The GracePointe Baptist Church mission team is safely on U.S. soil after a harrowing ordeal in Haiti as a result of violent protests that erupted in the embattled island nation Friday. The team landed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., around noon Tuesday.
The Haitian government raised gas prices significantly, according to media reports, which caused citizens to take to the streets in Port-au-Prince and other cities on Friday. The GracePointe group, one of several American mission teams in Haiti, was scheduled to return home Saturday. However, protestors had closed the airport and airlines had cancelled flights into and out of the country. Reports Sunday stated that the group of 36 Coffee Countians would leave Haiti Wednesday.
However, on Monday, the church released a statement on its Facebook page saying that a private company would fly in and extract the missionaries on Tuesday. The operation would carry a price tag of $2,000 per person. No further information has been released regarding the rescue. The violence in Haiti still rages and is spreading to other parts of the nation, which likely contributed to the sense of urgency in getting the group out.
A bus was in Ft. Lauderdale to transport team members the rest of the way home. Some had arranged for other transportation so the group won’t be arriving in Douglas together. The church covered the costs associated with the rescue and is taking donations to help recoup the operation’s estimated $72,000 price tag.
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