Midstate Mission Group Trapped In Haiti

MT. JULIET, TN — A Mt. Juliet mission group is safe but stuck in Haiti as civil unrest continues in the Caribbean country’s capital city of Port-au-Prince.

Riots broke out in Port-au-Prince after a government fuel price hike over the weekend, leading the United States Embassy to urge Americans in the country to shelter in place. Seventeen parishioners from Mt. Juliet’s Providence United Methodist Church are in Montrouis, 40 miles north of the capital. They spent the week building a school in a small Haitian town through the non-profit Grace and Glory and were scheduled to return home Sunday.

But between the rioting – which made travel difficult into Port-au-Prince, hamstringing airport operations as most employees were unable to get there, forcing Delta to cancel flights – and the embassy’s advisory, the group remained in Montrouis.

The church posted a statement on Facebook Sunday:

Thank you for your prayers for our mission team in Haiti! As Pastor Pierce mentioned this morning in worship, despite the unrest in Port au Prince and the surrounding area, our team is safe at their hotel in Montrouis. They are in good spirits and feel your love and support and prayers! Although originally scheduled to return today, it looks as if the team’s return will be delayed a day or two, and many people are working hard to find other arrangements to bring them safely home. Until then, the team wants us to know they are safe and sound in their hotel and will remain there until it is safe to return. Please join us as we continue to pray God’s peace and protection for our team, for other mission teams in the area, and for the people they are there to love and serve in Haiti.

Delta resumed flights Sunday and reportedly reached out to a member of the mission team, though it’s still likely the group will be there for a few more days.

Cell phone service has been spotty during the unrest, but Jay Simmons managed to talk to WSMV.

“I wanted all my friends to know that I’m OK. I am literally on the roof of a building right now, so that I can get cell service,” he told the station. “We are not feeling threatened, we’re in a very safe area. Don’t let the news scare you that’s coming out of Port-Au-Prince because it’s not near us. And we won’t go to Port-Au-Prince to fly out until it is safe.”

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