Prayer service in Mesa for those affected by Haiti earthquake

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

MESA – Haitians in the Valley are still awaiting word from their loved ones and many of them gathered Wednesday night to pray and to comfort one another.

A prayer service for the people who died in the earthquake was held at the First Community Haitian Church in Mesa. It is also the first time many of them have been able to get together and trade information. Unfortunately, a lot of it is not good.

Those in attendance were speaking to God in words, in songs and in prayers. They had messages of love and hope for people in their home country.

Pastor Jean Michel says, “We come tonight to go to God to ask God for his grace for this country.”

Valley Haitians are looking at Pastor Jean Michel for support for spiritual guidance through this devastating and dark time. He knows he has to be strong and be a leader but deep down he says he too is hurting inside. “I have my cousin in Haiti, you know, he lost his wife, his house is destroyed.”

Haitians from across the Valley came to offer prayer for those who have died in the earthquake, possibly family members or friends. There were even a few guests who showed up that are not even a part of the church or are even Haitian.

Teddi Lampone, one visitor, says, “It hurts, it hurts really bad.” He spent nine years of her life volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti. She went to the church to show it is not just Haitians who are feeling the pain. She says, “I feel bad for the people. That country is the poorest country in the world and nobody does a thing about it.”

Lampone is not the only one showing support. Others are doing so through donations, a call of help that many are answering. 

Pastor Jean Michel says, “I'm making friends who aren't Haitian, but they have Haitian hearts and yeah, I feel happy.”

Relief efforts have already begun at the church. Money and medical supplies have been coming in since Wednesday morning.