Haiti riots stop mission trip

There may be violence in Haiti, but at Missouri Southern, peace is the mission of one group.

For the past two years, the Wesley Foundation has gone to Haiti as part of a mission trip.

However, this year the trip has been canceled due to the rebel uprisings.

The missionaries see the uprising as good for the people.

“There is no mass media,” said Eric Lotz, campus ministry leader. “A person can promise [in politics] anything.”

Lotz said he has been to Haiti with two groups of students, once during a local election.

During the election, the streets were closed to motorized vehicles. He said it made it difficult for the people to get into the city and vote.

Lotz said the people mostly accepted the group.

“There is mixed reaction,” he said. “The people in the church, they love us.”

Jennifer Lotz, Eric’s wife and fellow campus minister, also went on the trip.

“It’s up in the air right now it’s hard to know,” Jennifer said.

She said the experience changed her outlook on her home.

“It’s very much a blessing to come back,” she said. “We take for granted so many things we have.”

She said the people in Haiti are friendly, and she wants others to know that God loves them.

“He (God) just loves them as much as he loves us,” she said.

Eric agrees.

“I consider the people in Haiti to be my brothers and sisters,” he said.

Annette Cross, junior secondary education major, went to Haiti in May and June of 2003. She too sees the ousting of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as a good thing for the people.

“[There is] so much corruption in the country,” Cross said. “I’m glad to see that something is being done for the people.”

She said the government was oppressing to the people and keeps secret police in the towns to listen to the people should they speak out against the government. She said the government was not like the people she met on the trip.

“The Haitians are truly loving people,” Cross said. “It may seem brutal (the uprisings), but they do it to protect their families.”

The groups went to Cap Haitian, Haiti and worked in the local church. Eric preached a revival during the week the group stayed and then preached during the following Sunday’s sermon.

The Lotz’s and Cross agreed the experience is a life-changing event.

“It’s something you don’t understand unless you see it for yourself,” Cross said.