BERLIN, Ohio — Three more of the 17 missionaries from the Holmes County-based Christian Aid Ministries were released by their kidnappers in Haiti Sunday night, the organization said Monday morning.
“Those who were released are safe and seem to be in good spirits,” the update states. The group is not able to provide the names of the freed hostages, the circumstances of their release or other details at this time.
Two hostages were released on Nov. 21, leaving 12 missionaries still captive after being kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct. 16 after they built an orphanage.
“As announced on Friday, we would like to focus the next three days on praying and fasting for the hostages,” Christian Aid Ministries stated in the update Monday. “Please continue to intercede for those who are still being held as well as those who have been released. We long for all the hostages to be reunited with their loved ones. Thank you for your prayer support.”
U.S. Senator from Ohio Rob Portman has been personally involved in efforts to secure the release of the missionaries, including contacting the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince daily. He issued the following statement upon learning of the release of the three hostages:
“Today’s release of three more hostages from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries is another step forward, but we cannot rest until everyone being held is released. While these efforts continue, I’ve highlighted that kidnapping in Haiti is an all-too common occurrence. I will continue to press the administration to develop a whole-of-government approach to address this problem, and I remain hopeful that all hostages are released safely.”
Last month, State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-OH) introduced a resolution in Columbus calling for the president and congress to take hasty action to bring those missionaries home safely.
“You know, it's been 31, 32 days since they've been captured, and that's just too long,” Stoltzfus said at the time. “We've got to act, we've got to do something, we've got to bring these folks home.”
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