Sacramento pastor offers prayers to missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In Sacramento, there’s concern for the safety of 17 missionaries, including children, who were kidnapped in Haiti.

Five children are among those kidnapped, and the vast majority of the missionaries are American citizens.

The Associated Press reports the group was on a faith mission with the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.

While the 17 group members were on their way to visit an orphanage near the Haiti’s capitol, gang members abducted them with force. 

The abductions took place thousands of miles from Sacramento, but local faith leaders told FOX40 the kidnappings hit close to home.

“Really breaks my heart. Really unfortunate,” said Pastor John Paige, the founder of the Stand Fast Community Baptist Church. Paige in no way is connected to the missionary group in Haiti, but he’s holding them near and dear to his heart.

“You know, we’re all a big family. Those are my brothers and sisters that got kidnapped,” Paige said.

Paige makes clear that missionary work takes place in countries where there are dangers. 

According to the United Nations, there were more than 320 kidnappings in Haiti just in the first eight months of this year, which is nearly 100 more kidnappings than Haiti reported in all of 2020.

“It takes a special person to become a missionary. Realize just how dangerous it is. Most missionaries know that their life could be in danger,” Paige explained.

The U.S. State Department is using its resources to bring the missionaries out of danger, stating in part “the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.” 

While diplomatic efforts continue for the missionaries’ safe return, Paige is turning to faith.

“Definitely praying for them and their families. All we can do is pray. That’s really all we can do. We just got to leave it in God’s hands,” Paige said.

The U.S. State Department is in direct contact with the Haitian government to help secure the missionaries’ release.

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