4 American Missionaries Detained In Venezuela Arrive Back Home


Four American missionaries detained in Venezuela last week are finally back home in North Dakota.

The missionaries from Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Devils Lake were handing out medicine and hearing aids last Wednesday when they were detained.

They were told they didn’t have the required work visas, something that wasn’t required in their last 14 years of missionary work in that country.

“There was so much hyperbole, but I don’t want to speculate,” group leader Arlynn Hefta, a hearing aid dispenser, said.

They also learned Venezuela’s president accused them of being spies.

Venezuelan soldiers armed with rifles came to arrest the missionaries in the church where the Americans had set up a clinic. Hefta said that about 300 villagers surrounded the clinic, trying to protect the missionaries.

They said, ‘We’re protecting you, and we’re not going to let these soldiers take you,'” Hefta said. “Imagine the courage.”

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