Haiti Update, January 20, 2010 - From Dr. John Sullivan Subject: Feeding Begins and Response Plan Takes Shape The Florida Baptist Convention's four-member assessment team was awakened this morning by the 6.1 magnitude earthquake tremor that struck 35 miles northwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Although the four team members and a medical team from the Arkansas Baptist Convention scrambled to get outside, there was no further damage to the Convention's mission building and no one was injured. The Arkansas medical team - comprised of doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians - accompanied the Florida assessment team to various locations yesterday and today to provide medical assistance working out of Baptist churches. On Wednesday, a Florida Baptist and International Mission Board team began distributing food near the El Shadai orphanage in Bon Repos, located north of the Port-au-Prince airport. The private orphanage is managed by Marie Prinvil, a former Florida Baptist Convention employee. Dennis Wilbanks, an associate in the Convention's Partnership Missions Department, who arrived in Haiti on Sunday evening, was able to purchase limited supplies of food from distributors in Haiti. Wilbanks, who has led several disaster relief efforts in Haiti, called upon his network of contacts in Haiti to secure the foodstuffs. As the U.S. government readies to airlift thousands of orphans and refugees from Haiti to Miami, Florida Baptist staff members are working to assist in receiving, processing and re-settling these refugees. On Wednesday, the Florida Baptist Children's Homes began making preparations to receive, house and care for 100 Haiti orphans. The Convention's Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center campus near Leesburg is expected to provide the housing facilities. The Alabama Baptist Convention has agreed to partner with the Florida Baptist Convention to meet the needs of the children and families when they arrive in Miami. This weekend, the Convention's assessment team members are expected to leave Haiti to meet in Hialeah to meet with representatives from the Florida Baptist Convention, International Mission Board and North America Mission Board. The four will provide first-hand assessment reports and help the mission leaders to develop a comprehensive response plan of how Southern Baptists can address the many needs in Haiti as soon as possible and as long as needed. While the team is away from Haiti, the Convention's indigenous Haitian missionaries and pastors will continue to coordinate the distribution of food.