Friday, January 22, 2010

Arrested and Deported From Haiti

the following info & photos on (pgs 147-150 of the 1994 Yearbook), show how sometimes missionaries aren't always given the opportunity to speak and make a defense for themselves before the governmental authorities, as Jesus was able to do (mentioned in today's text discussion) when the soldiers came to arrest him.

(Missionaries: Andrew D'Amico & Max Danyleko)

On January 23, 1962, Max Danyleyko and Andrew D’Amico were arrested at the branch office, and the stock of Awake! of January 8, 1962 (in French), was confiscated. Andrew and Helen D’Amico, missionaries from Canada, were living in Bethel. Helen escaped arrest because Andrew had told her to conceal herself in the bathroom. They hoped that she would remain free to tell the others what had happened.
She says: “I stood behind the locked door and prayed.” She heard men searching the room. They came to the bathroom door. But one made some comment about another closet door, and they went to search the rest of the house. When they left, a guard remained outside until nightfall. He left just before Donald Rachwal, another missionary who lived in the home, came in from the service. Told what had happened, he sent Helen to stay with the sisters in the other missionary home, and then he began contacting other qualified brothers.

Meanwhile, the arrested brothers were confined with 17 other men in a tiny cell at the police station. They slept as best they could, sitting on the floor when not standing, since there was no room to lie down. They were interrogated throughout Wednesday but were not told the charges. Next morning they were brought before a high-ranking official who referred to an item about Haiti in the January 8 Awake! and lectured them on the equality of the races. (The news item was a quotation from articles in the magazines Le Monde and Le Soir that mentioned the practice of voodoo.) He dismissed them without allowing them to reply, and they were released.
Three weeks later, on February 14, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Religion said: “We will have to expel the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses from our State schools.” This occurred in connection with the expulsion of a young sister who had written to the principal of her school explaining why she could not salute the flag. The principal—a Roman Catholic nun—had sent the letter to the government authorities. Another sister was also expelled at that time. Both girls were in their last year of school and were excellent publishers.

Four weeks later, on March 17, Max, Donald, Andrew, and Helen were personally notified by the chief of police that all the missionaries had 24 hours to leave the country. No explanation was given. They were then taken home to collect their passports. There they saw Albert Jérome, who was now the city servant, and in a brief exchange, told him what was happening.
Back at the police station, they were kept under guard. However, Rodrigue Médor was studying with a sergeant who was on duty, so Max sent him with a note telling the brothers to contact the Canadian embassy. Through the sergeant, Rodrigue was able to visit the imprisoned missionaries at night and receive the key to the Society’s post office box from them. This officer ran errands to buy them food, contact the brothers, and check for mail.

On Sunday, March 18, the three Canadians were taken under guard to the airport for departure to Kingston, Jamaica. But since they did not have onward tickets to Canada, the airline refused them passage. A number of brothers were at the airport, and Max Danyleyko was able to speak briefly to Albert Jérome and a few others. The next day they were taken under guard right into the plane and sent off to Kingston, where they remained for a few weeks before going on to Canada. Donald Rachwal, who was from the United States, flew out separately.

Stanley Boggus, who was traveling in the circuit work, was deported along with the remaining missionaries on April 3. He later served in Zaire. Returning to the United States in 1971, he has continued to serve with the French congregations in New York. After a few months in Canada, Max Danyleyko went on to serve in Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, and now Côte d’Ivoire. Fred Lukuc served in Congo-Brazzaville and Côte d’Ivoire. For health reasons he and his wife were transferred to the Canada Bethel in 1985. Peter is presently serving with Spanish congregations in the United States. The rest of the missionaries still serve Jehovah loyally or have died faithful.

Religious Leaders Gloat
Religious leaders had been busy telling government officials that Jehovah’s Witnesses were communists who do not support the government. The clergy had also told the Witnesses that they were only awaiting a government order to get rid of them.
So they joyfully welcomed the missionaries’ expulsion. One evangelical radio station on the south coast gloatingly broadcast the news in this fashion: “Christ and the State have expelled the false prophets from the country.” The clergy expected the Kingdom work to end. But it should be noted that Jehovah’s Witnesses had not been banned.