MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has learned a family from northwest Wisconsin is among the American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti.
The family of four is from the area near Ladysmith, Wisconsin. They were on a mission trip to help children at an orphanage in Haiti.
WCCO has been asked not to identify them because it could put them in even more danger than they already are in.
MORE: Amid Missionary Hostage Crisis, Minnesotan From Port-Au-Prince Wishes ‘Haiti Would Get The Help They Need’
In a town of 3,000 people, news of a local family’s plight some 2,000 miles away is top of mind. At Ladysmith Family Restaurant, Kim Dorney told WCCO that many of her costumers have been waiting for word that a father, mother and their two kids are OK after they were kidnapped leaving a Port-au-Prince orphanage two weekends ago.
“It’s hard enough when you hear about Americans being kidnapped, but when it’s in your own back door it’s harder to take and grasp,” Dorney said. “I just know a lot of churches have been on board and been very diligent and praying different times of the day.”
WCCO has learned the family of four are members of a Mennonite church nearby.
“They are very open and loving people,” resident Jerry LeBlanc said.
He has an appreciation for the difficult and sometimes dangerous work they do.
“It breaks my heart just wondering how they’re doing,” LeBlanc said.
The U.S. government has told the family to disclose as little as possible and keep a low profile with the hope it leads to a safe end to this story.
A spokesperson for Ohio’s Christian Aid Ministries read a statement Saturday as thousands of messages have poured in: “Thank you for the outpouring of love and prayers from around the world.”
As a Wisconsin community keeps vigil.
“That our government is able to work on an agreement and get them home safe and sound,” Dorey said.
FBI tactical teams are in Port-au-Prince negotiating for the release of the missionaries. The gang holding them is demanding $17 million — or $1 million apiece — for their safe release.