(CMR) Earlier Monday evening the Adventist World publication confirmed that Pastor Elie Henry, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America and his daughter were released and unharmed earlier on Monday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The pair had been reunited with his wife after kidnappers had requested a $5M ransom.
The pair were kidnapped in the evening hours on Christmas Eve. According to family members’ posts on Facebook, Elie Henry and his wife, Ketlie Henry, were on a short holiday visit to Haiti, where their daughter, Irma, has been living and working at a hospital. “Irma and her father left the hospital by private vehicle at approximately 6:00 pm last night and never arrived at their expected destination.
On Sunday morning Elie’s brother who is a neurosurgeon in Port au Prince was contacted by kidnappers who said that they are holding Irma and her father for a ransom of $5 million USD. Elie Henry, 76, lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Ketlie Henry. He has three daughters, including Irma, 25, who was born in Miami and has been living and working in Haiti. Her parents were visiting her for a short trip, according to their family.
The brief statement shared that the American family was now safe and had been the subject of ongoing prayer in the church and around the world.
Henry is a native of Haiti and earned his degree in theology from the Université de Strasbourg, according to Spectrum Magazine. He has served in the church for more than 40 years. Spectrum Magazine wrote, “A native of Haiti, Henry’s career began as a district pastor in Haiti. He also served as professor, conference secretary, conference president, as well as union president. Dr. Henry also served as human resources director at the IAD headquarter office while he held the position of vice president.”
Irma Henry is a physical therapist at Hospital Adventist d’Haiti, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was born and raised in Miami and attended the Greater Miami Adventist Academy. She said on LinkedIn that she completed her doctorate in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in California in 2018.
Before moving to work in Haiti in 2018, Henry was a student physical therapist at Avid Physical Therapy in Loma Linda, at Casa Colina and at Florida Hospital in Orlando.
“Haiti is the land of my roots and a place where my heart lies. Growing up, I had the privilege to both see the beauty and turmoil of the land. It was difficult understanding how much struggle could exist in such a beautiful place. I believe it was then that I was impressed to someday return to Haiti and make a difference,” she wrote on the fundraiser page. “However, I was at a loss as to how I could make any difference. Fortunately, with my introduction to the field of physical therapy came the realization that there are several opportunities to use my newfound knowledge and abilities to help others. As such, this mission trip to Haiti is a perfect opportunity to fulfill this calling.”