On October 16 around 1:00PM a van of 16 Americans and 1 Canadian were abducted in Haiti. Christian Aid Ministry missionaries returning from an orphanage in Ganthier were surrounded by a gang. AK 47s were leveled at the missionaries. Their phones and cash taken. The Canadian missionary driver was ordered to follow the gang up a narrow dirt road. Sam Stoltzfus, a 3 year missionary who spoke Creole says they immediately began worshipping Christ and praying. Sam immediately posted to a WhatsApp security group when they were being taken.
When Sam’s post was screenshot and published on social media, Christians in Haiti and the world began praying. Two three days fasts were called for during the 2 month captivity. The 17 hostages were not physically abused and received food and water though minimal, daily. The gang provided baby food for the children. They were not bound with ropes. They were allowed to go outside their small house daily.
The group of 17 Haiti missionaries included 5 children under age 15. The group was kept together. Everyday they prayed and sang twice a day. The missionaries suffered for 2 months in a small 10×12 room. Mosquitos and fire ant bites became infected from contaminated bucket bath water. Fans were provided for a few hours each night. Drinking water was a constant challenge. 1 woman had 50 infected bites and 5 of the missionaries were released by the gang because of such ulcerated infections.
Port au Prince is plagued by heavily armed gangs. The gangs are founded and funded by politicians and oligarchs to destabilize and avoid democratic elections. The 400 Mawozo gang who abducted 17 foreign missionaries demanded 17 million dollars. The gang leader threatened to kill them if his demands were not met. According to all reports from Christian Aid Ministries no ransom was paid.
Exactly 2 months to the day after their abduction, lead missionary Sam Stotlfzus and the remaining 12 missionaries agreed to an escape plan. They would stuff their beds to look as though they were sleeping, and walk by the moonlight over Haiti’s rough terrain. The group pushed opened the door of their confinement. They walked guided by stars North Northwest away from their guards unheard. They walked for approximately 10 miles. Two hours they walked through thick thorns and bramble. The group carried a 3 year old and a 10 month old baby girl.
The 12 missionaries walked through the night until dawn. Finally they found someone to let them make a phone call. Sam called the Haiti field director to tell him they were free. The field director immediately came to their location below Morne Cabrit to pick them up. Sam spent 6 hours briefing FBI on the kidnapping, 2 months in captivity and their escape. Then a US Coast Guard plane transported the group to the US. The 12 escaped missionaries reunited with previously released 5 missionaries, and their families.
God answered the months long intercession of hundreds of thousands of believers. Throughout the two month ordeal, Sam says he felt a peace and presence of Jesus Christ. These 17 missionaries inspire every Christian and missionary to be faithful and courageous in intense trials. Sam spoke for 3 hours on the details of the abduction, captivity and escape. Many have said this exodus is an event of biblical proportions. Here it is: https://youtu.be/_AdtKvwIlPA