A group of ten Baptists volunteers from Idaho traveled to Haiti to try and help the newly orphaned children. Sounds like a good cause, right? Ah, but of course there is a catch. Their “rescue” involved taking children from the country, without the government’s permission. For the record, that isn’t charity. It’s human trafficking.
The most disturbing thing about this is that not all of these kids were orphans. And these people knew it.
The orphanage where the children were later taken said some of the kids have living parents, who were apparently told the children were going on a holiday from the post-quake misery……
One [8-year-old] girl was crying, and saying, “I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.”
Laura Silsby the groups spokesperson, claimed that she hadn’t been following news reports while in Haiti, and didn’t think she needed the Haitian government’s permission to take them out of the country. This statement seems either dishonest, or woefully ignorant. Did she really think she could just haul children out of the country and their government wouldn’t care? I can’t claim to know much about the Haitian government; it’s not exactly a common avenue of study for most of us. But despite what Silsby seems to think, the Haitian people don’t live in free-for-all anarchy. They have laws, leaders. They have a prime minister. It strikes me as somewhat racist to assume that Haiti won’t have rules about kidnapping it’s children.
An article on NPR brings up the idea that some families may have given over their kids willingly, to have a chance at a better life. It isn’t unheard of in third world countries like Haiti.
Marie Rita Pierre said, “I would allow one of these groups to take one of my children. My youngest daughter wants to go to university. We can’t help her. I think its good groups come here to take kids, even though most of the time they will lose touch with their families.”
That is an extremely difficult decision fort a parent to make. And while this may have been the case for some of the children, what about the parents who were told their kids were “going on a holiday”? A holiday implies they will return safe and sound to their families once the country is more stable. Not given to strangers looking to do some kidnapping for Christ.
The group claims they were only trying to do what is right. I have no doubt the mean it. The problem is, their warped ideal of what is “right” is highly subjective. They feel that taking little kids from their parents and placing them with Christian families is right.
“One of the reasons that our church wanted to help is because we believe that Christ has asked us to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world, and that includes children,” Henry, the senior pastor, said.
However, I feel this is wrong. As do the Haitian government, the local religious leaders, and pretty much anyone with a sense of decency. Max Beauvoir, head of Haiti’s Voodoo Priest’s Association, summed it up quite nicely:
“There are many who come here with religious ideas that belong more in the time of the Inquisition. 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.”
If you still want to defend these people, do this for me: I want you to imagine that you are a parent of one of these kids. Your home has been destroyed. Fire, screaming, smoke. Nearly everyone you know and love is dead. You stumble from the wreckage with what’s left of your family, looking for help. Somehow, in the panic, your child dissapears. There by your side one moment, then gone the next. Imagine the panic at losing your only surving loved one, the last thing you had to cling to. Or even worse, what if some rescuers volunteered to take your baby somewhere safe, until things calmed down. You are so grateful to these kind people, so selflessly helping you, until you find out your baby is in an orphanage, and they had no intention of bringing them home. How would you feel?