Friday, March 18, 2011

U.S Missionary Freed From Haitian Jail Returns Home

A Bradenton missionary who was just released from jail in Haiti has returned home to Manatee County.

Danny Pye, 29, was arrested five months ago while doing mission work in Haiti following some confusion over some property and his residency card.

Pye, a Christian pastor, runs an orphanage with his wife, LeAnn, in the southern city of Jacmel.

His wife, who is expected to give birth to their second child within days, had been fighting to free him since December, when he was jailed after a judge misread an identification card.

The couple released the following statement after his release.

We're pleased that Danny has been released from Haiti and will be back home with his family. It has been a very difficult ordeal but we're grateful for all of those who supported us in prayer and worked for Danny's release. Due to Leann's pregnancy, imminent delivery and Danny's imminent return, we're looking forward to some private time together.

Pye said he was told that he was being released because the judge had found no cause to hold him, essentially clearing him of wrongdoing.

He wrote a letter to his supporters following his release. It read, in part:

I am a free man. Never formally charged, and all accusations dismissed. My freedom came at a high price, yet at the same time free for me, but isn't that true of redemption with God as well? I am well, healthy, whole, happy, excited, looking forward to embrace all of you (some sooner than others.

I have been at a beautiful hotel, having a party with my kids in my children's home, 15 minutes outside Jacmel. I have not been able to sleep much yet, or even eat much yet, but all that will come soon. Words cannot express the joy it has been for the last 12 hours to sit, cry, and laugh with part of my family. Dozens of Church members have already hired transportation and come out just to see me, touch me, and cry over me in rejoicing.

I have a private plane on its way already to pick me up directly in Jacmel and take me to Bradenton/Sarasota with some close friends aboard. Leann and Riann wait for my arrival. I will be in Florida, God willing, for the birth of little Joseph, who is quickly causing great pain in Leann as I type this. I look forward to talking to each of you in a short while.

Thank you so much for your prayers on my behalf, and Leann's behalf, and all the support and love you have shown us in the past six months. It is what has sustained us, and brought healing, joy, and grace into our daily lives.

Once he touched down at Dolphin Aviation in a private plane Thursday night around 8:30 p.m., Pye hugged his family and thanked everyone for their support during his fight to get home.

"It feels great, thank you very much, thank you for all your support and love. And the tens of thousands of people that have been praying for us and loving on my wife and family," he said. It feels great to be back on American soil."

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