The FBI is still working to rescue 17 missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti. In the Bay Area, Haitian Americans living in the Florida are holding out hope.
Pastor Dony St. Germaine of El Shaddai Community Church in Winter Haven, was just in Haiti last week.
His missionary group is building homes and delivered more than three million meals following the earthquake this summer.
“To help the families that have lost everything and to get back on their feet,” said Dony St. Germaine.
Born in Haiti himself, St. Germaine understands firsthand the need there is. He said his missionary group El Shaddai Ministries International has sent more than 10,000 missionaries to Haiti.
“No job, opportunities, no hope, but mostly it’s the violence and gangs that has been on the rise, that really has caused many to leave their home," he said.
He was shocked to learn a notorious gang kidnapped 17 members of U.S.-based Christian Aid Ministries, near Port-au-Prince.
“I know some of the people in that mission, in which have been kidnapped. It's a very restricted area that we should not travel day or night," said Dony St. Germaine.
FBI agents are helping Haitian authorities hunt for the missing people, the youngest 8 months old. The gang has demanded a $17 million ransom for them, according to Haiti’s justice minister.
St. Germain fears these kidnappings will prevent missionaries from returning to Haiti.
“We need a leader that has a strategic plan on how he’s going to wipe out the gangs and to have a plan, so that there will be security,” St. Germaine said.