A Mt. Juliet-based ministry reports that two youth missionary teams, including one from Tennessee, are safe despite violent protests in the Caribbean nation.
My LIFE Speaks said Sunday on Facebook that the teams are staying on the organization’s compound in Neply, Haiti. The missionaries are from The Glade Church in Mt. Juliet and Woodland Community Church in Bradenton, Florida.
The protests over fuel prices, along with road blocks, blocked the teams from the airport, FoxNews said. Major protests erupted in Haiti on Friday as the government announced a sharp increase in gasoline prices. But the hike was suspended Saturday after violence broke out in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the northern city of Cap-Haitien.
At least three people were killed in the protests, including two protesters who were fatally shot as demonstrators clashed with police, The Associated Press reported. It was unclear who shot the two men.
The Washington Post reported church members from several other states are stranded as well.
Chapin United Methodist Church in South Carolina posted online that its mission team is safe but stranded. A North Carolina doctor and his son were part of another medical mission group that’s unable to leave.
The U.S. Embassy in the country is urging Americans to stay put and not try to reach the airport unless they know their flight is leaving, The Washington Post said.
The Glade Church said on Facebook it was thankful to my LIFE speaks’ commitment to the missionaries’ safety.
“Remember to be in prayer for the country of Haiti and that the events of the last few days would not distract from the reality that God is doing some incredible things in Haiti,” the post said.
My LIFE speaks also said the village of Neply “is the peaceful, welcoming place we have always known it to be. Today, team members are helping with Children’s Church, playing soccer, and relaxing at a nearby pool.
“Though the last few days have been challenging and we are heartbroken to see the place we love and call home in so much conflict, we are more confident than ever in our call to Haiti and it’s (sic) people,” the post continues. “The people we have built (and will continue to build) relationships with are a hardworking and determined people who are in need of sustainable, positive solutions for critical issues. myLIFEspeaks will continue to work alongside the Haitian people no matter what challenges may come.”
The organization said it is trying to make arrangements for the teams’ safe travel home in the next few days.
My LIFE speaks’ Facebook page says its mission is to “Develop a Christ-Centered #commUNITY in Neply, Haiti through Orphan Care & Prevention, Education, and Public Health.”