Saturday, February 6, 2010

THOROUGHNESS - Why the Compassion of 10 Missionaries Went Wrong in Haiti

So Laura Silsby and her nine missionary colleagues have been charged with abducting Haitian children. It could have been worse. Angry Haitians outside the government building wanted charges of kidnapping and child trafficking. Still, they face a trial and possible imprisonment.

And yet everything I've seen, heard and read lead me to believe that the missionaries were trying to help the children, that they were acting out of feelings of compassion (photo from Van Helsing,

It's a sad case. What happened? Why didn't they proceed more carefully? The answer came to me as I watched this encouraging video from Meredith Bell.

As I watched this, I kept thinking, "Silsby needed to hear this." She and the others followed their hearts, which was their strength. But they needed to do more. They needed to stretch - make the effort to be rational and thorough. And now....well, actions have consequences.

Meredith Bell's message is for all of us. We all need to do our due diligence and take care of business. Her Voice of Encouragement videos are a treasure. Check the archives on her web site for previously posted encouragements.


Sean said...

Okay, so compassion is one of the 40 "strengths", and you lead with an example where compassion gets a woman into deep trouble. Surely she had all the best intentions, but Haiti is so broken and corrupt that they cannot resist the chance to take advantage of someone at any opportunity. They saw her compassion as a weakness, and now are threatening jail. What they really want, of course, is reparations.

Here, take this child, he has no home, give him a good life. What, you show compassion? Ha, you are weak! How dare you steal this child. We will put you in jail. No, we don't want the child back, we want you to pay for your crimes. Yes, cash is acceptable.

Still, I would like to hear a story that better explains how compassion is a strength (and not a weakness).

Unknown said...

Sean, thanks for visiting and commenting!

You're right, this story doesn't illustrate compassion as a strength. Actually, my focus in this post was Thoroughness. The point of the story is that the failure to exercise thoroughness in the context of compassion had a bad result.

For more about Compassion, click on the "Compassion" link below the post or check my Jan 14, 2010 post.