In the town of Hart, Michigan, community members gathered to celebrate the return of six missionaries who spent two months in captivity.
Members of Hart Dunkard Brethren Church met with the rest of the community for a luncheon and prayer service on Sunday in Oceana County.
The Noecker family makes up part of the 17 people abducted by the 400 Mawozo Gang in October, during a mission trip to Haiti with Christian Aid Ministries.
Father and Missionary Ray Noecker was the only member of his family not taken hostage.
“One of the things that reassured me when my family was in captivity is, I knew that God called us and wanted us to be in Haiti,” Noecker said.
He shared the moment he was reunited with his family at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
“Everybody got out of the vehicle and we just spent about 20 minutes praising the Lord and just sharing, and it was a very exciting time for us,” Noecker said.
Noecker says his family relied on their faith when making their escape.
“When the path seemed to be blocked, they would just gather together and pray, so a lot of prayer and seeking God’s direction at that time,” Noecker says.
Family friend and host of the event Carleton Horst was happy he could help bring the community together for the Noecker family.
“Everybody knows each other pretty well, we recognize a lot of people that are coming here today as well, and we really appreciate having a community that seems to really bond together over this time,” Horst said.
Noecker is thankful for his friends and his congregation for their support during those scary two months.
“We spent time in the mornings reading God’s word, praying and singing, there were men there I could talk to when I was struggling just to have hope,” Noecker said.
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