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Young Haitian Missionaries Pay the Ultimate Sacrifice in Ministry

Jessica Johnson on

I cannot imagine the immense depth of grief and pain the families of Davy and Natalie Lloyd are bearing right now as the remains of this young missionary couple were recently flown back to the U.S. from Haiti. Davy, 23, and Natalie, 21, had their entire lives ahead of them, and soon after getting married in 2022, they began working for the Missions in Haiti full time. The mission was founded by Davy's parents, David and Alicia Lloyd, in 2000, and a Fox News report stated that Davy and Natalie "'gave everything' for the people there." They, along with the local Missions in Haiti director, Jude Montis, were fatally shot on May 23 in Port-au-Prince by a Haitian gang.

As I was reading more about Davy and Natalie, I learned that Davy grew up in Haiti and returned to the U.S. to attend a Bible college. He and Natalie were dedicated to ministering to Haitian children, wanting to provide hope and a better future out of poverty through sharing their faith in Christ. The Missions in Haiti has eight ministries serving young people that include The House of Compassion, the Bon Espoir School, Good Hope Boys Home and Good Hope Church. Supporters of the mission work have the opportunity to sponsor students attending Bon Espoir and to provide funds for those staying at The House of Compassion, where 18 boys and 18 girls currently reside. The humanitarian work that Davy and Natalie carried out with other Missions in Haiti staff was truly remarkable, as they were helping oversee a ministry operation in one of the most perilous places in the world.

Haiti is a country that is being held hostage by armed gangs who unleash terror on its citizens through kidnapping women and children and committing brutal murders. UNICEF reported in 2023 that there was "an alarming spike in kidnappings," with close to 300 cases documented within the first six months of that year. Haitian gangs use abductions as a means of financial extortion, and murders are tied to drug lords.

The violence in Haiti heavily increased after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. The small Caribbean nation is in a state of emergency with police forces unable to stop the wave of crime, and Prime Minister Ariel Henry remains exiled due to gangs attempting to overrun the government. It takes extraordinary steadfastness and godly love for Missions in Haiti to continue educating the children caught up in the midst of the country's political unrest and ongoing bloodshed in Port-au-Prince and other cities.

One of the things that I kept thinking about regarding Davy and Natalie's short but incredibly rewarding lives is their commitment to serving the Lord and placing others' needs above their own. It takes gallant sacrifice to minister in a nation like Haiti where grave danger is always imminent, and these two were more than up to the task. Being in their early 20s, they could have easily followed other career paths, and they could have pursued professional goals solely for self-gratification. But they chose to, as Philippians 2:4 says, "not [look] to [their] own interests, but ... to the interests of [others]" (NIV). Service is one of the most important commands for a Christian in his or her walk of faith with Jesus, and the Lord taught extensively on the humility it requires. In Matthew 23:11, Jesus told the multitudes and His disciples that whoever would be the greatest among them would first be a servant. 1 Peter 4:10 follows up with encouragement for us to use our spiritual gifts in ministry as "good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Just from what I've read about Davy and Natalie, it is evident that they loved their life of service in Haiti, daily attending to the children in their care with empathy and kindness.

 

The untimely deaths of the Lloyds brought more attention to just how dangerous missionary work is becoming. According to Independent Catholic News, 20 missionaries were violently killed last year, and unfortunately, the numbers may increase in 2024 as it is becoming more difficult to spread the Gospel in countries like Tanzania, Cameroon, the Philippines and Spain. Yet, despite these severe risks, there will still be those who boldly embody the valiant spirit of Davy and Natalie, freely giving "everything" they have to those most in need.

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Dr. Jessica A. Johnson is a lecturer in the English department at Ohio State University's Lima campus. Email her at smojc.jj@gmail.com. Follow her on X: @JjSmojc. To find out more about Jessica Johnson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate, Inc.


 

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