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American Missionaries Killed in Port-au-Prince

Gang attack in Haiti leaves three dead and a house on fire as international forces are delayed again.
American Missionaries Killed in Port-au-Prince
Image: Mission in Haiti
Davy (left) and Natalie (center) Lloyd have worked at an orphanage in Haiti since 2022.

Two young American missionaries were murdered in Haiti on Thursday amid the ongoing crisis of gang violence that has overwhelmed the country.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd and Jude Montis, a Haitian staff member and church leader, were ambushed by three trucks full of gang members while coming out of a youth group service in Port-au-Prince, according to Missions in Haiti’s Facebook page. While the armed men were stealing several vehicles and loading them up with loot from the mission, another gang arrived and the two groups violently clashed.

“Not sure what took place but one was shot and killed and now this gang went into full attack mode,” a missionary receiving reports in the US wrote. “Davy, Natalie and Jude [were] in my house at the end of the property using the star link internet to call me. So they are holed up in there, the gangs [have] shot all the windows out of the house and continue to shoot.”

Missions in Haiti reportedly tried to contact Haitian police without success. Then the phone lines went down.

“PLEASE PRAY,” Missions in Haiti asked its 4,500 Facebook followers. “Going to be a long night.”

By 9 p.m., the house was on fire and the Lloyds and Montis were dead.

Montis was 45. Davy was 23. Natalie, 21.

“My heart is broken in a thousand pieces,” wrote Natalie’s father, Missouri State House Rep. Ben Baker. “I’ve never felt this kind of pain.”

Criminal gangs killed nearly 5,000 people in Haiti last year. Then, in 2024, the gangs banded together, turned against the politicians who had once collaborated with them for power, and launched coordinated attacks on the government. The gangs set police stations on fire, shut down the main airport and seaport, and broke open two prisons, releasing an estimated 4,000 inmates. They vandalized government offices, stormed the National Palace, and took control of about 80 percent of the capital.

“Now they are a power to themselves,” Robert Fatton, professor of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia, told the Associated Press. “The autonomy of the gangs has reached a critical point. It is why they are capable now of imposing certain conditions on the government itself.”

The prime minister resigned in April and a temporary governing council was set up and tasked with quelling the violence and restoring order.

A UN-approved peacekeeping mission of 1,000 Kenyan police officers has been repeatedly delayed. Two hundred of them were supposed to land on Thursday—as Kenyan president William Ruto met with US president Joe Biden at the White House—but the flight from Nairobi was canceled at the last minute.

The police officers were given no explanation for the delay and told to stand by, according to Reuters, because they might leave at any moment. US officials have said the force lacks the necessary armored vehicles, helicopters, guns, and communications equipment needed for the deployment.

The American government has committed $300 million to the mission. Since April, the US has evacuated hundreds of American citizens by helicopter, and many nonprofits have coordinated emergency exits as well. Not everyone was able to leave, however, and some chose not to.

Missions in Haiti told supporters in March that their area of Port-au-Prince was quiet and that the missionaries were not concerned for their safety.

The organization was started by Davy Lloyd’s parents, David and Alicia, in 2000. The mission primarily served children—offering food, education, and spiritual guidance. In 2002, about 100 kids attended Missions in Haiti’s summer Bible school program and, that fall, there were 10 children at the orphanage and another 30 enrolled in the school.

In 24 years, the school has grown to serve more than 400 children annually, according to reports to financial supporters. And the mission has also expanded, starting a church and a bakery that employs graduates.

The spiraling violence in Haiti, however, started to really concern David Lloyd in 2022.

“There is not a functioning government, the nation of Haiti is in total anarchy,” the elder Lloyd wrote. “These gangs murder, rape, steal and destroy at will.”

He reported that Missions in Haiti was nearly taken over by “one of the wickedest gangs” but “we went to our knees and God intervened in a miraculous way and turned that gang back!”

The missionaries remained hopeful and asked their supporters to pray and write their US representatives.

Davy and Natalie Lloyd joined Missions in Haiti in 2022, after graduating from Ozark Bible Institute, a Holiness-Pentecostal school, and getting married.

Davy, who grew up at the mission, threw himself into maintenance projects, remodeling dormitory bathrooms, fixing vehicles, and building a new laundry room.

He told supporters that, coming back, he could see the larger problems plaguing Haiti more clearly than he could as a kid going to school and church, taking care of the chickens and playing with his Haitian friends.

“My eyes are more open,” the younger Lloyd said in a video shared by Missions in Haiti. “Really, we need a miracle. We need God to move.”

Natalie worked in the orphanage and cared for children. She shared images of ministry on the couple’s Instagram: repainting playground equipment, giving kids mangoes and coconuts, and teaching them about the full armor of God.

The young missionary expressed some concern for the political situation in Haiti, but focused more on her delight at serving children and her trust in God.

“God is always faithful to His promises. He is unchanging & He never wavers,” she wrote. “I want to put my hope in the One who never fails, the One whose mercies are new every morning, the One who, when seasons change, He remains the same.”

A few days before the attack by the two groups of gangs, the missionaries expressed hope that help was coming and order might soon be restored. They saw US military planes fly overhead several times a day, presumably bringing in equipment for the Kenyan forces. The airport reopened and gang activity seemed to be lessening, according to the Missions in Haiti’s Facebook page.

“Gang Rule could be ending soon,” David Lloyd wrote. “We are praying this will happen and the sooner the better. Thank you for your continued prayers.”

On Friday afternoon, family members reported that Davy and Natalie Lloyd’s bodies had been moved to the American embassy.

Correction: A previous version of this story said the orphanage was on fire. It was a missionary’s house, not the orphanage, that burned.

[ This article is also available in español Português Français, and 한국어. ]

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