A dozen Christian missionaries are safe after making a nighttime escape through dangerous terrain using the stars as their guide.
In October, a Haitian gang kidnapped 17 Christian missionaries and their children after visiting an orphanage in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince and held them hostage for $1 million each.
The taking of conservative Christain missionaries from the U.S. and Canadia occurred as the country was still in turmoil after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July and Prime Minister Ariel Henry was “under scrutiny” by authorities in relation to the killing.
The leadership vacuum allowed gangs to run rampant in Haiti and it’s still going on. Armed gangs recently took control of a police station and control access to the region.
The missionaries had been kidnapped by the violent 400 Mawozo gang, whose leader Wilson Joseph said, “I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans.”
Despite their captors not shying away from violence, the missionaries attempted a bold escape with children in tow on the night of December 15.
A group of 12 missionaries in Haiti made a daring overnight escape, eluding their kidnappers and walking for miles over difficult, moonlit terrain with an infant and other children in tow, officials said Monday.
The group navigated their way by stars to reach safety after a two-month kidnapping ordeal, officials with the Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), the Ohio-based agency that the captive missionaries work for, said Monday at a press conference.
The detailed accounting of their journey to safety comes after news Thursday that the missionaries were free.
A total of 17 people from the missionary group – 12 adults and five minors – were abducted on October 16 shortly after visiting an orphanage in Ganthier, in the Croix-des-Bouquets area. The group included 16 Americans and one Canadian. Five of the missionaries were let go earlier this month.
Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) spokesman, Weston Showalter, said that everyone appears to have emerged from captivity in good health despite the contaminated water for bathing, threat of disease from mosquitos, and meager portions of food.
None of the freed hostages were at the press conference. They came from Amish, Mennonite, and other Anabaptist communities in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Ontario, according to CAM.
After the news conference, a group of CAM employees stood and sang, ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ in the robust, four-part acapella harmony that is a signature of conservative Anabaptist worship.
Source: Daily Mail
Here is Showalter talking about the escape:
The missionaries gathered together several times a day for religious devotion and prayer.
When they were not sure which way to go in the dark, they prayed.
Prayer is important.
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