Ten days ago, 17 Christian missionaries were abducted from an orphanage in poverty-stricken Haiti.
The six men, six women and five children who were abducted are affiliated with Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), an Ohio-based nonprofit organization.
According to police, the gang “400 Mawozo” is behind the kidnappings.
Since then, the leader of the gang has threatened to kill the hostages if he doesn’t get what he’s demanding – $1 million per person.
“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,” he said in a recently filmed video.
And yet, the families of the hostages have countered the gang member’s evil threats and hateful words with love.
In a post shared by the missions organization one week after the missionaries were kidnapped, the hostages’ families said they forgive the kidnappers and that they desire the salvation of the gang members.
“As a family we are giving forgiveness to these men,” a father of one hostage shared. “We are not holding anything against them.”
Another family member said, “As a group of Christians, our King [Jesus] said that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. That is our desire for the men who are part of the gang.”
“We are interested in the salvation of these men and we love them,” another father said.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. It’s often difficult to forgive even a family member or friend.
But forgiving an enemy, or someone who has kidnapped a loved one, nears the impossible. Indeed, without supernatural grace and help from the Holy Spirit, it may just be impossible.
Yet, Christians aim, with God’s help, to model the life of Jesus Christ.
And Christ, as He hung upon the cross, crucified for the sins of all mankind, urged the Father to forgive those crucifying Him.
“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’” (Luke 23:32).
And in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45a).
This is far easier said than done. But the family members of those taken hostage have followed Christ’s example and done just that.
CAM is urging people to continue praying for those abducted. “We sense a great need of your prayers. Your prayers are a vital part of resolving this situation,” the organization recently posted.
The nonprofit has also organized a 24/7 prayer chain, so Christians can sign up to pray daily during a 15-minute time period for the hostages and their families. Those interested can send an email to [email protected] with the 15-minute slot they’ve committed to pray during.
“The seventeen hostages need your prayers, for endurance and faithfulness, as they continue to be held. Pray for their families as they wait for this situation to be resolved. Pray that the gang members could turn to Jesus and enter the kingdom of God … Please don’t stop praying.”
Photo from Shutterstock.