Killing of 3 missionaries in Haiti after attack on orphanage condemned worldwide

Many in the country express grief after Natalie Lloyd, Davy Lloyd and Jude Montis were murdered by gang members as they were returning from church.

Evangelical Focus

Baptist Press, Evangélico Digital · PORT-AU-PRINCE · 04 JUNE 2024 · 16:20 CET

Davy Lloyd, front, and Natalie Lloyd with the children of the orphanage they were serving at in Haiti. / <a target="_blank" href="">@adventuresinhaiti_ en Instagram.</a>.,
Davy Lloyd, front, and Natalie Lloyd with the children of the orphanage they were serving at in Haiti. / @adventuresinhaiti_ en Instagram..

Hundreds of people gathered at a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for the funeral of Jude Montis, Natalie and Davy Lloyd, missionaries working at an orphanage in Lizon who were shot dead last week by gang members.

Missions in Haiti, the organisation to which the victims belonged, said that both Davy and Natalie, along with children from the orphanage, were leaving a church service when “they were ambushed by a gang with three trucks full of guys”.

Davy Lloyd was taken to a house where he was tied up and beaten. Gang members “shot out all the windows out of the house (where they sought shelter) and continued to shoot”.

Three hours later, another message from Missions in Haiti said: "Davy, Natalie and Judes were shot and killed by the gang about 9 o'clock this evening. We are all devastated".

Some media reports said that one of the gangs ransacked the orphanage, took vehicles and held several children hostage.



Deep grief in Haiti and global impact

In addition to condolences from civil society during the funeral services, global media have echoed how the Conference of Haitian Pastors (Copah) and the Office of Citizen Protection of Haiti (OPCH) have expressed their outrage over the terrible event.

Missions in Haiti thanked for the support and prayers on Facebook. “We are facing the most difficult time of our lives”, the statement read.

Ben Baker, Natalie Lloyd's father and a Republican state representative in Missouri, said: “My heart is broken into a thousand pieces. I've never felt this kind of pain before”.

The politician explained there were plans for his daughter and son-in-law's remains to return home, but that “the specific timeline, airline or airports that will be used to ensure the highest level of security” would not be disclosed.

Missions in Haiti has reported that the viewing was Monday at Bible Holiness Assembly of God and the funeral Tuesday at the same place, but “cemetery service will be private for Family only”.

Killing of 3 missionaries in Haiti after attack on orphanage condemned worldwide

Missions in Haiti ministry, founded by David and Alicia Lloyd to bring the gospel of Christ into the lives of young people in Haiti.


The victims

David Lloyd, 23, grew up in Port-au-Prince, where his parents ran an orphanage, a school and a bakery.

Natalie, 21, moved to the Caribbean country after marrying him to help with social work.

Judes Montis, 47, was director of missions and worked alongside the American couple to help the most vulnerable in Haiti. He leaves behind a wife, two children (2 and 6 years old) and a brother who was present on the day of the shooting.

“We will never forget you, nor will we forget the path you created for others”, said one of the attendees at the funeral, which was packed with people leaving the church for the cemetery, according to international media.


Attacks on missionaries

This is not the first time that violent attacks on missionaries have been reported in Haiti.

In October 2021, gang members kidnapped 17 people, most of them US citizens. Many members of the group, including five children, were held captive for over two months before escaping.

In July 2023, gangs kidnapped an American nurse and her daughter from a Christian school campus near Port-au-Prince. They were released nearly two weeks later.

The US State Department has for some time warned “not to travel" to Haiti and urges all US citizens in the country to leave as soon as possible.


Instability and violence

It is estimated that 80% of Port-au-Prince is under the control of gangs, accused of murder, looting, kidnapping and rape.

The population is also facing a severe humanitarian crisis due to shortages of services, medicine and food.

Recently, Haiti's Presidential Transitional Council appointed doctor Garry Conille as prime minister, and he is in charge of leading the nation in the midst of political instability and increasing violence.

The appointment comes as the Caribbean nation awaits the arrival of a Kenyan-led international military force seeking to retake control.

Last week, UNICEF warned that the health system is “on the verge of collapse”, due to a “combination of violence, mass displacement, dangerous epidemics and increasing malnutrition”.

Christian organisations such as Alianza Solidaria and World Vision International have called on believers around the world to pray for the entire population of Haiti. World Vision has posted four guides to do so on its website.

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