A group of Christian missionaries who were held hostage by a Haitian gang for ransom, made a “daring escape” last week after two months of captivity.
The 400 Mawozo gang kidnapped 17 Christian Aid Ministries missionaries as they were traveling back home from building an orphanage in Ganthier, Haiti on Oct. 16. The gang demanded $1 million per person for the group’s release, which included four children.
Two hostages were released on Nov. 21 and three more were let go two weeks later, when they fell ill due to the heat, bugs, and contaminated water where they were held. A reported ransom far less than their original request was reportedly paid to the gang, but not by the U.S. government. Still, they were not released.
The group decided the only way to freedom was escape, but it wasn’t until the night of Dec. 15 that they enacted their plan.
“Over the time of their captivity, God gave various hostages a desire to attempt an escape, but it took them a while to all agree on when or how this should take place. To attempt such a thing would be dangerous! They sought God in prayer over and over again, seeking direction from Him,” a spokesman for the ministry said Monday.
“On several occasions, they planned to escape, but they had decided if specific things didn’t happen, they would accept that as God’s direction to wait,” he explained, noting that they hesitated on two occasions because “the timing was not right” during both attempts.
When the missionaries decided it was time to go, they found a way to open the door that was closed and blocked, filed silently to the path they had chosen to follow, and quickly left the place they were held, despite the fact that numerous guards were close by.”
After escaping the camp they hiked ten miles through thick woods towards a mountain with only moonlight to guide them. They eventually found a person willing to help them and were able to make a phone call.
The U.S. Coast Guard flew them safely to Florida the same night.