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The 7.0 earthquake that hit in Haiti Jan. 12 temporarily stranded one Madison County man on the Caribbean island off Cuba’s southeast tip.

The Rev. Cary Lane, pastor of Shiloh Free Will Baptist Church in Criglersville, was in Port-au-Prince to attend a conference at a Bible institute, when the quake hit.

“I (had) a lot to be thankful for,” his wife Lynette Lane said. “Cary (was) in Port-au-Prince staying with a medical missionary team — he’s well and they’ve seen lots and lots of patients. He was down there to do some teaching in a Bible institute — but that was cancelled so he (was) assisting Joe and April Hess anyway he could.”

Though initially not expected back until later this week, Lane surprised his family when he was able to hitchhike out of Haiti to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic and then get a flight to Florida.

He arrived, after two days of travel, in Washington, D.C. Jan. 17.“I’m very, very happy to be back,” Lane said about the airport reunion with his family. “They were definitely glad to see me (too). (There was) a lot going on, so when I found the door out I just needed to get back.”

Lane’s near-epic hitchhike out of Haiti took twice as long as usual, the Rochelle man said in a Jan. 18 phone interview.

“I ran into a guy who said there were ways to get out through Dominican Republic,” Lane said of the trip. “It’s just natural to want to be with your family when going through something so traumatic.”

The Lanes had been in contact on a satellite phone since the earthquake, but Lynette Lane said that communication remained difficult.

“I would (have) liked to talk to him (more),” said Lane. “But I (was) not sad about it – my heart (was) at rest (because) I knew he (was) fine.”

Cary Lane has previously travelled to Haiti numerous times as part of the mission work he does through his church. He often travels with other members of the Shiloh congregation, including his 16-year-old daughter, Breanna Lane, who had initially planned to join her father on this trip.

The minister will likely return to Haiti alone as he said he is only back in Madison attempting to find support to get supplies into Haiti, where he seeks to return as early as next week.

“It’s a very, very dangerous place right now,” Lane said. “In the next few days we’ll probably see the rioting increase.”

He said his family is planning to come later in the year when the rebuilding starts because the country may be more stable by then.


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