The Rodrigues Family, Missioncations, and Flouting Homeschooling Laws

The Rodrigues Family, Missioncations, and Flouting Homeschooling Laws January 31, 2020

It’s been a while since we’ve looked at the Jill and David Rodrigues family. The last time we looked at  them it was when eldest daughter Nurie became engaged to Duggar in law Nathan Keller. Nate is Anna Duggar’s brother.  At that time the Rodrigues family was having a bushel of troubles with CPS doing another investigation on the possibility that they weren’t feeding the kids. Food insecurity.

ETA – I assumed this was Tim after seeing chatter online and did not verify. Turns out this was posted by Nurie’s fiance Nathan Keller. I done goofed! Two recent happenings bear discussion. Nathan did not add the “EW” that was added by none other than an ungrateful spoiled Jill Rodrigues. First, Timothy Rodrigues is away on a mission trip to Africa and he posted this photo.

What the? The very sheltered young man had the nerve to complain about the food he was being served on his mission trip? He posted this on his family’s Facebook page, a page with the names and tags of “Rodrigues Family Serving Jesus,” Voices For Christ,” and “Jesus Saves”. Did I miss the part of the Bible where Jesus was all gripe-y and complaining about the food he was served as a guest somewhere?

The meal looks perfectly fine from here. Be grateful they are feeding you at all and that it is not worms and grubs. This just kind of breaks my heart because on the mission trips I’ve been on in that area the women cooking are pleased to be feeding you, wanting you to eat up and like the food. Add in the food insecurity in many parts of Africa and this ungrateful little wretch is sneering over their best. Not very Jesus-like.

Don’t even get me started on the “White Savior” complex exhibited on these trips and the number of fun vacation-y things built into the trip. What has really been accomplished on these trips. It’s one thing if you are staying somewhere long term and working on a project that will genuinely help the local population, like digging clean water wells, or establishing feeding centers, or building bridges. But showing up to run a vacation Bible school, or the like is pure White Savior complex in action. It’s insulting and belittling to those people you claim to serve and love.

The other issue that bears discussion is the recent move of the entire family from West Virginia to Ohio. This one was puzzling at first. They left a nice home, even if it was a little small for their large brood, for what looks like a tiny barn  with few built in rooms.  Lately they’ve been sharing photos of the improvements they’ve made, tiny bathrooms that don’t look like they meet any sort of building codes , and bedrooms. Looks like an expensive hassle for no purpose.

The official reason given was that father David Rodrigues needed more room for his printing ministry. But the move does not exactly give them more living space or work space. Puzzling.

But now it is starting to look like the move took place because of pending legislation and new homeschooling rules in West Virginia. One of the new laws is aimed at reducing one of the bigger problems of homeschooling – people who homeschool to hide abuse and neglect.

The new law says that anyone homeschooling who ends up with a CPS complaint will have to enroll the child in public school to make sure that abuse and neglect are not on going. I see what the state of West  Virginia is trying to do, they are trying to put kids in possible neglect and abuse situations in a place that will at least be alert to problems in the home. It sounds like a great idea.

Considering that the Rodrigues family has had multiple CPS complaints this is starting to look like what Michael and Debi Pearl and the Naugler family did. Pull up stakes to avoid CPS and move. Homeschooling laws in Ohio are relatively lax. This move was likely motivated to evade the changing laws. Another really Jesus-y thing done by this family.

In fact, West Virginia is trying to come up with a slate of laws involving the regulation of homeschooling. Typically HSLDA is furiously fighting these attempts to make sure that children in homeschooling have the best chances of receiving an education free of abuse and neglect. HSLDA wants no rules on homeschooling in effect in the state of West Virginia.

And a word of caution on HSLDA. They don’t always know what the heck they are talking about. They said this about homeschooling here in Costa Rica.

Which is so not true. I have seen in my time here several vaccine-denying, homeschooling Evangelical families ordered by local CPS to vaccinate and enroll the kids in public or private schools, or they will be deported. I know of a couple of families that have slipped off to Panama and other countries without as stringent rules on homeschooling. But they may find themselves running afoul of the same situations in other countries. HSLDA wants to say if the law does not specifically address homeschooling it means homeschooling is legal in that particular country. That is so false. They do their members a grave disservice by publishing such inaccurate information.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jennny

    ‘…a project that will genuinely help the local population, like digging
    clean water wells, or establishing feeding centers, or building bridges…’
    I take issue with this, horror stories abound. Young teens built a wall in Tanzania, badly. Locals crept out early morning to rebuild it so as not to hurt the youngsters feelings, a school was painted several times over because the local pastor couldn’t refuse the ‘wealthy’ westerners who wanted to come in groups to do it. And they brought perks like money or clothes with them to distribute. A school was being built by a mission team whilst unemployed locals looked on. Instead of sending white saviours..fundraise to pay the airfare of one expert to give locals the expertise to build that school, dig that well etc. Oh, and don’t assume that just because local people are poor, they are stupid, they may well have the skills needed for the task and employing them gives the dignity of a job and an income.

  • Mimc

    I think the things in the corner are fried crickets.

  • AFo

    Jill Rodrigues, who once nonchalantly said that having another child might mean “one less chicken wing” for her other kids, is now criticizing the food served on a mission trip? She might just be the least self-aware person I’ve ever seen. And selfish; of course she wouldn’t see a problem with packing up all her kids and moving them into a substandard home in a new state, all to avoid having to deal with the “evil” secularists who want her to actually feed, educate, and care for her kids.

  • Annette G.

    To be a REAL missionary requires much college education. Jill and Derek Dillard went to South America a while back as fake missionaries and accomplished nothing. Neither of them even remotely had the qualifications needed and thier church would not endorse them. What qualifications does Nathan have. Does he have any training in anything besides running a landscaping and lawn mowing business. Nurie went an a trip to Africa a while back.
    She doesn’t even have a GED. I don’t know what these fundies think they are accomplishing. A while back one fundie girl was in Africa and working at a clinic as some sort of medical person. She treated a number of babies and small children incorrectly because the native people thought she was a nurse or doctor. Some of the children died because of her incompetence. Very sad.

  • Tawreos

    I don’t know what these fundies think they are accomplishing.

    They are accomplishing a few very important things. They look holier than other people and they get to go on vacation while other people pay for it. They don’t actually need to accomplish anything since some people learned a long time ago that you get credit for appearing to do something and that is a lot easier than actually doing something.

  • swbarnes2

    There is very very little that missionary kids can do that couldn’t be done better by sending money to pay the locals to do it.

  • John Wayne Eastwoo

    They are grifters. It’s a money making scheme.

  • Tawreos

    There is not nearly as much Pew cred for writing a check as their is for going somewhere to do some shoddy work.

  • persephone

    I believe the some of the children died number was 105.

  • persephone

    Whatever they are, it’s probably more food at one meal than the Rodrigues’ kids have seen their entire lives.

  • Nea

    …isn’t there a profoundly disabled toddler in this family? The one touted as being healed a la Debi’s “medical” advice?

    I’d say she’d be worse off now, but she was pretty bad off before. I’ve been thinking about that post a lot, because IIRC she claimed that playing with siblings was as good as, if not better than, physical therapy.

    I’ve been doing a lot of physical therapy. It’s hard, it’s not play, and it’s not randomly running around. It’s about specific repetitive, often painful, motions in order to retrain muscles and nerves and overcome atrophy. If you’re depending on a very small child to do what they *want* at the direction of other small children – yeah. Lifelong problems. I can feel the difference when I skip therapy for a couple of days. To never have it? Wow.

  • Jim Jones

    Plan USA
    Plan Canada
    Plan International

    They help the people there, instead of giving Westerners good ‘feels’.

  • Jim Jones

    It’s all virtue signaling by people with no virtue.

  • Saraquill

    My brother in law expressed interest in doing voluntourism in a hurricane damaged part of the US with a high PoC population. I tried telling him it was a bad idea, he was better off sending money so locals could get paid to rebuild. He said they’re too brown to know what they’re doing (my words, not his.)

    I have permission to punch1 him next time I see him.

  • Saraquill

    If only she would “ew” over her children going hungry.

  • Saraquill

    Crickets are tasty with the right seasoning, but bland if you cook them wrong.

  • lady_black

    The food looks delicious.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I agree. The only useful point to westerners coming over is if they are actual experts in fields where local expertise is lacking. About the only useful thing fundie kids could do out there would be to teach English (in non-English-speaking countries) and home-schooled xenophobic ignoramus fundies would probably be some of the least useful westerners to do it.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Top left is either garri or ground rice, at a best guess, if that is anywhere in Africa. Both are pretty bland but soak up whatever sauce or flavouring you put in them, and have a somewhat more stiff, starchy and sticky consistency than mashed potato.
    (My wife is Nigerian and loves both of these but I don’t really like them at all: its something about the consistency that puts me off.)

  • Polytropos

    This new WV legislation sounds excellent, and I wish we had it in place here too. It breaks my heart that there are parents who sabotage their own kid’s futures by preventing them from getting an education.

  • Pattyrealdeal

    It astounds me how there are still some people of european extraction that think just because other people have higher amounts of melanin in their skin that that somehow equates to them having less intelligence. That type of mentality is infuriating.

  • thatotherjean

    So, you eat one to be polite, and push the others around with your fork, a bit. You certainly should not disdain the food that your hosts serve to you. It might well be the best they have to offer.

  • Sassafras

    I’d like to beat69 her with a chicken leg because she’s a vile human being!

  • thatotherjean

    But if you were a guest of your wife’s friend, say, in your wife’s home town, you’d eat them anyway, no? Being polite when you’re a guest is important.

  • thatotherjean

    Been there, done that. You’re absolutely right. Random activity is not physical therapy.

  • Sassafras

    My mom points out how teachers are required to have degrees, hands-on training, certifications, etc. But any old bum can “homeschool” in many states.

  • Sassafras

    I want to try crickets, but I’m NOT sampling the ones I feed my geckos.

  • Sassafras

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec92424e432f54fc4f4dfae85d3501d97f5b7c06c8e5bdd57250ef968d58fa38.jpg

    They like their crickets done so rare, that the food is still moving.

  • Sassafras

    You beat me to it! I’d totally try that dish!

  • otrame

    Hit him one for me, too.

  • otrame

    Agreed. Somebody came home from a vacation somewhere where crickets are eaten and left a bowl of them on the kitchen table at the lab. They were gone in less than a day. Quite tasty. And crunchy.

  • otrame

    No. Crickets, raw or even freeze dried, would be awfully bland.

  • MrsG

    My husband and I were stationed in a remote area of South Korea by the Air Force back in the mid 2010’s and the only think that I wouldn’t touch was dog meat because I am a HUGE dog lover. I even ate popcorn baby squid with caramel at a movie theater once! It was actually not that bad and I am now in the habit of putting honey on fried seafood. Anyway, the food pictured looks really interesting. I would at least try the portion that looks like friend insects. I am a homeschool alum and my mom always taught me to be really adventurous. Of course, I came from a homeschool family who gathered in the living room every weekday afternoon to watch The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

  • Saraquill

    Try an ostrich bon3. They’re so sturdy my mom’s dog chewed it for months.

  • Mel

    I was involved with a church that supported a home for children with HIV who needed more medical treatment than their families could provide. You were allowed to go down to the home if you had a valid medical license – and that was it. The local country was able to provide workers and materials for building and daily life – they just badly needed medical supplies that we could source in the US and experienced clinicians to help work out best practices for immunocompromised kids.

    What did the rest of us do? Fund-raised all the freaking time. We had whole church fundraisers and we had smaller group fundraisers. Heck, we had small groups challenge other small groups to see who could raise the most money. It was a hoot – and we didn’t waste money on flying excess volunteers down to where they were needed.

  • Sassafras

    I’m now off to seek a dead ostrich!

  • Mel

    There’s a toddler with a known brain abnormality that can be anywhere from extremely mild to extremely severe depending on what other abnormalities are present. That same toddler also had a 5stroke3 in utero – and that runs the gauntlet of outcomes from complete non-issue to very severe.

    Janessa is probably not severely impacted; she’s too functional for that – but year 2-3 is when the milestones get harder to reach and the kid is old enough to start getting real diagnoses based on a history of consistent delays…as long as someone is paying attention.

    Kids playing with other kids is nothing like PT. Heck, even Early On’s bizzaro theory that “therapists are coaches who teach parents how to be therapists at home” is bonkers – but at least that theory puts a specialist in the home monthly unlike Jill’s wacko theory.

    Pediatric PT works hard at not being painful because kids are not old enough to understand that mild discomfort sometimes speeds healing. Having said that, they are really, really good at using play techniques to get kids to do certain motions correctly. My son’s PT figured out that he really liked toys that he could put other toys into – so she’d put a pile of fishies in one place and a fish bowl in another place and set him off climbing steps or transitioning between objects to cruise on or pushing a walking toy.

    Double post because I used the word for an ischemic attack in the brain instead of saying an ischemic attack in the brain. Spammers.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    Me, too. You can borrow my cane, it can really pack a wallop.

  • Hey, I’d at least try the food before declaring “ew”!

    I feel bad for the Rodrigues kids — they don’t even have a voice in all this.

  • Playing with siblings as normally as possible is great.

    BUT!

    It’s no substitute for proper PT.

  • From experience, I can tell you they do need seasoning — at least a bit of salt.

  • And me.

  • Rann

    Better not, Saraquil! If you punched him once for everyone on this blog that asked, he’d be a bloody pile of goo by the end of it.

  • Polytropos

    Your mom has a very good point there.

  • Jennny
  • Iain Lovejoy

    Well of course I would (they’re not all that bad, anyway, I just don’t like them very much).

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You say that like it’s a bad thing…

  • paganheart

    *mic drop*

  • Friend

    One less cricket…

  • B.A.

    I wish they had it where I live,too.

  • Rann

    No….. just far too messy to clean up….

  • Erp

    Agreed, I suspect the most common useful experts would be medical doctors especially since local doctors are scarce and many emigrate (balancing the income they could earn abroad to funnel back to their families against what they could do in their own countries as doctors). https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/nigeria-medical-brain-drain-healthcare-woes-doctors-flee-190407210251424.html

  • Erp

    Renee Bach is being sued in Uganda and it is going into mediation (which has to happen before trial is allowed apparently) in February

    https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2020/01/17/court-date-for-renee-bach-serving-his-children-pushed-back/
    however there is some back and forth on what is alleged and in particular that her actions led to the death of over 100 children.

  • persephone

    That’s what their empires have been teaching since they went out colonizing in the 15th century.

  • Pattyrealdeal

    I’ am well aware of world history, hence why I used the word still in the first sentence.

  • Mimc

    I hear they make good tacos and if you feed them fruit for a couple days before eating them they taste kind of sweet and nutty. But I haven’t tried it. Snake Discovery on YouTube said teriyaki cockroaches were better.

  • Mimc

    I’d try it. Everything is good fried anyway.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    And nutritious too! Between those and the beans, that’s probably a lot more protein than the Rodrigues kids get at most meals at home.

  • 24CaratHooligan

    I loathe the whole idea of missionarying… For specifics read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, but surely if the big celestial beard were any good he’d also be self-evident and no-one would need to go trotting off round the world patronising those less civilised*
    *who wear less clothes

  • MuttsRule

    West Virginia also has strong vaccination laws, and is the only state to have never had anything but a medical exemption for mandatory vaccinations (no religious or philosophical exemptions). They have also enacted a review process for medical exemptions, to suss out fraudulent ones (a problem in California). They haven’t had a measles outbreak in more than 25 years.

  • Polytropos

    Good for West Virginia. They’re an example we should all be following. I’m all about personal liberty, but infecting others with easily preventable diseases is an assault on other people’s personal liberty.