The families of 17 people who were kidnapped last week have said their relatives have been given "the unique opportunity to live out our Lord’s command to 'love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you'."
The group from Christian Aid Ministries were taken last weekend by gang members in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince. The adults being held captive range from 18-48 years old and the children are ages three, six, 13, 15 years old and eight months.
Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told Reuters that talks were under way with a gang called 400 Mawozo but that they were demanding $1 million per person.
In a statement read by a colleague, the families said:
"Dear Church of Christ around the world,
"Thank you for your prayers on behalf of our family members who are being held hostage in Haiti.
"God has given our loved ones the unique opportunity to live out our Lord’s command to, 'love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you' (Matthew 5:44).
"God invites us to call upon His name in the day of trouble. (Psalm 50:15) We thank Him that He is God, and ask Him to hear our prayers and bring our families home.
"We also pray that the light of God’s love might shine out into the darkness of sin, and that the gang members might be freed from their bondage to sin and experience freedom in Jesus Christ.
"Thank you, brothers and sisters in Christ, and PLEASE keep praying!"
The group was kidnapped when returning from a visit to an orphanage that receives support from Christian Aid Ministries.
They had also been supporting school children, distributing Bibles and Christian literature, supplying medicine for clinics, teaching Haitian pastors and providing food for the elderly and vulnerable.