January 13th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Churches, groups worry about members missing in Haiti

Jim Kavanagh

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/LIVING/01/13/haiti.missing.americans/t1larg.jpg caption="A woman is helped after being pulled out of rubble following a magnitude-7.0 earthquake Tuesday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti." width=416 height=234]

Some Americans visiting or working in Haiti have not been heard from since Tuesday's earthquake, but loved ones back home are trying to remain optimistic as good reports come in from others.

CNN iReporter Cynthia Kivland of Prairie Grove, Illinois, spent a sleepless night trying to get in touch with her 30-year-old daughter, Chelsey.

Chelsey Kivland has lived in Haiti for more than two years and speaks fluent Creole; she just returned there from a visit home in December. The Fulbright Scholar at the University of Chicago is finishing her doctoral dissertation in anthropology.

"She's just a beautiful person," said her mother, who contacted the State Department and the university for help.

Help the Kivlands find their daughter

There are about 45,000 Americans in Haiti, the U.S. State Department estimates.

A 15-member group from Trinity United Methodist Church of Hackettstown, New Jersey, turned up after going missing for about 18 hours after the quake. The group was believed to be at an orphanage in Bon Repos, 15 miles north of Port-au-Prince, when the earthquake struck.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, a church member said the group contacted the church via a CNN satellite phone in Haiti.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    My thoughts and prayers are with those people too!

    January 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm |