The kidnapping of missionaries, 16 American and one Canadian, by the Haitian “400 Mawozo” gang Oct. 16 is extremely scary. The gang has threatened to kill the humanitarian Christians if a million dollar per person ransom is not fulfilled. The group includes men, women, children and an 8-month-old baby.

These missionaries have sacrificed their time and paid their own way to go to the poorest place in the Western hemisphere to try to spread God’s love and save some souls. They are experiencing a nightmare like they’ve never imagined.

Why do journalists, missionaries and humanitarian aid workers go to such places to risk kidnapping, rape, torture and unimaginable deaths?

Over the years, the United States and other countries have given billions of dollars to help Haiti. Sadly, hurricanes, political unrest, underdevelopment and extreme poverty make for a sad scenario.

Good missionary people went to Haiti with good hearts for helping others in the name of God’s love. They went to share a message they hoped would bring about change and better lives. They may now lose their lives.

Christians point to Jesus as the model for such missionary efforts. He came preaching and teaching in an effort to demonstrate and spread God’s love and it cost him plenty – his life, executed in public on a cross.

There are some Christians today who, like Jesus, are willing to risk their lives for the sake of others. Do men and women who go to Haiti and take their children with them truly believing they could be killed? Would they purposefully do this to their children?

Who convinced these people that such a trip with small children was a good idea?

My goal here is to simply say think about such trips to places like Haiti. Afghanistan, Iraq, Northern Nigeria and numerous others countries are not vacation spots.

By chance, if you decide such an international trip is not for you, don’t feel bad. Consider helping in an American inner city, Appalachia or maybe your own neighborhood. Service at home is needed across America.

Let’s pray for the safety of these missionaries and for those negotiating their release.

Glenn Mollette has been on numerous International humanitarian and missionary group trips. Dr. Glenn Mollette gets email at GMollette@aol.com.

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