)—-Kidnappers for Jesus? A group of Evangelical church folk from Idaho, led by personal shopper Laura Silsby, Executive Director and founder of New Life Children Refuge, descended upon the earthquake ravaged country of Haiti last week, to snatch and grab 100 orphans off of the streets and from orphanages. The Baptist group’s mission statement was to “share God’s love with these precious children, helping them heal and find new life in Christ.” However, they were only able to “gather” up 33, some of whom weren’t even orphans. The evangelical do-gooders became alleged kidnappers and child traffickers when they loaded the Haitian “orphans” on a bus and attempted to take them across the border to the Dominican Republic to the New Life Refuge orphanage, with no documents from the Haitian government. Well, the so-called orphanage turns out to be a 45-room hotel at Cabarete, a beach resort in the Dominican Republic that the group was renting.
The group of ten Americans from two Baptist churches based in Idaho were arrested at the border and are now in custody in Port-au-Prince Haiti, charged with child trafficking. And the group of child-snatching evangelizing Americans have set off an international firestorm in Haiti, with officials already fearful of child trafficking in the wake of the chaos in the devastated country.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive says the ten Americans, although they may have had good intentions, are “kidnappers.” “God is the one who called us to come here and we just really believed that this was his purpose,” said Carla Thompson, one of the group’s arrested members.
The misguided Baptist church group, with their proselytizing “Great Commission” to save the souls of children from a deeply Catholic country, has also exposed the controversial practices of evangelical missionaries, who seek to religiously convert the recipients of their charity. The two Idaho Baptist churches supporting the mission, Central Valley Baptist Church and the East Side Baptist Church, made their intentions clear.
Rev. Clint Henry of the Central Valley Baptist Church told reporters, “we believe that Christ has asked us to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world, and that includes children.”
The 33 Haitian children from ages 2-months to 12-years “gathered” by Silsby and her evangelical rescuers, were sent to an SOS orphanage in Port-au-Prince, where they arrived “very hungry, very thirsty, some dehydrated.” George Willeit, a spokesman for the SOS Austrian-run orphanage, said that the two-month-old infant taken by Silsby’s group was so dehydrated she needed hospitalization. And one eight-year-old girl, wasn’t an orphan at all. “And she told us, crying, that she does have parents. She says she thought she was being sent to boarding school or to summer camp,” said Willeit. And some of the other children were apparently told that they were being taken for a vacation and a respite from the devastated Haitian capital.
Many children in Haitian orphanages aren’t technically orphans, but they have been abandoned by their families who can no longer afford to feed and properly care for them. The Haitian government now requires Prime Minister Max Bellerive to authorize the removal of any child from the country, to prevent child trafficking.
Bellerive said that when the Baptist “kidnappers” were stopped and arrested at the border, some of the children asked for their parents and didn’t appear to be orphans.
Now that this deal has fallen through, I wonder who Rush will turn to to fill his order or child sex slaves.