A volunteer church group from Stanly County has returned from its trip to Haiti Tuesday night after being delayed because of violent protests.
The North Albemarle Baptist Church group was forced to stay near Port-au-Prince four days longer than expected after violent protests broke out over an increase in gas prices.
“Everyone is back home,” lead Pastor Brad Lynch said. “They’re very excited to be home.”
The group was part of several dozen volunteers from the Carolinas that have returned home from Haiti. That includes sixteen dental clinic workers and a mission group from Cornerstone Covenant Church north of Hickory.
Last week, the group from Stanly County couldn't leave as scheduled on Saturday. The route to the airport was too dangerous, Lynch said, anticipating the delay on Friday.
“Too many protestors, too many makeshift barricades of burning tires and mattresses,” Lynch said. “We were getting reports of civilians arming themselves at these barricades and charging to let individuals through.”
So the team decided to stay at the orphanage and rescheduled their flight for Wednesday morning.
The Stanly County group had left for Haiti on June 30 for what was supposed to be a one week trip.
Even with the delay, Lynch said the church will continue sending groups on mission trips to Haiti multiple times a year.
“There’s no question we’ll be doing that, and this hasn’t changed our commitment to ministering to the people there,” Lynch said.