Hartwell Missionaries Remain Stranded in Haiti

By Mark Berryman, WLHR News

A group of missionaries from Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Hartwell are still stranded, unable to return home because of civil unrest in Haiti.

Haitains have been rioting in protest of the government’s decision to raise gas prices from $4 to $7 a gallon.

According to Associated Press reports, the average Haitian earns only $2 per day.

Reports of vandalism and fires have been reported throughout the region.

The mission group was scheduled to fly home on Saturday, but were unable to travel to the airport due to the unrest and violence.

Mt. Olivet Pastor the Reverend Jason Webb said he and 21 others spent a great week in Haiti serving the Lord last week and were scheduled to fly home Saturday.

However, he said just before they were to leave for the airport, the U.S. Embassy ordered them to stay inside their mission camp headquarters because of protests and roadblocks between the camp and the airport in Port Au Prince.

The missionaries had hoped to get to the airport on Sunday, but again were told not to risk the two-hour drive in an open air vehicle because of continued rioting that was still going on along the roads to the airport.

The mission camp does have armed security personnel, so the missionaries are relatively safe as long as they remain there.

So for the time being, the group from Hartwell is making the best of a bad situation by continuing to work on mission projects within the camp.

According to the pastor, the church 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.

The pastor said hundreds of people are praying for them and for the Haitian people.

Over the weekend, Mount Olivet Church also held a prayer vigil for both their missionary team and the people of Haiti.

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