2012-07-23 Vatican RadioA Pentecostal church pastor on Sunday celebrated his safe return home to Massachusetts after he and another churchgoer were abducted in Egypt then released unharmed last week.
The Rev. Michel Louis gathered with about 1,500 family and friends at Jubilee Christian Church in the Boston Mattapan neighbourhood. He thanked the governor, the mayor, federal legislators and others who lobbied for his release.
Speaking in his native Creole, Louis said he was treated fairly by his captor, and even served the country's traditional hot tea. He said they were fed but did not eat much because they weren't accustomed to the food, and he went for days without a shower.
The group was on a trip to retrace Jesus' steps through the Holy Land. The pastor said when the gunman entered the bus July 13 on a road to Mount Sinai and threatened to take 39-year-old Lissa Alphonse of Everett, he told the man to take him instead.
But the kidnapper, Jirmy Abu-Masuh, took them both and a tour guide. Abu-Masuh demanded the release of his uncle, who was being detained by Egyptian police on suspicion of drug possession.
Abu-Masuh released all three captives July 16 after he said he was promised that authorities were working on his uncle's release.