Bearss Family

Bearss Family

Dr. Jim Bearss & Anna Betsy Bearss

April 2024

RESCUED! The story of our amazing rescue from Haiti!

Steve Svendsen, Rich Powell, Anna, and I arrived in a peaceful Haiti February 27th with plans to conduct Module 5 of the Haiti Bible Institute, the school we founded in 2009. All fourteen of our pastoral students were able to attend the Module which started February 28th. With great expectations, we were all set for another great teaching session. The students were eager to learn, and the professors were well prepared to teach. But the next day everything changed. The gangs in Port-au-Prince launched well-orchestrated, coordinated attacks on the airports, the police stations, and the prisons, freeing 4,000 inmates. Haiti was in turmoil! The students became visibly concerned for the safety of their own families, but with much prayer and great trust in God we pressed on to complete the module. On Monday, March 4th, all the airlines cancelled service to Haiti indefinitely and so the airports closed. Now we were stranded! The Module ended successfully March 6th, and all the students were able to return safely to their homes, but we could not leave Haiti or Port-au-Prince since the gangs controlled all the main roads restricting travel anywhere.

Anna and I, and along with Steve and Rich notified our churches and we prayed for a way out. After ten more anxious days of waiting and hopeless searching for a rescue, we finally received a call from the office of Rep. Cory Mills, US Congressman from Florida’s 7th District. Many of our families and friends had reached out to their representatives and to Rep. Mills on our behalf, and we were told that Congressman Mills was organizing a rescue for us on Sunday, March 17th. At 9:30 PM Saturday, we were informed of the secret rescue site, so we left the hotel immediately and traveled through the dark night violating the curfew to reach the appointed area. God graciously allowed us to arrive there safely without incident, and we prepared to board a helicopter at midnight. While we were assembled in the waiting area, we received word that the landing site was no longer viable, and no other landing site was available. Our hearts sank! But God again intervened, and just two hours later we were given a new landing site with a 5:00 AM rescue scheduled. So again, we traveled through the streets of the city in the dark and arrived at the new site at 4:30 AM. Five o’clock came and went, and no helicopter came; then six o’clock, then seven o’clock, then eight o’clock passed and still no word on the rescue. Finally, just before nine o’clock we received a call that Congressman Mills and the helicopter would arrive at 9:20 AM. When we heard the sound of the helicopter flying overhead, then saw it landing on the soccer field, our hearts leapt for joy! We scrambled onto the chopper, and it lifted off two short minutes later. We were rescued! We were flown to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where we booked a flight to Maimi later that afternoon. When our plane touched down at Miami International Airport, the indescribable joy we felt being safe on US soil was overwhelming. Never in our lives had we experienced anything like the providential care of our great God who brought us safely home. It caused me to wonder how much greater joy we would experience once we finally reach our heavenly home where we will be forever with our Lord. Praise God for His enduring love and care for His children.

On Target Ministry
Serving God through International Education

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