American nurse kidnapped in Haiti forgives abductors: 'Jesus is always willing to forgive'

Alix Dorsainvil, a New Hampshire resident, was kidnapped on July 27, 2023, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was later freed from captivity on Aug. 8, 2023.  
Alix Dorsainvil, a New Hampshire resident, was kidnapped on July 27, 2023, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She was later freed from captivity on Aug. 8, 2023.   | Screengrab: YouTube/ El Roi Haiti

Alix Dorsainvil, an American Christian nurse kidnapped from the school of Christian education ministry El Roi Haiti and released this month, has spoken out in a public video saying she "holds no grudges" against her kidnappers and forgives them. 

Dorsainvil and her daughter, who are New Hampshire residents, were abducted on July 27 near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

In an Aug. 17 YouTube video posted on the El Roi Haiti website, Dorsainvil shared a message in the native Haitian language of Creole in which she offered sentiments of forgiveness to those who abducted her and remarks of gratitude to those who had prayed for her release.

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"For the gangsters, I have a message for you. I want you guys to know that everything I said during my time in captivity was sincere. They were not the manipulative words of someone desperate to escape, but simply the truth, especially when I told you my clinic doors are always open to you or anyone in need when you're sick or wounded, without any problem," said Dorsainvil, addressing the group of armed men who kidnapped her and held her captive for two weeks. 

"I understand now why that doesn't seem like a possibility for you guys. But, if it were up to me, I would care for you without any prejudice and receive you with open arms. I want you to know that I hold no grudges against you in my heart," she continued. 

"That doesn't mean that I agree with what you are doing, especially what you are doing against your own Haitian brothers and sisters, because even if ransom is paid and the victims are released, this particular event leaves a scar in their heart. That will never go away."

American nurse Alix Dorsainvil (L) and her husband, Sandro Dorsainvil (R), founder and director of the El Roi Academy and Institution Mixte Vwatizang Ayisyen Yo, a Christian ministry in Haiti.
American nurse Alix Dorsainvil (L) and her husband, Sandro Dorsainvil (R), founder and director of the El Roi Academy and Institution Mixte Vwatizang Ayisyen Yo, a Christian ministry in Haiti. | El Roi Haiti

Dorsainvil is a devout Christian who married the founder of El Roi Haiti, Sandro Dorsainvil, in 2021. She has been traveling to Haiti since 2010 and has worked as a nurse at the school since 2020. 

Dorsainvil was taking care of the needs of patients in a tiny brick clinic when a swarm of armed men abducted her and her daughter away from the campus, according to The Associated Press.

Although it remains unclear whether a ransom was given for her freedom, Dorsainvil was freed from captivity on Aug. 8. 

The U.S. Department of State, which worked with Haitian counterparts to secure the release, has not confirmed if a ransom was paid. 

"We have no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. "As you can imagine, these individuals have been through a very difficult ordeal, both physically and mentally."

In the week following her and her daughter's release, Dorsainvil's husband reported that the two were not harmed and are in healthy condition.

El Roi Haiti wrote that the release of their founder's wife and daughter displayed how faithful God can be when powerful prayers are sent His way.

"We are so thankful for everyone who joined us in prayer and supported us during this crisis," the nonprofit ministry wrote. 

"We praise God that He has proven Himself faithful as He restores, supports, and strengthens Alix and her family, the ministry of El Roi Haiti, and the community that Alix has impacted — and continues to impact — with her ministry in Haiti."

Speaking directly to her former abductors, Dorsainvil also shared in her recent video that she believes that their actions towards her were all a part of an effort to fill "a void" in their hearts that she said can only truly be filled through Jesus Christ.  

"I understand that all of you are in search for happiness, satisfaction, money, power and status to fill the void in your hearts; like a hole in your heart, an empty space within your heart, and you're searching for all those things as a way to try to fill that hole, that empty space. But, I want you to know that those things will never truly satisfy you," Dorsainvil said.

"They will never fill the void in your hearts. The only way for this hole to be filled is with the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus is always willing to forgive you, no matter what you have done. All you need to do is accept that love." 

Dorsainvil noted that if her abductors were to truly accept Jesus' love, every part of their hearts that feels empty and every hole in their hearts would be filled. 

"Every part of your heart that feels like something is missing … will be filled with His joy, peace and love in a way you never could have imagined. And you'll realize that all the things that you've been chasing are nothing," Dorsainvil said. 

"That's my message for you. I love you in Christ and one day, I hope to hug you in Heaven."  

When Dorsainvil was held captive, hundreds of Haitians joined together to protest the kidnapping in the streets near El Roi Haiti's campus. 

At the start of her video, Dorsainvil detailed that she was unaware she was being prayed for during her captivity, but she could still feel the prayers of many people on her behalf. 

"To all my friends in Haiti, thank you so much to everyone who was praying for me. And for all those who stood up and marched demanding my freedom, thank you so much," Dorsainvil said. 

"God granted me courage and strength. This is a result of all of your prayers. So, thank you so much. While in there, a gangster came in and said: 'Nurse Alix, the people of Duvivier are marching for you.' This encouraged me a lot because I knew you were standing with me during that difficult time," she continued. 

"Thank you because it took a lot of courage for you to do that. Thank you so much. God is faithful and God is great. God was with me and He never left me." 

After the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021, Haiti has endured rising political tensions and increased violence among the Haitian population.

Gang violence and crime have skyrocketed and continue to terrorize the Caribbean country — which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to its east. 

As her video concluded, Dorsainvil delivered a final message to the Haitian population. 

"Despite what has happened to me, my love for you all, my love for Haiti, has not changed or gone away. I may need some time to pray and seek God's direction because I cannot take one step out of God's will," Dorsainvil said. 

"If it were uniquely my decision, I'd be working in the clinic today. But, I know I have undergone a lot of trauma, emotional trauma and I need to take some time to heal. But, I would like to come back, to be there for you, and to support you in Christ. Thank you very much," she added. 

"Have a good day. Hang in there. I know that Haiti is very difficult in these times. I know. But, God hears you. Don't give up faith. OK? Goodbye." 

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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