Local missionary groups provide help in Haiti


WHO: Minister to families and missions at West Acres Baptist Church in Evans


THE TEAM: A 16-member team served in Haiti at the end of January. Most were West Acres members who are doctors.

THE TRIP: The group worked for four days at a Port-au-Prince orphanage. Staff said at the time that they thought they lost 15 of 115 children to the quake.

"We were 12 days in at that point," Jackson said. "Most of the people we saw had received some sort of first aid already."

The team did amputations and replaced the trauma sutures that had been done in the hours and days after the quake.

LIFE IN HAITI: West Acres arrived with cases of baby food and medical supplies. Many also left their tents and sleeping bags behind at the end of the trip. The team lived on canned tuna and soups.

They worked from daylight to dark, through aftershocks and under the watch of four or five armed guards the church hired to keep watch over the food and medical supplies.

THE COMMUNITY RESPONDS: "We went with a tremendous amount of medical supplies that came out of this community," Jackson said. "Each person carried three 50-pound trunks. Because the burn center equipped us with these really very expensive silver bandages they use, we were able to do a lot of good. They sent large packages, and we used them all."

THE AFTERMATH: "We went in right through the heart of Port-au-Prince. It was a mess," Jackson said. People have seen pictures, "but you can't smell a photo. There was death everywhere. At night, looking over the city, you could see the fires where they were incinerating bodies. We all came back with stuff in our lungs and sinuses. By morning, your throat was burning."

LOOKING AHEAD: West Acres is waiting for permission to build in Haiti and will take a team in late March or early April to repair the orphanage.

LEARN MORE: westacres.org



WHO: Senior pastor of Life Ministries International in Martinez with her husband, Donnie

THE TEAM: A team of seven doctors and nurses were in Haiti from Feb. 10-19 to serve in a medical clinic, said Cindy Rogers, a registered nurse. Several members of her family made the trip, including Brandon Rogers and Jamie Rogers Bailey, along with children's pastor Lisa Adams.

THE TRIP: The team helped establish clinics working primarily in La Source, a remote village on the island of La Gonave.

"It was devastating. There were fractures and amputations. There's going to be a real need for rehab," Cindy Rogers said. "We were encouraged, though, because help is coming in. Medical supplies are coming in."

The team brought food to feed 80 families for two weeks.

"We'll continue to bring supplies," she said. "People can't forget yet. There's too much to do."

THE BACK STORY: Life Ministries International has worked in Haiti for years. Cindy and Donnie Rogers, who once lived in Haiti, were in the country when the earthquake struck and returned to the same village for the mission trip.

LIFE IN HAITI: "They've scraped away the rubble off the streets, but there's no cleanup. There's no building," she said. "Port-au-Prince is down. Every fifth building had some semblance of structure, but the whole place, it's just devastated. There are tents everywhere. It's pitiful, but at least they'll be dry for the rainy season."

A PEOPLE OF FAITH: "The president, while we were there, called for three days of prayer. We've been going for 25 years and I've never seen anything like it. People were crammed into little groups under tents crying out to God."

LOOKING AHEAD: In April, Augusta Christian Schools students and staff will join Life Ministries International to work with the youth and young adults in the village.

A medical team could also return as early as the second week of March.

LEARN MORE: lifeaugusta.com/haiti



Augusta-area residents still working to help Haiti