BERLIN, Ohio (WJW) – Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) held a press conference Monday to update the latest on the group’s members who were held hostage in Haiti.

Seventeen members of the group were kidnapped in October.

Twelve people made it to safety late last week and returned to the U.S.

Five others had previously been released.

The 400 Mawozo gang had demanded ransom for the group.

Christian Aid Ministries said Monday that some had raised funds to pay the ransom but did not detail who contributed the money or whether anyone was paid.

According to CAM, the 12 remaining hostages plotted their escape and they felt “God calling them to leave.”

“They were finally free!” CAM shared detailing their escape.

The group escaped at night and walked for miles with a baby and other children.

CAM said their prayers had been answered and issued thanks to the Lord and people around the world.

“We say THANK YOU to the multitudes of people worldwide who prayed, who cared, who wept with us, and who sent notes of encouragement to the families of the hostages. You cannot know how big a blessing you all were and are! We thank the U.S. government and all others who assisted in the safe return of our hostages,” the group said in a press release.

The missionaries were in Haiti to build homes.

While the hostages have returned home, “Their journey back to normal life has only begun,” David Troyer with CAM said.

“While the present conditions in Haiti make it very difficult to operate there, we cannot abandon their people in their hour of need.”

He did, however, say there would be a pause in their service there, and that “they are seeking direction from God.”

The hostages also shared that they were never physically hurt or abused during their time in captivity.