Don't be so quick to buy what the news media dishes out. Remember the supposed note against Laura Silsby that was supposedly signed by eight of the people? That was a fabrication. The missionaries knew nothing about it.
Paul Thompson has given an interview to the Baptist Press about the events leading up to their arrest. He did not tell this story before, because he did not want to "endanger members of the group that were still in prison." My belief from the beginning of this ordeal still stands. They went down their with integrity. They had honest and philanthropic intentions and those intentions were ignored and lied about by the media and others. These people were caught up in the midst of a political intrigue. Paul believes it was a spiritual battle as well and I agree.
You can read the story here.
Laura's plane, which is bringing her home to her family, friends and supporters, arrives in just a few minutes from now. I am so happy for her and so grateful that the Lord has heard and answered our prayers. I am confident He will use this ordeal to His glory and that He has grown Laura, and all of the missionaries and their families, stronger and closer to Him through it.
I can't be sure what the motivation of the press was as they fabricated lies and dug up whatever they could about Laura in order to paint her in the worst possible light, but I am heartily ashamed of them. How quick people are to crucify the character of others. I remember being taught in high school that people like to see others in a bad light, because it leaves them standing in a better light. It boosts their egos. I am also sure that people often delight in seeing others degraded.
Concerning the charges about her financial situation, I would like to point out that the economy in this country is very, very poor. The city of Boise and its environs are feeling the impact of this in a major way and that is affecting other cities as the business men in Boise expand their territories and compete with the workers of those cities for what jobs are still available. If Laura's business suffered because of this, and she has been unable to pay her bills or employees, why are people acting like she is the worst of criminals? Why are they acting like this is something that isn't happening to a whole lot of people across this nation?
The things I have read - about the web and in comments on this blog - that people have said about this woman are vicious. In my preschool Sunday school class, we have recently studied about the murder of Jesus Christ. I have one little girl who is so angry about it. She is overwhelmed with righteous indignation. She can't believe people would do such a thing. She says emphatically, "They should not have done that!" And she is right. But these words and this hate that people are spewing does not surprise the Lord. Jesus warned that His children would be treated in this way. He told us to expect it.
In John 15:20, He told His disciples (and all of His children by extension) "Remember the word I spoke to you: 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don't know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me also hates My Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason." (John 15:20-25; Holman Christian Standard Bible).
I pray that the Lord uses this event in the lives of these faithful missionaries, and the children who trusted them, to save some of those who have spewed this hate. Just as He has already used it to save people in Haiti. God does that sort of thing all the time; He takes the haughty, the ugly, the unloved, the wretched of the world and makes them beautiful.