GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Jacson Celestin originally is from Haiti, but has been in WestMichigan since 2003. He has only been able to contact about half ofhis family, and is waiting to hear from some of his siblings andhis mother.
"Today I went to school, and I was sitting there, but my spiritwas not really there," he said Wednesday. "I don't know howeverybody is doing. So far, I cannot tell how everybody is doingyet. I cannot reach them yet."
Pastor Mathieu Pierre of Grand Rapids West International Churchof the Nazarene hopes to touch people like Jacson.
"And this time, you know, many people are hurting," he said."Many people are looking for an answer, and tonight, I would liketo consecrate this time to bring the message of hope to thepeople."
An interfaith meeting was held to remember and support those inthe midst of the Haiti earthquake crisis.
Celestin's sister, for example, is recovering from minorinjuries.
"The house collapsed," he told 24 Hour News 8. "And then shefell from where she was. Then all the debris just fell on her."
Celestin hasn't heard from his mother since she went to visithis grandmother.
Many tears were shed in church, for pain and suffering thousandsof miles away.
"The houses are built really close to each other," Celestinsaid. "People are pretty much crowded and life is very, very hardfor these people."
Said Pierre: "We just need to seek comfort from God and look tohim for help."
Several churches are collecting nonperishable goods.
Here are the items needed for emergency relief shipments toHaiti:
Food items (dry staples):
- Powdered milk
- Canned meat
- Peanut butter
- Any over-the-counter medication as long as it's within six months of expiration
- Ace wraps
- Wash cloths
Items can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Trinity United Methodist Church -- Grand Rapids
- St. Paul the Apostle Parish -- Grand Rapids
- Holy Trinity Church -- Grand Rapids
- Sparta Fire Department
- Camp Bow Wow -- Kentwood
- Shaggy Pines Dog Park -- Ada
- English Hills Terrace -- on West River Drive
- Any Mercantile Bank location
- Rays of Hope for Haiti Warehouse -- 446 Grandville Ave., NW -- Loading dock No. 6 in GR
Financial donations also can be made directly toRays of Hope for Haiti at any Mercantile Bank location, or to theHaiti Area Task Force of the United Methodist Church, 11 FullerAve. NE, in Grand Rapids.
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