After escaping the camp, the group used moonlight, starlight, and prayer to guide their way to safety.
“With God’s help, protection, and leading, they quickly made their way through the night. They walked for possibly as much as ten miles, traveling through woods and thickets, working through thorns and briars,” said Showalter.
“The moon provided light for their path. During times they weren’t sure which way to go, they stopped and prayed, asking God to show them,” he said.
In a statement published on Christian Aid Ministries’ website, the organization said they forgave the kidnappers.
“We do not know all of the challenges you face. We do believe that violence and oppression of others can never be justified. You caused our hostages and their families a lot of suffering,” it said.
“However, Jesus taught us by word and by His own example that the power of forgiving love is stronger than the hate of violent force. Therefore, we extend forgiveness to you. The hostages told you plainly how you can also be forgiven by God, if you repent. Our desire is that you and all who hear or read this statement may come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Son of God, and the Prince of Peace. Jesus died for all so that all can be saved.”
Haiti has become increasingly dangerous; in mid-November, the U.S. State Department ordered American citizens to leave the country.
“The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to make plans to depart Haiti now via commercial means. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of traveling to or remaining in Haiti in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges,” said the State Department in a Nov. 10 release.
“Widespread fuel shortages may limit essential services in an emergency, including access to banks, money transfers, urgent medical care, internet and telecommunications, and public and private transportation options. The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti with departure if commercial options become unavailable,” the department said.
The 400 Mawozo gang responsible for kidnapping the 17 missionaries is the same criminal gang behind the April 2021 kidnapping of Catholic priests and religious in Haiti.