At a Monday press conference in Berlin, Ohio, officials with a Christian missionary organization said that a group of 12 hostages in Haiti found their way to safety after making a daring late-night escape.
The missionary organization, Christian Aid Ministries, is based in Holmes County. Its director David Troyer released a video last week (above) announcing that all of the hostages had been freed, but details of their release were not disclosed.
An original group of 17 was abducted in October. The group, which included an infant and two children, had been performing missionary work at an orphanage in the Port-au-Prince area when they were captured by the 400 Mawozo Gang, one of many street gangs asserting political and economic dominance in Haiti after the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse in July. The gang made ransom demands for $1 million per hostage. Five of the hostages were previously released, though no details were provided about negotiations or payments.
On Monday, Christian Aid Ministries said that the remaining 12 made an overnight escape and walked for miles to safety. They were transported back last week on a U.S.-flagged plane.
In a statement, Christian Aid Ministries said that the hostages were able to spend their captivity together as a group.
"They spent many hours of each day praying, singing, and encouraging each other," the statement read. "Unfortunately, they did not have a Bible, but they recited Bible verses by memory among themselves. They prayed for their captors and told them about God’s love and their need to repent."
Troyer said that all the hostages seem to be doing "reasonably well" and asked for continued prayers and privacy from the media as they return to normal life.
A caveat that this is the only account of the group's release for now. Additional, and possibly conflicting, information may yet emerge.
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