Missionary with Northland ties shot five times in GuatemalaA former Duluth-area resident was robbed and shot five times Nov. 19 while serving as a missionary in Guatemala, but is expected to recover.
A former Duluth-area resident was robbed and shot five times Nov. 19 while serving as a missionary in Guatemala, but is expected to recover.
Doug Johnson, who grew up in Hermantown and is a former member of Salem Covenant Church in West Duluth, has lived in Guatemala since 2000 working with Kids Alive International, a Christian organization that has been in existence since 1916 and now is active in 14 countries, according to spokeswoman Kristian Pruitt.
Johnson’s brother in Duluth, Duane, said Friday he is “doing better” with his pain under control. Duane said his brother can sit in a chair and talk for short periods of time.
Johnson, 60, oversees construction and maintenance at a home that helps abused and trafficked girls. It’s located in San Lucas, about 40 miles from Guatemala City.
“There is little access to clean water, education and medical care. It’s an isolated community,” Pruitt said.
Johnson was leaving a bank by himself in San Lucas when he was held up and shot, mostly in the abdomen.
Because he was alone, “we don’t know the details of what exchanged in the process of the shots being fired,” Pruitt said.
Paramedics were called and quickly arrived, and he was taken to a nearby trauma center. He was put into an induced coma, Pruitt said, but regained consciousness and was transferred to another hospital. He has had four surgeries since being shot.
“He’s now in the recovery process,” Pruitt said. “Doctors don’t believe he’ll have serious long-term ramifications from this.”
Kids Alive sent out prayer requests for Johnson, which went viral on social media. The Salem Facebook page also sent out a prayer call. Johnson’s other brother, Darrell, and Duane are keeping church members at Salem updated.
An update was posted Thursday on the church’s Facebook page.
“Doug’s surgery (to deal with an infection) yesterday went well,” the post said. “Duane and Darrell talked to him for the first time last night. His suggestion to them was ‘don’t ever get shot.’ So he has a sense of humor. Sounds like he will be in the hospital for another week. Things are looking optimistic. Continue to keep him in your prayers.”
“A lot of people prayed for him,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt said she has no information about whether the person who shot Johnson has been apprehended.
Johnson’s wife, Sara, also works as a missionary with Kids Alive International in Guatemala. They have five children. Duane Johnson said two of the couple’s sons are with their parents during the recovery.