After the escape, before leaving Haiti.
After the escape, notice the cuts and scratches from the “prickly briars”.
The ordeal began two months ago, when the group was kidnapped by a gang called 400 Mawozo in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince after visiting an orphanage. Gang members surrounded its van, penning the missionaries in with two vehicles, and then took them to a small house. The missionaries were held in a small room, about 10 by 12 feet, Mr. Showalter said.
For days, Mr. Showalter said, the missionaries prayed that God would reveal the right moment for their escape.
Twice when they planned to flee, God told them to wait, he said. But on Wednesday night, the missionaries put on their shoes and packed water in their clothes. They used a mountain as a landmark and followed the light of the moon and “the sure guidance of the stars,” he said.
“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 they had chosen to follow, and quickly left the place they were held, despite the fact that numerous guards were close by,” Showalter said.
Evading “numerous guards”, the group travelled in the direction of a mountain that they had seen days earlier, using constellations to guide them. It was not immediately clear how they managed to escape the guards.
He explained how the group, including all of the children, remained silent during the ordeal and that the infant was wrapped in clothing to protect her from the prickly briars. “Two hours were through fierce brambles. We were in gang territory the whole hike,” he said, quoting one of the escapees.
In the morning they came across a person who called the “authorities.”
“The hostages spoke to the gang leader on several occasions, boldly reminding him of God and warning him of God’s eventual judgment if him and the gang members continue in their gangs,” Mr Showalter said, adding that the group maintained a 24-hour prayer vigil while in captivity.
There has been no independent confirmation of Mr Showalter’s account by either US or Haitian officials.
The organization said that an unspecified ransom had been provided but did not describe the money as leading directly to the hostages’ freedom. Instead David N. Troyer, general director of Christian Aid Ministries, said that “after many days of waiting and no action on the part of the kidnappers, God worked in a miraculous way to enable the hostages to escape.”
This has been a follow up to All Hostages From Ohio-Based Missionary Group Freed in Haiti.