I’ve been following this story out of Haiti since I first caught it on CNN, and my heart is just broken. 😦
Attorney: 10 US Baptists charged with child kidnap
AP – Parents willingly gave kids to U.S. missionaries
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Ten members of a U.S. missionary group who said they were trying to rescue 33 child victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake were charged with child kidnapping and criminal association on Thursday, their lawyer said.
Edwin Coq said after a court hearing that a judge found sufficient evidence to charge the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended Thursday’s hearing and represents the entire group in Haiti.
Group leader Laura Silsby has said they were trying to take orphans and abandoned children to an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic. She acknowledged they had not sought permission from Haitian officials, but said they just meant to help victims of the quake.
The children taken from the group, ranging in age from 2 to 12, were being cared for at the Austrian-run SOS Children’s Village in Port-au-Prince on Wednesday.
The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital. Silsby waved and smiled faintly to reporters but declined to answer questions.
Adrien said he met Silsby in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 26. She told him she was looking for homeless children, he said, and he knew exactly where to find them.
He rushed home to Callebas, where people scrape by growing carrots, peppers and onions. That very day, he had a list of 20 children.
The Rev. Jean Sainvil said some of the children were orphans and might have been put up for adoption. Children with parents were to be kept in the Dominican Republic, and would not lose contact with their families, Sainvil said in Atlanta. Sainvil stressed that in Haiti it is not uncommon for parents who can’t support their children to send them to orphanages.
Even Prime Minister Max Bellerive has said he recognized the Americans may simply have been well-meaning who believed their charitable Christian intent justified trying to remove the children from quake-crippled Haiti.
This just makes me sad. I understand the intent, if the intent was indeed to take them to a safe location to be better cared for. I understand it so well. This leader went about it in a wrong fashion, but I understand her heart. Things were done irresponsibly, the team didn’t know what was going on, and there is conflicting reports on what the leader was ultimately planning.
Over and over again in the Bible, God mentions taking care of the widows and orphans. God planned for them to be taken care of.
Oh how my heart wants to do this! My heart is certainly big enough, and the love in my family is big enough. I so want to start a Children’s Home of my own! Send me all your orphans! I’d take any race…and I’d build right here. I’ve already designed the home. LOL How funny is that? I have no way to fund a project of this magnitude, but the desire is there. I’d sell all I had to do it…if this was God’s plan for us.
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
Pray for these missionaries! Pray for these families who saw no other hope for their children but to give them away! But whatever you do, don’t look away, do something.