The last 12 hostages from a group of 17 people abducted two months ago during a Christian relief mission to Haiti have been released, Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) reported Dec. 16.
“We glorify God for answered prayer—the remaining twelve hostages are FREE!” the ministry announced in an update on its website. “Join us in praising God that all seventeen 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 group, which included men, women, children and one infant, was visiting an orphanage in the capital of Port-au-Prince when they were taken hostage by a gang known as 400 Mawozo, which is known to conduct mass kidnappings for ransom. Several news reports said the gang had asked for $1 million per person, but neither CAM nor the U.S. government had commented on those reports.
In November, the group released two hostages, then released three more in early December.
On Dec. 3, CAM invited believers around the world to devote three days to prayer and fasting for the release of the hostages.
“We recognize the power of prayer and fasting,” the ministry said. “We believe that it is Satan’s goal to destroy the work of God through strongholds of darkness. When Jesus and His disciples sought to overcome such strongholds in Matthew 17:21, Jesus said, ‘this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’ In Esther 4:16, Queen Esther proclaimed a three-day fast when her people were facing danger.”
The Washington Post reported that State Department and FBI officials had been working in Haiti to help secure the release of the hostages, all of whom were Americans except for one Canadian. Most were from Mennonite and other Anabaptist congregations in the upper Midwest.
Lawlessness in Haiti has grown since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in July, with large swaths of Port-au-Prince now controlled by gangs. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August worsened the social unrest as resources were strained.
Above: An entrance to the Christian Aid Ministries compound in Titanyen, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 18
Photo: REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol/Alamy Stock Photo