A Chicago-area missionary working in Haiti has made contact with her family and is safe.
Mallory Holding was able to make a call to her mother, the Rev. Suzi Holding, Wednesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman with St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn.
Holding traveled to Haiti as part of the church’s Young Adult Services Corps last summer to begin a year long mission in Port au Prince to help the poor there.
But since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, her family feared that she may have been among those needing help.
Holding was able to tell her mother that she and friends from the seminary have been camping out in a tent and are safe, the spokeswoman said.
The news is an obvious relief for the family, friends and members of the diocese who hadn't heard from Holding for days.
“The only report we have is that the apartment building she was staying in was not damaged," church spokesman David Skidmore said earlier in the day. "There’s just no way to communicate out, like everyone else were dealing with broken telephone lines and cell towers."
Skidmore said the apartment was in Port au Prince near the epicenter of the quake.
Rev. George Smith, rector of her parish at St. Mark's in Glen Ellyn, said he didn't know if she was in her apartment at the time of the quake or out on a mission.
Still, he never lost hope that Holding was OK, even though she hadn't contacted her friends and family.
"Mallory is a resourceful, grace-filled person," he told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday. "I can see her being a person to help the situation. Of course I’m concerned. But l have this feeling of confidence that she’s OK and doing good things there … We remember that God is in the midst of us in tragedy. I believe that. She knows that. She is firmly grounded in God’s presence wherever she is and whatever is happening. That gives me great hope.”
“The whole definition of hope is there’s nothing to see,” he said. “It’s just what we know deep down.”
Holding has been updating a blog about her mission work in Haiti called "Holding Haiti." The last post, dated December 29, said that she was helping locals find innovative ways to use water bottles for entrepreneurial projects.