Columbia County missionaries plan return trip to Haiti

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A week ago Friday, Donnie and Cindy Rogers returned from earthquake-ravaged Haiti. They plan on going back — and bringing others with them.

From left, Donnie Rogers, Cindy Rogers and Lisa Adams tell about their experiences with the earthquake in Haiti at the Savannah Rapids Pavillion Thursday evening January 21, 2010.  Michael Holahan//Staff
Michael Holahan//Staff
From left, Donnie Rogers, Cindy Rogers and Lisa Adams tell about their experiences with the earthquake in Haiti at the Savannah Rapids Pavillion Thursday evening January 21, 2010.

The two Columbia County missionaries shared their plans with a crowd of nearly 200 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans Thursday night.

The two were medical missionaries in Haiti before the quake struck, and were traveling with Lisa Adams, the children’s pastor at the Rev. Donnie Rogers’ church, Life Ministries in Martinez, and Dr. Marty Schnell, a former Augustan.

The Rogerses, who have served and lived in Haiti for years, want to send the first mission team back to Haiti in two weeks. They envision a community-wide effort, involving several churches. Already, they’re seeing unity, their son Brandon Rogers said.

Members and the pastor of the First Haitian Church of Augusta attended the event.

The couple passed out a list of needed supplies three pages long. They played video they shot of crumbled houses and bodies in the rubble, warning those with sensitive stomachs to turn away because the photos were so graphic.

Their presentation recounted the their efforts at makeshift medical clinics.

Before the earthquake, the missionaries were treating lepers at a colony on La Gonave, an island off Haiti’s western coast. Donnie Rogers has worked as a paramedic for 20 years and his wife is a registered nurse. Adams also has worked as a nurse.

“Even now I think about what would have happened if the earth quake happened before we got medicine to these guys,” Donnie Rogers said. “That’s just a miracle of God.”

Looking back, he said, “We believe God is positioning us in a place that we’ll be able to go and help.”

The nature of their work drastically changed once the quake hit. A few blocks from their hotel, Doctors without Borders kept an office.

“They were taking patients to the administrative office,” Donnie Rogers said.

“The people,” Cindy Rogers continued, “they started coming in the gate and we would just lay them down on the driveway. Before we knew it there were just about 100 people.”

They used cardboard boxes and wooden pallets to make splints, and rationed suture kits and pain medicine where they could.

“We had nothing,” she said. “We just had nothing. You could not put your foot between the people they were so close. They cried out, 'Help me. Help me.’ The one thing we were able to say is we’re not your source. We love Haiti. We want to see you well, but God is your source. You have to cry out to him.”

They ended with a prayer from a member of the Haitian congregation, who offered God praise. “Father God, we thank you. How wonderful you are to bring us together tonight,” he prayed. “We’ve got work to do, Lord. We’ve got to restore Haiti.”


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