Nearly two weeks before 17 American and Canadian Missionaries were abducted by a Haitian gang, a 79-year-old pastor, who is also a U.S. citizen, was kidnapped just outside of his church in Haiti.
On Oct. 3rd, Pastor Jean Pierre Ferrer Michel, who founded the church Jesus Center in Delmas 29, was abducted in front of his church by armed men dressed as the national police of Haiti at around 8 am, The Christian Post reports. Two congregants, identified as Isabelle Devendegis and Norman Weiner, were also taken.
While Devendigis was later released, Michel’s family said that despite paying a ransom for them, the pastor and Weiner are still being held hostage. The family also noted that Michel’s abduction has received significantly less media coverage than the abduction of the 17 missionaries.
“They don’t talk about it like they are talking about the case of the group of 17. But this man is an American citizen, too,” a family friend told the Miami Herald. “It’s not the same attention that the 17 people who they abducted in Croix-des-Bouquets are getting.”
On Tuesday, Michel’s wife, Maryse Michel, released a video in Haitian Creole, pleading for her husband to be released.
“He’s without his medication. He’s an old man who is nearly 80 years old and doesn’t have a lot of years in front of him,” Michel said.
“I’ve come to plead, and I came to ask everyone who it concerns: Release the pastor. Release my husband,” she contended. “Give the children back their father. Give the family back their brother because we did everything already. They are still holding them. They have to let them go. We did everything we were supposed to do.”
The family friend added that both the U.S. Embassy and the FBI were contacted about Michel’s abduction since he is an American citizen.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, the 400 Mawazoo gang was identified as the group responsible for kidnapping 1 Canadian and 16 American missionaries last Saturday. Earlier this week, they issued a ransom of $1 million per person.
On Thursday, gang leader Wilson Joseph warned in a video on social media that he will kill the missionaries if the ransom request is not met.
“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,” Joseph said, according to the Associated Press.