Mitch Albom shares perspective on mission work in Haiti after kidnapping of 17 US and Canadian missionaries

Group comprised of 16 Americans and a Canadian

In wake of the abductions of American missionaries in Haiti, Metro Detroit's Mitch Albom speaks out. Albom's recently returned after doing mission work in Haiti.

DETROIT – Seventeen missionaries including children were kidnapped by a gang in Haiti over the weekend.

The group is comprised of 16 Americans and a Canadian. They’re with the Ohio-based organization Christian Aid Ministries. The work the missionaries are doing in Haiti is similar to humanitarian efforts by Detroit’s own Mitch Albom.

Local 4 News spoke with him in Florida as he makes his way back from Haiti.

The plight of Haitians has been making headlines for weeks now. Just last month there was a protest in Downtown Detroit about the treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border. Albom happened to be in Haiti as this latest crisis unfolded.

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“You’re afraid to be out in the streets right now. These kidnappings are rampant,” said Albom.

Albom was at his orphanage in Haiti this weekend when a group of American missionaries got abducted.

“Some friends that we were with, started getting WhatsApp messages from people on that bus and said there are people outside right now trying to kidnap us please tell everybody,” said Albom.

Albom has been traveling to Haiti once a month for more than a decade after taking over the orphanage now known as Have Faith Haiti. As conditions in the country deteriorate the number of kidnappings is rising at an alarming rate.

“We take enormous precautions, not to be out on the streets not to be anywhere where we could be abducted, but even just going from the airport to the orphanage from the orphanage to the airport, you’re running a risk,” said Albom.

Five children were among those kidnapped this weekend according to the Ohio-based organization Christian Aid Ministries.

“I mean I’m not gonna kid you it’s scary. You also wonder like how did this didn’t happen to us yet,” said Albom.

The best selling author and humanitarian is hoping the global community will step in to help Haitians following months of instability.

“The government has collapsed president was assassinated. It’s just terror on the streets and they need help from the international community, America should get involved,” said Albom.

Albom spoke to Local 4 News from Florida on his way back to Detroit. Despite the risk he plans to return to Haiti in a few weeks.

“I hope it doesn’t cut off the supply, if people are willing to come down and help us honestly. Without those people coming from the outside, it would be much worse shape than it even is,” said Albom.

Albom says his orphanage has several volunteers from Michigan. He wants worried family members to know loved ones in Haiti are safe. We’ll continue following developments on the kidnapped missionaries.


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.