We have attached the following press release as a PDF that can be attached to an email or printed on a single sheet of paper. This is what is being sent out to churches and missionaries around the world. At this time it is the most up to date press release, but it may change as progress is being made with ABWE. Please check to make sure you have the most recent version. This is version 3.
Please note the intent of those circulating this document and bringing these matters out of darkness and into light is not to DESTROY ABWE, as we believe they have accomplished great things for God, but it is to RESTORE ABWE, as they have also done much harm and sin in the process, which must be uncovered and torn from the heart of the organization, if it is to beat fully in harmony with the Spirit of God.
If you want to spread the word, please use this press release! If you have a local church that supports ABWE or ABWE missionaries, send it to them ASAP! Get the word out!!
Press release concerning ABWE’s mishandling Abuse by Mission Doctor in Bangladesh
Does your church support a missions organization that protects a known pedophile? It just might…
Put yourself in her 14-year-old shoes. A 59-year-old physician and missionary, whom you trusted, emotionally manipulated you, then sexually abused you repeatedly. This man serves alongside your parents on the mission field in a remote jungle in Bangladesh. He controlled you, used you and abused you and has been doing so since you were 12. Once you finally found the courage to speak up, those you confided in, those from whom you sought help, isolated you and kept you away from your parents. Then, those two grown men –one a counselor and the other in a position of authority over you and your parents – forced you to sign a confession. You sought their help and now, humiliated and filled with shame, they force you to accept that pain as a sign of your guilt.
These are not the words of a 14-year-old-girl. These are the words of someone forced to bear the blame of her abuser’s sins.
Today, 22 years after the signing of that document, ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), continues to handle the situation inappropriately.
ABWE still refuses to fully acknowledge their role in allowing Dr. Donn Ketcham, former Bangladesh missionary and known pedophile, to return to work in Allendale, Michigan as a family physician. Since returning he has seen countless patients, all unaware of the danger they were placed in.
What’s worse is this 14-year-old-girl was not the only girl abused by Dr. Donn Ketcham. This blog was created by another one of Ketcham’s victims. Yet her own story is held in comparison with the story of the unnamed 14-year-old-girl.
While ABWE has publicly responded to the blog, they have yet to fully assume responsibility for their gross mishandling and subsequent cover up. They admit to decades of awareness and complacency, yet continue to hide behind closed doors and a wall of anonymity after confessing decades of sexual abuse suffered by young daughters of missionaries in Bangladesh.
As an ABWE supporting church, we urge you to contact ABWE and demand a deadline be given. The MKs involved have not been given the names of those on the commission or a deadline for the commission’s decision, continuing ABWE’s history of secrecy. For all they know, the commission is made up of the same individuals who contributed to the cover up over the years. Ask them to let the moderators of the blog choose who will be the MKs on this “commission.” ABWE must be transparent in this matter!
Ask ABWE to hire GRACE. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) GRACE has been contacted by ABWE but has still not been retained. GRACE has offered multiple times to be this third party for ABWE, but as of yet ABWE has not taken them up on this offer.
The victims, their families, and fellow missionaries want more than a confession. The enormity of the situation calls for a more thorough investigation.
ABWE must be held accountable for the knowledge of sexual abuse dating as far back as 1975 and the secrecy and cover up that continues to this day. Many innocent girls have been victimized and ABWE has repeatedly turned a deaf ear to their cries for help.
Write: firstname.lastname@example.org and address it to the ABWE Board of Directors.