On the Escape and Return from Haiti of the U.S. Missionaries
delivered 20 December 2021
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
The hostages were sensing God nudging them to an attempt an escape. Over the time of their captivity, God gave various hostages a desire to attempt an escape [feed interruption] all of them on when and how that could take place.
To attempt such a thing would be dangerous. They sought God over and over again, seeking direction from Him. It took time, and God's work, but after much discussion and prayer they became solidly united that God seemed to be leading them this way.
They sought God in prayer, again, over and over: When would be the time? How could it be done?
On several occasions they planned an escape, but they had decided if specific things didn't happen at specific times that they had determined as a group, they would accept that as God's direction to wait. When they planned to escape, God gave clear signs that this was not the right time -- and God is always on time. Those signs that they were seeking, it was on the very minute, on the very minute of the time that they had set and the sign that they were seeking that those -- those things took place.
God was at work but the timing was not right.
They worked together, blending their perspectives and continuing to seek God. One of the men in the group felt a strong leading that God was calling them to leave. After he shared this leading with the rest of the group, they were all united that, yes, God was calling them to leave. The group testified that this unity that they arrived at was one of the greatest miracles they experienced. Before that it was hard for them to come together, but God brought them together in unity on this matter.
After discussing their plans, the group felt they should escape on the night of Wednesday, December 15. They made plans as they could but ultimately placed their situation in God's hands, depending on Him for protection and guidance.
During the night, as God directed, they prepared. They put on their shoes; they packed water in their clothes; and they prepared for the journey. They stacked their mattresses in a corner, as I understand it, and prepared to leave.
When they sensed the timing was right, they found a way to open the door that was closed and blocked, filed silently to the path that they ha[d] chosen to follow, and quickly left the place that they were held -- despite the fact that numerous guards were close by.
In the distance, they could see a mountain feature that they had recognized and they had identified in the previous days. They identified this landmark before and they knew that they -- this is the direction that they needed to go. They also followed the sure guidance of the stars as they journeyed through the night traveling toward safety.
This group included a married couple, a 10-month-old baby, a three-year-old child, a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, four single men, and two single women. With God's help, protection, and leading they quickly made their way through the night. They walked for possibly as much as 10 miles -- It's a little bit hard to discern exactly how far the distance was, but for many miles -- traveling through woods and thickets, working through thorns and briars. One of the hostages said, and I quote, "Two hours were through fierce brambles. We were in gang territory the whole hike."
The moon provided light for their path. During times they weren't sure where to go, they stopped. And what do you think they did? They prayed, "God show us where to go."
And He did.
At times, they said, yes there were times there was thick brambles, very difficult to maneuver through, but at other times it felt like God had prepared a path before them and they would -- in the direction that they were going -- which I believe was North, Northwest. The path would go North, then the path would go West; then the path would go North and the path would go West.
God was leading them.
The little baby, they had wrapped very carefully in a lot of blankets and so forth, so she would be protected from the briars and brambles.
They needed, as I understand it, [to] carry both of the small children. And amazingly enough, the little boy, when he would be scratched, would whimper just a little bit -- but it would stop, and they were silent.
After a number of hours of walking, day began to dawn and they eventually found someone who helped them make a phone call for help.
They were finally free. Finally free. Thanks be to God.
Later that day, all of them flew on a Coast Guard flight to Florida. And then they were later reunited with all the -- the other hostages that had been -- had been released prior.
Page Updated: 12/21/21
U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Uncertain. Image = Fair Use.