Local family among missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.

October 19, 2021

– AP photo
The orphanage in Haiti where the missionaries had  visited prior to being kidnapped.

Local family among missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.

Five members of a local family, including four children, are among the 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.

The pastor at Hart Dunkard Brethren Church on North 56th Avenue confirmed to area media that the family belongs to the congregation. Pastor Ron Marks said the family members include a parent and four children, with the youngest child being less than 10 years old.

Marks said the Hart Dunkard Brethren did not sponsor the mission and he has not been in contact with the family since they left for Haiti. The pastor said his congregation is praying for their safe return. 

The Christian missionaries were snatched Saturday, Oct. 16, by gang members near Port-Au-Prince, the capital of a country where kidnappings have become increasingly common. They were taken by a gang called 400 Mawozo, which is known for kidnappings, extortion and killings.

The gang kidnapped the group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian after a trip to visit the Maison La Providence de Dieu orphanage, according to NPR. The group, which includes six men, six women and five children, is with Christian Aid Ministries based in Millersburg, Ohio

The ministries organization was founded in 1981 and works with Amish, Mennonite and other conservative Anabaptist groups to “minister to physical and spiritual needs around the world.”

The US government is working with authorities in Haiti to get the missionaries released.

Christian Aid Ministries released the following statement Monday, Oct. 18:

“We are entering the third day since 17 of our workers were kidnapped by a gang in Haiti. The media has carried this situation across the globe. Civil authorities in Haiti and the United States are aware of what has happened and are offering assistance. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are in earnest prayer.

“We greatly appreciate the prayers of believers around the world, including our many Amish and Mennonite supporters. The Bible says, ‘The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much’ (James 5:16).

“Join us in prayer that God’s grace would sustain the men, women, and children who are being held hostage. In a world where violence and force are seen as the solution to problems, we believe in God’s call to Christians to ‘…not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’ (Romans 12:21). Pray that those being held hostage could find strength to demonstrate God’s love. The kidnappers, like all people, are created in the image of God and can be changed if they turn to Him. While we desire the safe release of our workers, we also desire that the kidnappers be transformed by the love of Jesus, the only true source of peace, joy, and forgiveness.”

Christian Aid Ministries released the following statement Sunday, Oct. 17:

“We request urgent prayer for the group of Christian Aid Ministries workers who were abducted while on a trip to visit an orphanage on Saturday, October 16. We are seeking God’s direction for a resolution, and authorities are seeking ways to help.

“The group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian citizen includes six men, six women, and five children. Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers, and the families, friends, and churches of those affected. Pray for those who are seeking God’s direction and making decisions regarding this matter.

“As an organization, we commit this situation to God and trust Him to see us through. May the Lord Jesus be magnified and many more people come to know His love and salvation.

“‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust . . . For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.’” (Psalm 91:1,2,11).

The office of US Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) released the following statement Monday, Oct. 18:

“It’s a sad day for West Michigan. It appears that individuals from West Michigan have been kidnapped while serving on a mission trip in Haiti. My office is working in cooperation and consultation with the State Department and the Biden Administration to secure the safe return of the missionaries and their family members. I hope you will join me in praying for those who have been taken as well as those working to secure their safe release. Out of respect for the privacy and the safety of all involved, I will be limiting public comment until this very fluid and dangerous situation is resolved. ”


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