaks of is not just any old freedom. In Romans 8:21 Paul speaks of ‘the glorious freedom of God’s children’ (NET). In the same way you might savour a piece of chocolate as it slowly melts in your mouth, allow your spirit to savour the meaning of the freedom that is yours in Christ in all its richness. This single word freedom is densely packed with meaning, and we benefit from taking time to unpack just a little of what it means for believers.


Throughout the Old Testament, God made certain promises to the patriarchs (Abraham, Issac, and Jacob/Israel) that their descendants, the nation of Israel, longed to see fulfilled. These promises centred on having a holy Homeland and a Messiah. Over the centuries that followed their expulsion from their Land which sent them into exile into Babylon initially and then into Persia, the Israelites became known as Jews. Their expectations of how these divine promises would be fulfilled became greatly embellished with powerful military overtones.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 3 – Before He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal LBefore He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal Lordord

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better.