Help Us Provide Accountability for ABWE’s Historical Investigation

Between the months of January and July, 2o11, ABWE states on their website that independent investigators from the firm Simms Showers LLP

“conducted an extensive review of ABWE records and found other incidents of potential child abuse involving ABWE missionaries or MKs dating back to 1956.  From that point, the independent investigators conducted numerous investigations on those historical cases. All of these thorough investigations have now been concluded, resolved, and closed.

On July 11, 2012, the investigators submitted their final reports to the Board of ABWE International, summarizing their findings and recommendations.”

ABWE has decided it best to not share the report, even though they claim that they confirmed child abuse in multiple cases.  In keeping their findings confidential, they are once again choosing to protect the perpetrators and their own reputation over the protection of innocent children.  Any and all child abusers should be identified as such in order to protect others.

In an attempt to verify that ABWE and their friends at Simms Showers LLP have indeed performed a thorough investigation and reported their findings to all appropriate persons which includes local authorities (in record time, we might add), we have put together a short survey.  Please take a moment to answer 10 questions regarding the Simms Showers Historical Investigation.  Then pass it along via email and post it on your Facebook pages so that each and every man, woman or child who has ties to ABWE has an opportunity to participate in this survey.  (Missionaries – both current & former, missionary kids, pastors, churches, mission committees, colleges & universities, etc.)

Thank you, THANK YOU for standing by us so faithfully through the past months.   We ask for you to rally around us once again as we seek for truth to be known.

Take the survey now:


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. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Help Us Provide Accountability for ABWE’s Historical Investigation

  1. Banglagirl says:

    Why would they share the findings with the public? Wouldn’t that be an invasion of privacy for the victims and their families? Just curious.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      To be clear: Bangladesh MKs Speak is NOT asking ABWE or Simms Showers to identify victims of abuse. We respect their privacy.

      We believe it is not only possible, but morally and legally responsible for ABWE report the findings while still respecting the privacy of the victims and their families. You can see a G.R.A.C.E. report on the investigation into child abuse at the New Tribes Fanda Missionary School where victims remain nameless while details are still shared regarding the abuse and the identified perpetrators. If you take a look at the Grand Jury Report for Penn State you will see that they successfully did the same.

      In light of ABWE’s history regarding a severe lack of accountability in these matters (they let a confessed pedophile have access to children for 20 years after his own admittance of criminal behavior), ABWE should be held over-the-top accountable for the findings in this historical investigation.

      Who were the perpetrators?
      Who is responsible for mishandling the situation when it was first discovered?
      Who was reported to?
      Who was disciplined?

      What was the abuse that took place?
      What was done (or not done) about it when it was first discovered?
      What has been done about it now?
      What exactly are the disciplinary measures you have taken against both the perpetrator and those who mishandled it in the first place?

      Where did this abuse take place?
      Where did it get reported?
      – local law enforcement?
      – current place of worship?
      – former place of worship?
      – current place of ministry? etc.
      Where is the perpetrator today?
      Where is he/she worshiping today?
      Where is he/she prohibited from having access to children?

      When did this happen?
      When was it mishandled?
      When did you finally make it right?
      When did you notify ALL the proper authorities?

      This list of questions is not exhaustive. You see, ABWE believes that they have a minor “personnel” issue on their hands. They think that they need to handle it in-house and they need to keep all the information on the down low. This communicates to us that those who are involved in this story are BIG ABWE names. Hot shots. Kinda like Dr. Donn Ketcham, son of Robert T. Ketcham.

      This is how they wound up here in the first place. In 1989, Wendall Kempton and Russ Ebersole, among others, let a KNOWN and self-confessed PEDOPHILE loose on the streets of Michigan. He set up practice and has had access to women and children for the past two decades before only recently (2012) surrendering his medical license (as a result of MKs making multiple reports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, local law enforcement and the FBI in the state of Michigan). Don’t think that ABWE was concerned about protecting the image and reputation of their beloved jungle doctor? Think again as you read through this.

      If they are satisfied with their “handling” of these 8+ additional, confirmed cases of child abuse they are making a HUGE mistake. AGAIN. (“Those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill) They have learned nothing. They have a moral and legal obligation to notify any and every person who worked with the perpetrators over the years. Current and former churches should be put on notice. And last but not least by any means, the local authorities should be notified.

  2. ABWE can say all they want everything is A OK but in some people’s eyes that is just not true. No of course they should not name the victims but why can’t they name those who covered it up? Why can’t they tell what disciplinary action was taken against these people? Why aren’t those people who did the cover up repenting and asking for forgiveness? This is a monster and all the policies ABWE puts in place now does not negate what they have allowed in the past and how they are now handling those past sins in the camp. This sounds like the NTM scandal. GRACE was hired and did a thorough job and then let go and then they hired IHART to finish the job. I know for a fact one abuse victim was interviewed by Simms Showers LLP and she did not even know her case was closed until I told her. Full stop.

  3. Tamara Rice says:

    Agreed. There is no reason to share victim’s names. Transparency is still possible without naming any of the victims. Any number of things could work in this scenario, but personally I believe strongly that ABWE missionaries and MKs past and present should be told who the alleged perpetrators are as well as the names of those who covered for them and how they have been “dealt with” specifically. This is absolutely as vital as telling church pastors, which ABWE claims they did, but offers no proof or true third party confirmation. Surely more proof can be offered than just “we took care of it.” How is that any different than what they asked missionaries to believe regarding Donn Ketcham in 1989? Surely no one is naive enough to think that ABWE can be trusted. Clearly, they cannot, and must find a way to have transparency in this matter.

    Another suggestion: Turn a full report (minus victim names) to the GARBC and a few other of the main Baptist denominations. Let them double check that all parties who should be notified have been notified. I challenge ABWE to do this.

    • isaiah 618 says:


      My only concern with your challenge to ABWE is they would choose “one of their own” within the GARBC and other organizations. We should be given the opportunity to select the person within the other organizations to review their report. Then I could have more confidence in their analysis. Otherwise, I would have no assurance that they aren’t still covering their backs.

      That is, unfortunately, the modus operandi of ABWE.


      • D.S. says:

        Why turn it over to others at all. Just make it public. Victims names protected, names of perpetrators, their offense and consequences revealed.

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