Mission group from Hartwell unable to leave Haiti amid protests, unrest

A group of missionaries working in Haiti from Hartwell Georgia will not be able to return home as planned Saturday due to unrest in the island nation.

Pastor Jason Webb of Mount Olivet Baptist Church said he and 21 others spent a great week in Haiti serving the Lord, but the U.S. Embassy ordered them not to leave their mission camp headquarters Saturday due to protests and road blocks between the camp and the airport in Port Au Prince.

“God did some amazing things through or group,” Webb said.

The pastor said his group spent the week ministering, holding Vacation Bible School classes for youths, distributing food, and making repairs to homes the group built for Haitians in previous years.

However, he said a steep gas price hike that went into effect Saturday sent impoverished Haitians into an uproar.

According to the Associated Press, the protests began after the Haitian government announced prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene would rise by 38 percent to 51 percent beginning Saturday.

“Gas was around $4.50 earlier this week and a 38 percent hike went into effect today,” Webb said Saturday. “Haitians on average only earn about $2 a day, so the gas hike is hitting them very hard.”

FOX News reported at least three people were killed when the protests turned violent Friday. Reporters saw a crowd beat one person to death and set the body on fire.

Webb said there had been reports of vandalism and fires as part of the protests near them, but the Mount Olivet missionaries are safe and comfortable at the mission camp, which has armed security guards.

“Haiti is not mad at us. The people here are mad at their government,” Webb said.

The pastor said hundreds of people were sending prayers to Haiti, for the missionaries and the people living there.

“We’re glad people are sending their prayers to Haiti right now. They need it.”

Mount Olivet Church is also asking the community to gather with church members at the church in Hartwell at 4 p.m.

The church is located at 2973 Mount Olivet Road in Hartwell.

The mission group does not know when they will be able to return home, but Webb said they have plenty of food, water and supplies at the mission camp.

Webb said the mission group will be posting updates on their website: www.acts1eight.org.


courtesy foxcarolina

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