Over the past month, a day has not passed that most of us haven’t read, seen, heard, or tweeted something about Haiti. We have watched the devastation of the earthquake, donated money and supplies. Some have even gone to Haiti and donated their time and talents.
For many of us, the most heart wrenching thing about the aftermath of the earthquake is the orphans and children who need care and are desperate for medical attention. The Haitian government acted swiftly to move on behalf of children who were already candidates for adoption, had met their adoptive parents and whose paperwork was in progress. In addition, our state department and other countries are working with Haitian authorities to place orphans with adoptive families. But they want to be sure that these children will be treated well and not used for illegal purposes.
Unfortunately, some groups have decided to act outside the Haitian legal system. The missionaries from Idaho went to Haiti intending to do something good. However, it seems that they were misled by their leader, Laura Silsby, who was told ahead of time that she didn’t have proper documentation to take the children from Haiti to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. As a result, she and the rest of the group now sit in a Haitian jail.
The Domino Effect
Ms Silsby’s actions caused a cascading domino effect that eventually harms those and other children. Since their arrest, it has become increasingly difficult to send children from Haiti to other countries for much needed surgeries and medical treatment. Why? Because the authorities aren’t sure the children aren’t being abducted.
I followed a scenario on Twitter where Pastor Shaun King tweeted day and night to get help for baby Landina. Landina was awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health to leave Haiti for surgery to replace a bone in her skull with a titanium plate; a delicate and complicated procedure. This baby is only one of more than 1,000 children who need surgery. Fortunately, baby Landina will receive treatment. The fate of thousands of other children is still in limbo, made more difficult because of a group of people who meant well but ignored proper protocol.
Don’t Let Your Good Be Spoken of As Evil
Jesus said to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s (Matthew 22:21). In this case it means respecting the process for Haitian adoption and going through proper protocol to take children out of the country. In our sincere desire to help others, it is important that we remember Romans 14:16 – “don’t let your good be spoken of as evil.”
Rules, protocol and red tape can be extremely frustrating, especially when we only want to help someone. I know that someone is reading this and saying rules are made to be broken. Go to Haiti and break their rules, you may wind up in prison.
What do you think of this?