It was a sunny but pleasant day in MysticLand. The Gifted Four were relaxing in their dorm room. Verum was fiddling with her crystal ball while Orak and Felix were reading books. Scorch had dozed off.
“Verum, I’m reading a book meant for human children. Why does it say ‘stranger danger’?” said Felix.
“It’s a phrase taught to young children to warn them against interacting with strangers,” replied Verum.
“But what’s wrong with interacting with strangers?” said Felix, “Isn’t that how we make friends?”
“We do but sometimes, strangers may approach children to harm them,” answered Verum, “It’s a way of preventing children from getting kidnapped. Kidnapping is an act of taking someone away by force, and in most cases, the kidnapping is done to get ransom (asking for money to release the person). So, if a stranger tries to offer you food or take you to their home, you should be careful.”
“Oh, I see,” said Felix.
“Look! My crystal ball has found news on a kidnapping that took place in Haiti. Haiti is a country in the Caribbean that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic,” said Verum, “Last Saturday, a notorious gang of criminals called ‘400 Mawozo’ kidnapped a group of missionaries. A missionary is a member of a religious group, usually Christianity. This person is sent to a foreign country to spread the teachings of their religion or provide charitable services.”
Verum added, “This group of North American missionaries included five men, seven women, and five children. They were returning from a visit to an orphanage near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.”
“How did this happen?” said a shocked Orak, “It seems to be a big group.”
“Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the region. In July, President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated (eliminated for political reasons). Followed by a massive earthquake in August that led to widespread destruction,” said Verum, “These unfortunate events have put the country in a difficult position as various political groups are fighting to take control of Haiti.”
“And so, crime has increased,” finished Orak, “Now, I understand.”
“Yeah, about 600 kidnappings took place in the first half of 2021 in Haiti,” said Verum, “As for these missionaries, reports claim that the gang has asked for a ransom (money) in exchange for the people.”
“Hope they are released soon,” said Felix, “I’ll definitely be more careful around strangers in the future.”