‘Every possible option’ on the table to rescue hostages.

October 28, 2021

Local residents gather at the Hart Commons Sunday to pray for the hostages.

‘Every possible option’ on the table to rescue hostages.

President Joe Biden is directly engaged in an effort to rescue 17 missionaries — including a Shelby area mother and her four children — who have been held hostage by a violent gang in Haiti since Oct. 16, according to the Miami Herald.

“Every possible option” is on the table to secure their freedom, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told the Miami Herald.

Sullivan said that President Biden continues to be briefed daily on the hostage situation, which involves 16 Americans and a Canadian citizen who work for Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. 

Sullivan said the president is especially concerned about the wellbeing of the children, the youngest of whom is an 8-month-old baby. “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 told the Miami Herald.

The hostages, which include six men, six women and five children, were kidnapped while traveling in a sprinter-type van after a trip to the Maison La Providence de Dieu orphanage.

The local family belongs to Hart Dunkard Brethren Church on North 56th Avenue.

The ministries organization that sponsored the mission works with Amish, Mennonite and other conservative Anabaptist groups to “minister to physical and spiritual needs around the world.”

The gang has demanded $17 million in ransom — $1 million for each hostage. 

In a video released last week, the head of 400 Mawozo gang, which is known for kidnappings, extortion and killings, threatened to kill the hostages if the ransom is not paid.

The father of the local children held hostage is in Haiti. He was back at the missionary camp at the time of the kidnapping, Hart Mayor Vicki Platt said previoulsy. He stayed back from the group’s trip to an orphanage because was writing a sermon for the next day’s service, she said.

Several local residents and members of the Hart Dunkard Brethren Church gathered for a vigil where they prayed for the hostages and the kidnappers at the Hart Commons Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24.

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