The Anabaptist missionaries kidnapped over two weeks ago in Haiti made national news. The 17 remain in custody, victims of a criminal gang demanding $1 million per person for their release. These kidnappings brought about a flood of reporting in the following days, but I notice there seems to have been little-to-no news over the past 10 days.
The kidnapped missionaries’ organization is Christian Aid Ministries (CAM). CAM has a new statement on its website as of yesterday, giving an update along with information on a prayer chain:
This is now the 17th day since the kidnapping in Haiti took place. Our workers and loved ones are still being held. Voices from around the world continue to cry out to God to sustain the hostages. We desire wisdom from God as we work through this difficult situation.
Mennonites and Amish have long backed mission efforts in Haiti, including but hardly limited to the annual Haiti Relief Auction. In her column this week, Amish Cook Gloria Yoder writes of both the kidnapped missionaries and of her own experience in Haiti. Here’s an excerpt:
This brings a question a reader had of whether we know the group of Mennonite people kidnapped in Haiti. I don’t know them personally. My heart especially goes out to the children and baby, wondering what they may be facing. I am comforted to know that God surely is always bigger than any situation and he even cares more than any Earthly being.
If I look at the trauma raging on all sides, there is no way of being filled with joy; then as my eyes are turned to the Savior, I regain a sense of peace that only comes from resting in the One who can keep us safe.
As I hear of those in hostage, I think back and retell my children stories of when I was 14 years old and my parents, older brother and myself took a much-anticipated trip to Haiti to visit my uncle and his family who did mission work there for a number of years.
My heart still aches at the thought of visiting an orphanage owned by a native; those living conditions remain etched in my mind. The little children could sing like a bird, yet their eyes spoke of the trauma they have been through. Getting a sense of security in not being alone at night, they would huddle together in bed with up to four children in a half bed. Though I knew it was not possible, I would so much have liked to just make life okay for their troubled hearts.
I was drawn by their simple way of life and narrow footpaths connecting the little houses with thatch roofs. Our children dream of going to Haiti and helping someday. For now, our nook is home; maybe one day when the children are older and the way is clear, we’ll attempt it.
Gloria states that most children in the country live on a single meal a day, usually of rice and beans. She also shares a recipe for Haitian rice with sauce. Find the column in full here. Christian Aid Ministries’ website is here.