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Specialized Texas Baptist teams enter Haiti to offer relief

DALLAS—Texas Baptists helped a medical team from Baylor Hospital go serve in Haiti and have other small, specialized disaster response groups lined up to do likewise, including a Texas Baptist Men assessment team.

The teams are entering the country on a private jet on loan to Texas Baptists by Mike Roberts, a member of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. The jet has made one trip to Haiti and will make more, dropping volunteers off in Port-Au-Prince.

disaster response“We are humbled by the generosity of Texas Baptists,” said Bill Arnold, president of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and coordinator of disaster response for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

“Whether it’s airplanes, time, talent or money, the Texas Baptist family is responding in an incredibly generous way to share the hope of Christ with the people of Haiti. We are continuing to send in medical supplies, water purification equipment and the volunteers to use them.”

Including the team of medical professionals from Baptist Temple in McAllen, nine Baylor Health Care System medical personnel either have been serving in Haiti or are serving now, said Don Sewell, director of the Baylor Health Care System’s new faith-in- action initiatives, which seeks to connect Baylor medical staff with volunteer opportunities.

“Baylor Health Care System realizes the great importance of sharing our personal and material assets with our community and to our world,” he said.

“We’re simply continuing the Christian spirit under which Baylor was established in George Truett’s days, and we’re proud to be part of the Texas Baptist family.”

Trained Texas Baptist Men volunteers left for Haiti on Jan. 27 and with water purification equipment that will provide 75,000 gallons of clean water a day.

TMB filters
Bill Sluder, a TBM volunteer, drives forklift of 5,000 water filters to be sent to Haiti.
Those supplies will be used to provide clean water for a medical clinic and several orphanages, TBM Executive Director Leo Smith said. The children are running out of clean water.

“The orphans are our first priority,” Smith said.

The organization had been waiting for a government plane to take 5,000 water filters to Port-Au-Prince and received that Jan. 26. Each of those water filters, which have been paid for by donations through the Baptist General Convention of Texas, can provide clean water for a family of four for six months.

Financial gifts can be made through Texas Baptists to support disaster response efforts through the convention’s partners, including Texas Baptist Men, at www.texasbaptists.org/give or by sending a check designated disaster response to Texas Baptist Missions Foundation, 333 N. Washington Ave., Dallas 75246.

Texas Baptists also can make donations to support Texas Baptist Men individually at www.texasbaptistmen.org or by sending a check designated disaster relief to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, 75227.

Buckner International has a pair of humanitarian aid shipments scheduled to go to Haiti on Jan. 29. The shipments include medical supplies and cots of the Hope Hospital and Children’s Village in Port-Au-Prince. Nearly 25,000 shoes for orphans is being sent to a Buckner partner church in Florida that will distribute them through agencies in Haiti. Buckner is planning additional humanitarian aid shipments in the future.

To support Buckner’s efforts in Haiti, visit www.buckner.org .

Baptist Child and Family Services’ global division, Children’s Emergency Relief International, has work in progress for long-term recovery efforts in Haiti.

Based on daily briefings from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Texas Division of Emergency Management, “as soon as it is determined that the health and safety of our volunteers will not be compromised and that our efforts will not become a burden to those we seek to help, CERI will lead mission trips to support the rebuilding of impacted orphanages and provide medical care to children in need,” said BCFS President Kevin Dinnin.

To support BCFS’ work in Haiti, visit www.bcfs.net .

Students at Texas Baptist schools, including East Texas Baptist University, Baylor University and Howard Payne University, have participated in a variety of fundraisers to help hurting people in Haiti.

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Worship by members of the Karen Baptist Church in Austin.

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