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Former Augustana Student In Haiti

January 13, 2010, 5:51 PM by Brian Kushida

Former Augustana Student In Haiti
A Centerville family is hoping for their daughter's safe return from Haiti.  Twenty-five-year-old Sarah Thomson, a former Augustana student, was supposed to take a short trip to the small country to help those in need.  But plans have changed, and her family is hoping to hear from her soon.

Jim Thomson is breathing a little easier than just a day ago, but a decent night's sleep is still far away.

"We were panicked because we weren't able to communicate with our daughter," Jim Thomson said.

His daughter, Sarah, is part of a missionary group working in Haiti.

With phone and power lines down in several parts of the Caribbean nation, the father checked his daughter's Facebook page looking for any information. Late Tuesday night, he discovered that a coordinator in Haiti wrote to parents, alerting them of the group's safety.

"They got shelter, food and water, so that's a good sign. And the people in her area, there are no casualties," he said.

The group felt the ground shaking 100 miles from the earthquake's epicenter. But the damage throughout the country has likely derailed the group's plans to make it back by this coming Tuesday. 

The father says the most difficult part about the entire situation is that he can't actually talk to his daughter. But he knows well that his daughter made the trip to help people. And she'll find a way to do just that.

"We're very proud of her, she makes us proud," he said.

Now, all they can do is wait for her to make it back home. 

Jim Thomson says had the missionary group traveled to the same region of Haiti as they did last year, they would've been right at the epicenter of the earthquake.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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