Metro Detroit church group stranded in Haiti after protests

Members say they're safe despite protests
Posted at 11:15 PM, Jul 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 16:03:36-04

Church members from Kensington Church are stranded in Haiti after protest broke out at the capital this week.

Forty-four members went to Haiti as part of a mission trip with Mission of Hope. Clashes broke out at Port-au-Prince after a massive gas hike. Roads are blocked, and some protesters have been burning items in the street. The State Department has warned U.S. citizens to shelter in place and not travel.

"They’re not mad at us," said Chris Barnett, Orion Township Supervisor and one of the stranded members. "We really do feel safe we are not concerned."

Barnett said they have been working with about 160 other Americans with Mission of Hope. 

"This week we did some service projects," Barnett said. "We were educating them about clean water and just ministering to the people of Haiti."

Kensington Church has sent a mission group to Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010. They're now stationed about 45 minutes from Port-au-Prince where the protests are.

"We can see the fires really on both sides of where we are staying," Barnett said. "We could hear the chants last night, but again, they welcome us here."

Barnett said even though the images may seem frightening to families at home, they have plenty of food and water and the State Department knows they are there. 

"The message to our families is we are extremely safe," Barnett said. "They are not upset with us. They are upset with their government."