David "Big Dave" Bompart, a missionary from Columbus who worked with volunteers from Archbold Evangelical Church in Haiti, has died.
Bompart, 50, was shot in the abdomen on Wednesday, Jan. 25, as he was walking out of a bank in Port-au-Prince, as part of an apparent botched robbery.
Nicolle Bompart, David’s wife, posted on the Internet at 2:47 pm, Thursday, Feb. 2, "Just a few brief moments ago, the love of my life went to be with someone who loves him more than me. Today is the day I never hoped would come, and these are the words I never hoped to type."
Jennifer Piedra, a spokesperson for Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, confirmed his death.
Story updated 2.2, 4:30 pm
Volunteers from the Archbold Evangelical Church are remaining close to the Haitian orphanage they are building, after a fellow volunteer was shot.
David “Big Dave” Bompart, 50, Columbus, has dedicated his life to helping the Haitian people since the January 2010 earthquake devastated the country.
He was shot Wednesday, Jan. 25, when walking out of a bank in Port-au-Prince.
Monday night, Jan. 30, his wife, Nicolle, posted on the Internet that, “David is still fighting but unfortunately his body is failing.”
As of Tuesdsay morning, Jan. 31, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, listed Bompart’s condition as critical.
Mark Grime, a member of the Evan Missionary Board, said Bompart had gone into downtown Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, with another volunteer to withdraw money. As he walked out of the bank, he was shot once in the abdomen.
He was reportedly robbed, but reports vary on what was taken. Grime said a laptop computer case and his passport were stolen, but later recovered. No money was lost, Grime said.
Some reports say Bompart drove, while others say he walked, about 2 1/2 blocks to Bernard Mev Medishare Hospital in Port-au-Prince, which ironically, he helped build after the quake.
He underwent two surgeries, but on Friday, Jan. 27, the decision was made to fly him back to the United States.
The original plan was to fly Bompart to a Columbus hospital, but his condition worsened in flight. He was admitted to Jackson Memorial.
David and Nicolle Bompart founded Eyes Wide Open International. Grime said volunteers from Archbold Evan have been working with EWOI on building an orphanage on about an acre-and-a-half of land that was a junkyard.
The orphanage will be occupied by Pastor Nae Nae, who, after the earthquake, was housing 37 orphans in his small Port-au-Prince apartment.
Grime said since Bompart was shot, Archbold Evan volunteers are staying “close to the job site.”
The orphanage is about 20 miles northeast of Portau Prince. In the past, volunteers would visit the city, but the tours have been stopped, Grime said.
Also, volunteers would be allowed to visit a local market. That, too, has been stopped.
Volunteers stay in a guest house about a block from the under-construction orphanage.
Three teams of Archbold Evan volunteers are rotating in and out of the country. Grime said the first team went down Friday, Jan. 20, and returned Friday, Jan. 27.
That same day, a second team went to Haiti, which will return Friday, Feb. 3. The third team leaves for the island nation Feb. 3.
“Our church has sent 68 different people to Haiti in the last year and a half. We sponsored a couple who were there all summer. We’ve never had a problem,” Grime said.
Counting Evan members who have been to Haiti more than once, Grime said there have been more than 100 missionary trips.
Jeff and Rebecca Smith, Pettisville, were part of the Evan group that was in Haiti from Jan. 20-27.
They met Bompart, and worked with him.
R. Smith described Bompart as a big man, standing over six feet tall.
“He’s a wonderful, openhearted man who loves the Lord,” she said.
R. Smith said Bompart and his wife had been to Archbold, attending a planning meeting at Evan.
“He’s got a gentle, sweet heart, and he’s a prayerful, worshipful man. He plays guitar, and is a worship leader at his home church in Columbus,” she said.
She said she believes someone brought the news of the shooting to those working at the orphanage.
The reaction, she said, “was shock and disbelief.”
R. Smith said she felt the shooting was a random act of violence.
“I don’t think he was targeted because he was a missionary.
“The same thing happens in Toledo,” she said.
Grime said many Haitians are upset by the shooting.
“A lot of Haitians have taken this very hard,” he said. “They feel terrible. Haitians, and the people of Eyes Wide Open, are devastated.
“There has been a signifi- cant amount of prayer for Dave and Nicolle.”
Bompart traveled to Haiti within two weeks after the earthquake. Since then, he has divided his time between Haiti, Florida and Ohio. He was in the midst of a threemonth stay in Haiti when he was shot.
R. Smith said Bompart lives in a tent at the orphanage.
Wednesday morning, she said Bompart told Jeff he had returned to his tent Tuesday night, played his guitar, sang, and worshipped until after 1 am Wednesday.
“He had to force himself to go to bed.
“He said he’d had the best sleep he’d had in years. Wednesday morning, he was up early.”
That afternoon, he was shot.
“It seems surreal,” R. Smith said.
“Like, this can’t be happening.” –David Pugh