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Thursday, February 4, 2010
Good Intentions Vs Law and Order
Today I've read the news about the ten missionaries being arrested in Haiti who are accused of kidnapping some 30 kids in Haiti and trying to take them out of that country without legal papers. In my heart I believe the people are most likely folks whose hearts over-whelmed their brains. I've seen it happen many many times. People leave the U.S. and forget that they are guests in someone else' home. Their magnanimous hearts cause them to do things totally against the law of the land. They also do things that makes the person they are trying to help feel (as my grand-kids are wont to say) very "dissed". I have also stumbled many times - so don't think I'm trying to set myself up as an expert. Good hearts and good intentions can often greatly offend. In this case of the Haitian children, it seems that a person would know they are not allowed to just "take" a child with no papers. They themselves have to have passport, visa, shot record, etc. and etc. - so surely they knew it would be illegal to try and take kids without any identification papers out of that country. I hope and pray that Haiti does not prosecute them and make the case larger than it really is. But it is serious. I read an article once which was entitled, "How To Share Your Faith Without Losing Your Head". If I remember correctly it was not done with this same thought in mind - but I think it is appropriate for the present distress. I had a friend who was a leader in an underground church in a foreign country who regularly took tours of Christians into his area. On one occasion his life and the lives of all his team were endangered because one of his visitors "felt the Holy Spirit tell him" to go out into the street in front of their hotel, alone, late at night and witness to a police guard. I've personally been grieved inside as visitors in Africa reached into their bags and threw foil-wrapped Hershey's Kisses, handful by handful, out the vehicle window to the kids in the streets. The national leader who was with us was embarrassed. He pointed out to me that these kids had never seen chocolate before and some of them were eating the treat tin-foil and all. He was concerned what the parents would think when their children complained of the tummy ache.
On the other hand - it looks like law and order with the best interests of the children at heart would have taken a different approach than to arrest the would-be saviors of the kids. The wrong these American "missionaries" had already been done. Of course we do not know - there could have been other connections involved - like schemers among the Haitians "selling" the kids. It could be that they just collected them from the streets in anonymous fashion. It could be they were collected from an Haitian Orphanage. I'm sure we will all know more within the next few days.
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.