Family members of the 17 Christian missionaries who were abducted in Haiti earlier in October are speaking out to their loved ones' captors with a moving message of grace.
What are the details?
On Christian Aid Ministries' website, family members of the kidnapped missionaries — five of whom are children — are pleading with a Haitian gang, 400 Mawozo, which is believed to be behind the abduction, to safely return their loved ones.
The gang demanded a $17 million ransom in connection with the return of the missionaries.
In a statement on its site, the parent of one of the hostages wrote, "We are interested in the salvation of these men and we love them."
"As a family, we are giving forgiveness to these men," another parent added. "We are not holding anything against them."
Another supporter — who is not affiliated with the hostages — shared a prayer for freedom on the organization's page.
The plea read, "I have a beautiful mind picture — that of thousands, likely millions of believers joining hands around the globe, their prayers ascending as a sweet incense to the Father of mercies. It matters not so much what denomination, or race, or culture ... we are all joined in one common heart-rending plea ... Lord, have mercy. Show yourself mighty and strong. ... We plead that all involved in this situation may remain faithful to the cause of Christ and that ultimately your most high name may be glorified. Amen."
What else is there to know about this?
Last week a man identified as Wilson Joseph, leader of the gang, appeared on video claiming that the gang has no qualms about killing the missionaries if the hefty ransom isn't paid.
In a viral video, the man said, "I swear by thunder that if I don't get what I'm asking for I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans."
Spokesperson for Christian Aid Ministries Weston Showalter said that the missionaries are from Amish, Mennonite, and other Anabaptist communities.
"They continue to band together and support each other with prayers and encouragement during this difficult time," Showalter said in a statement. "It's amazing how times of difficulty have a way of bringing people together."
Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Biden administration is "relentlessly focused" on the hostages and their safe return and said that a team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. State Department has been dispatched, who have been in constant contact with the Haitian National Police.
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