This week will mark eight years since Prit and I were kidnapped at gunpoint outside our church in Petite-Anse. It never entered our minds that a gang would enter our church yard, commandeer our Isuzu Trooper and take us for a wild ride into the countryside to avoid any contact with the police.
After releasing me, the kidnappers chose to hold Prit hostage until I could manage to round up the money that would set him free. We always joke about the fact that they chose the wrong missionaries since they were demanding over $300,000 in US funds. We didn’t even have the money to build our new church.
One member of the gang was assigned to guard Prit and make sure he didn’t get away. His name was Jean. Jean’s pockets were full of bullets. He confessed to Prit that he had shot his wife in the foot after finding out that she had been unfaithful. Before the ordeal was over, however, Jean had poured his heart out to Prit. Pastor, I can’t get out. If I leave the gang, they’ll hunt me down and kill me. If I stay, the police will probably catch me. My family has disowned me. I can’t even go outside to use the bathroom without taking my guns with me for fear of getting shot.” Prit tried every way he could to share the Gospel with Jean and to encourage him to give up the life he was leading before it was too late.
The day Prit was released was the last time he ever saw Jean. Before Prit was led back down the mountain to the small town of Limbé under the cover of darkness, Jean surprised him by returning an item to him. It seems the Lord had been pricking his conscience. Jean had previously stolen my necklace. He handed it back to Prit and confessed that he shouldn’t have taken it. He also gave Prit $20 Haitian. Lastly, he took off his watch and handed it to Prit. “Pastor, please don’t forget me. Take my watch as a reminder to pray for me every day.” The watch still sits up on the shelf in our bedroom, but only the Lord knows what ever became of Jean. Rumors have abounded that some members of the gang were killed. Still we pray for Jean.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful after all this time to discover that this gang member living a life of crime did leave his former ways to become a disciple of the Lord? Meanwhile, we are still praying for Jean.