Late Saturday night someone called alerting me to this:
From the first reports members of two churches in Idaho, one in Boise and one in Twin Falls, had apparently gone to Haiti to ‘save the orphans.’ The church in Meridian as reported is Central Valley Baptist; the church in Twin Falls as Eastside Baptist Church. Each church’s site has a message concerning those members arrested in Haiti.
It appears there’s about 10 or so of these church members who were in Haitian custody after being stopped at the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It seems they had “possession” of some 33 children who, as these good Church folk explained it, they were taking them to an orphanage in the DR. Their plans included 100 children being placed in the orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
“We had permission from the Dominican Republic government to bring the children to an orphanage that we have there.”
Seriously? Noo – seriously? The Dominican Republic govt granted permission, saying it was quite okay to bring Haitian children (claimed as “orphaned”) across an international border. It’s so naïve, it’s laughable.
Last night I did some searching of the websites of both churches. The church in Boise, Central Valley Baptist, literally has nothing on its website about this mission search for a proper site for an orphanage nor having missionaries in Haiti, and certainly nothing specifically related to NLCR Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission. A commenter on the site of the Statesman noted that in the church’s newsletter from December last year prayers were asked for (local) missionaries in Haiti.
Their purpose was to “rescue Haitian orphans abandoned on the streets, makeshift hospitals or from collapsed orphanages in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, and bring them to New Life Children’s Refuge in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.”
Except – no such place actually exists yet. See pages 1 & 3.
NLCR is in the process of buying land and building an orphanage, school and church in Magante on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Given the urgent needs from this earthquake, God has laid upon our hearts the need to go now vs. waiting until the permanent facility is built. He has provided an interim solution in nearby Cabarete, where we will be leasing a 45 room hotel and converting it into an orphanage until the building is complete.
Continuing from page 1 – there’s appears an “urgent need” as according to some estimates (whose is uncertain), “the number of Haitian orphans [will] increase[d] by 300% as a result of the catastrophic earthquake this past week. Thousands of children have lost their parents, and are injured, hungry, thirsty and alone with limited chance of survival without help.”
Here’s the plan as it appears on page 1 – drawn out.
Rescue Orphans from Port-au-Prince, Haiti
- Friday/Saturday, Jan 22nd : NLCR team fly to the DR
- Sun Jan 23rd: Drive bus from Santo Domingo into Port-au-Prince, Haiti and gather 100 orphans from the streets and collapsed orphanages, then return to the DR
- Mon Jan 24th: Bus arrives in Cabarete, DR at New Life Children Refuge
- Haiti Team: Laura Silsby, Charisa Coulter, Carla Thompson, Nicole & Corrinna Lankford; Paul Thompsons Team from East Side Baptist Church, Twin Falls
Interestingly, these kids are most commonly referred as orphans. They are also called children with the context of ‘orphan’ being close by.
Emma Murphy from ITN files this video report for NBC which brings up the possibility some of the children may not actually be orphaned.
Local media: Idaho Statesman, KTVB (Boise), & KIDK (Idaho Falls/Pocatello).
- 10 Idahoans arrested in Haiti – Idaho Statesman
- Idaho volunteers arrested in Haiti – Idaho Statesman
- Family speaks out after arrest in Haiti – KTVB
- Five Idahoans arrested – KIDK
Message left on the website of Eastside Baptist, Twin Falls
A ten member church team including members from our church, traveled to Haiti to help rescue children from one or more orphanages that had been devastated in the earthquake on January 12. The children were being taken to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic where they could be cared for and have their medical and emotional needs attended to. Our team was falsely arrested today and we are doing everything we can from this end to clear up the misunderstanding that has occurred in Port au Prince.
Message left on the website of Central Valley Baptist, Meridian:
A ten member church team traveled to Haiti to help rescue children from one or more orphanages that had been devastated in the earthquake on January 12. The children were being taken to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic where they could be cared for and have their medical and emotional needs attended to. Our team was falsely arrested today and we are doing everything we can from this end to clear up the misunderstanding that has occurred in Port au Prince.
Except for the first sentence, the messages are almost identical carrying these two words – “falsely arrested” in the last sentence.
Hmmm….. well, more to come I’m sure.