Saturday, February 27, 2010

8.8-magnitude Earthquake Hits Chile

A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, collapsing buildings, bridges, and downing phone lines. President Michele Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe." There are reports of 76 fatalities, but that number could rise as the story continues to unfold.

The President reported being thrown from his bed. When he got up he found devastation, and nothing left on any wall. Power blackouts as far away as 200 miles from the epicenter, are just part of the problems Chileans face this morning. After shocks are already being reported, ranging from 5.6 to 6.9 on the magnitude scale. Injuries are expected to be extensive, due to blackout conditions, and hospitals are forced to operate on generators.

People mill about in the streets, somewhat confused as many had been sleeping when the quake struck. One mother was described as pushing her child down the street in a crib.

The massive quake has caused a tsunami and Easter Island along with the other pacific islands are under serious threat. However, it should also be noted that islands as far away as Hawaii, are under tsunami alert. This gives you some idea of the force of nature at work.

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Tsunami Hits Hawaii Or When It's Too Late to Evacuate

Friday, February 19, 2010

Two Left In Haiti

Did you ever play that game with a pack of Camel Cigarettes? I guess it's really more of a riddle. I'll explain for those who don't know what I'm talking about. Somebody holds up a pack of camels. They point out the camel, and the pyramid and palm tree off in the distance. Then they'll set the scene. "If you were stranded out in the middle of the desert, where would you go to spend the night?" People who don't know the joke invariably, pick the tree, the pyramid, or even under the camel,(takes special bravery lol)as possible bed downs. Regardless of the choice made though, the punch line is ofcourse the same. The jokester will flip the pack over, where you view images of beautiful buildings, saying triumphantly, "Not me, I'd go around the corner to the hotel!"

Friends, all Laura Silsby was doing was taking children around the corner to the Hotel! Everybody knows that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share an Island, so I'll skip the geography lesson and cut to the chase. People please! Even Gilligan made it to the other side of the Island.

Eight of the 10 Baptist Christians have been released. Courtesy of CNN News, I'd like to share with you their emotional reunion.

According to the CNN News account:
"The Haitian judge ruled Wednesday that Laura Silsby and Charisa Coulter would remain behind because authorities want to determine why they traveled to Haiti on an earlier trip before the January 12 earthquake, said Silsby's attorney, Aviol Fleurant.

Fleurant said Judge Bernard Saint-Vil was unable to ask questions of Silsby and Coulter Thursday because a court-appointed translator did not arrive due to illness. The judge also said he wanted to see the place in the Dominican Republic where the group was supposedly headed when they were stopped at the border, the attorney said."

Laura Silsby herself, seemed in good spirits saying, the hearing "went very well."
She also said, "We're trusting God for all truth to be revealed and believing that God will reveal the truth through the Haitian justice system," she said. "They are seeking the truth."

On her way into the proceedings She told the CNN News reporter, that it was "not true" that she had misled the other missionaries in her group. When asked the reason for her visit to a Haitian orphanage in December, Silsby said, "We brought food and clothes and toys to the children."

Meanwhile the eight who have returned home said this of their experiance. "Our God is a mighty God and he stood with us every second we were there," she said. "He brought us home. And I want you to continue to pray for Charisa and Laura because he's gonna bring them home too."

They just might get what they want. No matter how misguided their steps may have been, at least so far, it appears their faith wasn't misguided at all.

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10 Baptists In Haiti Or Please Don't Eat The Christians

Monday, February 8, 2010

10 Baptists In Haiti Or Please Don't Eat The Christians

They say when in Rome, do as the romans do, but what if you're not
too sure what Rome is doing? What if due to chaos, Rome isn't too
sure either?

Although the first video would make it pretty clear, that these people had simply rushed recklessly in, grabbed up a bunch of kids playing some where in Haiti, and attempted to run off with them, the next video certainly suggests otherwise.

Undoubtedly, these children had already been devastated by the earthquake. Whatever these children held near and dear, has disappeared. Things we take for granted, like waking up in the morning, and knowing where everything is. Having some idea of what will be expected of you that day. We can't know for sure, but it's possible that some children would be in denial at the loss of their parents, especially in the face of losing every other creature comfort. Parents are the epitome of security.

Along with the two videos above, further confusion surfaces about whether or not the 10 Baptists, have even actually been charged with any crime.
Numerous sources report that they have been charged, when they have not.
The Wall Street Journal, explains it like this.

"After an initial probe, a Haitian judge last week ordered that the missionaries be formally investigated. Most international media interpreted the ruling as meaning the Americans were being formally charged.

But Mazar Fortil, the government prosecutor who handled the initial probe, said over the weekend that charges only come at the end of the second, formal investigation, which could take weeks or months. The confusion came over the translation of the French word "inculpation," which is often wrongly interpreted as "inculpate.""

The reports that stated that the 10 Baptists had been charged, were not written by ignorant, foolish, journalists. Instead, they were written and reported by people who are intelligent, well educated, and respected.

My point is simply this, if they could make a mistake, why is it so impossible to believe that Laura Silsby simply made a paper work error?
If her true intent was child trafficking she would have been sneaking through some bushes, not out on a well traveled road where she could expect to be confronted by customs.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

I also noted that all of the reports stated that they needed additional paperwork. Not that they showed up at the boarder with no paperwork.
However, linguistics and paperwork aside, the distinction would seem slim for the 10 Baptist who have been jailed.

How do you live? Do you have clean sheets on your bed? Clean clothes
to wear? Do you plan to feed your children a nourishing meal tonight,
and put them in comfortable, soft, jammies? When you compare that kind of culture to a culture where children often dine on mud cookies, it isn't so hard to understand how a bunch of big hearted Christians, coming from our culture, got themselves into trouble.

So if they are all truly innocent, why all the trouble?

"Here's what you may not have heard or read: They spent three days getting the proper paperwork in order," Lain said. "The problem arose when they got to the border and still lacked something due to a change in the laws."

Allen's wife, Lisa, told CNN's "Larry King Live" she has not spoken with her husband since he was arrested.

Many have brought up Dillon International, one suggested that they should have worked through such an agency. I decided to check out their website which is impressive. Then I ran across the following text,

"And our post-adoption services will give you the tools to incorporate your child's birth heritage into your family's daily life" I couldn't help it...I giggled in spite of myself. Now we're going to ask a bunch of Baptists to get ready to incorporate a little VooDoo into their homes. Are these people kidding or what?

Haiti is no help, with all their regulations, which were recently updated, you would think these kids were going to a place worse than Haiti! If there is such a place I certainly wouldn't want to go there.
Worse than mud cakes and cookies?

Told that the families of the detained Americans had pleaded for him to intervene, Bellerive said he could not.

"Those people are not in the hands of the government; they are in the hands of justice," he said. "We have to respect the law. It is clear that the people violated the law. What we have to understand is if they did it in good faith."

Remember, after the earthquake Haiti tightened their laws in hoping to protect vulnerable children from child traffickers. Bellerive stated, that the 10 Baptists are in the hands of justice. However I must disagree, it seems that there are those in Haiti who are well aware that the intentions were benign. Justice that isn't tempered by mercy, can never be anything but punitive in nature, and that's not justice at all.

Those Who Read This Also Read
Two Left In Haiti

Wall Street Journal

The Christian Post

Baptist Press


Saturday, February 6, 2010


President Obama called it "Snowmageddon", and I believe that for once, most people would support that notion. After the blizzard snowstorm shut down the nations capitol, and surrounding areas. The shut down was not viewed as a bad thing by all, some people managed to enjoy the quiet.

Definately you will want to call ahead before setting off on any travel plans, since all public transportation is closed down and The Mayor is recommending no one attempt driving in these conditions. He stated, "We're fortunate that this happened on a weekend, might as well take advantage of it".

For those who are interested, here is a live cam view of Downtown Washington D.C. and current conditions. The music is courtesy of DeeGay Club
Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

A couple walks down Lincoln Way West in
downtown Massillon soon after the snow
started Friday afternoon

Massillon Ohio was not hit as hard but snow crews and salt trucks were quickly overwhelmed with the heavy, wet snow. Snow crews worked overnight at Akron/Canton airport.

Perry Township and Canal Fulton officials have declared parking bans. Perry officials are asking residents to not park on township roads until noon Sunday. Canal Fulton has a ban in effect until snow plowing and removal operations have been completed. This way hopefully you won't end up with this kind of situation.

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