Hundreds attend prayer vigil for Zander Saucier

Hundreds attend prayer vigil for Zander Saucier

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A prayer vigil for 3-year-old Zander Saucier took place Wednesday night at Nugent United Methodist Church in Gulfport, the same church that Zander and his mother, Emily, joined just this past Easter.

And while church members are worried, they say the optimistic news coming in shows the true power of prayer.

Positive social media posts continue to come in from family members of Zander, who suffered burns and other injuries in what authorities say was a result of abuse from his father.

The latest: He's sitting up and his eyes are open and responsive.

"It's been an amazing thing to see prayer working," said church member Christin Anderson. "Because day by day we're getting better reports about Zander and just what's happening for him."

Extended family at Nugent Methodist Church crowded in for early services.

Candles were lit, as members prayed for healing.

And there were plenty of hugs for support.

Some were ready to comfort.

Others needed it.

"Kind of unbelievable," said church member Beth Witt. "You don't expect this to happen to people you know. And especially, we consider each other family in this church and have a family member - the whole family - affected this. It's just been so hard."

The church is also raising money to help the family with expenses.

"It's just been amazing to see everybody coming out on Facebook and calling into the church and emailing, just in support of this whole family," added Anderson.

Nugent pastor, Lance Presley, said he is eagerly waiting for their return.

"She really wants to be here," he said. "She told me she wants to be able to raise Zander in the church. And Zander, he's a great kid. He's a kid. He's a 3-year-old. He's rambunctious and full of life and we're ready to have him back."

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