Ohio missionary group describes how kidnapped members escaped gang in Haiti

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 9:49 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 8:43 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Christian Aid Ministries, an Ohio-based group, delivered a statement on Monday morning just days after the group found freedom, after being kidnapped while in Haiti.

Haiti police said last week that the remaining members from the Holmes County-based missionary group were released after being held captive for approximately two months, but as it turns out, according to Christian Aid Ministries, the group of hostages escaped its captors.

Members from Christian Aid Ministries said the group of 17, including five children, was on a long-term mission commitment in Haiti when they were initially kidnapped by a violent gang while in Haiti in mid-October.

Two members of the group were released in November, 3 more in December and then the final 12 members escaped just last week.

David Troyer, the CEO of Christian Aid Ministries, said he and other executives of the group agonized how best to bring the missionaries home.

“People who sought to help us provided funds to pay a ransom and allow the negotiation process to continue, Troyer said adding he could not comment on specifics of the negotiations, “However after many days, after waiting, and no action on the part of the kidnappers, God worked in a miraculous way to enable the hostages to escape.”

The hostages had been held in a small home and provided with just a minimal amount of food, although the children among the group were continually well feed.

Living conditions were poor, without proper drinking water, or room to sleep and multiple mosquito bites became festering wounds, but the kidnappers did not physically harm or abuse the hostages according to Christian Aid spokesperson Weston Showalter.

As the ordeal dragged on the remaining members of the group believed that they were being led by God to try and escape, according to Showalter and had, on a number of occasions planned an escape only to delay their plans.

Released hostages from Ohio-base group return home
Released hostages from Ohio-base group return home(Source: WOIO/Christian Aid Ministries)

The gang initially demanded a ransom of $17 million, or $1 million for each kidnapped missionary member.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available.

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