June 20, 2014
I saw a news item about accusations against John Balyo this afternoon that shocked and devastated me. We regularly listen to his radio program on WCSG with his co-host, Amanda.
I’m angry because a child suffered this evil.
I’m angry because what he did makes every song on that station sound cheap to me today.
I’m devastated to think what his new wife might be going through. I find it almost unbearable to think about how she is feeling.
I am most upset that this sin dishonors the name of Christ in such a massive, public way in the community.July 7, 2014
More and more details have come out about John Balyo’s dark side. His secret sins have left a terrible wake, and there will likely be more devastation coming.
What happened to Bethany Balyo (John’s new wife) is my worst nightmare come true. As a mother, it brings up fears for my own children. Perhaps many women feel this way. This episode has brought back memories of grief and pain. There have been some sleepless, restless nights because of getting stuck in a loop of thoughts and worry. However, along with that grief comes opportunity for more healing.
I can choose to focus on the devastation, or I can get back into God’s Word, and find peace, comfort and refuge in Him. I am thankful for my husband and a few others who have listened to my thoughts and feelings about this issue and are helping me process through them.
Looking back, God has never, ever failed me. To keep letting myself go in these circles of thought and being obsessed about the case against him, does nothing but let the enemy have his way. This results in depression and despair. I have a beautiful family and life that has been given to me. Satan would love to take away my joy and cause me to live in fear, but by the grace of God, that won’t continue any longer. I choose to cling to Christ and on His promises in Scripture.
Chris Lemke, general manager of WCSG spoke to Chris Fabry about John Balyo on his radio program on Moody radio on June 24. I highly recommend listening to hour two, “Processing a Moral Failure”. Highlights/quotes from Chris Lemke:
-He was called ‘the boyscout’ here because he was squeaky clean.
-He was married just 7 weeks ago and his bride and new step son had recently lost her husband to cancer 2 or 3 years ago…
-Saturday night I got home late and my wife and I had a heart to heart talk and she asked me ‘Honey, how do I know I can trust you?’
Here are concrete ways to help:
Pray for the victim, and any other potential victims that are involved in this case.
Support and pray for organizations that help children and other victims of sex trafficking such as Women At Risk, International (WAR). WAR offers many ways to get involved.
Support and pray for Bethany Balyo.
Support and pray for WCSG radio station and Cornerstone University.
As difficult as it is, we can pray for John Balyo, that he will repent and seek God’s mercy. He has apparently been struggling for many years and will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. Pray that any others who are struggling with an addiction or similar issues will understand the potential consequences because of this news story, and seek out help.
I came across your blog when looking for an update on the John Balyo case. I appreciate your thoughts and felt feelings very much like yours for days after this hit the news. I listen to WCSG and have children myself. Fear ran through me for days as I scanned our lives for potential danger…but alas this is indeed Satan attempting to instill that fear as long as I allowed it… Anyhow, just a side note regarding Bethany and her son – while I pray for the victims, I have had her and her son on my heart so very much as well. Did you know after her husband passed she had a widows fund and had to give that up to marry John? And can you only imagine what went through her mind as she learned what John had done…and she with a little boy of her own? I have a son, and my husband is his Stepfather – I can place myself in her shoes and believe she will need every prayer as well as every donation that has been put on each donars heart to give. I do not know her but continually pray for her and her son.
Thank you again for your blog. Hope I wasnt intruding by coming across and reading!
Thank you for your reply, Shanna, and understanding. I had similar thoughts…looking for potential danger for my children, etc. It is a good reminder that we have to remain vigilant, but also to try not to live in fear. Such a fine line to walk. You are not intruding in the least. I was hoping to reach out to others because of how I was feeling.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. It is still a sobering set of events and circumstances. It makes one more aware of just how devastating sin can be and how the devil certainly is active in this world.
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Just a side note, Bethany’s first husband died of a sudded heart attach. It was about 5-7 years ago!
I, personally, know some of the dj’s on WCSG. My prayer John is that he will repent completely and not just because he was caught. But that while in prison he will eventually be able to be used by God and that God will get the glory from all of this.
My heart and prayers go out to Bethany and her son. I imagine that there are some guilt feelings, even though she had no reason to feel this way, because she brought her little son into this mess. Again, we need to be praying for them that they will both be able to work their way through this and know that God is there with them.
And, yes, we have to really pray for the victim(s) that they will get some good Christian counseling. I imagine that there might be some thoughts and hesitation about the word “Christian” now. So much devastation and ‘Yes, Satan is alive and working on earth, his kingdom” He is a roaring lion and will take down any Christian if we are not fighting and not in our own strength.
Thank you for your comments, Beverly. Some great ideas for specific prayers in this situation.
HI Blue-and-Green Together,
I want to thank you for your honest reflections as I read them on your June 20th post. Thank you for be real to world. I love Jesus. And I have always loved the church, and in this moment the church has a duty not just to Bethany and her son (but most certainly Bethany is in my prayers) but the victims of JB. He was caught on the one- that only means he was caught for one but most certainly, especially given what the police found in the storage unit, there were more.
As Christian community it is SINFUL to turn away for helping the “poor, oppressed and widow” Bethany is now the widow here, her husband may be physically alive but who she married is most certainly dead. She needs love and support. I am glad there is a fund to raise money for her BUT what about the 12 yr-old victim. What is the church doing to care for him and his family? And his COUNSELING needs? And his food? And physical healing? Who is being CHRIST to this little one? In Matthew Jesus brings the little ones to him to make a point to disciples about pure faith, child like faith…WE MUST do something to walk beside this deeply hurt boy and any other boys who come forward.
You wrote in your July post What happened to Bethany Balyo (John’s new wife) is my worst nightmare come true.
As a mother isn’t your worst nightmare that JB would do something to your son/daughter as he did to those little boys?
I really do thank you for your words. and posting of scripture.
Hi Bonnie, I thank you for your thoughtful reply. If you notice on my post, there is a link to W.A.R. (Women at Risk, International). They specifically help women and children who are victims of sex trafficking. If there is a way to support the victim of John Balyo, I will add it to my page. So far, I haven’t seen anything like that. I pray he is getting all the help that he needs. Perhaps W.A.R. is involved in helping him, as I know for certain that they are involved in helping women and children in West Michigan. However, as a result of your helpful remarks, I have edited a sentence to “Concrete ways to help:” to remind us to pray specifically for the victim.
Right after writing about it being my worst nightmare, I also added: “As a mother, it brings up fears for my own children”. I didn’t make it clear—but I was thinking of Bethany not only as John’s wife, but also as a mother of a young boy and the thoughts that must have gone through her mind when she learned about John’s crime. Thank you for giving me a chance to clarify, and also for taking the time to reply.
Thank you for your comment, Esther. So glad to see you blogging again! 🙂
Thank you for this! I felt similarly for several days after that came out. Sooo upsetting! But you are right. We must cling to Christ and His promises. He is faithful.
May God guide and protect Bethany and her son as they walk through this horrible situation.