Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Sam Penrod reportingHaiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and unrest there is forcing 5,000 Americans of all faiths who are in the country as missionaries to leave. That includes 64 missionaries for the LDS Church who tonight are on their way out of Haiti.
The violence and unrest in Haiti is getting ugly. And it's getting so bad that foreigners in the country are leaving in masses.
Elder Ben Peterson has been in Haiti since December. His parents haven't heard from him for two weeks, but have been assured by Church officials that he is safe.
Diana Peterson/ Parent of Missionary in Haiti: "We're being kept in the loop as parents, so we don't have to wonder and worry unduly, and to know that the church is primarily considered with the elders."
Elder Peterson was assigned in the southern part of the country, away from the center of the violence, although the trouble is spreading.
An official statement from the Church says "We have been monitoring the situation in Haiti very closely and have decided to temporarily transfer all non-Haitian missionaries now serving in Haiti to other missions outside of the country."
Peterson says in her son's letters home, he has focused on the people he is serving.
Diana Peterson: "I know that he has been having great success there lately and was finally over the hump with the language."
She expects her son is disappointed at being moved out of the country on short notice.
Diana Peterson: "It will be hard to have that interrupted, but I'm sure he knows if he is being evacuated there's a good reason."
Families of missionaries have been told that it will likely take three days to get all of the missionaries out of the country. Those missionaries will be re-assigned to other countries in the region.