Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Laura Silsby's Texas Missionaries Revealed

Yesterday I wrote about four unnamed and heretofore unpublicized missionaries who stayed in the Dominican Republic to ready the orphan hotel while Laura Silsby and her child snatchers went into Haiti to gather up the swag (left). I have now identified the church: The First Baptist Church in Andrews, Texas.

My information is from the February 2, 2010 CBS 7 (Odessa) News, Andrews connection with American missionaries accused of kidnapping. Go to the right of the screen and click on the video (couldn't find a separate link) and check out old pictures of the luxurious hotel that is in real life is no longer luxurious. These pictures no doubt were used to spirit the kids away from their families. (I'm working on a separate blog on that)

The news report places the First Baptist Church, on the ground floor of Larua Silsby's pre-quake orphanage scheme. It also places Silsby's Central Valley Baptist Church as an active sponsor of the orphanage and the trip to Haiti , despite various church self-reportings to the contrary (my emphasis):

Pastor Jeff Donnell of First Baptist Church in Andrews says the Central Valley Church in Idaho contacted them well before the earthquake to build an orphanage.

The church contacted us needing help that was just a natural fit for us,” Pastor of First Baptist Church in Andrews, Jeff Donnell said. “We could do that, we could go.”

The earthquake however inspired a sense of urgency.

No missionary tourists are named in the newscast, and the church's webpage is clean of all Haiti/DR visits. This is what we learn of the "missionaries' activities from the report:

“While they were tending to the actual children we were going to ten [sic] the building to get it ready” Donnell said.

They left for the Dominican Republic last week to help turn a 45-room hotel into an orphanage unit. This unit was supposed to house 150 children, including the 33 children the Haitian prime minister claims was kidnapped.

“We never went into Haiti. Our friends did and they spent a week working with the authorities before the accusations were made” Donnell said.

The pastor says they thought everything was in the clear to receive the children.

“Its our understanding all the paper work had been done, that every had been in order.” Donnell said...

...Now the all church can do is pray for their friends in Haiti and children still with out a home.

“We've communicated to Central valley church,” Donnell said, “And gave our support and prayers for them.”

The First Baptist Church bills itself as a mission giving church, donating 11% of its budget receipts to the ultra conservative Southwestern and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminaries. The church has led missionary tours to Trinidad, Belize, and Armenia (which, btw, adopted Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD) and helps support fulltime missionaries Crystal and Chad Reynolds. Numerous photo albums of church and mission work are posted on the church's webpage, but none from the recent DR incursion. For those interested in evangelical arcana, check out the Joshua Project People Group flowchart and The Unreached People Group of the Day" on the front page of the church's homepage. This will take you directly to the Haiti People Group, which inexplicably, if I'm reading it correctly, features French Jews (or the French and Jews are lumped into one People Group.)

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