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Families Of Missionaries Kidnapped In Haiti Pray For Their Safe Return

The Christian Aid Ministries headquarters in Millersburg, Ohio.
Scott Good
The Christian Aid Ministries headquarters in Millersburg, Ohio.

Residents of Millersburg in Holmes County eagerly await news from Haiti. A gang known as 400 Mawozo kidnapped 17 people, including members of Millersburg-based Christian Aid Ministries and five children outside of Port-au-Prince on Saturday. The group was returning from a trip to an orphanage.

Outside of the Christian Aid Ministries' headquarters on Monday, Tiertzah Rarick was visiting Holmes County from California to fellowship with members of the missionary organization.

At a local church meeting on Sunday, Rarick met with family members of people who were kidnapped. She said the family members were praying for the safe return of their loved ones.

"I know that it hurts that their dear ones are suffering," Rarick said. "But there's a calm confidence that no matter what happens, we can trust that our friends are going to be faithful to the truth, and that gives us so much peace."

Rarick said the family members of those captured have love in their hearts for the gang members.

“And it is our prayer on their behalf that they would turn from their evil ways and that they would come to the God that we worship, the God, the one God, and that they would receive forgiveness for the evil things that they’ve done," she said.

The Christian Aid Ministries headquarters is closed due to the kidnapping of its members. However, the organization posted to its website that civil authorities in Haiti and the U.S. are offering assistance. They also stated that people from around the world, including many of their Amish and Mennonite supporters, have contacted them to let them know they are praying for those captured.

Marcus Yoder, the executive director of the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Millersburg, said the community is deeply concerned and praying for the safe return of the workers in Haiti.

“Our Amish and Mennonite world is deeply interconnected, and so this affects us all,” Yoder said.

The news of the kidnapping comes after the assassination of Haiti's president in July and a major earthquake in Port-au-Prince in August. Since then, Haiti's capital has been consumed by crime, and gangs are now said to control half the city.