After four days of captivity, Pastor Elie Henry, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America (IAD), along with his adult daughter Irma, were released unharmed on December 28, 2020, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
The pair were taken captive on December 24, while returning from the Adventist hospital where Irma works as a physiotherapist.
Although based in Miami (US), Pastor Henry, originally from Haiti, was visiting family at the time of the kidnapping.
Pastor Henry released a statement after his release thanking church members around the world.
“On behalf of my wife and daughters, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to our brothers and sisters around the world who fervently prayed for us during the difficult experience these past few days.
He went on to state that, “Every experience and trial is an opportunity to be closer to God, and we are strengthened by His grace and love in our lives and will continue to do our part in sharing the good news that Jesus is coming soon.” Read his full statement.
Pastor Leonard Johnson, IAD executive secretary, was the first to confirm that the pair had been released.
“We praise God for His protection over them,” said Pastor Johnson. “Our church leaders and members across Inter-America and the world prayed for their release, and we are relieved and thankful to God.”
On behalf of the IAD Administration, Pastor Johnson thanked the individuals and organisations that worked tirelessly and those who prayed for the safe return of Pastor Henry and Irma.
News sources report that armed abductions in Haiti surged during 2020.