Innocent Children and the Powerful People Who’ve Let Them Down

MK friend, Dave DeCook submitted this comment today and we thought it significant enough to be submitted as a stand-alone post.  With his permission, we have posted it here for your thoughtful consideration:

Just over a week ago, on Monday, July 23, I was stunned as once again, the world showed ABWE how these things ought to be handled. I was checking the news on the internet and was stopped dead in my tracks by the statement made by Ed Ray, NCAA Executive Committee Chair, as he stood before the cameras. I played the video over and over so as to transcribe the significant parts right off his lips to see them and to weigh them as copied here:

“The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintain at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football, but the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down….
We not only have the authority, we also have the responsibility to say that such egregious behavior is not only against our bi-laws and constitution, but also against our value system and basic human decency….
The corrective and punitive measures should serve as a stark wake-up call to everyone involved in college sports that our first responsibility as outlined in our constitution is to adhere to our fundamental values of respect, fairness, civility, honesty and responsibility.”

I find it impossible as an ABWE MK not to compare the Penn State football child molestation scandal to the Donn Ketcham-ABWE child molestation scandal. In fact it is almost eerie how easy it is to substitute the names Wendell Kempton, Donn Ketcham and ABWE for Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky and Penn State University.


Does anybody now doubt that the NCAA is serous about protecting children, about its constitution, its duties, its standards, its honor?? Millions of dollars in fines, punishing restrictions on the program, fourteen years of the (deceased) winningest coach’s records wiped off the books, statues removed–these are actions that speak. But from ABWE we hear nothing. Just words. (Sorry, but moving Don Davis, Esq., to a different department was equal to a little bit of nothing.)

Yes, we have rotated a different guy to the top of the heap at ABWE. Yes, we have heard some hopeful sounding words. But words have gotten extremely cheap.

Will the old-boy network hang tough at ABWE? Will key leaders continue to hide behind lawyers? (God bless the ABWE leaders who bravely go to GRACE to tell the whole truth!) Will the ABWE board continue to pretend they have no power or responsibility to punish, when they clearly had the power to elevate, to honor and reward? Will the ABWE family continue to live in its own bubble and turn the ministry into a joke as Penn State and the NCAA prove their top priority is holiness and ABWE proves its top priority is the reputation of “great men”? I guess time will tell.

I am,
Still Here


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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2 Responses to Innocent Children and the Powerful People Who’ve Let Them Down

  1. Wes Patterson says:

    The common traits of mission organizations (administration) is that they endeavor to keep the status quo. What is the status quo? Some of us think of it as preserving the financial pipeline. Others think of it as preserving the Lord’s testimony. Either way, it amounts to the same thing… keeping the status quo.

    When keeping the status quo becomes more important than preserving the integrity of individuals, whether it be children or even grown adults, compromise and corruption sets in. This article was very poignant and to the fact. I too have seen ABWE (and Baptist Mid-Missions) throughout this Penn State scandal and cover up. Too many correlations to too many levels.

    While I’m grateful there was no child abuse in Bangladesh by BMM missionaries, nonetheless there was sin and cover up by BMM administration officials. BMM will never admit to it. They have made that abundantly clear this past year. They have blacklisted me and my parents, calling us all liars. One has to wonder why anyone would think we had anything to gain by making such accusations at this point in time?

    Fortunately, my parents were in Bangladesh serving the Lord Jesus Christ (not BMM administration), so the record is straight (and known) by the One that matters. That said, it is disheartening and tragic when so-called spiritual leaders compromise integrity and honesty in order to preserve the almighty status quo. The sterling reputation of Penn State became too much to preserve. And yet, they were willing to cover up sin and crime in an attempt to do so. Too much was at stake. Too many “good things” stood to fall. Too many “good people” would be hurt.


    The status quo… May God have mercy on His people.

    Wes Patterson
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Former BMM MK in Bangladesh (who lived at Malumghat for a year with the Walshes and Archibalds)

    P.S. God has richly blessed my family and me, and we happily serve Him here in NC. There is no greater calling than to serve Lord Jesus Christ. Praise His holy name! (Jeremiah 29:11)

  2. Dona Martin says:

    Thank you to Dave for your honest and true message to all of us! I’m sure your words spoke the thoughts of hundreds of us who have not put them down on paper.

    Gratefully and thankfully,
    Dona Martin and Ed Martin

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