Changes & Prayers

We ask for your prayers as we consider ways to make continuing the blog possible. Over the last 18 months what began as a strong team has dwindled under the pressures of this difficult task.

We know it probably looks easy from your computer screen, and that many times you have probably seen how we answered a difficult comment and thought you could do a better job, and who knows, you probably could. But you aren’t doing it. It’s just us and we have withered to a tiny number. A lot of people appreciate what we are doing and say, “Keep up the good work!” But only one or two have ever offered to assist.

We are easy targets for critics. This is emotionally charged, and I challenge any who feel we have been defensive and angry to try moderating this baby for a while. Try the hate mail. We have failed at times and we will surely fail again, but it does not change our goals:

  • The protection of children.
  • Honesty and truth from ABWE in matters of child sexual abuse.
  • Exposure of ABWE missionaries who are believed to have sexually abused children. (Why? For the protection of children.)

We ask for your prayers. This is not easy. We ask for your grace. This is not easy. We ask for your patience. This is not easy.

Blog comments will now only be moderated in the evenings, Pacific Standard Time.

We apologize, but we are short-handed. We are trying to figure out a way to maintain the Facebook page, as we have loved the accessibility of it, but it is not possible to moderate comments there. And it is not possible for me to monitor it 24/7. So we are faced with tough decisions of how to handle it.

I ask again for your prayers and I ask again that you pray for the families: Walshes, James, C.J.’s family, Ketchams and all who have been involved. Pray for ABWE. Pray that churches would take this burden from us and make it theirs, because truly it is theirs as much as ours. Precious few of them have shown up for this fight and we watch the horizon and wait for glimpses of their armor at the crest of the hill.

Weary But Not Giving Up,

Tamara

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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.
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17 Responses to Changes & Prayers

  1. D Bos says:

    Praying for you and all the families involved. I don’t think anyone could argue with you about the fact that the content of the blog is emotionally charged. Emotions run deep and all the years of being forced to be silent have allowed them to build up to volcano proportions. There are bound to be times when one person or another gives way to the flood of emotions. I’m praying for all the things you mentioned and that God will give you and all those involved in this situation a special measure of forbearance and forgiveness. I’m praying He will give you the strength to work as a united front until the task is done.

    In reference to helping with the moderation and./or other tasks of maintaining the blog, it would be great if you had some help. Possibly more people would offer if they felt they were not tech-challenged. The average person, well, the average person over 40, is a little fearful about these things, not understanding what is entailed in moderating the site, etc. Some of your readers/supports are rejoicing in the fact they can post successfully. Maybe we need to pray that God will motivate those who are more up-to-date on technology to offer you some help.

  2. Holly says:

    Have you considered that you’re losing support because this has gone too far? That your goal has been lost? I’m assuming that the goal is reconciliation. Why would you lose help if this were still right? I’m reading this and it’s hate, and anger. There doesn’t seem to be the message of reconciliation, acceptance of repentance, or forgiveness. When will you be “finished”? I stand against child abuse and I think those involved should be questioned and made to answer. But will you keep going until everyone is hurt?

    Please let us know what act and what words would allow you to say, “you’re forgiven”, and end this whole blog.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Hi, Holly. I actually don’t think we’ve lost support. We’ve just lost people willing to work on the blog. The support is bigger than ever, actually. And the goals are clear: ABWE coming clean about child abuse and protecting children. We haven’t lost those.

      The goal has actually not been reconciliation, although we are hopefully it may one day come. The goal has been to get true repentance from ABWE so that other MKs will never experience what we’ve experienced. We believe it is very close. If we are able to have reconciliation after that it would be amazing and a huge blessing, but the true repentance and change must come first.

      The blog will end when all of ABWE’s coverings of child sexual abuse have been exposed, I imagine, and it is evident they have learned that secrecy in regard to abuse does not create safety for children. I can’t say for sure and it’s not only my decision to make. But I am sorry that you feel our goal has been lost. We don’t, but I respect that you see it differently.

      God bless,

      Tam

  3. Ed Martin says:

    Tamara,
    I just wanted to encourage you and say that we out here are still watching and praying. Many times as I have read your postings I marvel at the grace and maturity of your responses. I believe God has given you a special ability to tell the truth in love yet not let someone bully you into sugar coating that truth. Many times I thought of making a comment but decided that I could not add to what you said because you said it so well. However, I decided to comment today in spite of my same feeling.
    I am saddened as I watch Penn State aggressively hold those responsible for the child abuse and the administrators who knew about it accountable and yet see ABWE continuing to protect itself and those who are responsible. Much has been accomplished but I am waiting for ABWE to open up like Penn State did. I wonder how a Christian organisation can be so irresponsible and the World (Penn State) demonstrate such responsibility.
    Our family does not know you but we do know Ken and Sue and their wonderful daughters and pray for you all that God will restore what the evil of this world has taken away.

    Gods Blessing, Protection, Stamina and Peace to you,

    Ed Martin

  4. Laurie says:

    6: But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ Ezekiel 33:6 (NIV)

    I understand that the information of Donn Ketchum’s pedophilia and how the ABWE responded to it years ago, and in the years that followed has hurt people and has torn families and friends apart. I understand that the more recent revelations has made this all feel a bit like déjà vu, here it comes again, the disbelief, anger, harsh words, the accusations, betrayal and hurt.

    What I am the most puzzled by is the apathy of churches, their pastors, leaders and their members. I am puzzled that the continuing financial support stays steady. The silence from the pulpits is complicity, it is an unspoken statement that says in effect they will stand for and be duplicitous with the ABWE, that they will also engage in accepting child abuse as a price to be paid in order to go out into the world to tell the word of a loving God. They, by their inaction, say that they will support a board that cared/cares more for reputation than for innocent victims. They silently acknowledge that they understand how the board at ABWE could care more about the Vision (Our vision is to carry out world evangelism resulting in national church planting movements that launch mission movements to the glory of God) than the crimes that occurred against innocent children on their watch.

    Wait! Really?!! If God is in control, and we say that he is, and if we trust him to be true, and I do, then why should this be hushed or buried? Why should this (maybe I should say these) horrible, horrible act(s) of pedophilia and the subsequent investigation and cover-up and mishandling not be revealed? Surely God is strong enough to take this and cleanse those needing cleansing, renew those needing renewing and use this to his glory and honor. I was taught that words without actions are very clear signs of character, that saying one thing and doing another is, well, basically it is a lie, right? At the very least, it is dishonorable. How can that not be clear to people who hear about this? Why are “Christian” people not screaming out and crying out for truth and transformation from the ABWE?

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Thank you, Laurie. Yes, I agree. Churches must rise up. Silence from the pulpits is unacceptable. Churches supply ABWE with money. Churches can stop this madness.

      – TR

  5. Raz says:

    I certainly understand the weariness, the loneliness, and the limitations of your humanity. Understand it and empathize with you. Sending you my support from the NTM MK group, also fighting a similar battle and feeling a similar weariness.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Thank you. The NTM MK’s are an inspiration. Thanks for fighting your own battle and remaining dedicated to purifying mission boards from child sexual abuse and related misconduct or lack of ethics in handling. May future MKs not have these battles because we stayed the course.

      – TR

  6. just another friend of the girl who lost her innocence says:

    Have you thought about getting a lawyer, creating a letter and sending it to EVERY church that supports ABWE? If the matter will not be handled properly from within, apply pressure where it will hurt – their pocketbooks. Give the board a warning of sorts letter that states your plans and give them a real, tangible date to have the gears turning and changes made. This blog is a way to get the information out there, but honestly, it won’t reach all the needing eyes that will make a difference. Give the churches a chance to take a stand with you. ABWE is doing it’s best to take care of the matters discretely and without too much of a ripple effect. Shake them up. There is no reason whatsoever that the world should out-exemplify a Christian organization in this matter. Give the board an untimatum and maybe they’ll move out of the board room and make some real progress in correcting their wrongs. Just a thought 🙂

    • Extremely concerned says:

      Are there not other missionaries that ARE doing Gods work? Is EVERYONE at ABWE suddenly corrupt? You want all churches to stop funding? You are wishing to ruin lives. You are fighting Satan’s battle to stop the preaching of God’s Word. Just think about it…there has to be another way to give justice to those that were abused. I have family involved and I think the tearing down of an entire organization is devestating.

      • isaiah 618 says:

        Yes, absolutely. There are lots of wonderful missionaries, in fact a lot of wonderful ABWE missionaries. Absolutely, there are.

        Our problem is with the choices by ABWE leadership, and we think the ABWE missionaries should be concerned about the leadership too. Leadership that would discipline missionaries for child sexual abuse and never even tell the missionaries’ coworkers, so they can protect their children. Leadership that would ignore multiple accusations of child abuse against a man for decades. Make no mistake, many of the same leaders are in place now that were leading things in the ’80s and ’90s. This should be as disturbing to the good missionaries as it is to the good churches whose money makes all of it possible.

        We are not saying tear down ABWE. We are saying, speak in a way so that ABWE will hear and understand that churches will not tolerate evil. We are actually doing God’s work by exposing sin and bringing justice to the oppressed, and we aren’t suggesting anyone stop spreading the Gospel. Rather we ask that ABWE live out the gospel by full confession, repentance, changed lives, redemption and a clean slate in which the Holy Spirit can work.

        I am very sorry our goals have not been clearer for you. Many wonderful missionaries support our cause–many who were formerly ABWE. They understand and see that God’s work cannot be tainted by sin that has not be dealt with and exposed. We are very, very much for missions work. But we do not believe that supporting missions work means sacrificing God’s call to purity, to integrity, to honesty, and to protecting children. God can take care of His reputation, our job is to care for His children.

        I hope you can hear our hearts and that it will alleviate your concerns, but I can accept that you may simply not be able to see this from our perspective and that your spiritual priorities might be different.

        — TR

      • Laurie says:

        I don’t wish for any harm to missionaries, but would stop supporting the ABWE if there was a way for the church to directly support the missionary. And what if more churches chose that route …… send a loud & clear message to the ABWE without stopping mission work! Think outside the box ….. not about stopping mission work, it’s about the ABWE learning that they answer to the sending churches & supporters …… Whatever the alternative is , there has to be a way ….

      • just another friend of the girl who lost her innocence says:

        I have friends and family who are still a part of the ABWE family as well. I am not promoting Satan’s battle. I am suggesting going front and center and demanding action in a way that will be substantial. Please do not assume that you know of my heart’s intention and presume that I wish to ruin lives. THAT has already been done. THAT is what needs to stop. The solution to this matter is larger than just ABWE now. Second parties have been brought in and nothing. All I’m asking is that you be outraged to the point of real, substantial action. Many compelling and thoughtful posts on a blog that not so many people who can make a difference see really isn’t getting the job done, is it? The Lord will not do for you what you can do for yourself. There are other roads of action that can be taken. Make it a nationally known concern by politely informing all those who are involved….not to tear down, but to slowly rebuild a Christ centered, honoring, and above reproach Mission agency. Is this a blog to edify rants or to provoke change? There is a larger spectrum that need to be reached before the changes that you desire can start happening that this blog doesn’t touch. Think about my suggestion, pray about it and pray for wisdom. There are manners to approach the situation in a way that will not cause a demise of the mission with a loving and broken spirit. I challenge, you, Extremely concerned, to take the energy you used to jump on my idea and focus that into something with walking feet. This matter has followed Biblical guidelines….you’ve taken it to the proper people in the proper order with no real evidence of change. Next is to take it to the congregation – the supporters of the mission. It can be done in a way to take care of the matter at hand instead of causing the demise of the mission. Pray about it, folks. I honestly believe that this is the next step in handling the matter Biblically.

  7. just another friend of the girl who lost her innocence says:

    TR –
    So much of your post is jaded. I am a child of Christ, just like you….and therefore, we both have the same mission and spiritual priorities in life. I will not bother with arguing and wasting energy with you on statements that you made that are out of line in a Christian environment. No, you do not know me personally, nor do I know you personally….but I do know the family involved and the girl, now a woman, is a friend. So, please, take a step down and please stop trying to jam your ideals and judgemental phrases down my throat. We are allies. I promise. The Lord can take care of His reputation and believe it or not, He can and does take care of His children. But WE are members of His family and it is our responsibility to be living examples of His reputation and the hands and feet for caring of His children. We are His body here on earth. Something that you do, in your life, refelcts back on your mom and dad whether it be good or bad. So is the same in the family of God, what we do reflects back on His reputation – good or bad. So – the matter at hand needs a larger audience to get the ball rolling in the right direction. The media is the next human approach to take, but we are part of God’s family…therefore, the next step should be to take it to the rest of the family and do so in a loving way to build Christ’s reputation, not tear it down. It can be done. But hearts have to be tender, honest, and humble. Christ sees sin all the same, we are the ones who put levels and degrees of wrongness on them. We are all sinneres and should not pass judgement – not our job. But, we can promote loving change. We can seek advice and counsel that is Biblical. We can come together as a whole family and give the Lord the opportunity to perform a miracle in our eyes if that is what He so chooses to do in this matter. When someone makes a comment on here, it is not necessarily aimed toward tearing down or criticizing the goals of the blog. Open your heart to new avenues that will get you to the change you want to see happen.

    • isaiah 618 says:

      Friend, my statement was not at all in reply to what you wrote. It was in response to what “Extremely Concerned” wrote right below yours. I think you have completely misunderstood, as what I said what not directed at you in any way or form, I assure you. I wrote to “Extremely Concerned” as she responded to you. Just wanted to clarify that to you. Please let me know if it doesn’t make sense. I do believe that Extremely Concerned and I have different spiritual priorities, and if you read what she wrote, then read my response to her in that context, you may even find you agree with me.

      TR

      • just another friend of the girl who lost her innocence says:

        I apologize. I now see that your comment was under that of Extremely Concerned which was under mine…backtracked it incorrectly. 🙂

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