If the ABWE Former Missionary Children (Hereafter FMC, not “MKs”) put some stock in GRACE, the parachurch organization that “teaches” the Christian community how to deal with child abuse in a “Godly” way, then so will I, but not totally. I have some concerns.
First, let me be clear: GRACE’s involvement can (and probably will) yield some useful results in this situation. The GRACE report will probably be detailed and damning, a monument following the name of ABWE like a shadow until the second coming. Even if the report will take ten pages to make each point, and it probably will, the FMC can glean the relevant parts and report it on their website. And remember, if not for the FMC’s website, GRACE probably wouldn’t be involved right now.
Of course, instead of that monument, ABWE could have a monument like Penn State now has. The placard reads something like this: “When Penn State found out, heads rolled immediately—zero tolerance and not even Joe Paterno was spared.” Moreover, there is even talk now that Joe Paterno could be brought up on criminal charges. And trust me; Donn Ketcham is no Joe Paterno. The two cases are a profound study in contrast, and not for the wiser in regard to ABWE.
That brings me to the latest “investigation update” by GRACE concerning the ABWE horror story. It begins as follows:
First phase? How many phases are there going to be? Why is more than one phase needed? The document, throughout, invokes all kinds of questions of this sort. And, “GRACE plans to schedule additional interviews….” Why do they have to “plan” to schedule? Is it really that complicated? Once again, the FMC are waiting for somebody “important” to do something. My grandmother had a word for it and often scolded us with it: “lollygagging.”
The report continued….
Huh? GRACE “hoped” to gather information? The document is full of tentative, overcautious language. The interviews succeeded in “beginning” to “help” “build” (how big is the building going to be and how long is it going to take to build it?) an understanding? For crying out loud, the FMC have already built the case with all kinds of documentation!! The job is more than half done! And GRACE’s proclamation that God put his stamp of approval on it all regarding their interviews is just classic, and arrogant. But I will again mention that where GRACE will hopefully have some value is in their final ”thorough,” “balanced,” “independent” report; if it gets completed before the second coming. And we certainly don’t want any victims muddying up the waters with their own assessment of getting molested by the ABWE icon, Donn Ketcham—that just wouldn’t be “independent” and “balanced.”
Then, GRACE concluded the snail race report with the news that they are expanding the investigation to “non-MKs” in addition to the FMC they presently don’t have time to interview. Good grief! In addition, they are going to spend time singing Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake, with a “new” ABWE “liaison” regarding ABWE’s lack of cooperation with full disclosure—unlike Penn State which has committed to full disclosure—day one.
Somebody please convince me that GRACE is not just another organization like Peacekeepers International that is primarily in business to keep para-church organizations from going belly-up. The message from Penn State is clear: “You better not mess with our money, even if your name is Joe Paterno.” Our message needs to be, “You better not mess with our children, even if your name is Donn Ketcham.” That was Jesus’ message also. Rather than messing with the kingdom’s children, you would be better off tying a millstone around your neck and casting yourself in a lake. That is unlike GRACE’s message which is overly concerned with “balance,” thoroughness,” and a “Godly response.” We don’t need GRACE’s lectures on Godly responses, the FMC have already set that example and GRACE needs to learn more about that from them. How long have they patiently endured all of this? Enough is enough. It’s time to get this done.
Part 2: A GRACE Theology for the Former Missionary Children