U.S. and Haitian authorities are seeking answers in the abduction of an American nurse and her young daughter from a Christian mission near Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, where gang violence and civil disorder have increasingly driven humanitarian organizations out of the country. According to multiple news reports, captors are seeking a $1 million ransom.
Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter, whose name has not been made public, were reported missing July 27 after armed gunmen took them from the health clinic operated by the Christian humanitarian ministry El Roi Haiti, where Dorsainvil worked as a community nurse.
The U.S. State Department and Haitian authorities would not discuss details, including who might be responsible for the kidnapping, only reporting that the search for Dorsainvil and her daughter is ongoing. A State Department spokesman said in a press briefing that “the safety and security of American citizens overseas is our highest priority.”
Dorsainvil’s husband, Sandro Dorsainvil—a Haiti native and Liberty University graduate—is the founder of El Roi Haiti, a ministry that “exists to raise up Haitian leaders who will strengthen families, restore relationships, and build healthy communities that function according to God’s design and purpose,” according to the ministry’s website.
Alix Dorsainvil, a New Hampshire native, had traveled to Haiti for humanitarian work beginning as a college student in 2010. She was recruited to the El Roi ministry as a full-time nurse in 2020, and the couple married in 2021, according to an El Roi blog post.
Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook: “I was saddened to read in the news about the kidnapping of American nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her young daughter in Haiti on Thursday. She was working at a Christian mission helping children. Haiti is going through a difficult time—there are millions of people living in darkness and fear. We need to pray that Alix and her child would come home safely.”
Long plagued by corruption, Haiti has seen criminal elements seize more power since the late Prime Minister Jovenel Moise was assassinated in 2021. The Associated Press reported that there have been 539 kidnappings in Haiti since January—but that number is likely much higher because locals underreport such crimes for fear of retaliation. The increased violence has also resulted in fewer humanitarian groups working in the country.
El Roi released a statement on its blog Monday, stating: “We continue to work diligently with authorities and partners in the United States and Haiti to secure their freedom. Many people are laboring for their return, but currently we cannot share more specific details. … Please continue to pray with us for the protection and freedom of Alix and her daughter. As our hearts break for this situation, we also continue to pray for the country and people of Haiti and for freedom from the suffering they endure daily.”
“We have committed this situation to God, knowing that He is good,” the El Roi ministry said in a statement, “so until Alix and her daughter are safely returned to us, we will do as it says in Psalm 27:14, ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord,’” (NIV).
In its statement, the El Roi ministry says Alix “seeks people out to show them love and compassion, and no one is excluded from receiving her kindness.”
“Alix lives a life following in the footsteps of Jesus as she obeys the Biblical command found in Mark 12:30-31, to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength … and to love your neighbor as yourself’” (NIV).
Above: Alix Dorsainvil and her husband, Sandro. Photo courtesy of El Roi Haiti