After much discussion and prayer, the 12 remaining missionaries from an Ohio-based group decided on a brazen plan to escape from their Haitian captors.
Officials from Holmes County-based Christian Aid Ministries outlined the daring December 15 plot during a press conference on Monday and offered new insight into the group’s ordeal.
The missionaries were “nudged” by God to attempt an escape, said Weston Showalter, CAM spokesperson. The group banded together and put their plans in God’s hands despite the danger, he said.
The group prepared by putting on their shoes and packing water in their clothes. They found a way to slip out of the room where they were being held despite the blocked door. With guards all around, the group got out quickly and headed toward a mountain they saw in the distance.
After walking for hours through bush and brambles, the group came upon a person who helped them call for help as dawn approached.
During the press conference, CAM shared photographs of the 17 missionaries taken by members of the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16, a short time after visiting an orphanage.
The group, including 12 adults and five kids, can be seen smiling in the photos. A father, who was not kidnapped, joined members of his family who were part of the kidnapped group for the picture.
Other photos show a smiling 10-month-old and a 3-year-old boy reading a book. Showalter said the children appeared to have been well cared for by their captors.
He spent some time with the group over the weekend, saying it was nice to see the kids playing and reading books after their ordeal. The group remained strong and relied on each other to keep up their spirits, singing and praying.
“They are very resilient,” he said. “They faced a lot. It hasn’t been easy.”
Their faith – and the prayers of their loved ones and people around the world – carried them through the ordeal, he said. (The Independent)