Sports

The US missionaries killed in Haiti as violent gangs control 80% of capital

A missionary couple from the US and the director of a mission group in Haiti were fatally shot by gang members after leaving a church youth group, a family member has said.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd, a young married couple from the US, as well as Jude Montis, the local director of Missions in Haiti Inc, and were killed on Thursday in the community of Lizon in northern Port-au-Prince.

Violent gangs that control 80% of the capital city while authorities await the arrival of a police force from Kenya as part of a U.N.-backed deployment aimed at quelling gang violence in the troubled Caribbean country.

Here are some things to know about the missionary work that focused on helping the children of Haiti, and the gang attack that took three lives.

WORKING IN HAITI

Missions in Haiti’s website says its goal is “to see the Gospel of Christ make a difference in the lives of Haiti’s young people.”

Davy Lloyd’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd of Oklahoma, started the organization in 2000 with the aim of focusing on the children of Haiti. David and Alicia Lloyd are full-time missionaries in Haiti.

“Although the entire nation is steeped in poverty, the children suffer the worst,” they wrote on the website. “Thousands are malnourished, uneducated, and headed for hopeless lives apart from Christ.”

Hannah Cornett, Davy’s sister, told The Associated Press that they grew up in Haiti. Davy Lloyd went to the U.S. to attend a Bible college and married Natalie in June 2022. After the wedding, the couple wasted little time moving to Haiti to do humanitarian work.

Cornett said Montis, a Haitian, had worked at Missions in Haiti for 20 years.

The organization’s efforts include House of Compassion, which provides housing for 36 children — 18 boys and 18 girls, the website said. “All are destined to stay at House of Compassion until they have finished school and are ready to be on their own.”

Good Hope Boys’ Home provides a home for 22 boys, the website said. The organization also built a church, a bakery and a school with more than 240 students, the website said.

THE ATTACK

A Facebook posting on the Missions in Haiti page stated that Davy Lloyd, 23, and Natalie Lloyd, 21, along with some children, were leaving a church when gang members in three trucks ambushed them.

Davy Lloyd later called his family to tell them that gang members hit him on the head with the barrel of a gun, forced him upstairs, stole their belongings and left him tied up, Cornett said.

As people were helping untie Davy Lloyd, another group of armed gunmen showed up, Cornett said.

“No one understood what they were doing, not sure what took place but one was shot and killed and now this gang went into full attack mode,” Missions in Haiti’s posting said.

The couple and Montis fled to a house connected to the mission.

“They tried to take cover in there, but the gang shot up the house,” said Cornett.

Ben Baker, Natalie Lloyd’s father and a Republican state representative in Missouri, posted on Facebook on Friday that the bodies of Davy and Natalie Lloyd were safely transported to the U.S. Embassy.

GRIEVING FAMILIES

Cornett said Montis left behind two children, ages 2 and 6.

Montis’ family could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. It’s unclear if he used social media and, if so, whether his profiles are public. Missions in Haiti did not immediately return the AP’s request for comment Friday.

Baker wrote on Facebook that his heart was broken “in a thousand pieces.”

“I’ve never felt this kind of pain,” Baker wrote. “Most of you know my daughter and son-in-law Davy and Natalie Lloyd are full time missionaries in Haiti. They were attacked by gangs this evening and were both killed. They went to Heaven together. Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well. I have no other words for now.”

___

Associated Press writer Summer Ballentine in Columbia, Missouri, contributed.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button