Updated 1/31/10 11:19PM
Here is the scoop on the ten arrested for trafficking kids out of Haiti, reported here yesterday.
The misguided souls are from the Central Vally Baptist Church, Meridian, ID. They created New Life Children’s Refuge for the purpose of "rescuing" Haitian "orphans" and bring them to
Republic as an interim stop before they are adopted out.
The Associated Press reported:
The church group's own mission statement said it planned to spend only hours in the devastated capital, quickly identifying children without immediate families and busing them to a rented hotel in the Dominican Republic without bothering to get permission from the Haitian government. Whatever its intentions, other child welfare organizations in Haiti called the plan reckless.
Laura Silsby, told the AP at Haiti's judicial police headquarters, where she and others were taken after their arrest Friday night trying to cross the border into the Dominican Republic in a bus....she had not obtained the proper Haitian documents for the children, whose names were written on pink tape on their shirts.
"One (8-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, 'I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.' And she thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that," SOS Children's Villages, where spokesman George Willeit said.
As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is in a difficult spot - it needs aid, but deeply resents foreign meddling. Many have mixed feelings toward Christian groups that funnel hundreds of millions into missions in Haiti.
"There are many who come here with religious ideas that belong more in the time of the inquisition," said Max Beauvoir, head of Haiti's Voodoo Priest's Association, which represents thousands of priests and priestesses. "These types of people believe they need to save our souls and our bodies from ourselves. We need compassion, not proselytizing now, and we need aid - not just aid going to people of the Christian faith."
Silsby told the AP that she hadn't been following news reports while in Haiti, and didn't think she needed Haitian permission to take them out of the country.
The Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, also involved, are part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which is America's largest Protestant denomination and has extensive humanitarian programs worldwide.
Their plans include Villas for adopting parents to stay while fulfilling
families, as well as a seaside/beachfront cafe.
They will also provide grants and work with U.S. adoption agencies.
All this money sent to take kids away instead of helping families keep their kids! And they call it God's calling! It is so sad when Christians mis-hear the voices and mis-interpret God's message.
But God works in mysterious ways and sometimes puts offenders in jail.
It's intersteing that the church's webpage is mute on the subject. No findraisers for attornyes to bail them out of this misbegotten mess.
NY Times reports: The Haitian prime minister told Reuters that “we did not arrest Americans, we arrested kidnappers,” and he said the missionaries could face serious charges.