ABWE just announced that Monday they’ll give a decision regarding who the third party doing the investigation will be. But within that announcement was AN INVITATION to let ABWE know what you think! Which is, of course, fabulous. Please spread the word!


So, here’s my suggestion to you: Go check out G.R.A.C.E. :http://www.netgrace.org/

And take just a minute to write to the Board of ABWE and tell them if you think GRACE is the right organization to untangle the mess. We sure think so!

Write to: board@abwe.org
Subject line: Please hire GRACE

We have it on good authority that the Board and the commission within the board are actually getting the emails sent to that address. Just tell them your name and church name or organization or city or whatever else you want.

*Please don’t assume that if you have written to ABWE before about this, the board got it. This is the Board’s brand new public email address, and if you haven’t written to them directly, please do so now.

We are happy they have allowed the public a chance to speak directly to the Board and that they have released a deadline, which relieves a huge amount of anxiety from many of us.

Thanks for staying with us through this!


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.
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  1. writing my email now says:

    This is good news. Thanks for the update. I am so glad we have a timeline and are not “in the dark” as much. I am writing my email right now outlining my case for using G.R.A.C.E..

  2. I had emailed the board (at) abwe.org address the other day, but have emailed them again this evening. I got an automated reply this time:
    Thank you for taking the time to send your e-mail to the ABWE board. Please be assured that we will read each e-mail carefully and quickly.

    So hopefully they are hearing us.

  3. isaiah618 says:

    Yes! Remember to write your desire for GRACE in the subject line, in case they get overwhelmed and let’s HOPE they get overwhelmed! What a wonderful answer to prayer it would be for them to have the overwhelming public opinion be for the wisdom of GRACE!

  4. Doug and Deborah Walsh says:

    I (we) have requested that ABWE seek the services of G.R.A.C.E. I want to make clear that I am speaking for myself and not on behalf of my parents and siblings, some of whom are currently serving with ABWE. We encourage others to do the same as it seems to be the best and, perhaps, only way to get the answers and accountability being sought.

  5. sad, but hopeful says:

    Just wrote them!

    Do what is right. God’s holy name has been abused and disgraced by those who have been sent to represent Him. Choose G.R.A.C.E. to show that you are going in the right direction and are willing to be open to a totally independent investigation, regardless of the outcome. Put these precious women ahead of your ambitions and your fears. Choose on this day whom you will serve.

  6. Steve Tower says:

    Dear Commission or Board Members,
    My family and I served as ABWE short term missionaries to Bangladesh twice, a year each time in 1988-89 and 1997-98. Both times we were assigned to the MCH station. I served as an MK teacher and my wife did a variety of things including working in the hospital as a nurse during 1997-98. We were never made aware of the situation that came to light several weeks after we returned to the US in 1989 though we pieced together most of it over time. Truth, reputations, and many, many lives have been damaged through this situation and the way it was handled. We have dear friends from Bangladesh who continue to suffer as they watch their daughter who was a victim continue to make poor choices in both her relationship with God and with people. All are direct results of what occurred in Bangladesh. Please, please, I implore you to engage G.R.A.C.E. to thoroughly investigate not only this situation and field, but to pursue the investigation wherever it leads throughout the ABWE world. Lack of candor and responsiveness has played a large role in arriving where we are today. Only by shining the light of truth can we hope to have the healing and blessing of God that we so desperately need. Trust has been shattered. Those victims and families who have been hurt most deeply trust this organization who has proven themselves in similar situations with other faith-based organizations like ABWE. While there are many other reasons to engage G.R.A.C.E. for this task, that is the over riding reason to place this in their capable hands. Many wrongs have been done and these families have been marginalized over and over. Please do what is right now. I pray for each of you, for ABWE and its leaders, and for the many families who have been devastated by all that has or has not occurred over the past 22+ years.

  7. Kim Spink says:

    I just sent our recommendation of GRACE to the board. Still praying!

  8. Mark Goddard says:

    Dear ABWE Board Members:

    I am writing to you as a member of the Bangladesh Missionary Family
    (My parents – Robert and Janice Goddard served as ABWE missionaries in
    Bangladesh from 1983-1990) and as a friend and MK brother of many of
    those directly affected by the abuse perpetrated by Donn Ketcham. The
    apology released by ABWE last week was a first step in the right
    direction, but true healing and reconciliation requires that the full
    truth of the situation be revealed. The agreement to appoint an
    independent investigator is another positive step. It is imperative
    that this investigation be thorough, complete, and credible to all
    those affected.

    I urge the board to follow the advice of those most directly affected
    and appoint GRACE as the independent investigator. That organization
    has demonstrated its ability to conduct thorough and professional
    investigations in similar cases and the ability to gain the trust of
    the victims of abuse the learn the true facts of the case.

    In you confession you state:
    “Dear ABWE MKs, we long to be reconciled to you. We want to do what we
    can to move forward together toward healing and growth. To this end we
    will pray and labor.”

    If this statement is sincere, it is imperative that ABWE as an
    organization and the individuals involved in this situation make a
    full and complete confession of their sins and demonstrate repentance
    through a change in behavior. The clearest demonstration of this
    change in behavior would be to implement a policy of openness and
    humility in place of that of secrecy and pride. ABWE must cease
    treating the victims of the abuse as “estranged” and must realize that
    it as an organization and many individuals within it are guilty of
    grave sins against them. Those responsible for both the grievous
    mismanagement of the 1989 situation and the failure to properly
    respond to the many reports to the mission in 2002 and since must take
    full responsibility for their actions and take sincere steps to
    demonstrate a change of direction. The appointment of a truly
    independent, professional and competent investigator with a track
    record of thorough and honest investigations is the best way to show
    this. The letters sent out recently to churches and missionaries seek
    to downplay the wrongdoing of the mission and its administrators and
    have cast doubt on the sincerity of the confession. Failure to
    implement a true change of attitude and policy will cast further doubt
    on the sincerity of the confession and its promises to work toward
    healing and will echo the improper responses of the mission and its
    administrators in 1989 and 2002.

    I pray that the board will carefully and prayerfully consider this
    input when making the decision about the third party investigator and
    will appoint GRACE to conduct the investigation.

    Mark Goddard

    • isaiah618 says:

      Thanks, Mark. I am proud to be your MK sister and really appreciate these words in your letter to the board:

      “ABWE must cease treating the victims of the abuse as ‘estranged’ and must realize that it as an organization and many individuals within it are guilty of grave sins against them. Those responsible for both the grievous mismanagement of the 1989 situation and the failure to properly respond to the many reports to the mission in 2002 and since must take full responsibility for their actions and take sincere steps to demonstrate a change of direction.”

      So eloquently put. (You always did get better grades than me.)

      — Tamara

  9. Ed and Dona Martin says:

    From Ed and Dona Martin to ABWE,

    Our family served in Malumghat as Short-Term Missionaries mid-July through mid-August 1989. The day after we arrived, Russ Ebersole and Russ Lloyd called the meeting for to inform Malumghat missionaries of Donn’s specific, the girl he had abused and to announce his immediate dismissal from ABWE. The meeting was exactly what you have read – including the fact that all the missionaries were instructed to never talk about Donn’s sin, even among themselves or in their families, because ABWE was handling the necessary discipline. We were all told that talking about Donn and his sin would be gossip – sin on our part. We followed these instructions because we were trusting ABWE to tell Donn’s pastor and Michigan authorities the full truth.

    What was not told in the meeting was the truth that Donn Ketcham had actually disqualified himself from missionary service several times in the past by sexual sins with adults, yet ABWE had not dismissed him from all ABWE service when they should have done so as long ago as 1975.

    We kept our silence until the Blog started. At that time we immediately called our pastor and then called Mike Eleveld, our former pastor. That is when we learned that ABWE had hidden the truth from Mike, who was Donn’s own pastor in 1989. They told him that Donn’s sin was “sexual impropriety,” not pedofilia. After 22 years, Mike still did not know the truth until Ed’s call to him.

    We also didn’t know prior to the Blog that Donn had sexually abused other children, which it appears that ABWE also didn’t know.

    ABWE has lost our trust. We are thankful you are submitting to a third party investigation. There is no other way ABWE even has a chance of become trustworthy.

    Unless you are able document reasons G.R.A.C.E. cannot be entrusted with this assignment, we ask that you select G.R.A.C.E. The victims and their families have requested them and we’ve not read anything which disqualifies G.R.A.C.E. Because of other allegations against ABWE, we request a thorough investigation of all areas of ABWE as well as the national pastors in Bangladesh after completing the investigations relating to Donn Ketcham.

    Respectfully – Ed and Dona Martin

  10. jeny Martin says:

    I have just sent another request for G.R.A.C.E.

  11. Rick Archibald says:

    (Just emailed to board@abwe.org)
    Dear ABWE board members,

    I’m a Bangladesh MK that grew up with quite a few of the ladies mentioned in the blog, so I consider it part of my responsibility to speak up on their behalf. I didn’t know the ordeal that 14-year old girl had to go through, and I feel terrible when I read some of the details of what she had to endure at ABWE’s hands. I had no idea that Donn’s pedophilia extended to so many other MK girls, and I’m disappointed that he hasn’t given closure to some of the girls by admitting what he had done. The ABWE confession that was posted on March 30 was such an encouragement to read, and I was relieved that you consider it only the first step in the right direction. Thank you to Dr. Loftis for requesting a 3rd party investigation on March 29.

    An observation has stuck with me since 1990:
    Although I left Bangladesh in 1986, I returned with a MAP team in 1990 and noticed a very stark change in some of the xxxx girls. Anne had always been a highly energetic, bubbly person, but all that had changed very dramatically. She was so very subdued and cried a lot. Diana was also noticeably affected, although she managed to hide her emotions more.

    I thought the sin had been addressed and reconciliation was still being worked through way back in 1989. I was surprised to hear of the 2002 MK meeting and was grateful that Dr. Loftis had initiated the conversation. Again, I thought the sin was being addressed and that reconciliation was being worked through. However, it’s obviously not the case from what I hear from some of the victims and their families. I expect they won’t have a full sense of justice this side of eternity, but some have certainly have felt betrayed by ABWE. The confrontation or lack thereof is highly charged with emotions pent up over many years, so it’s not surprising to hear some very negative (and occasionally unfair) criticisms and characterizations from my fellow MKs. I expect an investigation by G.R.A.C.E. will go a long ways towards reconciliation.

    Thank you for setting up a commission to appoint a 3rd party investigation into the matter. I strongly recommend that you select G.R.A.C.E. as the investigators or persuade the victims and their families why another organization would be a better choice. The 3rd party investigation will shed some much-needed light on the matter. I’m sure there have been many at ABWE that have spent many difficult hours trying to figure out what’s best for these victims and the kingdom of God. My human nature tells me it will be difficult to reconcile both, but my new nature tells me that it’s one and the same – what’s best for these victims is what’s best for the kingdom of God. Place them first and God will be honored.

    There have been so many victims throughout Donn’s past, and the victims may very well come to terms with the crimes against them in their own unique way and time. Helping the victims and their families deal with the past is certainly going to be very difficult – it sounds like some of them want a public condemnation of Donn and pursue reporting his criminal activity to the authorities and others want to hear a confession from Donn about what he did to them. To others who haven’t been named publicly, it may be enough to know that we’ve spoken out on their behalf and condemned Donn’s actions and lack of complete confession (not even addressing repentance). Thank you for the counseling that you have already provided and that you continue to offer.

    All I can say is that I hear my sisters calling out for justice and fair treatment by ABWE, and I stand with them. I pray that their reconciliation with ABWE comes quickly after the injustice of the crimes committed against them has been appropriately addressed. I regret the public nature of the blog and am sorry for the hurtful way in which a few things have been said, but I can understand how some of my fellow MK’s are lashing out after being hushed for so long (especially when it involves so many dear loved ones). If I ever had such wickedness done to me, I’d appreciate having them advocate on my behalf. Please select G.R.A.C.E. to investigate as soon as possible.


    Rick Archibald

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