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Mission work is inherently dangerous. Many of the poor countries requiring mission assistance have beautiful natural scenery but political unrest, poverty and natural disasters are often the backdrop. Matthew 10:16 reads " I send you out as sheep among wolves..". This was true then and now.
I was assigned to Haiti from 2008 to 2010 and know the living conditions well. During my deployment with the United Nations as an International Police Director, I saw firsthand, the unimaginable living conditions of the typical Haitian. After the 2010 Earthquake, the situation deteriorated very rapidly.
The world responded and flew into the wolves' den. Missionaries and their care packages were targeted by criminal, gangs, unscrupulously government officials and the very public they were intended to help. In a third world or developing economy the pressure to survive is genuine. This pressure will trigger a self preservation response.
The response can be witnessed as a mother and child wait in a long line for a few cups of rice, as a group of people refuse to stand in line and decide to riot and take the provision or as wolves decide to exploit the situation with criminal acts including assaults, robbery, kidnappings and in rare situations, murder.
The United States does not pay ransom for kidnapped Americans. The Department of State will work very diligently, behind the scenes, to recover the kidnapped person or party but cannot make overt efforts or public displays. This would endanger the safety of every American aboard. Most of the world believe every travelling American is wealthy or has access to large sums of money. In some countries, criminal consider $1,000 a substantial amount.
If you are planning a mission trip abroad, review the Department of State information about the country. Also review the in-country US Embassy daily report. You can also conduct your own research by reading local online newspapers from the country you are planning to visit.
From my personal experience, it is easier to avoid a dangerous situation than it is to escape one.
If you are planning a mission trip, please contact me anytime.
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