Tuesday, May 18, 2010Download All Stories
EXCLUSIVE: 'Radically different' story emerges about Baptists detained in HaitiTWIN FALLS, Idaho (BP)--Paul Thompson reads the media accounts describing the journey of him and nine other jailed Baptist volunteers in Haiti who are all now free, and scratches his head. He was there. What he reads is not what he experienced.
Thompson, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, was one of those 10 Baptist volunteers who went to Haiti in late January with the goal of taking orphans out of the earthquake-ravaged country and into an orphanage being started in the Dominican Republican. That trip took a disastrous turn Jan. 30 when the 10 were shocked to learn they were being charged with child kidnapping, with allegations swirling that the group had plans to sell the kids into slavery, or worse, to harvest and sell their organs."This was a complete setup. They [UNICEF] were beginning to build their case for us as being kidnappers and child traffickers."Such rumors were false, but it took more than 100 days to finally resolve the matter. Eight of them were freed in February, a ninth one released in March, and the final one -- Laura Silsby -- was let go May 17, more than 100 days after the ordeal began.
-- Paul Thompson
The story Thompson tells is far different from what has been described repeatedly in most media accounts.
"It's radically different," Thompson said.
-- The 10 Americans did not, as has been alleged in some accounts, go through the streets of Port-au-Prince passing out flyers and going door-to-door looking for children, Thompson said. Instead, the 33 children they were trying to take across the border in a medium-sized bus came from two orphanages, and orphanage workers told them that none of the children had parents.
-- The group was told multiple times before they got to the border that their documentation and paperwork -- the source of the controversy -- was sufficient, Thompson said. Read More
States opting out of abortion plans
WASHINGTON (BP)--States increasingly are enacting legislation to opt out of a provision in the new federal health care law that would require coverage for abortion in "insurance exchanges." Read More
World Cup: 200 Brazilian volunteers plan to share Gospel with players, touristsJOHANNESBURG, South Africa (BP)--Brazilian Baptists plan to share a Christian witness at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa. For 20 days, 200 Brazilian volunteers working with the 2010 African Connection Project will conduct outreach activities among soccer enthusiasts at the tournament ... Read More
Korean churches give $107K for Haiti reliefDALLAS (BP)--The 850-plus churches in the Southern Baptist Convention that worship in a Korean context raised $107,356.04 in special offerings this spring for Haiti relief. Read More
IMB honors 60 retiring missionaries
ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP)--Janet McDowell remembers children suffering from malnutrition becoming well enough to run through the pediatric ward at a mission hospital in Mbeya, Tanzania, where she served for part of her 28 years as a medical missionary in Africa.
The children would pull on the nurses' white stockings, watching them snap back and "... laughing so hard, thinking it was the nurse's skin snapping back."
McDowell was one of 60 retiring missionaries honored May 15 at an emeritus r... Read More