The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries thanked God on Thursday morning as it announced that the 12 remaining missionaries who were among 17 kidnapped by the notorious 400 Mawozo gang in Haiti have now all been released.
“We glorify God for answered prayer — the remaining 12 hostages have been set FREE! Join us in praising God that all 17 of our loved ones are now safe. Thank you for your fervent prayers throughout the past two months. We hope to provide more information as we are able,” the international aid ministry said in a statement to The Christian Post, which also quoted a portion of Exodus 15:1.
“I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” the verse says.
The release of the remaining 12 missionaries comes just 11 days after the release of three others on Dec. 5. Some two weeks prior to that, the gang released two missionaries described as sick adults.
A source with knowledge of the first two releases told The Miami Herald that no ransom was paid even though the 400 Mawozo gang leader, Wilson Joseph, had threatened to kill all the missionaries if his gang didn’t receive $1 million each for their release.
It was unclear on Thursday if any ransom was paid to release any of the missionaries.
When the kidnapping occurred, the abducted group included six men, six women and five children, of which 16 are Americans and one is Canadian. They ranged in age at the time of their kidnapping from 8 months old to 48 years old.
While negotiations for their release were ongoing between the gang and officials from the Haitian and U.S. governments, a video of Joseph circulated on social media showing that the crime boss wasn’t pleased with the pace of negotiations.
“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,” Joseph threatened in late October, according to a translation cited by Bloomberg Quicktake.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a press briefing late last month that President Joe Biden was committed to making sure that every single one of the missionaries returned home safely, particularly the children.
“I personally give an update on this issue every single day to the president, who is taking a deep interest in making sure we get every single one of those people home safely,” Sullivan said.