COLUMBUS, Ind — An Indiana missionary who was just in Haiti said she barely made it out of the country.
"It was something you see out of a movie," said Jessica Eugene.
Right now, Eugene is at her home in Columbus. Last week, she was in Haiti and still can't believe what she witnessed in the country on Saturday.
"This is the first time in the whole time since I've been there that I feel unsafe," said Eugene.
Eugene has lived in Haiti for close to 12 years. Her husband is Haitian and the couple have raised their children there. She and her family are missionaries and run a school in Haiti. On Oct. 16, Eugene was visiting the school before returning to the U.S. That's when she was told she needed to leave immediately.
"The roads are blocked with broken bottles, gasoline, tires, broken limbs. We had to go down a ravine. We had to go down a big hill, go across the river. The guys are carrying me," said Eugene.
Eugene was shocked when she later learned about the abductions of the other missionaries.
"To hear that those 17 Americans got kidnapped on the same day I'm going to the airport, the same day that they are. The same road and the same route that they take, and the same time that I'm doing it. I'm thinking God spared me, for what reason?" said Eugene.
Now, a Haitian gang is demanding $17 million to free the missionaries.
"They risked their lives to go down and serve. Now their lives are in danger at every moment," Eugene said.
Eugene said she loves Haiti and its people and what we are seeing now is not a reflection of who they are.
"It's a representation of a percentage of people who are corrupt. They are taking advantage of a situation that, in the end, is just hurting their people," she said.
Eugene and her kids don't plan to return to the country until the government is stabilized, and she's asking other missionaries to do the same.
"Yes, there is a need. Yes, we need to help, but be careful. Because we have to live to serve another day," she said.