Western Wisconsin missionary group attacked in Guatemala - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Members of western Wisconsin missionary group attacked and robbed in Guatemala


Somerset (WQOW)- Members of a western Wisconsin missionary group say they're lucky to be alive. The group, from Somerset, was robbed at gunpoint in Guatemala.

Riverside Church Reverend William Hieb has been on more than 60 missionary trips but he's never experienced anything like he did a few weeks ago on a missionary trip to Guatemala. "We landed in Guatemala City," recalls the reverend. "Traveled just within about 20 minutes of our destination and a vehicle filled with bandits pulled up along side of us, screaming and yelling, firing pistols."

"It was just as we were crossing a speed bump that slowed us down that the pickup truck cut us off," adds Grant Lind, who was also along on the trip. 

"We thought it was probably an assassination attempt at that point that they were just going to slaughter nine Americans," says Reverend Hieb. " They commenced to rob us, tie us up. They beat up one of our compadres; tied our hands behind our backs, tied our feet together and laid us on the ground as they went through the vehicle and took everything of any value."

The robbers missed finding a cell phone and that phone was used to call the local authorities who showed up and took the group to a home to stay overnight.  The next day, most of the members got right back on a plane and flew home still reeling from what they just experienced.

But Grant and Reverend Hieb stayed a few more days to continue their missionary work.  The reverend says the church is regrouping at the moment but still plans on going on future missionary trips down the line.

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