A Haitian police spokesman announced Thursday that a kidnapping gang has finally released all remaining hostages from an Ohio-based missionary group. He gave no immediate details.
“We glorify God for answered prayer – the remaining 12 hostages are FREE!” Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement. “Join us in praising God that all 17 of our loved ones are now safe.”
“Thank you for your fervent prayers throughout the past two months. We hope to provide more information as we are able. ‘I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously’ (Exodus 15:1b),” the statement continued.
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Seventeen members of the group from Christian Aid Ministries were captured two months ago. Five had been freed in earlier releases.
The nightmare began on Oct. 16 when the missionaries were kidnapped while traveling to a Haitian orphanage. Sixteen are U.S. citizens and one is Canadian. The youngest is just eight months old.
Those responsible are part of the notorious street 400 Mowozo gang. As CBN News reported the gang had demanded $1 million for each victim. Earlier this month, they released three hostages after letting two of the hostages go last month all without incident.
No details have been released as to whether any ransom was paid.
The apparent targeting of American church groups is now sounding alarm bells for other missionaries. Bruce and Mary Melissa Vernon recently told CBN News that the embassy has asked all American missionaries to leave Haiti due to gang violence and rising economic turmoil. The couple returned safely in November and still want to go back when the time is right.
“Sometimes we can hear gunshots from our house that we think are associated with 400 Mowozo gang,” said Bruce. “Because of the gangs and kidnappings, we had to move our Bible classes online. There are very few missionaries left in Haiti at this time.”
The Vernons have asked people across the globe to join together in prayer, using Scripture as a focal point in the petition:
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NIV).
“We believe that God will move upon the kidnappers through the ministry of these wonderful missionaries,” Bruce concluded.
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