BERLIN, Ohio (WDTN) – Following the release of Christian missionary hostages in Haiti, Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) released a statement expressing their thankfulness.

On Oct. 16, 17 missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang, according to CAM. The group contained 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian, including five children – one being an 8-month-old.

On Thursday, all 17 of the hostages were freed.

CAM expressed their thoughts on the matter in a statement on Friday. They extended their thanks to God, families of the hostages, the U.S. government, the news media, CAM’s supporters and to their staff members and associates.

CAM said they always take proper security precautions when ministering in dangerous places, however, this incident has given them a heightened awareness of the need to strengthen their safety protocols and better instruct their people about the dangers involved.

There is little information on the hostages’ experiences, but CAM said the hostages were all held captive as a group.

On Dec. 20, a conference will be held at the Christian Aid Ministries headquarters in Berlin, OH at 10 am.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.