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SBC Disaster Relief logo Haiti Disaster Relief Response – Latest Updates

What’s Happening Now?

4-19-10

After three months and nearly 700 volunteers, there is still much to do in Haiti. Teams are continuing to work with local Haitian pastors and churches to respond to the great needs of their communities. Southern Baptists are helping churches clear the piles of debris that once were church buildings. This is the first step in bringing a sense of hope to devastated communities. The lack of buildings has not deterred the Haitians from worship and proclaiming the gospel. They have continued to meet, holding their services outdoors. Exuberant joy marks the worship of the Haitian church. Where one might expect an absence of hope and joy, the Haitians sing songs of praise. What a wonderful sound to hear these Christian brothers and sisters sing praises in spite of their great sorrow. They know and exhibit the difference between happiness and the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus.

Southern Baptists can see the great potential for eternal change in Haiti. Out of the rubble that lines the streets, a new Haiti will emerge. We are praying to that end, that Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit will make an eternal difference in Haiti. What about you? Have you waned in your petitions for Haiti? Why not take some time today and pray for these people? It will make all the difference.

Without leaving your chair you can play a vital role in the work God is doing in Haiti. Tens of thousands are coming to Christ. Voodoo priests have been won to the Lord and are now witnessing to others. Take 10 minutes and pray using Haiti Virtual Prayerwalk 2 as a guide. View pictures and specific prayer requests of Haitian pastors and churches that Southern Baptists are working with.


4-16-10

Fritz Wilson, Haiti incident commander, has traveled home for a much needed break. He has carried the load of almost continually serving in Haiti over the last three months, sacrificing time with family, friends, and church. Leading such a massive mobilization of volunteers, commodities, and supplies is a taxing endeavor, and Fritz has served faithfully. Deborah, Fritz’s wife, and his boys have also made great sacrifices for the people of Haiti. To quote a famous song, “thank you for giving to the Lord.”

We are still waiting on word that the first Buckets of Hope have made it “through the fence” outside of customs. Pray for a favorable climate among the customs inspectors that will help get the buckets into the hands of Haitian pastors and then to the thousands of families very soon.

See pictures of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary students working in Haiti and read their thoughts since returning home on the group’s Facebook page.


4-9-10

Haiti Palace Demolition photo More teams arrived in Haiti to continue the medical clinics, assessments, and demolition work. A demolition team from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), Louisville, Ky., is hard at work in the heat and humidity. Fritz Wilson, incident commander, reported that the team’s efforts became a community event as neighbors joined in the work, children gathered to watch, the pastor witnessed, the team created a pulpit from block they carefully saved, and at 2:45 p.m. the pastor lead the gathering in worship.

Photo (above): On Thursday, the Haitian government began tearing down the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. Fritz Wilson happened to go by as the first excavators went to work.

Haiti Block Pulpit photo Photo (left): Pulpit made from salvaged block.

Read more about the SBTS mission team on Facebook.

Florida reported a total of 111,000 Buckets of Hope have been received so far and Louisiana reported 37,000 buckets for a grand total of 148,000 Buckets of Hope to date, either at the shipping warehouses or already on a ship to Haiti. Thanks to Southern Baptists for such an outpouring of God’s love. These buckets will arrive in Haiti in God’s perfect timing, just as the “rainy season” begins.


4-7-10

Southern Baptist work in Haiti is getting back into full swing. From Cape Haitian in the north to Jacmel in the south, the work continues. Soon the first shipment of “Buckets of Hope” will arrive. They will be taken to a warehouse where the containers will be opened and loaded on trucks to be taken to Baptist churches to be distributed to Haitian families.

The Holy Spirit continues to move in the hearts of Haitians. Southern Baptists have also had opportunities to share with others who are there helping to provide relief in Haiti. Bill, a Tennessee volunteer, shares this:

I found out today why I came to Haiti. I knew part of the reason was to serve God, but I didn’t know who He would bring me in contact with that needed to know the Lord. I have prayed each night to God for Him to lead me to one that was lost and in need of salvation.

Today is moving day; teams are leaving and entering the camp. I have talked some about Dr. Mitchell and the group of nurses he brought down from Chicago. I was talking to Leslie before she left for the airport, when a voice said I needed to go to the warehouse. I told Leslie I would be right back, and started for the supply room. I had not taken but a few steps when suddenly Nicole was at my side saying she thought I would never stop talking to Leslie and she needed to talk to me. I said sure, let’s go to the computer room of the warehouse.

She started crying and telling me something was tugging at her. She knew she wasn’t living right and wanted the joy all of us seemed to have. She poured her heart out as we sat together. I talked to her about Jesus, how He loved and wanted her to be a part of His heavenly family. I read some from Romans to her, and then prayed with her. I asked if she really wanted the peace and joy that we had and that all it took was for her to ask God to come into her heart. We talked some more and then she prayed for Jesus to come into her heart and rule over her soul.

We sometimes look past the opportunities that are right before us. God is truly at work in Haiti and right where you are. Are you looking for that opportunity to share your faith?

Photo of “Buckets of Hope” waiting to be shipped Photo: Buckets of Hope are ready for shipping in the warehouse in Shreveport, La.

Read stories and view photos, video, and podcasts of “Buckets of Hope” here.

Read more about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work in Haiti.


4-5-10

As many Southern Baptist churches gathered on Easter for sunrise services, a very special Easter service took place at the University of Miami Hospital located at the Port-au-Prince airport. Here is the report from the service:

Photo of Eddie Tucker carrying a cross “Oh me! We just finished Easter morning service and it was so emotional. About 30 people came and we had an amazing service. People from different religions were worshipping the risen Lord. We sang a couple of songs; I read from the book of Mark, and Wanda Mitchell from Chicago sang special music. Donna Holt then gave her testimony. Dr. Mitchell wanted to share what happened in the emergency room next—a car wreck involving six people, most seriously, came in late the night before. One was a little three-year-old baby. The baby was non-responsive and they were losing him. Working on the little boy for about 1 1/2 hours, they knew they couldn’t do any more. Dr Mitchell led the ER nurses in a prayer for the baby; twice they prayed for God to save this little child. Finally the baby started crying, then moving, and may recover completely. There were very few dry eyes in that open field in Haiti when the doctor finished. We then sang ‘Just As I Am,’ had prayer, and dismissed. Neither a loud generator nearby nor planes landing could stop us from worshipping our risen Savior.”

Photo above: Eddie Tucker carries the large cross he built for the Easter Sunrise Service at the University of Miami Hospital (UMH) located at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Thanks to the Tennessee Baptist disaster volunteers for taking the lead in planning for this wonderful service of worship. For other reports on revival in the hospital wards go to the Tennessee blog spot.

Photo of baby wrapped in blanket The baby in the photo to the right arrived at the University of Miami Hospital with an intestinal problem. The doctors were trying to decide whether they should do surgery there or send him to Miami. Two women from the Tennessee team (pharmacist and nurse) wrapped the baby in the blanket and prayed for the baby with her mother. The baby had surgery and is doing better. The mother said that it was the prayers of the Tennessee ladies and the blanket that made the difference. Note: The blanket is one from the group that New Mexico Baptist Convention provided in response to a request for 100 baby blankets from UMH.

SBDR Activity in Haiti as of 3/31/2010

Volunteer Days 4,747
Professions of Faith 778
Gospel Presentations 7,429
Ministry Contacts 32,821
Patients Seen 26,241
Meals prepared 7,036
Water Purified (gal.) 2,289
Rice Distributed (tons) 87.5 (680,933 servings)

Read stories and view photos, video, and podcasts of “Buckets of Hope” here.

Read more about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work in Haiti.


3-30-10

Christ’s ambassadors in Haiti continue to be blessed by opportunities. One team had such a moment the other day, as related in the following story.

As you spend the days traveling with a driver and translator, you sometimes overlook the hurt right in front of you. A Haitian driver named October had worked with one team for several days but always stayed with the truck when the team was at work. He never seemed to be part of the team. Today, October stopped by a pile of rubble and said, “That was my house.” The team stopped for a moment and then he said, “This is where my son died.” Stunned, one of the team members said, “This is holy ground, let’s pray.” After the prayer, October joined the team.

As we approach Easter Sunday, let us take time to see the needs that are right in front of us and let us take advantage of the opportunities that are before us today and every day. There is a planned reduction of volunteers going into Haiti for the Easter celebration. Southern Baptist leadership has relied heavily on the Haitian pastors for months and months. During this Easter season, they need time to rest and focus on their members and communities. Pray that the truth of God’s love, displayed by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, will be told throughout Haiti this weekend. Pray for these wonderful men of God.

“Buckets of Hope”

The first shipment of buckets is crossing the water to Haiti. Providing there are no problems with customs, these buckets will soon be in the hands of Haitian families. Pray that the buckets will move smoothly through the ports and that God will use them to do His marvelous work.

Baptist Standard article: Texas Baptists send more than 9,000 “Buckets of Hope” to Haiti

Baptist Courier: South Carolina Baptists expect to collect more than 9,000 “Buckets of Hope”

North Carolina “Buckets of Hope” update

Read more stories and view photos, video, and podcasts about “Buckets of Hope” here.

SBDR Activity in Haiti as of 3/25/2010

Volunteer Days 4,623
Professions of Faith 778
Gospel Presentations 7,426
Patients Seen 26,241
Meals prepared 7,036
Water Purified (gal.) 2,289
Rice Distributed (tons) 87.5 (680,933 servings)

Read more about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work in Haiti.


3-29-10

Mississippi “Buckets of Hope” update

Shipped to Florida 7,460
On hand, to be shipped by 3/31/2010 303
Total buckets 7,763

3-25-10

The following photos are from David Baldwin.

Haiti photo Haiti photo

Photo of Mississippi medical team in Haiti

Front (left to right): David Baldwin; Rev. Pastor Fritz Albert, director, Artibonite Association, Haiti; Michael Jones; Randy Graves; Tom Kilpatrick. Second Row: Jackie Brewer; Kathy Ellis; Hester Pitts; Pat Thorn; Barri A. Shirley; Chris Park. Back: Daniel Edney; Dan Edney; Mike Thorn; Joe Ross; Trey Brookshire.

Following are locations in or near Saint-Marc, Haiti, in the Artibonite Association that were served by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board medical disaster relief team from March 14-19, 2010:

  1. Confraternité Baptist Church of St. Marc

    Pastor’s Name: Thony Alphonse

  2. Maguana Hotel

    Mr. Rock Pierre

  3. Evangelical Baptist of Hope, Télugé/Montrouis

    Pastor’s Name: Renaud Charles

  4. Pentecostal Church of St. Marc

    Pastor’s Name: Samson Jean

  5. Assemblée Evangelique Pentecotiste of St. Marc

    Pastor’s Name: Herold Chery

  6. Evangelical Church of Pont-Tambour

    Pastor’s Name: Edouard Nehémy


3-24-10

Many are experiencing difficult trials. Evenings at the CBMH house in Port-au-Prince include a time of devotion, prayer, and reflection on the events of the day. A report from one of those meetings follows:

One of the most moving stories shared in the evening of “God Moments” was about one church where the Texas team is helping build new pews. The church used the wood from most of their pews to build coffins for church members. Yet the church and their faith is strong. One of the most difficult things the assessment teams have to do is look at a collapsed house or church and say it cannot be repaired. Many who did not have much to begin with have seen all they have reduced to a pile of crumbled stones. Still the resilience and faith of the Haitian church is amazing. Having experienced such loss, they still praise the Lord with excitement and joy.

Southern Baptist work in Haiti has moved outside the Port-au-Prince area. A team from Alabama is working in Jacmel. Pray that the Lord will give a clear vision of His will for their ministry there. A Louisiana medical team in Mirebalais is having great success in ministering to the medical and spiritual needs of this community. Pray for them as they build relationships there.

Read more about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work in Haiti.


3-23-10

The weekend was a time of transition in Haiti as new teams traveled in and other teams departed. Many volunteers are finding it difficult to leave after spending their week in Haiti.

Tennessee Baptist volunteer, Travis Webb, spent time reading the scripture and discipling Lilio, a Haitian working with the Tennessee volunteers at the University of Miami Hospital.

One team of volunteers doing assessment work found themselves assessing a building near a school of about 70 students. The team talked with teachers who were concerned about how to talk with the students concerning the earthquake. Many Haitians continue to harbor deep concerns. Let us continue to go before the Father on behalf of the people of Haiti.

Incident Commander Fritz Wilson is back in the U.S. at this time. He will be traveling, along with Mickey Caison and Bruce Poss, to Washington D.C. this week to meet with leaders of other Christian disaster relief organizations who are part of the Christian Relief Cooperative (CRC). This meeting will include a discussion on how these Christian organizations can make a collective impact on Haiti. Please pray for the success of this meeting.

Read news stories, watch video coverage, and view photos of the "Buckets of Hope" ministry in action across the nation.

Trucks are rolling and the first buckets are loaded on a ship bound for Haiti! Listen to a podcast from Maryland/Delaware Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Director Ellen Udovich about “Buckets of Hope” and the Haiti Response.

SBDR Activity in Haiti as of 3/21/2010

Volunteer Days 3,697
Professions of Faith 743
Gospel Presentations 6,679
Ministry Contacts 30,112
Patients Seen 24,257
Meals prepared 4,900
Water Purified (gal.) 2,239
Rice Distributed (tons) 24 (204,000 servings)

3-22-10

Forty-four new team members arrived in Haiti on Saturday, including medical team volunteers from Florida, inspection/chaplain team volunteers from Alabama, and an incident command team volunteer from Wyoming. At the same time, teams from Kentucky and Mississippi went home as their time of service in Haiti came to a close. Give thanks to God for the work He has done through His servants and pray for those arriving, that they will be instruments in His hand as He manifests Himself through them.

Gaylon Moss, North Carolina disaster relief director, reported that during the week of March 8-14, North Carolina volunteers saw 1,534 patients, prepared 2,136 meals for the hospital they are supporting, and worked on numerous construction projects for the hospital.

Teams from Tennessee have been working at the University of Miami hospital site in Port-au-Prince since March 1. Each team is making regular posts to a blog. You can read their blogs here.

Watch a video testimony from a Kentucky chaplain who has been ministering to Haitian pastors during his time in Haiti.

“Buckets of Hope”

Trucks from across the country are moving towards Florida filled with Buckets of Hope for the people of Haiti. Volunteers have gathered at collection points to prepare the buckets for transport to the shipping locations. One of those collection points in Florida is at the Florida disaster relief warehouse at Lake Yale.

On Saturday, four generations were on hand to help unload, palletize, and shrink wrap buckets. Bobby Peebles “is the patriarch of a wonderful family and one of our finest volunteers,” said Terry Ryan, assistant disaster relief director for Florida. He works often at the warehouse, and on Saturday he was joined by his great-grandson William (Will) Peebles, his two sons, and his two grandsons. Said Ryan, “I know that we cannot pass down our faith, but Mr. Peebles has passed down to his children the knowledge that has grown their faith.”

132,000 “Buckets of Hope” and counting - read Baptist Press story here.

In Mississippi, 7,600 buckets have been collected. Two truckloads went to Florida last week. Another truck arrived this morning, and about four more truckloads will arrive in Florida by the end of the week. Shipping from Florida to Haiti is expected to begin on March 31.


3-19-10

Our medical teams are making a huge difference in the lives of Haitians every day, and the most exciting difference is counted in the growing number of believers being added to God’s Kingdom daily.

On another front, Incident Command reported, “The Oklahoma well and pump team did not exactly bring in a “gusher” today, but they did bring in a water well and installed their first hand pump. The pastor’s wife at the church where they were working lighted up with joy as the first drops of water flowed from the hand pump. She filled every bucket she could find, and the crowd that had gathered broke into an impromptu song and praise service.

Haitian pastors continue to conduct crusades. Recently they reported an additional 18,000 salvations. This brings the total from these crusades to over 58,000 new believers. Satan has been put on the run in Haiti as voodoo priests are coming to faith in Christ. Bibles and tracts are being distributed. Youth are being trained in evangelism. God is at work in Haiti.

The following prayer needs have been expressed by Cecil Seagle, director of missions for the Florida Baptist Convention:

Southern Baptists can support the Haitian pastors through prayer. Visit www.namb.net/Pray4Haiti and participate in a virtual prayer walk around Port-au-Prince. Additional prayer walks will be added as new ministry sites are established.

“Buckets of Hope”

Early reports from state conventions indicate an overwhelming response to the “Buckets of Hope” project for Haiti. This project, birthed out of an early meeting between Baptist Global Response, Florida Baptist Convention, International Mission Board, and North American Mission Board leaders, has exemplified the cooperative spirit of Southern Baptists across the convention. Churches large and small have participated to show how Christ loves the people of Haiti. God will use these simple buckets to accomplish his purposes in Haiti. Thousands of Southern Baptist volunteers have filled, collected, stacked and labeled buckets; prepared pallets; and driven trailers full of buckets to collection points. Thanks to all who have taken part in this cooperative endeavor.

The team at JB Hunt trucking company is organizing the movement of almost 69,000 Buckets of Hope to shipping points in Florida and Louisiana. Pray for this team as they coordinate trucks and drivers and pickup and delivery times and for their drivers as they travel across the country carrying their cargo of hope.

At the same time, the team at Omni Specialty Packaging in Louisiana is coordinating the receipt of trailers full of buckets and the packing of the buckets into shipping containers for the trip to Haiti. Warehouse managers at three locations in Florida are carrying out similar duties as they receive trailers full of buckets and prepare shipping containers for shipment from Jacksonville. Pray especially for these shipments, that they will arrive safely in Haiti and transfer quickly into the hands of Haitian Baptist pastors with subsequent distribution to families.

In Florida and Louisiana, Southern Baptist volunteers are working in warehouses, sorting pallets of buckets, labeling buckets from states that had more buckets than labels, and loading pallets into shipping containers. Pray for the safety of these volunteers as they work around the forklifts and other machinery. Pray that they will stay strong as they labor in the Gulf Coast heat and humidity.

In Mississippi, approximately 7,200 buckets had been collected as of this morning. All will be loaded by noon and in Florida by Wednesday.

Above all pray that God will use the Buckets of Hope to provide Haitian Baptists with yet another opportunity to share His love with their neighbors and that many more will come to faith in Christ Jesus.

Mississippi medical team update

The team is back in Port-au-Prince. Today was their first day of rain, although it was not enough to cause any problems. They are thankful for a dry week. Total patients seen: 2,095. Prescriptions filled: 8,870.

SBDR Activity in Haiti as of 3/16/2010

Volunteer Days 3,426
Professions of Faith 712
Gospel Presentations 6,053
Ministry Contacts 25,632
Patients Seen 22,389
Medicines Dispensed 30,546
Meals prepared 4,900
Water Purified (gal.) 2,239
Rice Distributed (tons) 24 (204,000 servings)

3-18-10

They have seen a total of 1,918 patients over four days, and 8,198 prescriptions have been filled. The team will work in Morie tomorrow and then return to Port-au-Prince. God is at work amongst the Haitian people. The local pastors in Saint-Marc are trying to minister to the refugees from Port-au-Prince, of which there are approximately 20,000. The medical teams are establishing and strengthening relationships for the local Baptist churches. The teams have now been in six different locations. Prayers back home are still needed and appreciated!


3-17-10

Update on the Mississippi medical team: They have seen a total of 1,327 patients and written 5,621 prescriptions. The hardest thing they are encountering is not being able to see all the people who wait for treatment. Please keep up your prayer support, for the needs are so great. They will be returning on Saturday.


3-16-10

Update from a member of the Mississippi medical team: Teams are holding up well. Tremendous amount of suffering. 850 patients seen in two days.

3-15-10

Photo of a boy whose hand function was restored

Update from a member of the Mississippi medical team: Today we saw 417 patients. We operated as 2 teams in 2 locations in the Saint-Marc area of Haiti, 2 hours north of Port-au-Prince. Everyone is holding up great. The poverty is worse than I could have possibly imagined. We will move to new sites tomorrow. Everyone’s prayers are needed and appreciated.

Photo: This little boy was burned seriously on his left hand 2 years ago and developed severe scarring that caused a complete contracture of his left 5th finger. He was already losing function in that hand, and it was getting worse as he got older. The surgeon on our team was able to release the scar contracture, and now he should have fully restored function of that hand. You can imagine the difference this will make in his life as he gets older. This made the trip totally worthwhile if we did nothing else. Watching God take care of this little boy as He did was wonderful.


3-12-10

Loading buckets photo Loading buckets photo

Unloading buckets photo Unloading buckets photo

As of this posting, over 5000 Buckets of Hope have been delivered to Central Hills Baptist Retreat with still more arriving. Two 18-wheeler trucks have taken buckets to Florida for shipment from there to Haiti.

A medical team from Mississippi will leave Saturday, Mar. 13, for Haiti. Please be in prayer for this team during their ten-day trip.


3-4-10

The ICS team reported last night, “The CMBH house is very full tonight with 58 people.” Fritz Wilson remarked, “Mary and Joseph must be close by, because there is no room in the inn!” They report that teams are working very hard.

The Tennessee team, working at the University of Miami Hospital, made great progress on Wednesday. They have transformed the unorganized medical supplies into a pharmacy. Please pray for every volunteer, those that have gone, those that are there, and those preparing to go.

Fritz Wilson, incident commander, also needs our prayers as he is dealing with kidney stones. Fritz says, “I’m under the care of about 20 doctors and nurses here in Haiti.”

Chile Response

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers along with IMB personnel are assessing needs in Chile. The assessment team members from S.C. and Texas along with an IMB representative made the 16-hour bus trip into the disaster zone on Wednesday.


3-3-10

Fritz Wilson, incident commander, reports continued ministry in Haiti. A team of volunteers from Tennessee began their work at the University of Miami Hospital located at the Port-au-Prince airport. Medical teams and teams of inspectors and chaplains continue with ongoing ministry.

The incident command team reported Tuesday, “The local association of churches had a meeting this morning in which they talked about the assessment process, the “Buckets of Hope” distribution plan, and the vision for reaching Haitians and starting new churches. Some of the inspection/chaplain team members were present at the meeting and enjoyed seeing the Haitians in action.”

Southern Baptists can support the Haitian pastors through prayer. Visit www.namb.net/Pray4Haiti and participate in a virtual prayer walk around Port-au-Prince. Visit often as more prayer walks will be added as new ministry sites are established in Haiti.

Chile Response

The initial assessment team consisting of Mike Sanders (S.C.), Jim Howard (Texas), Charles Clark (IMB Cluster Strategy leader), and other IMB personnel were scheduled to arrive in Chile on Tuesday night. News reports indicate at least 500,000 homes are damaged and the death toll is nearing 800.

Southern Baptists will mobilize to bring needed aid according to the forthcoming recommendations of the assessment team. Please pray for the people of Chile and the initial assessment team.

SBDR Activity in Haiti as of 3/2/2010

Volunteer Days 2,232
Professions of Faith 339
Gospel Presentations 2,696
Ministry Contacts 18,138
Patients Seen 14,720
Medicines Dispensed 22,080
Rice Distributed (tons) 24 (204,000 servings)

3-2-10

The Florida guest house remains a busy hub of activity. Medical teams continue to treat patients and administer needed medication. Teams are working with Haitian pastors and seeing many come to faith in Christ.

A team from Tennessee arrived Monday and will begin to work with a hospital operated by the University of Miami to organize, inventory, and dispense medication for a staff of 300. The hospital is located at the Port-au-Prince airport.

Two medical teams from Mississippi are scheduled to arrive in Haiti on March 13.

“Buckets of Hope”

The drop-off dates for buckets are next week. Please plan to deliver buckets on March 8, 9, or 10 to your selected drop-off location.

Chile Response

An assessment team with disaster relief personnel from South Carolina and Texas (SBTC) will arrive tonight (Tuesday) in Chile. They will meet with IMB field personnel who have already begun to assess possible areas of ministry.


2-24-10

As we see the hand of God at work in Haiti, we also see the increasing efforts of the “adversary” to thwart the work God would do through His people. The airport in Port-au-Prince is now open to commercial traffic, but some volunteers are finding it difficult to get seats or the price of tickets has soared. The stability of internet connections is increasingly erratic, raising the amount of traffic sent via satellite and adding new costs to the response. The arrival of food and other supplies in large quantities at times creates near riot situations and increases opportunities for thieves and other criminal elements to attack their countrymen and relief workers. Peter’s admonition to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” is one we must not forget as our efforts in Haiti increase.

SBDR leaders invite you to join them in praying for the people of Haiti and Southern Baptist relief efforts in the country. Take a virtual prayer walk and visit places where SBDR volunteers are serving. See where Haitian Baptists gather for worship and minister to their neighbors. Look upon the tent cities where hundreds of thousands of Haitians are living. Pray over the crumbled homes and businesses destroyed by the earthquake.

To take the virtual prayer walk, go to www.namb.net/Pray4Haiti. Even if you cannot travel to Haiti, you can join your heart with those of countless others around the world in prayer.


2-23-10

Tom Westerfield, incident command team member, reported, “The Lord provided us all an early morning wake-up call - a bed shaking, chandelier swinging, earth rumbling aftershock that sent volunteers scrambling out of the Florida guest house.”

The safety of Southern Baptist volunteers is a critical concern for SBDR leadership. The importance of safe housing and work sites cannot be overstated as these aftershocks continue. Pray that God will settle the land, that our teams will be protected, and that Haitians will not have to live in fear.

The good news of the day is 27 new believers came to faith in Christ on Monday. Twenty-two of those were reported by an inspection/chaplain team. God’s people are faithful to His calling, and He is bringing new Haitian believers into His kingdom. Let us continue to do our part by praying daily for God’s healing work in Haiti.

Fritz Wilson, Florida disaster relief director, will return to Haiti this week and lead the response teams as the incident commander. The Unified Coordination Group is working to put representatives on the ground.

Pray for Fritz, the Unified Coordination Group representatives, and the incident command team as they continue to set up safe housing and transportation and procure resources for volunteer teams.

As we enjoy the competition of the Olympics, we are once again reminded of Paul’s words comparing the Christian life to a race. He reminds us to “Run in such a way that you may win.” Southern Baptists are not running or skating on a track that is circular. We don’t want to end up where we started. We are running a race in Haiti with the goal of seeing a new Haiti, one filled with the light of Jesus Christ, where Haitian pastors and churches are beacons of hope for the lost. Let us be determined to finish the race.


2-16-10

Inspection/chaplain teams from Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and Texas Baptist Men began work in Haiti yesterday (Wednesday) as part of a growing effort to reach out to Haitian families sleeping outside. Baptist leaders believe many of these families could return to the shelter of their homes but remain outdoors in fear that the buildings are in danger of collapsing. The inspection/chaplain teams are visiting homes and churches to assess the stability of the structures and to counsel families in the hope that those who are able will move back into their homes before the rainy season begins.

On Wednesday the teams, along with one from North Carolina, inspected 12 homes, 30 churches, and 7 schools. A water team from Florida installed a water purification unit, and medical teams from California and South Carolina saw 152 patients and dispensed 316 prescriptions.


2-16-10

Southern Baptists’ long-term relief response to the Haiti earthquake will be led in Haiti by a six-member coordination group, making plans that will be implemented by a team of experienced disaster relief specialists who will work through Haitian Baptist churches.

That decision was made Feb. 11-12 in Alpharetta, Ga., by representatives of four Southern Baptist organizations meeting at the North American Mission Board’s offices. The relief effort will be coordinated by representatives on the ground from Baptist Global Response, the Florida Baptist Convention, International Mission Board, NAMB, and two Haitian Baptist conventions – the Confraternité Missionnaire Baptiste d’Haïti and the Convention Baptiste d’Haïti.

Based on reports from the disaster relief efforts over the past two weeks, five priorities for urgent and intermediate response have been identified: food distribution, shelter, water purification, medical teams, and chaplains.

A “mirror” team in the U.S. will provide communication and mobilize resources, both financial and human, for projects identified by the “coordination” group, Brown added. News services are reporting that the Port-au-Prince airport will reopen to commercial traffic Feb. 19, making it possible for volunteers to travel directly into Haiti, rather than driving in from the Dominican Republic.

Right now, Southern Baptists are being asked to fill “Buckets of Hope” that will be sent to Haiti in the coming months. Churches and individuals can purchase and assemble five-gallon buckets for Haitian families packed with enough food to feed a family for a week. Even after Haitians use the supplies, the bucket can serve multiple uses for a family. Visit www.namb.net/bucketsofhope to find a list of items to pack in the buckets.

Note: The requirement for white buckets has been dropped. Although white is still the preferred color, you may use any color bucket, as long as it is a 5-gallon bucket with a lid.

Questions about pickup and delivery of buckets should be directed to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

Haitian ministry opportunities

The Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) is aware that many Mississippi Baptist churches are anxious to become involved in Haitian disaster relief efforts. The MBCB is working in conjunction with the International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the North American Mission Board to coordinate a comprehensive strategic response to the crisis. An integral part of this response is to work with existing networks among the two Haitian Baptist conventions and local Haitian churches, of which there are roughly 900. Assessment teams have learned that working with local Haitians is the safest and most effective way to minister.

For churches who wish to act immediately, the Buckets of Hope ministry initiative is an effective way to make an impact. More information on this effort can be found on our Buckets of Hope page.

Churches and teams interested in going to Haiti should let Don Gann know who they are and what skills they have, and he will be happy to update them as requests from the field are received. Gann states that virtually any Mississippi Baptist who wishes to serve in Haiti will have an opportunity to do so before the year is out. He can be reached at dgann@mbcb.org or at (800) 748-1651, ext. 339.

If your church wishes to become involved in Haiti relief efforts on its own, it is encouraged to be diligent in research and to work along existing relational lines with established ministries. The most challenging issue is that of transportation; managing a group that takes more than one car is difficult. Car rentals in the Dominican Republic cannot be taken into Haiti.


2-9-10

Haiti PictureHaiti Picture

Photos: Oklahoma medical team sees patients in Port-au-Prince. The water purification team looks for a location to drill a well to provide clean water.

After the initial assessment team traveled into Haiti, Southern Baptists are in their eighth day of sending teams in response to the Haiti earthquake.

Their efforts have yielded the following results:

Some members of the incident command team worked with the building assessment team, the water team, and the medical teams, while other members served at the command post, working out logistical issues so more teams can come.

These teams need your prayer support. Conditions are harsh, and the days are long, but the call of God brings the strength that is needed.

Read Baptist Press story, “Medical work in Haiti: ‘incredible privilege.’”

Read Baptist Press story, “In Haiti, hope grows from quake’s ruins.”

Read Baptist Press story, “Haiti day of prayer set for Feb. 14.”

Visit the NAMB website for more information.


2-8-10

Haiti PictureHaiti Picture

Photo: Pastor LeBlanc is the Haitan Director of Missions. His family of 5 has been living on street under blue tarps.

Mississippi medical team is on their way home from Haiti.

They treated 962 patients. There were 35 professions of faith.


2-5-10

Haiti PictureHaiti Picture

Haiti Picture

On Thursday the medical team saw 222 patients. Still many are serious. Dr. Sullivan saved the life of a small child. Still a positive ministry. Several made decisions.


2-4-10

Haiti PictureHaiti Picture

Haiti PictureHaiti Picture

Photos: Lana Waggoner of Mississippi team applies cast to church pastor’s leg broken in the earthquake. David Baldwin manages the waiting room at the clinic.

Yesterday was a good but busy day. The team saw 275 patients. These had much more serious problems than in the first day. They were able to set and splint numerous breaks. Also they treated more serious infections and dehydration problems. The team is reported to be excellent and in good shape. Yesterday they reported opportunities for ministry and prayers to the people coming. Also they reported the saving of one life that would have been lost without immediate treatment for dehydration. They will return to the same church today but may be moved to a new location tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for the physical and spiritual condition of both the patients and team members in Haiti. To God be the Glory for allowing Southern Baptists to minister in His Name!

Bullet Insert Volume 4 Available (about “Buckets of Hope”) – download hereLink to PDF filepdf

“Buckets of Hope”

Southern Baptists are quickly taking up the “Buckets of Hope” cause. Word is spreading, and churches across the convention are collecting buckets filled with food to feed a Haitian family for a week. A discussion board has been started on the SBC Disaster Relief Facebook page for sharing your plans to respond to the call for help. Log on to the SBDR Facebook page and tell us what your church or organization is doing. To see more details about “Buckets of Hope,” visit the “Buckets of Hope” website.

The Kentucky medical team worked at a hospital across from the damaged presidential palace on Wednesday, seeing 500 patients. “The days are long and hard,” reported chaplain Butch Vernon. The Mississippi medical team continues operating another clinic out of one of the Haitian Baptist churches.

Medical teams from South Carolina and Florida flew into Santo Domingo Wednesday and will travel by bus to Port-au-Prince today (Thursday). Pray for safety as the teams travel and that their journey will be swift. As evidenced by the work of the Kentucky and Mississippi teams currently onsite, there is plenty of work to do.

Fritz Wilson, Florida disaster relief director, reported that repairs and upgrades continue at the Florida Baptist Mission House, which will increase its capacity to shelter volunteers. Terry Henderson, NAMB disaster relief operations consultant, and a team of five will arrive in Port-au-Prince via Santo Domingo on Friday. They will continue the work Fritz and others have begun – making the logistical arrangements that will allow larger deployments of SBDR volunteers to be accomplished.

Dr. John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention, issued a call to Southern Baptists to raise their “collected voices” Feb. 14 on behalf of “the hurting people of Haiti as they try to recover from one of the most devastating disasters in the Western Hemisphere.” Read the full story.

Read the Kentucky Baptist team’s newest (2/3/10) update entitled “Team Confronting Difficult Situations” here.

Watch Southern Baptist Disaster Relief video here.

Read more about the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief effort in Haiti.


2-3-10

Haitian children photo Haitian children photo

Photos: Haitian children waiting on medical assistance.

The Mississippi medical team reported seeing 301 patients on Monday. The team is working out of a Haitian Baptist church near one of the impromptu tent cities in Port-au-Prince where families, whose homes are in ruins, have gathered under tarps and makeshift tents.

The Kentucky medical team worked at another clinic near the Presidential Palace and saw more than 250 patients.

Medical teams from Florida and South Carolina leave for the Dominican Republic today (Wednesday) and will arrive in Haiti Thursday. These two teams will double our medical personnel on the ground, increasing the number of people that are served.

Fritz Wilson, Florida disaster relief director, reported Tuesday that one of the drivers who drove the Mississippi and Kentucky teams into Haiti through the Dominican Republic was injured in a crash on the way back home. It is uncertain how serious the driver’s injuries were or how the accident might impact the transportation of teams into Haiti after their arrival in Santo Domingo.

Pray for the driver and his family. Pray for our teams as they travel and serve in Haiti. Pray for Fritz Wilson as he continues to work through the logistical issues in preparation for the deployment of additional teams.

Read Fritz Wilson’s 2/2/10 “On the Fritz” blog posting entitled “Sprint or Marathon” here.

Read the Kentucky Baptist team’s 2/2/10 update entitled “People Here are Scared” here.

Read more about the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief effort in Haiti.


2-2-10

The Kentucky and Mississippi medical teams arrived in Port-au-Prince Monday. The medical clinic was setup on the site of a local Baptist church, and they saw 301 patients. They were able to pray with most of them. The people are very receptive, and things went better than anticipated.

Our medical team has received its assignment and will be working through one of the Haitian Baptist Churches. Also, the team is looking for long term opportunities for continuing response.

Two more teams will leave the U.S. on Wednesday and follow the first two teams’ route through the Dominican Republic into Port-au-Prince. Additional teams are being lined up by the NAMB Disaster Operations Center (DOC) through the state disaster relief directors.

Terry Henderson and a team of six will leave Atlanta on Thursday and serve as an incident command team in Haiti. They will meet Fritz Wilson in Haiti on Friday. Fritz reported several successful meetings with partner organizations since his arrival back in the capital city last Thursday. Part of the incident command team will join Fritz and Dennis Wilbanks to help iron out logistical requirements for deployment of volunteers to Haiti. Two members of the team are tasked with setting up additional communications equipment to give incident command a solid means of communicating with teams in country and with the NAMB DOC.

Pray for our teams on the ground, for those preparing to leave, and for our leaders as they continue to work out the logistics that will allow more Southern Baptists to minister to the people of Haiti.

Read Fritz Wilson’s blog-style updates about Haiti here.

Follow the Kentucky Baptist medical team as they post reports about their trip. Read Kentucky posts here.

Read more about the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief effort in Haiti.

Text Your Donations to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

Make a donation to SBDR via cell phone and text message by texting nambdr to 40579. A $10 donation will be charged to your cell phone account and sent to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

“Buckets of Hope”

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is inviting every Baptist to join together in feeding the Haitian people. For $30 you can fill a white bucket (Update: Buckets may be any color (although white is still preferred), as long as they are 5-gallon buckets with lids) with specific food items that will feed a family in Haiti for a week. To see all the details, visit the “Buckets of Hope” website.


2-1-10

The Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief medical team left Jackson on Sunday, January 31. They arrived that afternoon in the Dominican Republic, where they joined the Kentucky medical team. The teams left Santo Domingo early Monday morning en route to Port-au-Prince, where they will operate medical clinics until February 7.


1-29-10

“Buckets of Hope” - Feeding the People of Haiti one Family at a Time

Buckets of Hope logo The “Buckets of Hope” ministry is just one means by which Baptists can fulfill the mandate of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry in the name of Jesus. As we are reminded in Matthew 25:40, Jesus tells us, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” (KJV)

A “Bucket of Hope” consists of a plastic five-gallon bucket packed with selected foodstuffs. For approximately $30 anyone can purchase the materials and assemble a “Bucket of Hope.” The food contained in a single bucket will feed a Haitian family for a week. You are also requested to include a $10 cash contribution, placed in an envelope and attached to the lid of the bucket, to offset the cost of transporting the relief buckets to Haiti.

Buckets must be packed with a specific list of food items inside. Please follow the detailed instructions carefully. This will ensure that every bucket quickly passes through customs and into the hands of the Haitian people.

Buckets will be shipped from Central Hills Baptist Retreat in Kosciusko on March 15. Pick-up spots around Mississippi will be published next week.

Information on bucket contents and packing is available hereLink to PDF filepdf. Purchase your supplies. Then put a bucket together and you can be a part in touching the lives of tens of thousands of Haitians.

For more information about Buckets of Hope contact the Men’s Ministry Department of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board at 601.292.3334 or e-mail haitidisasterrelief@mbcb.org.


1-28-10

A medical team of 10 from Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief, along with a medical team from Kentucky, will fly into Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic this Sunday, January 31. They will then transfer to a charter bus and make the long, difficult journey to Port-au-Prince. The teams will be staying at the Florida Mission House and will set up medical clinics in support of Baptist churches in Haiti. Additionally, Florida and South Carolina medical teams will be traveling via Santo Domingo this coming Wednesday as Southern Baptists continue to respond to the earthquake which rocked Haiti on January 12. These initial medical teams are part of the long-term strategy developed by the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, the Florida Baptist Convention, and State Conventions to share the love of Christ in the midst of the Haitian earthquake disaster.

Additional assessment of the area is underway exploring opportunities for teams to do a variety of ministries in Haiti. Plans are underway to secure warehouse space for a rice shipment, housing and transportation for volunteers, and supplies to support a larger mobilization of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief resources in the coming weeks. Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief has helped the Florida Baptist Convention arrange food supplies into Haiti through donations from concerned Mississippi Baptists.

Please be in prayer for teams as they travel to Haiti.


1-27-10

Medical teams to lead Haiti response

The joint Southern Baptist response to the Jan. 12 Haiti earthquake will launch in the coming week with four “strategically selected” medical teams, leaders of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Network decided Jan. 26 at the Florida Urban Impact Center in Hialeah, Fla.

Plans to respond to the urgent, intermediate and long-term needs were addressed at the meeting by assessment teams that had just returned from the quake-ravaged nation along with representatives from the Florida Baptist Convention, North American Mission Board, International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response and other Southern Baptist disaster relief representatives.

The group wrestled with logistical arrangements and how to send mission teams and respond to needs in a country where transportation and in-country support for teams is extremely difficult. Access to airports and shipping docks remains highly restricted, the teams reported.

The group decided the next step will be to send the four medical teams through the Dominican Republic to Haiti next week along with two representatives from the Florida convention who will continue to make arrangements for trained disaster relief teams to travel in and out of the country.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team states that the next hurdle to be faced is ensuring that once teams are Haiti-bound, they have proper and adequate support, supplies, and housing. Southern Baptists will mobilize for urgent needs. But they will also be very focused on long-term assistance to help Haitians rebuild their lives and communities.

Tickets have been confirmed for the 10-member Mississippi Baptist Medical Team to leave this Sunday.

Don Gann, a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board Men’s Ministry department, has returned to Mississippi after serving on the lead Southern Baptist assessment team.

“Regarding relief groups, if they are thinking about going in to Haiti, they will have to totally support themselves,” Gann said. “It’s still a very inhospitable place for volunteers. Fritz Wilson [disaster relief director for the Florida Baptist Convention] stated that some aid groups in Haiti are running a 100-yard dash, and Baptists are running a marathon. That’s what we need to emphasize – that we’re going to be in there for the long haul, and we are going to be supportive of the work of Baptist churches that are already on the ground and help them expand their ministry.”

Gann also commented on the need for patience as a long-term system is developed. “Unless [volunteers] have contacts in the country, there’s virtually no way to get into Haiti right now. Commercial flights aren’t flying in. The reason we’re going in through Santo Domingo is because that’s basically our only option right now.”

“The Lord has really done an amazing thing, and it’s Southern Baptists at their best,” Gann stated regarding the level of coordination among the Southern Baptist teams. “All the different Southern Baptist groups within the country are all working together. The aid groups are struggling because of their fears of the volatility of the culture. Most of the other organizations are set up where they are protected and in a location where the Haitians have to come to them, and what we’re trying to do is work through the churches so that we can actually go to the churches and work through them. The coordination between Baptists and other organizations will be very, very good, I think.”

The North American Mission Board has announced a food bucket drive for Haiti to begin immediately and be collected by March 15. The bucket will contain staple dry foods and should cost about $30 to prepare, plus $10 per bucket for shipping. Information on this collection should be on the NAMB web page in the next two days. It will also be advertised by Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief, and collection sites will be set up.


1-25-10

The Southern Baptist assessment team has returned to Florida for debriefing and will meet tonight and tomorrow, and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network is now entering the strategy development phase.

Initial deployments will likely be food distribution, medical, communication, and recovery teams. It will take several weeks for all of them to be in place. Mississippi and Kentucky teams are on standby until arrangements for travel are made. South Carolina and Oklahoma also have teams on standby.

The government has asked that no mission teams be deployed to Port-au-Prince at this time. There is currently no housing, electricity, fuel, or reliable source for food and water.

The estimated time for initial deployment of long-term mission groups is still 90-120 days out. Long-term groups will include clean-up, rebuild, restoration, evangelism, and church planting.

The 10-member Mississippi Baptist Medical Team is still planning to leave this weekend.


1-22-10

Ten days after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, approximately two million people, homeless and hungry, roam the streets and countryside. However, missionaries, local pastors, and Haitian Baptists continue ministering in the midst of their own losses.

The pastor of Siloe Baptist Church perished in the quake; yet members of the church are reaching out to the community, providing tarps, supplies, and listening hearts.

Food distribution is being accomplished at the damaged Florida Baptist Mission House, which will be repaired by volunteer teams.

The Arkansas medical response team is working out of El Shadai Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince and reports being extremely busy seeing patients. The team is identifying avenues for housing, transportation, fuel, food, and water.

The lead Southern Baptist assessment team remains on the ground making needed contacts and preparations for the teams that will follow. Members of the team have a wealth of experience in disaster response as well as working within the Haitian culture.

The assessment team is looking at logistical needs. They reported it took three hours to travel seven miles on Thursday. Two million people are roaming the streets with no place to go. People and traffic move together as a slow steady stream.

Communication is also difficult. The assessment team split into two groups in Port-au-Prince and could not communicate with one another via cell phone or satellite phone without help from the North American Mission Board team in Georgia. After many hours the two teams connected and were able to get food and shelter at the damaged Florida Baptist Mission House. It is a slow, sometimes dangerous task to accomplish even the basics in Port-au-Prince right now.

Our Mississippi Baptist Medical Team of 10 is scheduled to leave on January 30th to work in Haiti. The assessment team including a Mississippian will be in Miami Monday and Tuesday to design plans for a long term response effort by Southern Baptists.


1-20-10

The five-member assessment team has arrived in Port-au-Prince and is scheduled to spend the rest of this week surveying the devastation, including that caused by a second earthquake, a magnitude 6.1 occurring around 6:00 AM Wednesday and centered 36 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince. Roads and infrastructure in the capital are badly damaged, which has made travel slow and hazardous.

Over the next few days, the primary response will be through Southern Baptist medical personnel.

Much like the Southern Baptist Convention’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the response to the Haiti earthquake will be a long-term commitment. The estimate for the initial deployment of long-term mission groups is 90-120 days out.

Southern Baptists are encouraged to continue praying for the victims and providing financial resources (click here for donation information) for the relief effort.


1-19-10

Assessment team headed into Haiti

A five-member assessment team, including a Mississippian, is on the ground in the Dominican Republic and headed toward Haiti today. An assessment team from the Florida Baptist Convention is in Haiti, and a team of Southern Baptist missionaries is at work in a medical clinic on the border between the Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Please pray for safety and that the Lord will open doors of opportunity before all these team members.

An initial $150,000 has been released from the disaster relief fund for Haiti, but the eventual need will be much greater. About $285,000 has been donated so far to the effort through Baptist Global Response, including a check for $100,000 from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Every dollar given will be used 100% for disaster response efforts that will be conducted in partnership with local Baptist churches in Haiti. Gifts-in-kind are not being encouraged at this point because distribution poses huge logistical problems in a country where so much of the infrastructure has been destroyed.

When the green light is given by the assessment team, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from numerous states will deploy to Haiti. Initially, the volunteers will concentrate on medical and physical needs.

Like the South Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, initial response to this disaster is fast and furious, but Southern Baptists also will be focused on the long-term. Long after the large disaster relief organizations have left Haiti, Southern Baptists will still be there, helping people rebuild their lives and experience the love of God.


1-18-10

Southern Baptists have disaster relief team members on site in Haiti. Additionally, a strategic assessment team comprised of individuals from the Mississippi Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptist Convention, Florida Baptist Convention, North American Mission Board, and Baptist Global Response are en route. The assessment team is scheduled to land in Haiti Tuesday morning with the primary task of identifying both short and long-term relief projects.

In addition to prayer and the collection of financial resources (click here for donation information), individuals desiring to travel to Haiti should take certain precautionary measures, including inoculations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released suggested guidelines for those preparing to travel to Haiti to assist with the disaster relief response following the January 12th earthquake near Port-au-Prince. Conditions in the area remain hazardous, including extensive damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/news-announcements/relief-workers-haiti.aspx


1-15-10

News reports from Haiti continue to show the dire need of people affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck the Port-Au-Prince area on January 12. Aid from all over the world is stationed either on the island or en route to Haiti. The US is leading the world response. The US is calling the response “Operation Safe Return”.

Southern Baptists are responding to the disaster. Representatives from Baptist Global Response (BGR), the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board and State Convention Disaster Relief teams have an assessment team en route to Haiti. The purpose of this team is to prioritize types of Baptist response teams, secure support for these teams (places to stay, transportation, etc), establish communication with Haitian Baptist leadership on the island, and set up an operation command center. The plan is that this team will begin calling out teams of Southern Baptists with specific skill sets (ie. medical, distribution, etc) experienced in disaster response.

Many Mississippi Baptist churches have connections with Haiti. These connections will be important as the disaster response continues and develops. Haiti has been a strategic spot for Southern Baptist mission teams in general and Mississippi Baptists in particular because the Haitian people have shown a clear openness to the gospel. The work of these teams has set the stage for a great opportunity to respond to this disaster long-term.

The goal of Southern Baptists in responding to this disaster is to both meet immediate needs and partner with Baptist churches in Haiti for the long-term. Long after the TV camera lights have faded and the earthquake is no longer front page news, Southern Baptists will be partnering in Haiti with brothers and sisters in Christ to continue to share the gospel and minister to hurting people.

In Mississippi, Baptist churches can identify and minister to Haitians living in our state. Haitian students attend colleges in Mississippi. Continued prayers and creative ministry to these and others with Haitian connections in Mississippi could be strategic for churches in our state.