ABWE release 3

We have attached the following press release as a PDF that can be attached to an email or printed on a single sheet of paper.  This is what is being sent out to churches and missionaries around the world.  At this time it is the most up to date press release, but it may change as progress is being made with ABWE.  Please check to make sure you have the most recent version.  This is version 3.

Please note the intent of those circulating this document and bringing these matters out of darkness and into light is not to DESTROY ABWE, as we believe they have accomplished great things for God, but it is to RESTORE ABWE, as they have also done much harm and sin in the process, which must be uncovered and torn from the heart of the organization, if it is to beat fully in harmony with the Spirit of God.

If you want to spread the word, please use this press release!  If you have a local church that supports ABWE or ABWE missionaries, send it to them ASAP!  Get the word out!!


Press release concerning ABWE’s mishandling Abuse by Mission Doctor in Bangladesh

Does your church support a missions organization that protects a known pedophile? It just might…

Put yourself in her 14-year-old shoes. A 59-year-old physician and missionary, whom you trusted, emotionally manipulated you, then sexually abused you repeatedly. This man serves alongside your parents on the mission field in a remote jungle in Bangladesh. He controlled you, used you and abused you and has been doing so since you were 12. Once you finally found the courage to speak up, those you confided in, those from whom you sought help, isolated you and kept you away from your parents. Then, those two grown men –one a counselor and the other in a position of authority over you and your parents – forced you to sign a confession. You sought their help and now, humiliated and filled with shame, they force you to accept that pain as a sign of your guilt.

These are not the words of a 14-year-old-girl. These are the words of someone forced to bear the blame of her abuser’s sins.

Today, 22 years after the signing of that document, ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), continues to handle the situation inappropriately.

ABWE still refuses to fully acknowledge their role in allowing Dr. Donn Ketcham, former Bangladesh missionary and known pedophile, to return to work in Allendale, Michigan as a family physician. Since returning he has seen countless patients, all unaware of the danger they were placed in.

What’s worse is this 14-year-old-girl was not the only girl abused by Dr. Donn Ketcham. This blog was created by another one of Ketcham’s victims. Yet her own story is held in comparison with the story of the unnamed 14-year-old-girl.

While ABWE has publicly responded to the blog, they have yet to fully assume responsibility for their gross mishandling and subsequent cover up. They admit to decades of awareness and complacency, yet continue to hide behind closed doors and a wall of anonymity after confessing decades of sexual abuse suffered by young daughters of missionaries in Bangladesh.

As an ABWE supporting church, we urge you to contact ABWE and demand a deadline be given.  The MKs involved have not been given the names of those on the commission or a deadline for the commission’s decision, continuing ABWE’s history of secrecy. For all they know, the commission is made up of the same individuals who contributed to the cover up over the years.   Ask them to let the moderators of the blog choose who will be the MKs on this “commission.”  ABWE must be transparent in this matter!

Ask ABWE to hire GRACE. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) GRACE has been contacted by ABWE but has still not been retained. GRACE has offered multiple times to be this third party for ABWE, but as of yet ABWE has not taken them up on this offer.

The victims, their families, and fellow missionaries want more than a confession. The enormity of the situation calls for a more thorough investigation.

ABWE must be held accountable for the knowledge of sexual abuse dating as far back as 1975 and the secrecy and cover up that continues to this day. Many innocent girls have been victimized and ABWE has repeatedly turned a deaf ear to their cries for help.

Write: and address it to the ABWE Board of Directors.


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. Scott says:

    I have sent this to over 50 churches and almost that many missionaries! I hope to do more…

    • mkthirdparty says:

      It seems prudent to remove these press releases from the blog since they are no longer accerate. It is proper journalism etiquette to remove press releases that are outdated and inaccurate. In addition, it seems that these press releases no longer represent the activity of the restoration process.

      • isaiah618 says:

        MkThirdParty, it might seem prudent to you to remove them, but actually they are still accurate for the date they were written, and press releases are typically archived on websites in order of release and not removed.

        We’ll release a new and updated press release soon, perhaps as early as next week, but it needs to be seen as an update on information, not an erasing of past truth, as it existed at the date of the old press release.

        -The Moderating Team

      • Tamara Barrick Rice says:

        MkThirdParty, regarding your comment, I think it’s important to think carefully about the “re” word you used: Restoration.

        While we would all love to see ABWE’s integrity RESTORED by them exposing their practices and management of sexual sin and crimes to sunlight through the third party GRACE, I think a few things are good to note.

        1. RESTORATION of ABWE’s integrity is not our goal. It’s just something we HOPE happens on the way, but that isn’t up to us to restore their reputation. If it’s a byproduct of the exposing of TRUTH and ABWE’s RESPONSE (another “re” word), then that’s fantastic.

        2. RECONCILIATION, as Michael Loftis has mentioned so much in his letters, is also not the goal. Not between us and DK (for sure) and not between us and ABWE. We might achieve some measure of reconciliation between us and the individuals at headquarters at ABWE who have offended us as a byproduct along the way, depending on how they respond to truth. But, again, reconciliation is pretty short-sighted, when matters of justice and truth are still out there to be determined, in part by GRACE’s investigation which will take time.

        3. REPENTANCE. There is the “re” word we’re looking for. This blog and that press release which makes you uncomfortable have accomplished part of the repentance process, which is to get ABWE’ Board to confess that wrong was done. The problem is that there are still wrongs to confess to that are not listed on this blog, and the people responsible (individuals) have not confessed to those privately or publicly to those they offended. ABWE’s board made a huge, huge step of repentance in hiring GRACE and we’re really grateful, but it’s just a really great first step, it’s not the completion of the process.

  2. The Journalist and the Marketing Professional in Me says:

    As far as prudent action and proper journalism is concerned, press releases are usually created by PR firms and marketing firms or journalists and others who want to get the word out about something. Granted, the press release in question was written by people who cared about a something and are asking the public to join them in a quest for justice, and was not created by any firm or institution.

    But even if it had been, press releases are not typically destroyed when they are outdated. Rather, they are archived on the appropriate website and joined by a more recent, updated version at the proper time. This site has made ABWE’s confession and other updated information that is positive concerning ABWE readily available to its readers.

    I’m sure that new press release will be forthcoming, but don’t look for it to absolve ABWE of truth they’ve admitted to. People who are looking for such things really still don’t have a grasp on the enormity of ABWE’s neglect or oversights or flat out covering up–whatever you want to call it–and how that impacts churches, missionaries, MKs and individuals.

  3. Scott says:

    The press release is already in its third incarnation. The goal of the first three versions were to create awareness of this blog and ABWE’s role in the matter. While ABWE has agree to appoint GRACE, that still doesn’t change the fact there are still countless churches and missionaries who still are in the dark regarding this situation. That information still needs to be spread.

Comments are closed.