From the James Family, Former Missionaries to Bangladesh:
It is with sorrowful, broken hearts that our family shares tragic news with you today. On August 30, 2012 we were made aware that another missionary and our coworker from Bangladesh sexually abused our daughter/sister, Kim (also known as the 14 year old victim of Dr. Donn Ketcham). ABWE has been aware of this information since Russ Lloyd and Russ Ebersole interviewed her in 1989. They made note of her accusations in their files but never shared the information with us.
There are no words at this time to describe the pain and betrayal we feel at the hands of so many, nor is there any way we can communicate the overwhelming grief we feel for our MK friends, the Walsh children.
ABWE has disappointed and betrayed us in the severest of ways. Why Russ Ebersole, Russ Lloyd, and Wendall Kempton did not take her accusations seriously, in light of the accusations made by other children in 1980 and prior is beyond our understanding, but to not have shared these allegations with her parents in 1989 is unthinkable.
Diana Durrill, daughter of Ken & Sue James and older sister to Kim, has reached out and responded to ABWE repeatedly over the past year, trying to work with interim president Al Cockrell, at his request, to build a bridge of communication between the MKs and the current ABWE administration. She met personally and face-to-face with Al on two occasions. She was aware of the allegations by other women toward Jay Walsh and had even discussed the issue with Al. He never let on that her own sister was also a victim of abuse by the same hands. Ken and Sue James also met with Al Cockrell personally in February of this year, at which time the “historical investigation” was underway and the other victims had been, or were about to be, interviewed by Simms Showers. Al never shared with Ken & Sue that Kim had previously made allegations of abuse by Jay Walsh.
Diana has had more than one phone conversation with Ron Berrus, ABWE Board President, the most recent of which was yesterday morning. Ron indicated that he was unaware of Kim’s ’89 testimony of abuse by Jay Walsh that, if true, he agreed would change the outcome of their “historical investigation”. Immediately following that telephone conversation Diana received an email from one of the other victims with the following letter attached. After reading the letter and seeing Kim’s name in print, our family cannot interpret Ron Berrus’ verbal response as anything but insincere and deceitful after observing his signature on the hand-delivered letter of discipline addressed to Jay Walsh.
Our minds and hearts cannot comprehend why ABWE and these men would keep this information from us, beginning in ’89 and continuing to the present day. What we have learned in the past 18 months is that all of the sexual assault committed against our daughter/sister could have and should have been prevented had ABWE responded correctly to the allegations against both Dr. Donn Ketcham and Jay Walsh before we even began our first term.
Added to our own grief is the knowledge that another family has borne the burden of this knowledge for decades. The testimony of their daughters who were also assaulted by Jay Walsh breaks our hearts. We know and understand the trauma of not being believed and fully understand the pain involved in the process of trying to establish truth. Our love and prayers go out to this family and we trust the truth will bring some measure of healing.
Truly, there are no adequate words to describe our heartbreak. With tremendous sorrow for so many we share the following information with you.
The James Family