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Southern Baptists assessing Haiti needs



Though some of the walls remain standing, a collapsed roof has made Shiloh Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, too unsafe to use. Instead, church members gather for daily worship services in a small open lot on the side of the property.

(BP) A Southern Baptist disaster relief assessment team arrived in Haiti Jan. 20, according to Baptist Press via an email from Jim Brown, U.S. director for Baptist Global response and a member of the team.

The assessment team encompassing representatives from Baptist Global Response, the North American Mission Board, and disaster relief specialists from Kentucky, Mississippi, and South Carolina planned to link up with leaders of the five Baptist conventions in Haiti.

The first priority of the team was to coordinate with partners and establish supply lines for water, food, and temporary housing supplies, Brown said. BGR then will report to disaster relief directors of the Baptist state conventions about an overall coordinated strategy for short- and long-term response.

Any early responders after that will begin clean-up, distribution of supplies, temporary and permanent reconstruction, medical care, and counseling, said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response.

Southern Baptist leaders anticipate spending at least $2 million on relief and rebuilding projects in earthquake-ravaged Haiti over the coming months, International Mission Board trustees were told during their Jan. 18-19 meeting in Rockville, Va.


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