GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The situation continues to deteriorate in Haiti, after the country's President was assassinated Wednesday and no one is really sure who's actually in power.
Caught in the middle of it all is a missionary team from a local church. After several pandemic and weather delays, First Baptist Church of Gallatin dispatched their latest mission trip during this week's Sunday worship. "Lord willing we are planning to leave out Tuesday morning," said Dr. Travis Fleming, Lead Pastor of the congregation.
13 men and women arrived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning, Executive Pastor Nick Tidwell worke up to news of chaos in the capital city. "That was the headline, that the Haitian President, sadly and tragically had been assassinated," said Tidwell.
Thankfully, Tidwell was able to make contact almost immediately. "Our team is safe, we’re thankful for that," he said.
But President Jovenel Moïse's death has set off a power struggle and social unrest. Temporary leaders have declared martial law and closed the international airport.
Despite all this, with a few slight modifications, the mission work will continue. "Ministering to them, helping meet needs, taking care of folks, helping with construction projects. Things of that sort to help the country and help the people," said Tidwell.
That doesn't mean church staff isn't constantly monitoring the situation. "Sometimes it feels like hourly, I’m checking for news updates, to see what’s going on," said the Executive Pastor.
But Tidwell says this kind of work is just who they are. "We realize that anytime we travel or anywhere we go, anytime we’re doing ministry, there are certain risks associated with that, but we believe because of the gospel because it’s life changing and eternity changing, that the call to follow Christ is worth it," said Tidwell.
If the situation continues to deteriorate, Tidwell says they will re-evaluate their plans.