Hartwell mission group comes home after being stranded in Haiti - FOX Carolina 21

Hartwell mission group comes home after being stranded in Haiti

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Sign outside Mt. Olivet Baptist (July 9, 2018/FOX Carolina) Sign outside Mt. Olivet Baptist (July 9, 2018/FOX Carolina)
The Mount Olivet Baptist Church mission team in Haiti (Provided) The Mount Olivet Baptist Church mission team in Haiti (Provided)
Sunday service at Mount Olivet Baptist (July 8, 2018/FOX Carolina) Sunday service at Mount Olivet Baptist (July 8, 2018/FOX Carolina)
A member of the mission team teaches a child to thumb-wrestle at the orphanage (Source: Jason Webb) A member of the mission team teaches a child to thumb-wrestle at the orphanage (Source: Jason Webb)
HARTWELL, GA (FOX Carolina) -

A group of missionaries from Hartwell, Georgia who have been stranded in Haiti were finally able to come home.

Pastor Jason Webb of Mount Olivet Baptist Church said he and 21 others spent a great week in Haiti serving the Lord, but the U.S. Embassy ordered them not to leave their mission camp headquarters Saturday due to protests and road blocks between the camp and the airport in Port Au Prince.

“God did some amazing things through or group,” Webb said.

The pastor said his group spent the week ministering, holding Vacation Bible School classes for youths, distributing food, and making repairs to homes the group built for Haitians in previous years.

However, he said a steep gas price hike that went into effect Saturday sent impoverished Haitians into an uproar.

According to the Associated Press, the protests began after the Haitian government announced prices of gasoline, diesel and kerosene would rise by 38 percent to 51 percent beginning Saturday.

“Gas was around $4.50 earlier this week and a 38 percent hike went into effect today,” Webb said Saturday. “Haitians on average only earn about $2 a day, so the gas hike is hitting them very hard.”

FOX News reported at least three people were killed when the protests turned violent Friday. Reporters saw a crowd beat one person to death and set the body on fire.

Webb said there had been reports of vandalism and fires as part of the protests near them, but the Mount Olivet missionaries are safe and comfortable at the mission camp, which has armed security guards.

“Haiti is not mad at us. The people here are mad at their government,” Webb said.

The pastor said hundreds of people were sending prayers to Haiti, for the missionaries and the people living there.

“We’re glad people are sending their prayers to Haiti right now. They need it.”

Mount Olivet Church is also asking the community to gather with church members at the church in Hartwell at 4 p.m.

The church is located at 2973 Mount Olivet Road in Hartwell.

The mission group initially did not know when they would be able to return home, but Webb said they had plenty of food, water and supplies at the mission camp.

During a 9 a.m. service on Sunday, the Mount Olivet congregation was able to briefly FaceTime with the pastor and exchange a few words. The names of those on the mission trip were posted at the front of the church.

They were hoping to return to the U.S. on Sunday, however an associate pastor said they couldn't due to more riots and unsafe road conditions. They stayed at the mission camp until it was safe to fly out of Port Au Prince.

"We're not worried," Webb said. "Our God is good and we're praying that this momentary, slight inconvenience will turn out for the... kingdom of God and also presence of the Gospel."

In the meantime, Webb said the group worked at the Garden of Hope Orphanage, teaching the kids Bible stories and how to thumb-wrestle.  The group spent the final day in Haiti hosting a medical clinic and a seminary class in a remote area.

On Tuesday, Webb said the group was planning to return Friday and be back on the ground in Georgia by Friday evening. On Wednesday, Webb said the group was able to secure tickets on a different flight one day earlier. 

The missionaries landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta shortly before 7 p.m. 

PHOTOS - A look at the missionaries stranded in Haiti

RELATED - Protesters riot at Best Western hotel in Haiti's capital

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