FARGO, N.D. – Four American missionaries released by Venezuelan authorities after several days of detention and questioning say they are happy to be back home in North Dakota, but that they hope to return to Venezuela someday.
The group from the Devils Lake area was caught up in escalating political tension between the U.S. and Venezuela. They were told they didn't have the required work visas, something that wasn't required in the last 14 years of delivering hearing aids and medicines to needy citizens.
Group leader Arlynn Hefta says it was a "harrowing" experience but the missionaries weren't physically harmed and were treated "somewhat adequately."
Hefta broke down when talking about the day Venezuelan soldiers armed with rifles came into the church where the Americans had set up a clinic.