ABWE Hires G.R.A.C.E.

Please see the following announcement from ABWE. You can read it here or below:

On May 19, 2011, the ABWE Board released the following statement to the ABWE family regarding its agreement with G.R.A.C.E.

Dear ABWE Family,

I am writing to thank you for your prayers over these last weeks as we worked with G.R.A.C.E. to complete an agreement to do a third-party investigation of the Bangladesh MK abuse and ABWE’s response. I am pleased to inform you that the ABWE Ministries Board has now confirmed that agreement with G.R.A.C.E.

The next question on everyone’s mind is, “How long will it take?”

We simply do not know. G.R.A.C.E. is doing this investigation independently of ABWE. Investigations of this type in similar organizations have taken 12 to 18 months, but G.R.A.C.E. has been very clear that they cannot know the duration of this investigation, since it will depend on what is found as the investigation proceeds.

This is a time for patience, complete transparency, and trust that truth will be known and God will be honored in our responses. Please continue to pray for the G.R.A.C.E. team, for our MKs, for the mission, and for God’s clear direction in all that takes place.

In Christ,
Ron Berrus
Chair, ABWE Ministries Board

We are very grateful the investigation can now begin. Thanks for hanging in there with us through these tough 37 days.

— Moderating Team

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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. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to ABWE Hires G.R.A.C.E.

  1. Diana Durrill says:

    I would personally like to thank Pastor Ron Berrus and Mr. Darrell Beddoe, who both serve on the ABWE Board, for working tirelessly on this over the past several months. I would like to thank them for listening to us, hearing our hearts (both on the blog, in emails, and by phone), and for believing us as we have cried out for help! I would like to thank them for pursuing truth and for finalizing the agreement with G.R.A.C.E. so an investigation could begin. I would like to thank Ron Berrus for respecting us enough to notify us by phone or email before it went public – that communicates a warmth and care for us as people with real pain, real feelings, and real personalities. Pastor Berrus – you have no idea how much that means to us that you would take the time to provide a personal word in this time of “impersonal” communication.

    I would also like to thank the ABWE Board for coming alongside these two men I’ve named and for doing the same. I know there are more of you than just those two men who have pursued truth on our behalf, I just haven’t had the privilege of knowing so firsthand. So, THANK YOU anyway for I know there are many.

    Diana Durrill

    • Sharon Miller Chambers says:

      AMEN!!!

    • Diana Durrill says:

      I just want to clarify that I know there were others who worked alongside Ron Berrus and Darrell Beddoe to see G.R.A.C.E. brought into this process, I just don’t know specifically who. Maybe it was all of the other Board members, maybe it was most, or maybe it was some. I just know that these two communicated one way or another with the MKs to show that they care. I did not mean in any way to minimize the others’ part. I THANK ALL OF THEM from the bottom of my heart.

      And I want to thank all the pastors who wrote, called, blogged, etc. in order to encourage ABWE to take this step toward transparency and truth. I don’t know who you all are, but I do know who some of you are. Thank you to all those who posted on the blog – anonymously or by name – and to those who chose not to post for one reason or another but did indeed communicate with ABWE. Thank you, thank you!

      I also want to thank the missionaries around the world, again – those who posted and didn’t post, for their prayers, words of encouragement, and support during this time. I personally appreciate what you are doing on your field and have prayed for you as you, too, have been blindsided by all of this. I hope we can all commit to continuing in prayer through the coming days, weeks, months of this investigation.

      And finally – to all of you bloggers – whoever you are and even if you aren’t a fan of mine (I say with humor and kind-hearted teasing), thank you for your input. Without each of you, this would’ve taken MUCH longer to accomplish. But your input has added a lot – from both support for and protests against our words, you have helped us see something transpire that has been 22 + years in the works. Thank you for showing up day after day to pray, support, encourage, correct, and rebuke along the way.

      I hope I haven’t left anyone out….I am oh-so-thankful for many tonight! ABWE (as a whole) – I am praying for you! I am praying for the moderating team. I am praying for the MKs. I am praying for G.R.A.C.E. A new kind of work begins today but I believe it is the kind of work that will bring healing with each new day. God has healed so much in my heart already.

      This journey is going to take a while…and many of us will no doubt find ourselves frustrated with a lack of information. I hope we can all commit to words of prayer and support now for all of the above parties. God will give all of us grace. (no pun intended)

      – Diana

  2. Rebecca says:

    Glory to God. I’m still going to wait and watch with ya’ll, if that’s OK. (Probably pray a bit too)

    • Eunice Worden says:

      Thank you to the two board members in their steadfast determination to begin the investigation with GRACE. Truly you have had a trying time as well as those who have been victimized in these many long years. Your courtesy extended to the hurting families by notifying them personally before the announcement was made public is speaks well of you. Now the test comes to everyone to be patient and allow a normal investigation to take place. God will, in His time, make all things right. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  3. Dave DeCook says:

    Praise the Lord! Finally we can stop and rest a while.

    Thanks to everyone who hung in there waiting and watching and praying. Thank God, too, for whoever our heroes were on the inside, battling for truth for 37 days!

    Dave DeCook
    Grateful MK

  4. Debbie Stevenson says:

    Ya-hoo!!

  5. isaiah 61:8 says:

    May each woman feel a measure of healing even tonight, Lord.

    Thank you for bringing us to this day.
    Please guide GRACE in the days ahead.

    Susannah Goddard Weldy

  6. Praise God! Thank you ABWE for finalizing this agreement. May God be honored as we move forward in the days ahead.

  7. Amen and amen! Praise the Lord! We’ll be praying for GRACE as they conduct the investigation. “Good news from a distant land is like cold water to a parched throat” (Prov 25:25, HCSB). Thank you to all of you courageous ladies and to all of your supporters! Diana’s thanks to Ron Berrus and Darrell Beddoe resonates in my heart as well. There are others both on the board and in the administration who have likewise labored hard for this outcome. We are thankful for them all.

  8. Tamara Barrick Rice says:

    I am also very, very grateful for this good result. I know the investigation will be a long journey, but this is a huge milestone and I know that it was fought hard for by a lot of people. I hope they continue to have a voice as more is revealed and continue to be instruments of change and reform.

    I’m really grateful that Susannah Beals Baker and the 14 year old victim had the courage to start this blog and get things moving. It was a bold step for them to take, and the hard work, emotional roller coaster, and vulnerability we all had to share once we joined her has paid off today. Thank you, God!

  9. Still in your corner... says:

    Why it took 37 days to reach this agreement I don’t know, but I’m glad that there finally is an agreement, even though it took years upon countless years finally to get to this point. There’s still going to be a good chunk of time ahead for the investigation to take place, and it’s going to be hard waiting in these months to come while G.R.A.C.E. conducts their investigation, but a mess this big, and this long in the making, isn’t going to be dealt with properly in short order.

    So, my prayer at the moment is for patience for all involved, while waiting for the people at G.R.A.C.E. to do their job. I know I’ll be praying toward a thorough investigation and for ABWE subsequently to follow the recommendations made by G.R.A.C.E. It may be hard to remain patient during the waiting process and not to begin to be critical. So, I’m also going to be praying for everyone to have an extra measure of God’s grace to be able to wait in the meanwhile.

    Although on one level I do wish the agreement with G.R.A.C.E. was more broad to include investigations of potential abuse on any ABWE mission field, I believe this investigation into the abuse on the BD field is at least a good place to start. If G.R.A.C.E. was charged with a more broad investigation it could slow down the process with this one very critical investigation. And who knows – perhaps other abuse situations will be revealed as a result of this investigation anyway, even if that’s not the main focus of the present investigation by G.R.A.C.E.

    Some who have written on this blog and who are praying for you BD victims didn’t happen to be victims of DK’s abuse on the BD field, but have suffered a very similar horror in our own lives – it just took place somewhere else in the world and the perpetrator(s) were someone else than DK. For many victims that I know of (self included), there may have been dozens of people who could have and should have done something to prevent or stop that abuse, but didn’t. It seems that few sexual abuse victims in this world ever truly have justice result against the perpetrator(s) of the crimes committed against them. But, I earnestly hope and pray that your cases will end differently – that the victims of the BD field (and by this I mean not only the actual victims themselves, but their families, too) finally will experience a full measure of justice for what happened to you.

    Although I wasn’t one of the BD victims, I honestly can say that it’d be very pleasing to me personally to see DK finally is brought to justice and also to see ABWE do 100% right by the victims – and I also believe that justice for the BD victims is to some degree a victory, in kind, for other victims, too.

    So, in closing, I want you to know that just as I have done for the past several months since first learning of this situation, I’ll continue to be praying that you victims of these heinous crimes in BD ultimately find the justice you seek and deserve. Yes, it’s still gonna be a bit of a long road ahead, but hopefully the road finally will lead to a good end.

  10. Pam Green says:

    To God Be The Glory. So thankful to day, my heart wants to explode. What a journey for some very special ladies, some I know and some I don’t. You have continued to show grace, courage, and patience under pressure. Truly an example of true Godly character. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this journey with you, to have shared in your grief, your shock and horror at times, but most of all to have prayed with you. Now we rejoice in this wonderful step towards more healing. There will be many more moments of testing but we will continue in prayer and support along the way. God is faithful and we rejoice with all. Prayers for G.R.A.C.E. and ABWE as well as all of those involved. Sleep well.

  11. Pam Green says:

    One more thing. I meant to put it in the first post but was so excited I forgot, please forgive. Thank you to all of the board members who fought tirelessly with these MK’s for their voices to be heard. Also a special thank you for the courtesy of calling them before it was public to all of the rest of us. That does a lot to assist in the much needed healing, and I am sure God will honor it. May God continue to be blessed as the truth is made known.

  12. Sharon Waala Ronan says:

    I hope the investigation does not focus on one situation or person, but on the whole picture as there were many other kinds of sexual abuse other than the ones mentioned so far.

  13. My2Cents says:

    Mr. Berrus,

    Thank you for identifying yourself and your role on the Board. Thank you for taking leadership and communicating directly with us. Thank you and the Board for making a very wise decision regarding G.R.A.C.E. Thank you for reading each and every post on this blog. Thank you for having the courage to go head to head with those inside of ABWE who have attempted to block this progress. Thank you for using the words “complete transparency” in your letter. Thank you for your warm and personal touch. Thank you for understanding that many of the true owners of this team (the constituency) believe it is time for a new quarterback and perhaps frontline. Thank you for understanding that you and the Board must now begin to rebuild trust. Thank you for understanding that open and consistent communication will help us get to know and trust you. Thank you for understanding that we care about ABWE and are looking to you and the Board to lead with compassion and humility. Thank you for giving us a renewed sense of hope.

  14. Peter Waud says:

    Amen.

  15. Dave Beddoe says:

    Thank-you ABWE Board and we pray for wisdom and honesty for all involved.

  16. Jill Billington says:

    Thank you to…
    …all the courageous women who did not give up (I greatly admire your bravery)
    …all those who supported this blog with godly, loving and gracious, healing words (my faith was renewed each time I read a grace-filled comment)
    …ABWE board for agreeing to bring the dark deeds out in the open and being willing to move forward with G.R.A.C.E.
    …God for His unfailing love!

  17. jeny Martin says:

    Thank you Jesus, we praise your Holy Name! Such good news to hear today. Thank you beautiful women for I too admire your courage and grace and have learned so much from you these past few months. Thank you to everyone who posted showing your support and love to these women and their families. You have encouraged me more than you will ever know this side of eternity. I look forward to meeting you someday. Thank you to the ABWE board and to those mentioned specifically for caring and for working with G.R.A.C.E.
    And finally, I want to thank the people at G.R.A.C.E. for your group; for helping those who need it so desperately and doing so in such a Godly way.
    I promise to continue to partner with everyone in prayer as the next leg of the journey begins and throughout. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

  18. Chip and Deanna Finck says:

    We are grateful that the investigation has begun. Has the agreement between GRACE and ABWE been published for us to read? We would like to know what ABWE has agreed to allow GRACE to investigate. From what I’ve read so far (from the above comments) it seems like only abuse by Donn Ketchum is being investigated. Is this true? I don’t understand why the claims made by Phil Walsh wouldn’t be addressed as well. They are very serious claims that do not settle well with us. If ABWE is allowing a Pastor to continue pastoring a church that is a church plant who has been accused of molesting 3 girls we would like to know more about that situation as well and what has been done by ABWE leaders as far as investigating those accusations. We know that this blog was started to share and expose DK but these claims were posted on here and that’s how we were made aware of them.

    We have been and will continue to pray for everyone for for the truth to come out through this investigation. Thank you for keeping us informed about all of this.

    • isaiah 61:8 says:

      In Reply to Chip and Deanna Finck,
      As far as I know the agreement between GRACE and ABWE has not been publicly published. In light of that I do not know what all GRACE will investigate. If I find out more information I will post it on the blog. Thank you so much for your prayers for all involved in the investigation.
      Susannah(Beals)Baker

      • Chip and Deanna Finck says:

        Thank you so much for getting back to us. We’ve emailed GRACE and will email the ABWE board as well to see if we can get some answers about the agreement for the investigation. If we find anything out we will send it your way.

    • Phil Walsh says:

      Chip and Deanna,

      Thanks much for inquiring about the claims I have made on several occasions on this blog, things which I have been saying for nearly 10 years. The silence continues to be deafening. Why is it that you are virtually the only ones asking this question? Of all the pastors and representatives of missions who have ventured to this site, why is it that nobody (with few exceptions) wants to know more? This speaks volumes to me about the state of not only mission agencies, but also the churches that support those agencies. The simple answer is that the truth is inconvenient. It gets in the way of fund raising, building of hospitals, and the writing of neat newsletters. There are other reasons it is easier to ignore what I know, reasons that pertain to this particular field of ABWE’s. But that will be addressed in another forum.

      As far as I am aware, GRACE will investigate only Donn Ketcham abuses and the way they were handled by ABWE. It will not investigate anything I’ve reported. I have reason to believe that the board is aware of things I’ve said, but I have no concrete evidence that anything is being done about them at this time. I continue to wait and pray. I do believe, however, that the time is coming when they will be forced to address these matters. Unless they do, I’m afraid that they will forfeit their legitimacy in the eyes of hundreds of nationals.

  19. Chip and Deanna Finck says:

    We’ve contacted both ABWE and Grace with our questions. We have only heard back from ABWE. We were told that the GRACE agreement is not a public document and that GRACE will be investigating all the claims as well as looking into any other possible abuse by DK since he has returned to the States. As far as the claims made by you (Phil) we were told by Ron Berrus that ABWE is hiring a different group to investigate. One who has better knowledge of culture and the people. We were not told who that would be or if some group was already picked. It sounded like it was in progress. We don’t understand why that information wasn’t shared along with the info. regarding GRACE’s investigation. We would think that ABWE would want to show everyone that they are doing everything possible to investigate ALL accusations – not just the ones they’ve been forced to investigate. We continue to pray for everyone and will wait to see what happens with both investigations.

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