According to a senior Biden administration official, at least some of the 17 American and Canadian missionaries who were abducted in mid-October by the 400 Mawozo gang in Haiti have been confirmed alive.
As reported by Reuters, the official, who chose to remain anonymous, said that the U.S. government has seen proof that some of the missionaries are still alive.
The 17 missionaries, 16 Americans and 1 Canadian from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, were abducted by the gang on Oct. 16 after visiting an orphanage. Five children, who were with the missionaries, were also kidnapped.
“It is now the 24th day of this crisis, and our workers and loved ones are still being held hostage in Haiti. We, along with government authorities, continue to work hard to bring them home safely. This is our heartfelt desire, but we want to surrender to God’s plan and timing,” Christian Aid Ministries said in an update on Monday.
“The families of the hostages continue to face long days of waiting for news about their loved ones,” the statement continued. “The hostages no doubt face long days as well, wondering when they might be released. Your prayers have been a lifeline of hope and encouragement for the families, for us at CAM, and no doubt for the hostages during the past several weeks. Keep praying!”
Wilson Joseph, the 400 Mawozo gang leader, recently threatened to kill the missionaries if his demands were not met. The crime boss had requested a ransom of $1 million per missionary.
“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” Joseph said in a video that was translated by Bloomberg Quicktake.
Last Thursday, the Ministry of Defense in Haiti’s neighboring Dominican Republic confirmed that five U.S. helicopters were likely traveling to Haiti as part of a humanitarian mission.
“The helicopters caused a stir on social media, due to the political crisis in Haiti, aggravated by the kidnapping of 17 American missionaries,” the Dominican Today reported. “The operation is likely the start of a U.S. humanitarian mission in Haiti.”
The abduction of the 17 missionaries comes after the kidnapping of a Haitian-American pastor in early October. The pastor has since been released.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Naruedom
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.