The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 14, 2010

Valley collegian doesn’t know whether friends survived

A Bucknell University junior waited frantically Tuesday night to hear from loved ones in his hometown of Gressier, Haiti — near the epicenter of a magnitude-7 earthquake that killed as many as 100,000 people earlier in the day.

Christophe Bonnard, a management major, said it was nearly impossible to get in touch with anyone in his home country.

Finally, at 4 a.m. Wednesday, his father answered the phone.

“He was all right, but said he was very fortunate,” Bonnard said. “He said things are really bad there.”

Some of Bonnard’s relatives are in a hospital and he said the status of many of his friends is unknown.

Bonnard is in York during Bucknell’s winter break and has been e-mailing relatives and friends, begging for their prayers.

“I have so many friends that I can’t hear from,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re alive or dead. I just have my prayers.”

Dwight Rine, director of God’s Missionary Church’s world missions, spent Tuesday night trying to contact Donald Mobley, a missionary from Penn View Bible Institute in Penns Creek.

Mobley, of Roaring Spring, is stationed in Carrefour — only miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.

“I tried 50 or 75 times before I was finally able to reach him on his cell phone at about 11 (Tuesday) night,” Rine said.

Mobley was in contact with his mother briefly after the earthquake — but only long enough to let her know that he was OK. They lost connection after a short time.

According to Steven Mowery, missions division director at the Penn View — which has had students serve worldwide — there has been little to no communication from Haiti to North America.

When the earthquake took place, Mobley and other missionaries were in their bedrooms, taking a break from working on a truck.

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