Haiti unrest leaves US missionaries stranded

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A youth group from Bradenton, Florida, that was scheduled to return from a missionary trip in Haiti is stranded until at least Monday, Executive Pastor Dewayne McFarlin said.

The group from Bradenton's Woodland Community Church left Neply, Haiti, early Saturday for a 3 p.m. flight from Port-au-Prince International Airport, McFarlin said. Only a few miles into the approximately 30-mile journey, the group, which includes middle school- and high school-age children, encountered individuals demanding payment for access to the roadway, according to McFarlin.

They talked their way past the roadblock, but elected to turn around when they came to second group of individuals who had erected a blockade of burning tires on the road, McFarlin says.

A local colleague of McFarlin's was riding on a motorcycle a few miles ahead of the missionary group's bus. The friend called him to say that the road ahead was filled with similar impromptu "checkpoints," McFarlin said.