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Christian Aid Ministries shares details on missionaries' escape from Haitian gang

ohio missionaries escaped.png
Christian Aid Ministries
All 17 kidnapped missionaries and one additional family member.

Christian Aid Ministries is sharing details on how the 12 remaining missionaries held hostage in Haiti gained their freedom.

17 members of the Millersburg, Ohio-based group were kidnapped in mid-October by the 400 Mawozo gang. The gang had demanded ransom for the group.

Five of the hostages were previously released before the remaining 12 escaped last week. Ministries spokesman Weston Showalter says they included a 10-month-old and two other young children. They broke out of the house they were being held in during the night.

Weston Showalter
How the missionaries escaped

“With God’s help, protection and leading, they quickly made their way through the night. They walked for possibly as much as 10 miles – it’s a little bit hard to discern exactly how far the distance was – but for many miles, travelling through woods and thickets, working through thorns and briars.”

The group returned to the U.S. last week.

Although Ministries General Director David Troyer says Haiti presents dangers, they will not permanently end their work in the country.

David Troyer
They do not want to abandon the Haitian people.

“We do not want to abandon the Haitian people in what is perhaps their greatest hour of need. There will be a pause no doubt. We will be seeking direction from God and counsel from others to us help chart the course for the future.”

Troyer says the missionaries were helping children go to school, providing support for the elderly and widows, distributing medicine and food and rebuilding homes destroyed by the recent earthquake.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.