Three Cenla community members stuck in Haiti in the midst of riots

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (KALB) - If you've been following the news lately then you've probably heard about the protesters in Haiti that took to the streets because of a government-ordered increase in gas prices.

But here's what you may not know: that chaos has left several American mission groups stranded, including some of our very own.

Lexie Robertson, along with Angela and Destini Kirkland, left the comforts of Central Louisiana Wednesday and began their travels to Port-au-Prince – the capital of Haiti. They arrived Thursday, joined others from the Baptist Associations of Southeast Louisiana (BASELA) mission’s group and got to work Friday.

“We had Vacation Bible School at one area. We held a pastor's conference for over 100 pastors, and we had a group doing construction at a local church," said BASELA’s Missions Director, Stan Statham.

But in just one night, everything changed.

“One of our leaders, Mr. Tommy, came and told us that the riots were pretty bad, and it wouldn't be safe enough to go out and so, for our own safety, they said to just stay in the compound for the day and just kind of wait everything out," said Robertson.

After the government issued a price hike on fuel up to 51 percent, Haitian protestors took to the streets while the U.S. Embassy told its citizens to stay inside.

“We heard some of the gunshots and saw smoke and stuff,” expressed Robertson.

“They told us that night to pack a bag and to have your essentials like your passport and your green card and everything that you needed to be able to get out of Haiti and basically survive just a day or so in case the protesting would come into this resort that we are staying at," she said.

However, the group is currently safe and sound.

“We've had plenty of food and water and everything,” said Statham. “The local people here have just been very wonderful. They have worked sacrificially to make sure that we are taken care of, and we haven't had any problems, you know, right here where we're at.”

But, they do ask for continued prayers.

"I would just encourage folks to pray for all the Haitians, for the Prime Minister and his leaders all the way down to the folks that have to make a living day by day here," said Statham.

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