ABWE Confession and GRACE

Dear Dr. Loftis , Administration, and Board of ABWE,

Thank you for your confession of wrongdoing posted on your website and on this blog.  Thank you for the honesty of this confession.  I, for one, accept your confession but forgiveness is a process.

That process is greatly facilitated by the wrongdoer taking action to show the wronged parties that their repentance is genuine.

If your repentance is genuine, please show us by retaining GRACE as the third party investigator.  In the 3rd paragraph of your confession you refer to the grievous wrong,even beyond the sexual abuse, that was committed against a 14 year old child.  You ask her to forgive your sin against her.  You will have to demonstrate that to her.  In my personal opinion, this is your last chance to do so.

She has specifically asked for GRACE to be the 3rd party.  Please give her the shred of dignity that you have withheld for 22 years, by honoring her and listening to her.  Please give her her voice back.

We trust GRACE.  We do not trust ABWE yet but this would be a huge step in the right direction.  Rebuilding trust takes action and time.  I do not trust ABWE to pick a 3rd party investigator.  Why don’t I trust them?  I think the blog answers that question.  Do I want to rebuild trust?  Yes.

Dr. Loftis,  I will commit to meeting with you face to face in the coming month if you will hire GRACE to conduct a 3rd party investigation.

Sincerely,

Susannah Baker

Advertisements

About Bangladesh MKs Speak

We are a group of American former missionary kids (MKs) who lived in Bangladesh while Donn Ketcham worked as a missionary doctor there with the mission agency Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
This entry was posted in Abuse Mishandling, ABWE's Response, G.R.A.C.E. Investigation, Stories and Discussion of Documents. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to ABWE Confession and GRACE

  1. Dave DeCook says:

    This is a better spot for my post, in response to the ABWE confession at
    http://www.abwe.org/news/article/abwe-board-and-administration-confession

    This was sent to Tony Beckett. I encourage other pastors to respond as well.

    Dear ABWE leaders,

    As a pastor of a church that supports three ABWE missionaries, Greetings in Jesus’ name!

    I rejoice in the confession you published on March 30. As I read it out loud to my wife this morning it made me cry. It struck me as genuine, much more comprehensive, broken and vulnerable.

    I rejoice in the forgiving spirit of the offended already reflected on the MK blog. How God-like that those most offended are most ready to forgive. Let the healing begin!

    In the midst of my rejoicing I cannot forget that ABWE was forced into this by a united outcry. It was only the threat of a public relations disaster and possible exodus from the ABWE family that brought this about. Some of the aggrieved parties approached you singly with the merits of their cases and were turned away unsatisfied. In light of that, allow me to make the following two recommendations.

    First, and most importantly, appoint a third-party investigation that has your full cooperation and the full confidence of the aggrieved. They could report to a blue-ribbon commission with a representative from the board, the administration and several from the aggrieved families or churches. This commission would then bring recommendations to the board.

    I do not say this as a punishment, but as necessary treatment for organizational illness. Your ability to self-critique and self-correct are definitely broken. Surely you cannot look at yourselves and say, “We will not fall into our old bad habits.” And even if you did, surely we cannot look at you and agree. That’s what we did with Don Ketcham.

    Now that a couple piles of manure have been shoveled out of the house, let’s go after the rest of it. It is really tolerable to treat Susannah Beals Baker as persona non grata for 10 days by referring to her as the “self-described MK”? Is it really tolerable for Phil Walsh to drive 22 hours and get less than an hour’s hearing? Do we really have an open, honest system or is it an organization of secrecy and favoritism? You cannot answer that last question. We will only know that it is open and honest when outsiders can vouch for it.

    If this sounds radical and requiring a culture change, know this: it is what we, the supporting churches, want.

    Secondly, even as the healing process begins, let the board commission a work of art in a prominent location at the offices on Miracle Mountain. Perhaps it could be a decorative water fountain. Let it be called “The Susannah Beals Baker Fountain of Cleansing” with appropriate Bible verses inscribed on it. This will ensure she has an honored place in our history and we will be constantly reminded of this painful cleansing.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Rev. David L. DeCook

    • Duane and Linda Cross says:

      Pastor David,
      Do you remember Aunt Linda and Uncle Duane Cross???
      We were there in 75 76 in fact we were babysitting your family when Aunt Linda appendix burst.
      They used to call me Uncle Dewey.
      I am so grieved by this whole circumstance and knowing some of the names involved I wrote to susuana and assured her of praying for grace. The years of agony must be horendous!
      We are now in Santiago Chile as missionaries. God never allowed us to retrun to Bangladesh. We loved the 9 months we had there.
      I would like to hear about your brothers, sister mom and dad.
      Blessings,
      Uncle Dewey and Aunt Linda Cross

      • Lynda says:

        Uncle Dewey and Aunt Linda,
        You have NO idea how much fun you brought to us when you came to the field! During this time of so many horrific memories being “revisited”, it is good to be able to have memories of that time that bring smiles.

        Secrets, lies, sex – crimes – words and acts that shouldn’t be congruent with “the mission field”. SO many lives affected. So many family members guilt ridden for not intervening, not knowing what to do. Mom and dad, I hope that you know that it never occured to me that you should have “done” something other than love me and believe me – and you did, and do. ABWE has responded finally – the letter of apology to the MKs made me cry. Then I read the “answers to questions” page and the same sentiment was not echoed there. I am one of his victims. I was there in 2002. Yes the offer was made to help with counseling etc… and I didn’t pursue it at the time. No one from the mission called, asked why or seemed to take me seriously. – My perception of course. In reading a message on FB from Julie (Eaton), I think I missed something along the way that indicated that there had been some negative remarks made towards Uncle Jesse. I do not want to be included as one that shared those feelings. What a brave man! He was the one, in 2002, that sat around a table with us – prayed with us and then listened without judgement as we tried to get the courage to put our nightmares – some clear, some fragmented and fuzzy – to words. I never felt as though HE didn’t take us seriously or that HE didn’t care. In a strange way I think I felt some sense of being proud of him – maybe not the right word – but I always held Uncle Jesse in such high regard, I couldn’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him to be there and listen to us. Thank you Uncle Jesse – and to all of our parents Aunts and Uncles who are standing by us. Thank you Uncle Joe for the medical piece that you have initiated for us. I don’t know whether ABWE has done this already but I would hope that those involved would seek special teaching/training regarding the impacts of not just sexual abuse of minors but the impact that their horrendous “mishandling” of the situation may also have had, before the “face to face” interactions – whatever that means occurs. Be prepared for the anger, the hurt, the disappointment, the mistrust, suspicion. There are decades since I was abused. It isn’t something that happens and you can just deal with it, get past it. It takes much more than time. It isn’t the same as grief, loss. My daughter Alicia died almost 28 years ago – I have known both. For me, there is a terror about this happening to me that impregnates places of my mind. It presents itself without warning or reason. It is hard to retreive when you attempt to “face it, deal with it”. The horror of it all , the fear that it might impact me in a way that I might not recognize, know about. How much has it impacted my life? my relationships? It won’t just “go away”. Stormie Omartian goes to my church and I hear her speak and hear her stories of the horrors she survived and how much even now, as a Christian woman in ministry,it still impacts her every day. The fears and depression that she conquers daily as she grabs onto God and the “Power of Prayer” to gain victory from, are still facts of her life. It seems to be similiar to subsance abuse and the “forever” physical and emotional effects it can cause. Except this abuse done to you, not by you. I wonder what it feels like to live without having been sexually abused…..

      • Dave DeCook says:

        Uncle “2” and Aunt Linda! The missionaries from Highpoint who had twice the enthusiasm of a regular missionary!!!!!! 😉 Send to me at davedecook@mac.com

      • Dan DeCook says:

        Hey, uncle Two
        greetings

  2. Mandi says:

    Susanna, I pray that you and the other victims of this abuse find peace and rest while your stories get questioned callousedly, and while you seek for the PREDATOR who hurt you to be brought to justice I any way that is possible. My heart and prayers go out to you. I pray for the Great Physician’s hands to heal the hurt that has been done. I also pray for the wonderful peace that passes all understanding to come to you in THIS hour of need.

    While you work to expose what happened and may very well still be happening to some, I have a humble suggestion. Would you consider making different discussion threads: one for victims and one for supporters. It may be okay to have a place where people can post opposing views and ask question; however, I can imagine that some victims may not be in a place where they can or should read some of the dissenting opinions that are so angrily biased. It would be nice to have a safe place for people who know the truth to post comments directed to the victims. The intro to these could still exist for discussion, etc. Just a thought. God bless.

    In Christ alone,
    Mandi

  3. concerned and praying says:

    Praise God for the acknowledgement of truth and repentence by ABWE!

    I pray ABWE will put feet to its repentence and take aggressive steps to protect children and correct the wrongs it has done. As a former advocate for abused children, I hope ABWE will quickly contact the appropriate medical and state authorities to notify them of their knowledge and any supporting documentation of Donn Ketcham’s actions towards children. I suggest that you even do so verbally or briefly now at this time, with a promise of a report and/or needed documentation to follow as quickly as possible.

    If any abuse has occurred in the United States, having documentation on file could raise a red flag to authorities which would give more credibility to any child who reports abuse by Donn Ketcham. A child’s word too often does not stand on its own, and without documentation on file, the information will not be available to authorities if it is needed. They will not necessarily be aware of this blog or this situation. I believe this is very important as I have seen cases dismissed…meaning not even pursued, due to evidence being limited to a child’s testimony.

    I continue to pray for peace, healing and justice.

    A sister in Christ

  4. Deborah Beddoe says:

    Dear ABWE Board,

    My husband and I keep writing to the people who were pointed out by ABWE as point persons on this. The most recent email I received said that this decision — regarding the 3rd party investigation — was now in the hands of the Board. When I asked if I could have contact information for board members, I was told “no” that they do not have permission to give that out.

    I do have access to one board member because I am related to him. But it is sad to me that he has to bear the brunt of this, especially as he is new to the board. If you are a board member reading this and desire direct input from the MKs affected, please let us know.

    I am reiterating my request to ask for a 3rd party investigation, and asking you specifically to choose GRACE.

    Sincerely,
    Deborah Barrick Beddoe

    • isaiah618 says:

      Yes being told it’s in the hands of the board without access to offer input to their decision is troubling. Especially when Abwe personnel may distort our requests to protect themselves and their jobs. We can only hope the board is listening to our voices here. Which is why it’s important to not be silent now.
      Tamara Barrick Rice

  5. Susannah Goddard Weldy says:

    To ABWE Leadership-
    I have read the confession posted on your website.
    I want to know you mean each and every apology.
    I want to see you are committed to rebuild the lives destroyed by your own sin of covering the truth for so long.
    1st John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.”
    The only way to show you mean what you say is to allow an thorough investigation by an outside party NOW.
    Every minute you delay makes me feel like you are still hiding something.
    Every minute that passes takes away from the sincerity of your posted confession.

    Susannah Goddard Weldy

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Why would there be a time period before they call on GRACE? It seems such an obvious and it seems like it should have happened at least within a weeks time. Surely enough time has gone by that this could have been implemented. Is it the slow wheels of bureaucracy? If so, the headquarters long ago left what a mission headquarters should be. There should be no red-tape bureaucracy impediment. Or so it seems to me.

  6. For Members of the ABWE Board" says:

    Dear Board Members:

    ABWE will not allow us to contact you or know who you are, and yet we our being told our fate is in your hands.

    Do you know who has asked us what we wanted done in this matter–we being the victims of Donn Ketcham and other MKs of Bangladesh? The wife of the president. The wife of the very man whose job right now–I can only hope–hangs in the balance.

    Do you really think she passed on to you my opinion to you that “what I wanted from ABWE” was for the men in any part of the current administration who knew of these matters and failed to act on them to admit they failed and resign that better men might take over for them (i.e., everyone in leadership present at the “come to Jesus” moment in 2002 at the ME conference when it was revealed Donn had more victims than imagined but who failed to act on those revelations and follow through with an investigation, and anyone who failed to follow through on their jobs to fully investigate, protect, and restore from 1975 to the present, who might still be working in the home office in any capacity, no matter how sweet they are in person). They didn’t do their jobs. They had knowledge and didn’t act. It’s actually considered a crime out here in the real world.

    Do you think that she passed this information of “what I wanted” on to you when it essentially asks for her husband’s resignation? This is who you trust to transfer information from Bangladesh victims to you? The wife of Michael Loftis?

    And ABWE is unwilling to allow us to contact you directly.

    And you wonder why we are asking for a third party.

    –Deeply Disappointed

    • isaiah618 says:

      I actually couldn’t agree more. We can’t have access to the board, but they are deciding what’s best for us based on information provided to them from our conversations with people at ABWE whose jobs are at stake now?

      No proper investigation and handling was done in 2002. Or 1989. Or 1975.

      We must continue to speak up here and continue to speak up to info@abwe.org and tony@abwe.org on the off chance that they are forwarding our correspondence to the board or that the board is reading this.

      –Tamara Barrick Rice

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Did you ask her why it was her and not her husband talking with you? I think it is bizarre that it wasn’t him. What is his excuse? Has anyone attempted to contact him? Have you received a response?

      • isaiah618 says:

        From Tamara:
        An ABWE MK, I did not ask her “why not him” though I should have. I know one excuse given for him is that he was out of the country through a lot of these goings on. I did voice my frustration to her that her husband’s name was not on the confession. I’m fairly certain of that.

        I did (see my open letter to Tony) voice my frustration about the whole thing then.

        It was only later, as I started to really process the phone call that I started to see how inappropriate it was on a few levels. I will say, clearly, that JoBeth seemed to be a woman of grace, and I give her props for doing something that for whatever reason her husband is not doing. JoBeth was calm and collected, and she took an earful from me (I was calm too, but very firm and direct and was not swayed by sentimental talk) and still handled herself with grace and dignity.

        So I give Jo Beth props for that. But I maintain my stance that she was the wrong one for the calls.

        And PS Michael Loftis was the first person I wrote to when all of this started and, no, I haven’t heard from him or even his secretary or even a form letter, such as Tony has wisely used to at least let people know that he’s getting their letters.

        –Tamara Barrick Rice

      • Where is Loftis? says:

        What! Loftis is “out of the country?” And he did not hurry right back when all this came out? What he is doing out there is more important than this? And elsewhere I read that his mailbox is not working. ARE YOU KIDDING? You have got to be kidding.

        And ABWE Board Members…will you please have ABWE put a list of your names up on their site? Or please send a list to this blog. We need to know who you are. And you need to hear from us directly. Your “hiddenness” confirms our greatest fear that you are all doing “business as usual.” SUBMIT TO GRACE’S INVESTIGATION.

  7. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    Open Letter to Tony Becket:

    Hi, Tony.

    No, sadly. I’m not going to stop writing to you. And neither are the people who love me.

    If you were part of pushing the board and administration to write that wonderful letter of confession and begging for forgiveness, THANK YOU. Sincerely, thank you. It is an amazing admission of guilt and culpability, not seen previously in ABWE and rarely seen in any organization. I do admire it.

    But I must now repeat my request that actual ACTIONS be taken that prove the document is more than words. Rumors are floating that Michael Loftis was “going to make a video confession … but accidentally left out a big part.” I am trying to treat such things as rumors. But it is still disturbing.

    Michael Loftis does not make a video.
    Does not put his name on the letter.
    Has his wife, who has no formal role at ABWE, make phone calls suggesting the Loftis’ desire to just “get together with all of us and talk,” playing on our sentimentalities of MK reunions and the like.

    This does not look good. The president’s wife is willing to make phone calls. That’s nice, but is she trying to sway us to stop pushing for a resignation from Michael Loftis by putting a kind voice to the Loftis name? That would be nice, except that Jo Beth is not the president, nor does she have any formal role at ABWE, as she herself admitted. No power.

    Did you feel a female was necessary because of the nature of the abuse? Does ABWE not have any females in actual leadership at the home office who could make such calls, rather than the wife of the man whose name is all over this in a guilty way? This causes a lot of other thoughts to come to my mind. Namely that maybe the lack of female leadership is what led to this disaster to begin with? Barak would not go into battle without Deborah. Perhaps the sexism of ABWE is what contributed to the mishandling and the nature of the “good ol’ boys” club.

    I find it ironic that another woman named Deborah, Deb Walsh Collins, had to storm your mountain to get action on Tuesday … Ironic, isn’t it, that sometimes women are the only ones with the backbone and the courage and conviction to stand up against men who would abuse their authority and not use it for good?

    You have to know how getting a phone call from Michael Loftis’ wife, but no apology from him in name or by phone, comes across to the outside world.

    Yes, JoBeth also asked me what ABWE could do for me. And I said they needed to take action by taking resignations from people who failed at their jobs. Some of them are still around. Mishandling went on as recently as 2009 … and even last week! There is a need to clean house.

    I also reiterated that a third party is what ABWE can do for me to help me through this, and that third party is GRACE.

    I am not sure what is holding ABWE back from granting that, when it’s been reiterated again and again and again by victims, by churches, by other Christians.

    With each day that goes by that ABWE takes no formal actions to ask for resignations or agree to a third-party investigation, the hope that the confession was genuine begins to falter. The clock is ticking for you to prove it was more than words.

    People say, “You can’t expect them to act overnight.” And yet this is hardly overnight. The former and current president of ABWE each had decades to figure out what they might do when a day of reckoning came and the truth about Donn Ketcham came out to the public, because both knew the truth. Is this really so difficult a matter that it takes weeks now to solve and act?

    Waiting and watching. I am not going away or giving up, for myself or those who suffered much worse.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara Rice

    • How does one become an ABWE Board Member? says:

      I am curious. Are the board members invited by the administration of ABWE to join the board? Are they appointed by the president? If this is how they come to be board members then I do not hold out much hope that the board will be able to do the cleanup job that needs to be done. And thank you Deb Collins for storming! I am praying specifically for you that God will honor you for your stand. I wish I could have stormed with you.

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Tamara wrote:
      Yes, JoBeth also asked me what ABWE could do for me.

      Is this what it sounds like? It suggests to me that ABWE is hoping an appeasement will suffice.

      • isaiah618 says:

        From Tamara:

        Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. An MK reunion with the Loftis’ was her suggestion after I stated (in a nutshell) that resignations and a third party investigation are what they can do for me.

        As I said … it was unsettling. And I do believe (my opinion, not fact) ABWE “higher ups” hoped that–as in the past–a little free counseling and some teary “sorries” would make this all go away.
        –Tamara Barrick Rice

  8. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    I am weeping for my precious second family tonight, with the revelation of these new documents, exposing the terrible way that a child was treated when she did what must have been the most difficult thing she ever did: try to tell the truth, no matter how much it hurt others to hear it or for her to speak it. And I’m reminded of how much I loved and do love her.

    Besides my shock at how Russ and Russ treated her and the way that they approached the situation in general, I was struck by two things that were evident:

    1. Her parents loved her unconditionally. That is the redeeming part of these documents. This mother and father I love, seem in this account to truly be the only people who understand that she was the victim, and their grief is palpable.

    2. It is evident that a child of 14 was more in tune with the Holy Spirit’s leading than a missionary man four times her age. No … make that two missionary men four times her age.

    3. She was forced to sign the confession. An outrage. An act of spiritual abuse.

    4. Her parents were “protected” from truth. Truly, truly one of the worst parts.

    How I long for an ending to this story that could be one of redemption. How I wish that ABWE could go back in time and do everything BETTER.

    These documents are terribly sad.

    It is more evident now than ever that a third party investigation is needed. ABWE, you are not equipped to handle these matters. You have admitted it was a failure. Please ask for help.

  9. Vaughn VanPelt says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out WHAT A.B.W.E. is waiting for. The only thing that comes to mind is that they might be afraid that knowledge of other possible crimes committed on the mission field might be revealed. Possibly other crimes committed against children on OTHER mission fields, by OTHER missionaries? This would make sense why they might not want a 3rd party investigation. There might be too much to be found out. I will pray for truth!

    Russ Lloyd’s own diary indicated a lack of remorse by Ketchum. Isn’t failing to correct wrong doing a lack of remorse too? It is SIN for the mission board to not make all the efforts possible to right this wrong. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Aren’t we instructed in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Yes, that refers to salvation, but I think it is true even after salvation. It’s a standard by which we seek forgiveness. It is A.B.W.E.’s turn to confess, forsake and to be cleansed. Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” It is time for A.B.W.E. to “deal truly” before the Lord revokes His blessing from their ministry.

    • Other kinds of abuse! says:

      I will venture a guess that should the 3rd party investigation be done, there will be other types of abuse found also. Should we start another blog for all the ABWE missionaries that have been affected by abuse of power in areas other than sexual?

      • Second that notion says:

        I think it quite possible that sexual abuse has occurred on other fields. (or even more than SK in BD?) I am certain other types of abuse occurred; 100% certain spiritual abuse occurred. I suspect spiritual abuse is common in many fundamental/evangelical organizations. Or maybe that is just my experience and I am emotionally biased.

      • Pamela E. Bennett says:

        Yes there are other abuses by ABWE. I have commented earlier we wanted to resign as we didn’t think ABWE was obeying their own principles and practices plus we just wanted out as we felt they were changing and we weren’t, they should have just let us resign but they terminated us for insubordination and told us not to write our churches until we returned to the United States. However, after we returned to the states we found out through a letter from our pastor that we had been terminated, to this day we have never been formally informed but after much persistence from us and others and months later they sent us the same letter they sent the churches. We were harassed by the then field council president John Koster via phone until he pushed us to leave the field and our ministry sooner than we wanted. One missionary we served with even said his love for ABWE was deep enough that he would go down with the sinking ship. Who knows, after this blog it might just be on the way. During all this we were told many times that we were treated worse than Dr. Donn Ketcham. We knew Dr. Donn Ketcham had to leave Bangladesh for what we thought was “an affair”. There was a godly man who rang us and asked us if we did anything wrong, we told him no, he said he was going to investigate and he would expose anything he found, we told him go ahead. He found nothing and requested a meeting with ABWE (with our consent) to discuss their treatment of us. He wanted the meeting on neutral ground and it was to be taped, they declined. We are still serving in Australia and have never looked back and none of the missionaries we served with are here now. Our story is NOTHING compared to what happened to these children on the field of Bangladesh but what we learned is “you don’t cross ABWE” and how “unchristian” they can treat someone for just wanting out.

  10. Ignorant questions? says:

    I am confused about something and was wondering if you would mind explaining the reason that an investigation is needed. From what I’ve read in comments on this blog, it looks like this investigation must be conducted in every country that ABWE ever set foot on. Is this true, and if so, why everywhere instead of just DK’s area of ministry?

    Please forgive this question as it may seem ignorant to you, but it seems to me that ABWE can’t trust GRACE since they “represent” you and you can’t trust ABWE to pick an investigator since they damaged relationships with secrecy. Is there a way for someone not part of this problem to pick an investigator that both sides can trust?

    Thanks for helping me understand further!

    • Have an answer says:

      Good question and I think I can answer a little bit to it.

      The call is for a 3rd party. A 3rd party is not biased in favor of either side. I am only aware of GRACE as an organization that does such things. I am aware of GRACE because of the investigation that they did regarding Fanda, the New Tribes Mission (NTM) school for MKs in Africa. — I don’t know, but I suspect that the professional and thorough job by GRACE done by GRACE is why there is the call for choosing that group for an investigation. I personally think they are an excellent choice.

      Go here to learn about the organization:
      http://www.netgrace.org/

      GRACE investigated one school for New Tribes. It is coming out that the abuses discovered there also happened in many of the other NTM schools around the world. There is the call now being made for additional investigations of those schools.

      I expect it would be the same in this situation. The issue at hand is Donn Ketcham and any involved parties at ABWE, whether leadership or other missionaries. An investigation would uncover the facts of who is culpable and to what degree. Assuming they do the same thing as they did with NTM, at the end of their investigation they submit their report. The report lists what they found and explains supporting evidence of their findings. They are not a legal entity although I believe they have persons on the board with legal experience. After that, they gave a specific list of recommendation of actions that the mission board could take.

      I don’t know if all you have to do it click this address to access the pdf of that report. Here is that address:

      http://fandaeagles.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Amended-GRACE-Report-on-NTM-Fanda-Amended-edition.pdf

      If you read nothing else, read the conclusion that begins on page 65.

  11. Ignorant questions? says:

    follow up clarification…

    When I say that I’d like to understand why the investigation is needed….I specifically wondered how it would help with the healing of DK’s victims since they already know the crimes committed against them. Again, I’m not attacking, just curious. It helps me know how I can pray with more detail.

    Thanks!

    • A Victim says:

      What you fail to understand is that not all of us were aware of a lot of things until this blog was created.

      Even failure to understand that certain things DK deemed normal (like pelvic exams at age 13) were molestation in disguise. How many more people still don’t understand and don’t know why a silent shame about these exams hangs over them? Why medical exams grip them with anxiety? Why they don’t respond to sex?

      I now understand my issues because of this blog, and understanding it decades ago could have provided healing that now I can finally seek, with my eyes open as to why certain things affect me in the way they do.

      Every time the door is opened in the DK matter, more victims are discovered.

      Do you really believe they are all known now, just because many came forward on this blog?

      Would you have those women out there who don’t yet understand they are not alone because of the deep culture of silence in our lives, live in shame and silence and depression they cannot understand without the information they need to validate what they fear to be true and must come to terms with?

      Do you really think it’s not important to figure out who knew what and when at ABWE in order to make sure that criminal neglect has not happened? Do you really think it’s not important?

      Is the idea of digging further into this and possibly revealing more moral failure more failure in responsibility from so many men, so uncomfortable to you as a Christian that you would ask us all to turn the other way as you would like to do?

      The fact that you don’t get it is very telling about your own church and religious culture. You must be in the camp that says: “Can’t we keep this down? Don’t you know you could hurt the Gospel?”

      And for that, I remind you … your concern should be mercy for the victims. Your concern should be justice, that a free pedophile must be put behind bars. Your concern should be again justice, that those at ABWE who knew what when be held accountable before their peers, before their God, before the laws of this country.

      Your concern for “why an investigation” actually displays your total lack of compassion and understanding.

      Your culture of silence is no good here. Take it elsewhere.

  12. Julie (Eaton) Zentz says:

    Lynda,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is a horrible thing to be a family who love Susannah the way we did–all the times she slept at our house or I at theirs, the silly “little fat lady clubs” we shared, the crazy ABWE tortoise we found in the drain, fort SWEB, the day all of our dogs were put down because of the threat of rabies…..trips to Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong, and even by plane to Dhaka to perform a bicentennial program–and to feel that somehow we have been judged that our motives for showing support to the victims are tainted, “sugar-coated,” or worse “lies!” Thank you for standing up to show your love and support for the man you and countless other missionaries and MK’s know my dad to be.

    This is not the place for me to defend all the inaccuracies directly at him, but our hearts are broken on many fronts and your loyal defense of my dad (the man I adore and trust) has given me hope that someday others will be able to get past the blinding pain and mistrust and hear HIS heart and intent.

    • We All Love Our Dads says:

      Linda and Julie, we all love our dads. They are all good men, at heart, who have done great things.

      But the fact remains people who were at that meeting in 2002 failed to contact me, a female ABWE MK from Bdesh who should have been contacted (like dozens of others!).

      They failed to hold others at ABWE–whoever they were–accountable to act and make the investigation thorough. Maybe they weren’t charged with doing the investigation themselves, but they could have held whomever was accountable.

      They failed. They’ve had 9 years to push people to action, and they haven’t. And the men at that meeting, though compassionate at the time, failed to grasp the gravity of DK’s sin and its effects on dozens of women today, still struggling to come to terms with it.

      That is why there is anger. That is why there is frustration. I know it is hard and that you love these men, as you should. Maybe they did not fail YOU.

      But they failed me.

      Try to remember that, as you love and praise them or love and forgive them. They failed me. Your fellow MK from Bangladesh, fellow victim of Donn Ketcham.

  13. Just saying... says:

    Upon reading ABWE’s recent post for forgiveness, I was greatly encouraged that a step has been taken in the right direction. What was greatly disturbing was how the whole board and administration were lumped together as signatories. The buck always stops with ONE person and in this case, president Loftis!!! His distance and absence from this whole process is very concerning, the fact that his wife calls in his stead? Really??? Shame on you Michael Loftis and shame on you ABWE for yet again not forcing one of your own to their wrong done. It’s a scape goat to collectively take blame instead of forcing the guilty one to own up!!!

    • No Names? says:

      I too questioned the validity of the ABWE administration and board Confession because there were no names listed. Truly repentant? Put your name to it.

  14. Susannah Goddard Weldy says:

    To past and present ABWE Leadership and Board Members:
    In your continued silence, consider James 4:17.
    “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
    You know what you need to do. Do it. Ask G.R.A.C.E. to fully investigate.
    To delay even another day is to perpetuate the sin.

  15. Shan Esson says:

    Dear Susannah,
    Last week, while in Hong Kong, my wife and I read with growing horror, the initial notification from ABWE HQ, with regard to your grievance. As an ABWE MK (Philippines, 1951 – 1965) and as a teacher at Faith Academy, Philippines, (school for MKs) under the ABWE AMP program, our hearts sank. After reading through your blog, the depths of the sin against you became clear. To be abused is awful but then to be abandoned by the very organization that should be protecting you, while that organization is simultaneously misleading churches and supporters, in an effort to protect its own integrity, is almost beyond belief. Having said that, I personally know some of the men involved in the initial cover-up, particularly “Uncle” Russ Ebersole. Over many years, I have seen his work and know him to be Godly man. But in this case, these men were very badly wrong having been, I assume, swept up in the details, rather than handling the case in accordance with solid Biblical principles. We were very encouraged after reading ABWE’s “confession.” Though the confession is late and was the product of a crisis, I believe the confession is genuine. Though I have not spoken to Uncle Russ, I am quite sure that his heart is breaking as was King David’s after his talk with the prophet Nathan.
    How we admire your courage and transparency. We are also very much impressed with the fact that you are seeking God’s healing for all concerned, even those who have wronged you. Along with many other MKs, missionary “Uncles and Aunts”, pastors, supporters, and yes, ABWE staff, we stand with you in the throne room of Heaven. We pray that the Lord gives you wisdom and grace as you deal with the opportunity that appears to be unfolding. As we consider the possibilities, we also pray that the Lord gives you a spirit of mercy, enabling you, the one who was wronged, to provide forgiveness and healing to those who are broken in spirit for the wrong that ABWE perpetrated. We will also be praying for ABWE’s headquarters staff as they struggle under the weight of this burden. Most of them had nothing to do with these events but God has now placed them, along with you, in the position to correct those wrongs and to put in place safeguards against abuse and operating procedures to handle any future abuse that might occur.
    May God continue to bless you and thank you again for the courage that you have demonstrated.
    Shan Esson

    • An ABWE MK says:

      1st – No one is a “godly” man or woman except for position in Christ. [Colossians 3:3] Though redeemed and “in Christ” we do both works of the Spirit and works of the flesh.

      While Russ Ebersole no doubt lives a godly life in many ways, perhaps the majority, he exemplifies ungodliness in this. Whether knowingly, out of ignorance or deception, he played on the side of demons. Whether knowingly, out of ignorance or deception, this is sin.

      Categorizing people into black and white categories, godly or ungodly, is part of the problem that allowed DK. We see what we perceive are works of godliness (perhaps true, perhaps a well-disguised wolf.) We then categorize the person as one of the “good guys.” We let down our guard. We don’t point our radar in all directions to discern evil. In that way, we share culpability.

      2nd – You can’t be sure that he is responding as did David when confronted by Nathan. He is also my beloved Uncle Russ, but I have learned that ones I love who have taught me and nurtured me are also capable of great evil. I desire, I hope, I pray that his heart will break over his sin. I desire that he will have godly sorrow and not a sorrow that leads to death. [2 Corinthians 7:10]

      Complacency is complicity. May each of us speedily do whatever it is that the Lord is prompting us to do.

  16. Dan DeCook says:

    Since I posted a week ago a letter I wrote to ABWE, challenging their handling of this situation, I thought I should also (in fairness) share my support for their letter of contrition.

    There is much more to do. With new revelations of this weekend, there is also much more to be concerned about. That is for later.

    31 March 2011

    Dear ABWE

    Thank you for your recent response of 30 March on your website. I was moved by the humble acknowledgment of fault, and the specificity of the acknowledgment. It addressed many, many of the specific concerns expressed on the MK blog, and did so, I believe, with true remorse. (and it was such an improvement over the initial response put out less than a week before that one wonders if anyone writing it suffered whiplash…)

    I am not sure if it will fully satisfy all the voices on the MK blog–there are often so many different concerns (some conflicting) that such might be impossible– but it is a good response. I have not read the blog in a couple of days. It seemed to get a little too acrimonious, even against some who could have/should have been seen as allies. I wanted to write a response to your website posting without a head full of others’ ideas.

    I’m sure one of the additional concerns that will be expressed (which I would share) is the engaging of a third party accountability partner, to specifically address the concerns of safeguards and shaking out the tree for other events that may have been mishandled. I’m sure those other events exist–in medicine, we often call an event such as this current affair a “sentinel event”–and the sentinel event is an alarm bell to look for those other cases. Hopefully, none of the others will be as seemy, or have as many victims and ripples outward, as this Ketcham affair has had. But it seems highly unlikely that this is the only sexual affair to have been inadequately addressed.

    The Christian church does a notably poor job in this regard. We get all confused on the differences between forgiveness (personal) and accountability of the offender and need for justice/restitution/retribution. And we are so squeemish when it comes to addressing really ugly things such as pedophilia, serial sexual sin, and gross indecency (there I go, being squeemish…) It allows the most brazen offender (and there are plenty, apparently) to walk free, off the hook, because we are too timid to fully and adequately confront them.

    ABWE has a chance, unbidden, to be an example of doing this right. It may offend some sensibilities; it may cause nausea in those with gentle stomachs. But it needs this, the pure light of day, to shine into this dark corner, and thoroughly air it out. From the tone of your website post of contrition, I am confident that you will do so.

    Sincerely,

    Daniel J DeCook, MD
    Holland, MI

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Please share their response when or if you receive one. Thank you.

      • Dan DeCook says:

        happy to

        this was from a board member:

        Date: April 4, 2011 1:03:35 AM EDT
        To: ‘Daniel DeCook’
        Subject: RE: ABWE and need for a third party

        Dr DeCook

        Thanks for your analysis of the MK blog and the desired response. We do need
        special wisdom from the Lord to unravel this thing. The pure light of day is
        what is needed. Please pray for the board meeting tomorrow that God will
        enable us to sort out necessary decisions in a way that honors Him and gives
        aid to those who are suffering.

        Darrell Beddoe

  17. MKSafetyNet strongly agrees with Susannah that GRACE be the Third Party investigator. ABWE is a member of the Child Protection Service Network (CPSN), who use “Independent Investigators”. However, their independent investigators are almost always from other member agencies of CPSN – so a part of the mission community. GRACE is independent.

  18. Debbie Stevenson says:

    In September 2010 I sent an email to Dr. Loftis and received a reply. I haven’t yet decided whether to post his reply. I will say that it satisfied me.

    This is what I wrote in my initiating email to him.
    ————————————————-
    Hi,

    You have probably heard about the situation currently confronting New Tribes Mission. I read the GRACE report and have been reading posts on the website that the “kids” set up. I am angry about what happened to them and the cover-up and inadequate responses from the mission that allowed it to continue.

    What does ABWE do? If ABWE hears that an MK might have been, or is being abused physically or sexually, what do you do? If it is the parent, what do you do? If it is a national, what do you do? If it happens to the child away in the dorm what do you do?

    I have no knowledge that any ABWE MK was physically or sexually abused. Statistically speaking, it probably did. I am certain that emotional and spiritual abuse occurs. If the leaders (or parents) are legalistic there will be spiritual abuse. What has ABWE done to disciple themselves and all their missionaries out of legalism and into grace?

    I don’t want ABWE to be like New Tribes. I know that offenders find their way into any organization. New Tribes was (is?) riddled with offenders. What I find more horrifying than the pedophiles are those who looked the other way. I hope that NTM is truly repentant and not just responding to the pressure of being “caught.” From what I see posted on the New Tribe mission website, it appears they are now doing the right thing. However, I understand the distrust that many of the NTM MKs feel. I know that really good liars are really good at appearing good.

    I sort of understand why the GRACE report is not available through the NTM website. Mostly, I don’t understand. Are they still trying to hide their sins? Because I think it is important, I am going to attach the report to this email. It isn’t the specific people or sins that make this important for others to read. I think it is important because, “It could be me.” What in me might ripple down to harm a little one? How do I recognize these things in others? What do I need to do to make sure that they are nurtured in love. And so on….

    Debbie Stevenson

  19. Be Sure Your IP Address Will Find You Out says:

    Another reason an investigation is needed, is so people will stop attacking those who would dare speak out against the abuser.

    On March 30th, someone gave Donn Ketcham a 5-star rating (meaning: good) on a popular doctor rating site and claimed their name was Susannah Baker (the creator of this blog).

    The problem? It wasn’t her.

    And the last six digits that this site reveals of that person’s IP address match the last six digits on the IP address of a mean comment sent to this site and subsequently trashed. Armed with the full IP address, it took me all of five minutes to discover the person who did this lives somewhere near the corner of Adams and Ewing in Grand Rapids. If you know who this is, I urge you to confront them for their cruelty.

    I called DK’s church and left a message there, giving them the address. I called his office and left a message there giving them the address. And you better believe I called the medical website giving them the address and telling them what was going on.

    An investigation by a third party will make people believe what right now they stubbornly refuse to believe, so they can stop lashing out at the victims.

  20. Diana Durrill says:

    I would be very interested to see his reply. You say that it satisfied you (past tense)…does it still?

    Diana Durrill
    (sister to the 14 year old)

  21. Debbie Stevenson says:

    Yes, past tense.
    Still? No. His words to me conflict with the revelations on this site.
    That is why I sent a questioning email to him last week and a second one yesterday. I am going to give him some time (not sure how long) to respond. It is still less than a week. After that, I’m not sure what I will do. Right now my thought is that I will send the interchange to GRACE, to be evidence of chronology if nothing else.

    • Diana Durrill says:

      Debbie,
      I wouldn’t hold out too long for a response. I have spoken to him once. He belittled me, my husband, and parents. Since then, and most importantly, within the last 21 days, the world has yet to hear a sound from Michael Loftis. Not one word. Not a sigh. Not a groan. Nothing.

      Debbie – he is the president of ABWE. I guess that gives him the authority to pass the buck to Tony Beckett or his wife??? The way I see it, churches and pastors have seen how he chooses to use his authority and it is unacceptable. You cannot take a leader seriously who is not willing to stand up and say something. Tony Beckett was handed the first two responses – I have no doubt he was only moving as his marionette strings were being pulled. If only Tony had been a leader and stood up to say, “No. This is something YOU have to deal with.” The “confession” (now in question for its sincerity) was signed by a specific, but still very generic, group of people. There was no personal ownership. Jo Beth sent out emails pleading with us to talk to HER. (No thanks.) We have heard nothing in all 21 days of the public blog from Michael Loftis. Don’t hold your breath that you’ll be someone special and get a personal and meaningful response.

      Loftis had to be aware that this storm was brewing over the last year (if not, the organization’s lawyer, Don Davis, has failed him miserably). He has had since 2002 to clean this mess up (I promise) and he actually made it worse. (You haven’t heard it all yet.)

      I will be VERY surprised if you hear from him. But then again, maybe my note will prompt him to prove me wrong. That would be fun. =)

      • Debbie Stevenson says:

        As time passes, I also think it unlikely that I will receive a response. Yet I think it is important to treat all peoples words at face value, yet with the wisdom born of experience that I cannot blindly trust face value words as truth. I endeavor to trust with discernment.

        As such, I trust the words I am reading here, yet hopefully not blindly. I know that I can misread what is said and not hear correctly. I know that I can make assumptions and applications that go beyond what the speaker is saying, or means to be saying.

        I know that honest and sincere people can misrepresent an issue. I know that some appear upright in character and it is true and that others who appear upright in character are pulling a convincing charade. I know that I can be deceived by the charade.

        I too have had my trust shattered by a leader(s) I esteemed. I am recovering, but have not recovered. Perhaps the vulnerabilities that enabled the leader to gain unwarranted trust are still operating and I am still in danger of over-trust. Perhaps my distrust is unwarranted. Perhaps my wounds and resulting vulnerabilities make it easy to take up the cause of the victim without discernment.

        It is a difficult balance, trust.

  22. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    Why Lies Are Like Cancer:

    It’s not a new analogy. People on here have said it before. But I wanted to add my two cents. Because on Friday I went for my three-month oncology checkup. Every three months I go in and I submit to blood tests and sometimes ultrasounds all to be sure that the insidious cancer has not returned.

    My doctor does not rely on me to tell him if I feel good or not. He does not ask me if I have pain in my brain or pain in my liver to find out if cancer has returned and spread. He performs blood work. He performs a physical exam. He performs tests like ultrasounds. Because I can’t judge this for myself, and he can’t tell just by looking at me.

    When I got my invasive cancer tumor and it was diagnosed after the biopsy, my doctors (surgeon and oncologist) tried to talk me out of a radical mastectomy. They said: Just do a lumpectomy for now. (Because I was young and “saving the breast” is the current thinking in this regard.) But I insisted. Cut it off. Cut it ALL off.

    And so they did. And what the pathologist discovered is that my breast was full of a whole other kind of cancer. DCIS, a non-invasive cancer, but a cancer still. And both doctors later told me I had been right to push them. I had been right all along. And so I went through chemo and all kinds of other things to help stop all of this.

    But the point to my analogy is this: Even my doctors couldn’t see then the FULL DAMAGE to my body that cancer had already been doing. My breast had to be cut off from my body for them to see the truth. And even now … I cannot rely on myself and how I “feel” to judge if cancer has returned. I submit to various tests. I submit to my doctor. I am not capable of judging this for myself.

    And that is why ABWE is not capable of judging this for themselves. That is why we urge for a cutting from their corporate body that removes more than perhaps seems to others to be necessary, because we just DON’T KNOW what hides there beneath the surface, growing quietly like a cancer. And if we just remove the lump, we’ll never know what else is there.

    What about “the brown-skinned” girls? What about the other sexual sins that have been covered?

    The abused MK girls are only the cancerous lump. If we do not open up the entire body and submit it to tests and pathology reports, we will never know how far the cancer has spread. That is why GRACE is needed, that is why ABWE must invite into their organization a third party that will test them and examine them and find evidence of the cancer’s spread.

  23. I have sent this email today after seeing the latest post by ABWE regarding the 3rd party investigation. Sent to the board at abwe address and copied Tony Beckett.

    As a former ABWE Bangladesh MK (1974-1986), I am once again urging on behalf of the victims of Donn Ketcham and their families, that G.R.A.C.E. be the third party investigator of ABWE. The reason for this is that is who the victims and their families trust. They do not trust ABWE at this point to do the right thing. They trust G.R.A.C.E. Please listen to their requests and appoint G.R.A.C.E. to do the investigation. They are experienced in these matters and are a trustworthy organization. Thank you for your time.

    Debi (Totman) Martin

    • An ABWE MK says:

      What is the email for the board?

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Who to email and How?

      Does anyone have individual board member names and email addresses? There is Tony Beckett and Dr. Loftis. Who else is there that I can email? In particular, I want to share with the board and everyone else in power what Dr. Loftis claimed to me in September and call them to it.

      Perhaps those reading here can tell us names (and addresses) of others at the home office who would benefit from our emails that direction. If secrecy is the norm, I suspect there are many there who aren’t very aware of this.

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Ah, spoke too soon. Just went to the ABWE site and read the recent posting re: investigation. I see the board address there. sorry

  24. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    For ABWE and FRIENDS:

    ABWE: Please put a deadline on things. Say, “We commit to have chosen committee members by _______ date. And those committee members will choose the third party organization by ________ date.”

    This is what we ask of you.

    FRIENDS ON THIS BLOG: If you are in agreement with me, reply to this message that a deadline is required.

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Wonderful! I wouldn’t have thought of this. Glad you did. I’m going to send it personally to the board.

    • Cindy Adolph Smith says:

      I am in agreement with Tamara-we need a deadline. What we really need is G.R.A.C.E.

    • Esther Rapa says:

      I so agree. We need to see the dates. We need to see to what you are committing. Add to that that we need to see the names of the board members and also most definitely the names of those on the committee.

    • Sister of 14 year old girl victim says:

      Tam,
      I agree with Tam! They need to have a deadline. What they need and what we need is G.R.A.C.E. for a third party. No other options will work here. I’m just sayin’
      Anne Smith

    • Steve DeCook says:

      Tamara – I absolutely agree. ABWE must not be in a rush and foul up again as they did in their first note to the MKs – but they could make promises and commitments regarding their progress on this. Setting deadlines would actually take some heat off ABWE. If they simply stated that the commission would be selected in 2 weeks, and that the commissions job was to provide the recommendation in 2 months – that would provide a them time to do the job, and provide the mk family with a road-map, around which we can have reasonable expectations. (even if we did not like the schedule they put together.)
      To ABWE – please do not leave us in suspense. It really should not be hard to lay out a plan, and to publicly commit to working it out on schedule. These are reasonable expectations which many of us face every day. Making commitments to work a plan on schedule and then sticking to the schedule would enable you to start to reclaim some credibility with your stakeholders. Work it in the open. Put your names on the plan. Make commitments – and stick to them! Work very hard at this most important task, so that at the end of the day you will know before God that you gave your ALL to clear God’s name in this mess, to take care of His kids, and to ensure His ministries through ABWE are never again compromised by such a failure of leadership.
      It is not too much to ask. You are capable – God gives you the strength each day to do the right thing. And communicate, communicate, communicate. In private – where needed, and in public – when possible. This will be a long, hard task for many of you, and today is a great day to start! Make those phone calls. Write those letters. Take the time to talk to the people you need to talk to. Be reconciled with your brother(s)/sisters(s) before “going to offer your gift.”
      Best wishes for the road ahead, and Godspeed as you hold nothing back to redeem that which was lost.

      Steve DeCook

  25. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    And another thing …

    This is what the statement says: “In a separate decision the Board unanimously appointed a special commission of the Board to review and recommend an independent third-party investigator to the ABWE Board. The commission includes men, women, and former MKs.”

    Soooo … does this mean the MKs have already been appointed? Because Michael Loftis is an MK too–or so I hear. And that hasn’t affected his judgment for the better in this matter. I’m realizing tonight as I read this that they may not mean ANY Bangladesh MKs at all … and I’m deeply troubled by that.

    Please someone tell me that I am wrong and that some Bangladesh MKs have been appointed to this committee.

    • As with everything else, you need to very carefully vet the MK’s on any investigative committee. My experience has been that denominations have MK’s as staff members who are a part of the collusion written about in another post on this blog; and those are the MK’s generally chosen to represent MK’s during investigations.

    • Pamela E. Bennett says:

      Yes, Michael Loftis is an MK. His parents served in Australia with Baptist Mid Missions in Victoria, I know because they have been in my home when we lived in Sydney.

  26. MK and father of MK's says:

    Tamara,

    Let me first say, that as an MK who witnessed the cover up of terrible behavior (not ABWE in my case) I have followed this blog with tears, frustration and relief as it has accomplished some amazing progress. Although I was raised in a different organization I did spend some time with ABWE and I know well several of the people in leadership there. I believe your tenacity will prove to be the instrument God will use to purify, reprove, instruct and correct, even to save others from the same oppression the Bangladesh MK’s have suffered. Yet, I’d like to encourage you to now take a more noble tone with fellow followers of Christ who have admittedly sinned.

    Your recent posts pushing for a date and casting doubt at each turn seems only to come across as spiteful. They are heading in the direction, they will not be able to avoid action now, and taking a whip to their backs in mid-process does the just cause of this blog no service.

    “God, You hear, read and know all things. We have waited for the ABWE board to do the right thing, we have cried and clenched our teeth and today they have responded again in the right direction. But we remain concerned about the outcome. We pray You will speed the commission and guide them in picking an acceptable, credible, third party investigator, we pray for all that is hidden to come out and for full restoration in the end.”
    Amen

    • Tamara Barrick Rice says:

      I am glad that you agree ABWE has sinned. But I respectfully disagree with your assessment of me. ABWE has once again executed a PR fail. No deadline for action and apparently no Bangladesh MKs on this commission. And an awful lot of people agree with me.

      You may not, and that is your right, and I respect your right to say that you think I’m being spiteful. I don’t think I’m being spiteful, but I do think it’s safe to say ABWE continues to disappoint me, and I don’t mind saying it out loud.

      But you must know, a lot of people out there are shaking their heads, scratching their heads with me and saying, “What on earth is ABWE thinking?” Why can’t they EVER get this right?

      Would they rather meet their MKs in a court of law? Think about it.

      I’m just sayin’. We offered them GRACE–literally and figuratively–and they can’t bring themselves to just give us GRACE. What a show of true repentance and genuine love for their MKs it would have been for them to say, “GRACE is highly recommended by everyone from the president of Compassion International to our own child safety officer Nancy Hepworth to the hundreds of people who have written in to our office, and they are who our MKs involved in this want. We concede. GRACE it is.”

      But ABWE couldn’t do that. At every turn, they show their colors.

      • isaiah618 says:

        In reply to Tamara,
        I agree with you, Tamara. We have given ABWE grace for 9 years while we waited for an investigation. We were promised an investigation 9 years ago and we waited… and waited…. and waited , until we asked again for an investigation 1 and 1/2 years ago and were promised an investigation again and we have waited….. and waited….. and waited…. until their promises don’t mean anything to me anymore. Their confession rings hollow for me tonight. We have gone to our brother first who offended us, 9 years ago and more recently, 1 and1/2 years ago. I, for one, will start to explore my legal options.
        Susannah Baker

  27. MK and father of MK's says:

    I won’t argue Tamara, only say, that to have a just cause is only part of the equation. There is a divine dimension to all of this and God will be glorified in the end through the embarrassment of the proud as well as the restoration of the repentant. It is to each of us, as important to be on the side of justice as it is to love mercy and walk humbly.

    That’s all

  28. Brian Smith says:

    I believe that all the victims should start to explore all their legal options at this point. ABWE has had time to respond to the request of a third-party investigation by GRACE and they obviously they do not want to go in that direction. The victims have spoken and given time, now it is time to act.

    • An ABWE MK says:

      I believe that all the victims should keep their faces towards the Lord, following Him for what they should or shouldn’t do.

    • Tamara Barrick Rice says:

      Agreed, Brian. ABWE has had a chance, and they have blown it. Forget 20-40 years of blowing it, they’ve blown all but one of their responses to this over the past 22 days. And the one responses that was good–the confession–has proved to be pointless as people like Michael Loftis refuse to take responsibility personally. And gracious JoBeth continues to make phone calls on his behalf … It’s actually a little sad.

      I would applaud JoBeth for her courage to pick up the phone and call people she knows are bitter, hurt and angry, and are not going to be receptive to anything she has to say. Except that I would applaud her courage even more if she would turn to her husband Michael and say to him: “Michael, go clean up your own mess now. Before you are dragged into a court of law and our name is brought further shame.”

      The MKs of this blog and the ones surrounding it gave Michael Loftis a window of literal grace. And he’s not using it. And the window is quickly closing.

      And, yes, I’m copying this to the board. I would say nothing behind Michael’s back, JoBeth’s back, or the board’s backs. They all deserve to hear this.

  29. MKS whose Parents also failed them says:

    As an MK whose parents also failed to leave the field and take the financial hit required to do the right thing by their kids, I also hope the third party investigation (hopefully GRACE) will look in to that aspect of parental negligence on the part of missionaries who fail to confront their board in the protection of their own children. After reading the documents of this website it is clear that the unconditional love displayed by the 14 year old’s parents was not expressed in such a way as to call the mission on the carpet immediately when this happened 20 years ago. As a parent of a teenage girl, no home office, no administrator, no support check would keep me from standing up openly for my daughter in this situation. Missionary parents that allow a mission board administrator to tell them to keep silent about a crime that has been committed against their child are as much to blame for this omission as the organization they choose to follow.

    • Tamara Barrick Rice says:

      There are so many comments on this board, MK, it’s easy to see that you may have missed this information, so here it is.

      The parents of that MK did not know that she was forced to sign a confession until a little over a week ago and they didn’t see it until the rest of us saw it. All these 20-plus years she thought they knew and they did not. The parents of that MK also did not know how she was being treated in counseling, i.e., being made to feel she was party to an affair rather than a victim of a molester.

      They were kept in the dark, and if they could go back in time and do things differently, I’m sure that they would, but here’s the piece you are missing. They TRUSTED the people involved. They THOUGHT things were being taken care of, they thought DK would be taken care of. They were spiritually abused as well, because they were told again and again, this is what’s right, this is what’s needed.

      You can choose to blame them if you want to. But there was much to this story that YOU are now privy to that THEY did not know in 1989, in part because Russ Ebersole and Russ Lloyd kept it from them.

      • Parents failures says:

        How did that confession letter surface? Was that the catalyst for this blog to begin?

    • Parents failures says:

      I wonder if 14-year old girl has these same thoughts. I think I would.

      I speak as a parent of grown children. I failed them in things. I sinned against them many times. The only thing I can do now is ask their forgiveness and pray for their healing.

      I would bet on it that every parent in some way and at some time fails to love their child. I suspect not every parent acknowledges it to themselves, and even if to themselves, maybe not to the child.

      Repentant sorrow expressed to the child goes a long way towards rebuilding a broken foundation and helping the child heal. I know that from both directions.

    • Parents failures says:

      Oh, I also want to say to MKS whose parents failed them that I am sorry your parents didn’t put your needs ahead of themselves. It is abandonment. Parents are supposed to protect and nurture. When they don’t, it is a cruel sword thrust into the soul.

      • Gheeta Peters says:

        I fear a lot of people don’t understand what things were like at Malumghat, Bangladesh in 1989. So, I want to help people understand this facts.

        Parents of this girl were told she was “only” fondled. Parents were told by the trusted counselor that he handled this with her and she’s going to be just fine, if they allowed her to continue a normal life as if it never happened and not gossip.

        Parents were also told Dr. Ketchum would be handled.

        Malumghat is a missionary compound in a remote jungle of Bangladesh. No internet then. And only one telephone, three hours away in Chittagong, where you were lucky to get through, had a 30 to 60 second delay and basically only used in emergency situations. Letters, if they got through by mail, took up to 4 to 6 weeks to get through.

        In other words, information was slow coming.

        This family stayed at Malumghat, and things were seeming to be going okay with the girl, and there assumption was that ABWE took care of Dr. Ketchum back in the states.

        So it was not until three years this family realized little had been done about the man they believed just fondled their daughter. And by that point, her depression was so great, that keeping her alive was there best hope and only focus. At that point, they did everything in there power to get her help, but she was not up for a legal fight. She needed to be kept alive, and so thats what they did.

        Of course hindsite is 20-20. Of course everyone reading this blog knows way more than these parents knew for even 20 years. Of course they made mistakes. But know what their situation was 1989, before you are quick to judge they’re lack of action in this thing so hard.

    • Anne Smith says:

      I will have you to know that my parents are not to blame or any other parent of the victims. When all this came out ABWE sent DK home to the states letting them know that they would take care of things when they got home. They said things like,1.) We will go to the Medical board, in Michigan, and let them know. 2.) We will make sure that he is dealt with. 3.) do not worry about that end of things. Your daughter needs to be here. Her support group is here. She has her friends, sisters, and parents here. She is better off in Bangladesh. 4.) They were told to stay and that they would get someone out there to counsel my sister. And let me add while she was being counseled she never talked about it with her family or anyone else. I was the closest one to her and she didn’t even open up to me. Obviously that only worked for a while. My parents did not fail, because once again, ABWE said that they would take care of things on their end. We didn’t come home to the states till later on and my parents then continued to do for her what they knew to do. How do I know that? I was there! They tried! But in all this my sister thought that my parents knew about the confession letter. They did not! She thought they were 100% behind ABWE. My sister just found out recently, since this blog has been up, what very little my parents actually knew. So do not attack the parents unless you know everything, and you obviously do not! If you want to know everything which I feel that everything needs to come out in order for all to understand the victims, their parents and families, ask ABWE to submit to GRACE as the third party. There is so much more!
      Anne Smith
      Sister of 14 yr old victim

  30. Information says:

    Where did you get this information?

  31. This Victim Is Not Going Quietly says:

    Open letter to ABWE:

    You have taken the lies off your website and left nothing but your confession. Maybe it’s good. The lies were painful.

    But don’t believe that we will ever forget that the current administration tried to lie. Not as long as you have still not put feet to your repentance. The clock is ticking as your commission from the board tries to determine who an adequate third party is.

    And the Bangladesh MKs get no say. We get no input. We can’t even know who this commission is. Who are these people? And were they given a deadline?

    We will not go quietly, and this issue will not go away. Missionaries and other “shush”-types can try to look the other way, but in the end, when the truth is revealed and justice rolls down, they will gasp and be ashamed that they did not stand with the wounded.

    • Diana Durrill says:

      Dear Victim –
      Don’t worry – I have print outs of those first statements…statements which were proven by themselves to be lies and yet…still…not acknowledged as lies. Their statements just “evolved” over time as more and more docs were posted. Well, I think it would be HUGE if they simply said, “In our first statements we lied.”

      Some will now attack me and say that they just didn’t know it all and the information was collected after making those statements. Well, I know, and they know that they DID know there were more “incidents” before 1989. And I know, and they know, that they did NOT contact the proper authorities and give “full disclosure”. There are more….but we’ve all read them….no need to repeat them all. I just wish their confession would have said, “We lied. We are sorry. We ask forgiveness and desire to now tell you the truth.”

      Anyhow – if Susannah wants to post those so people can remember ABWE’s first reactions, I will send them to her so she can add them to the document collection.

    • An ABWE MK says:

      Do you think ABWE reps are reading this blog? I sure hope so.

  32. GRBC '84 Grad says:

    My heart is so heavy as I read about the journey of the 14-yr-old victim and her family. I hope the current knowledge of how little her parents knew is helping bring healing. I pray for the parents who thought they knew everything and now know how little they were told. My heart breaks for you – because of the years the locust have eaten. From what you and your daughters have shared it is obvious you would have done so much more if you had only known. But you didn’t know. That you had to watch you dear daughter suffer so deeply and fear for losing her over and over and all that time not knowing. May God’s grace reign in your hearts and may your ears be deaf to the unfair words spoken by some. May healing flow to your family and my your dear daughter’s heart be healed and strengthened by the truth.

  33. Diana Durrill says:

    This past Tuesday night, April 5, God used the ministry of Chris Tomlin in a powerful way in my life. Little did I know, months ago when we purchased the concert tickets, that God would have me in this particular place in life…being a voice for the wounded and hurting…crying out for my own pain and that of my family…and begging God to uphold our integrity in this spiritual battle.

    But God knew.

    He knew I would need Him to be very, very present that night, April 5. He knew that I would need His arms of love wrapped around me in a supernatural way that very night. He knew that the words Chris sang (songs like: Jesus Messiah, And if Our God is for Us, I will Follow, No Chains on Me, Holy is the Lord, Amazing Grace, Indescribable, How Great is our God, Your Grace is Enough, etc.) would all speak to my heart in a very powerful, powerful way.

    He knew it. He prepared the way. I came away loved and empowered. “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us! And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?”

    I know, I know….none of you are surprised I would choose THAT song. Believe me, I am laughing with you at the sheer obviousness that I would go with that one. =)

    But do you want to know which song stuck out the most? The one that had me sobbing like a broken, hurting human being as I stood surrounded by thousands of people? The one that cut to the core – convicting me and encouraging me all at the same time? Well, I’ll share it with you in a minute.

    Before I do, I want you to know that I share this song out of a firm belief that God has called me here – into my family’s life and into the involvement of this process – for “such a time as this”. There is no doubt in my mind that I am here to “save these people alive”! So, for the naysayers, or the gossips, or the bitter, or the hurting, or the worried, or the friends who think I should keep to myself and let my sister/family take care of their own business…to you I say this:

    I already have, am still, and will again make mistakes along this journey. I will blow it. I will be in the flesh. But – I will also hit a home run from time to time. I will get it right. I will be teachable and grow. I will love and I will forgive.

    But this I promise: I will not give up! This is right. This is truth. I may not be a hero to most of you, but to one special, special girl who was horribly molested and victimized for the next 22 years, I am a hero. For that reason alone I will continue to stand on this side of the battle. I wish there were no battle lines. I sincerely do. But there are and since I have to choose, I choose to represent her.

    Now – that song I was telling you about. It broke me into a big, puddled mess because it truly represents my heart and the hearts of those I stand with. I can say that with complete confidence. We are crying out to GOD, desiring The Healer to do His work. We have known His unfailing mercy and love. We, the weak, have hidden in his fortressing arms. We simply are lifting our hands, crying out to our Faithful God…Who has NEVER let us down. Please respect me, my family, and my friends enough to listen to this beautiful song. Please listen and hear our cries, our prayers.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyYWWKJt-Hs&w=480&h=390

  34. sad, but hopeful says:

    New post on ABWE website-
    On April 4, the Board of ABWE approved an independent third-party investigation and empowered a commission to research and make a recommendation on which organization will complete the investigation.

    That commission has completed their research of third-party investigators and will give their recommendation to the Board on Monday, April 11, 2011. ABWE will provide information on the Board’s actions regarding the selection of a third-party investigation organization as soon as that decision is completed.

    The Board continues to welcome input on this matter at board@abwe.org.

  35. sad, but hopeful says:

    So now we wait for the board’s decision on the commission’s decision…I won’t hold my breath.

  36. Letter from Dr. Loftis says:

    Dr. Loftis sent out a letter today. I didn’t see anything on the blog about it so I was wondering if you’ve seen/read it?

    • isaiah618 says:

      No, I have not seen it. We do have an email address now under the FAQ section to the right. If it was not a personal letter to you, and you do not mind sharing, please send it to us. Thank you.

      Deborah Barrick Beddoe

  37. follow the leader? says:

    I am going to respond to this because it somewhat connects to something I have been thinking about.

    But first, I would like to comment that we cannot know what motivates another person. Only God knows that part of our heart. You don’t know if it had to do with worry about losing support or how things would sound in a prayer letter.

    Perhaps this stands out to me because I have been viewing it from an opposite perspective. Men who you believe have been put by God in authority over you have told you to do such and such and not do such and such, such as speak about it. You love God. You want to serve God. God asks us to submit to the authorities he has placed over us. God tells us to not gossip, to maintain unity among one another. You sincerely believe that you are obeying God by submitting to the leaders and following their command.

    THIS is MY QUESTION. — To: ABWE MKs, whether from Bangladesh or elsewhere, and ABWE missionaries, is this the message you heard within ABWE and also within the GARB?

    I know it is what I thought. Is it a message I learned from ABWE, GARB or both? Or did it come from aberrant teachers?

    • Dave DeCook says:

      I remember a quote from Bill Gothard that sat under the glass on the desk (Jess Eaton’s desk at the time) in the office of the hospital administrator (the office opposite the post office in the 70s. This was the 10 AM break room for the missionaries because it was the largest air-conditioned room at the time. It said something about keeping quiet or staying out of other peoples’ business “unless you are part of the problem or part of the solution.” I remember this being quoted, maybe even by my dad, as good policy. We don’t need people stirring up trouble. There was something about keeping the “circle of offense” as small as possible. This seems to match up well with basic NT teachings, such as Matthew 18.

      I do think such policies can be turned to the purpose of spiritual abuse. Clearly, keeping the parents of the 14 year old in the dark is the most egregious misuse of this policy. It also seems out of balance to not trust the adult missionaries with the truth. These are mature Christians for crying out loud, not your local petty gossips and tale-bearers. Then to throw a basic gag-order over the whole issue and have it stick. Well, from here it looks like the whole group drank some sort of cool-aid.

  38. have some questions says:

    Would you girls be willing to share with us a bit about how you chose GRACE?

    Has the organization done any other investigations besides Fanda (NTM)? I’ve read a lot of that report and was impressed with the thoroughness but I wondered if there were other reports available for us to read.

    The answers to these questions would help us to know how to support you when we write to ABWE.

  39. Phil Walsh says:

    The thought occurred to me today that any movement within ABWE has to be a God thing. They are a man-made organization and are authoritarian in nature. Their instinct is one of self-survival, self-perpetuation, at (it appears) almost any cost. In some ways they are like a government entity, a bureaucracy. It is almost impossible to move or change a bureaucracy. They like to call it a family, but that isn’t an accurate depiction of what ABWE really is. A good family cares about the least of its members.

    Think of this. It has taken going public with the problem, thousands of hits on the blog, over a thousand posts, possibly hundreds of emails from pastors, churches or individuals, and who knows how many phone calls to get the board of this organization to respond publicly. Even now, however, the rhetoric from the Administration remains virtually unchanged from day one. The Board says “we confess” while the President says “we did nothing wrong.” And why is the Board acknowledging mistakes? Is it because of a tenderness toward God and a desire to do what’s right? Perhaps. Or, maybe it had something to do with a bright spotlight beaming down on them threatening their “reputations” and the bottom line of the mission. I don’t know what the answer to this is. I would like to think the best.

    In light of this, my question is this: What mechanism is there in this huge organization for listening to the voice of a lone parent or an injured child? What if there was corruption that only a few people noticed? What chance would they have of getting a fair hearing anywhere in ABWE or in any similarly structured organization? And what are the chances those concerns would be ever be seriously addressed? It is no coincidence that so many missionaries have left beaten and bruised, branded with words like “insubordinate” and “bitter.” What does ABWE care about these castoffs, as long as the money keeps flowing in and they get to keep their perks and continue to spout the ubiquitous “so many missionaries are doing a great job all around the world”?

    I remember going to a memorial service to honor a missionary who had spent nearly 40 years in Asia. The oldest son stood up to eulogize his father and said, with obvious bitterness, something I will never forget: “My father always said that God would have to raise his children, because he didn’t have the time to do it.” I’m afraid that’s what we’ve come to with ABWE. All you “malcontents” out there please get out of our way. We’re preaching the Gospel. But this quiet voice keeps saying to me: What does it profit a mission organization if it gains the whole world but loses its own children?

  40. Concerned says:

    I “stumbled upon” this site while researching something this afternoon. Several weeks ago, I “stumbled upon” the site about the NTM boarding school abuses. I feel God has directed my attention to the issue being discussed, but I don’t know why, yet.

    I’m what one of the blogers referred to as an outsider. This means I don’t have any personal connection to any of the people, situations or mission boards involved, other than being a missions minded seventy one year old, sister in the faith who serves on the missions committee of my local church. Our church does support missionaries with both of these mission boards.

    I feel Bill Gothard is wrong in his opinion about staying out of something that isn’t, in so many words, your business. He’s the kind of authoritarian leader who contributes to the perpetuating of abuses like the ones being discussed. As a Christian, I have a personal involvement in anything that affects Christianity and the name of Christ. Not only a personal involvement, but a Christian responsibility. It’s my body and it affects me.

    I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and I’m horrified that the things I’ve read go on within the Christian community!

    I urge ABWE, for the sake of respect for the name of your mission board, and most importantly, the respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who’s being hurt by the delay in handling this, BE TRANSPARENT! If there are things you’re afraid will come out by GRACE’s intervention, they need to come out!

  41. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    We have a similar situation at the Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. Our board refused to ask GRACE to help, and decidedly try to handle this in-house, and a sloppy help from RCMP. All I can say is to utter curses on the abusers and the enablers. May God damn these sinners now and ever, unto the ages of ages, Amen. May he crush their bones and cremate them in the next time. Amen.

Comments are closed.