Family, parishioners hope and pray for pastor's safe return
MATTAPAN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Family, friends and parishioners are worried and praying for their pastor’s safe return. The pastor from Dorchester and one of his congregants was taken hostage by Egyptians.
“Whatever it takes, putting out heads together to help and bring our pastor back.”
“He's really active in the Haitian community, and we're really sad because we don’t know what position he's in right now,” said Tamisha Civil, a parishioner.
Reverend Michael Louis, a pastor at churches in Dorchester and Mattapan, is on a missionary trip to the Middle East -- a trip he's done at least 4 times before.
The group, which included more than a dozen church members from around Boston, was eventually headed to Israel.
While in Egypt on Friday, an armed man stopped their bus, and abducted Rev. Louis, a local church member and an Egyptian translator.
“We're all in good spirits,” said his son Jean Louis.
Rev. Louis's family is trying to stay optimistic, as they're kept in the dark.
“We don't have any more information that what we hear in the news,” said Louis.
The kidnapper contacted the media, including the associated press, to say he'll only free his hostages once his uncle is released from prison.
“The only concern is that he is diabetic and the longer they hold him, I'll assume it won’t work in his favor,” said Louis’ son Jean Louis.
Coincidentally, secretary of state Hillary Clinton is in Egypt meeting with their newly elected president.
Clinton hasn't commented on this incident but a state department spokesman said they're working with Egyptian authorities who are doing everything they can to bring about a safe release.
At Rev. Louis's church in Dorchester, all they can do is wait and pray.
“Right now everybody's in deep distress,” said Tamisha Civil.
He vowed to abduct more people, but also said he's treating his three hostages like 'guests' serving them dinner, and even letting them call their families.