Haiti

Wednesday

Jan

25

2017

Haiti Update - January 2017

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Resolutions – We’re into the New Year, 2017. Perhaps the struggle has begun to keep those new resolutions. We hope you will succeed! For churches, businesses, and non-profit missions like ours, it is also an opportunity to resolve to better put into practice their mission. Here then is our Mission Statement“Double Harvest’s mission is to establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. Being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. Our objective is a “double harvest”!”

Meeting Physical & Spiritual Needs Developing Agricultural & Related Projects
Meeting Physical & Spiritual Needs Developing Agricultural & Related Projects

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Thursday

Dec

15

2016

Haiti Update - December 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

At this Christmas season it is often difficult not to reflect on the destitute conditions in the majority of the world and compare them to the affluence we enjoy in the western world. We have clean water, guaranteed food, a hospital or trauma center nearby, relative safety, political stability (some may not agree, I suppose), and an infrastructure that facilitates ease of movement and commerce – everything that is non-existent or in very short supply for a good majority of the people of this planet. Example: Haiti and South Sudan, countries where Double Harvest works.

Transporting Goods To Market Typical Home Of Many Rural Haitians
Transporting Goods To Market Typical Home Of Many Rural Haitians

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Thursday

Nov

10

2016

Haiti Update - November 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Hurricane Update – It has been over a month since Hurricane Matthew battered the SW arm of Haiti. Media reports have quieted but the devastating effects have not! (See our October Update) Over 800,000 people in Haiti need food, shelter, and clean water. Almost 100,000 children are not in school. The fear of cholera spreading has caused the Haiti Ministry of Health to request the World Health Organization to mount a massive oral vaccination campaign to one million people! This is a country in desperate need!

Hurricane Mathew's Devestation In the SW 145 mph Winds Destroyed 80% Of Areas
Hurricane Mathew's Devestation In the SW 145 mph Winds Destroyed 80% Of Areas

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Friday

Oct

07

2016

Haiti Hurricane Update

by Vernon Giesbrecht

A Church Demolished Entire Roof Taken Off a Home
A Church Demolished Entire Roof Taken Off a Home

While Hurricane Mathew has passed Haiti and wrecked its devastation on other nations in its path, this struggling nation with its inadequate housing codes, deforested hillsides, the danger of mudslides and flash floods, and poor infrastructure, took a major hit in the southern part of the country. With over 30 years in the country, your generous and quick support will give Double Harvest opportunity to assist our partners on the ground in the relief effort. 


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Tuesday

Oct

04

2016

Haiti Update - September 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

“You had to have been there!” You’ve heard the phrase before. Anyone who has been to Haiti has probably used it in struggling to convey their experience. The 90 minute flight from Miami transports you to a desperately poor developing country (poorest in the Western Hemisphere) with the typical sights and smells: the dirt and garbage in the streets, the endless dilapidated storefronts, the crowds of people and traffic, and even now, periodic evidence of the January, 2010 devastating earthquake. Your senses are bombarded if it’s your first time! Yes, there are a few locations where the developed world is evident, primarily in larger cities and the occasional village home, often funded by relatives in the U.S. But the outward poverty points to an inner dysfunctional economy, infrastructure and government. Employment, health care, and education have struggled for decades. Please pray for peace and calm as the country is also entering another election season after the failed elections of 2015. With corruption rampant and little change in their economic circumstances, Haitians are frustrated and angry. It is in this world that Double Harvest seeks to make an impact, both physically and spiritually. Here are brief updates on two of our ministries in Haiti your contributions make possible.

Streets, Vendors, Traffic Marches As Elections Approach
Streets, Vendors, Traffic Marches As Elections Approach

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Monday

Aug

22

2016

Haiti Update - August 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN and SCHOOL BEGINS IN HAITI

South Sudan In Crisis – Five years after the celebration of independence in 2011 from the Islamic regime of Sudan, South Sudan has experienced its own violent struggles. The size of Texas, this newest nation in the heart of Africa is crumbling under age-old tribal conflicts and atrocities represented by the forces of the President and the Vice-President respectively. Despite repeated attempts at peace, 1.8 million have been displaced, 500,000 have fled to neighboring countries, 100,000 are living in U. N. bases, and thousands have been killed! Corruption, political reform, rape protection, education, health care, infrastructure, and hunger are all at stake. Please pray for a lasting peace in this war-torn country, as both political and religious leaders are in repeated negotiations.

2011-Independence Celebrations 2016-Unsure Which Soldiers to Trust
2011-Independence Celebrations 2016-Unsure Which Soldiers to Trust

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Tuesday

Jul

26

2016

Haiti Update - July 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Haiti in Crisis - How Double Harvest Is Helping

There are many hotspots around the world where political opportunism, poverty, crises, and war collide. While Haiti is not experiencing war, it continues in crisis mode. The failed elections of 2015, the lack of a mandate for the interim President, and the news that the U. S. and other countries will not help fund a second round of elections in 2016, have fueled the restlessness and anger of the people. Demonstrations and violence are on the increase. In addition, unpaid and grossly underpaid doctors at main state hospitals have been on strike for three months! In a country where healthcare is either too costly or unavailable, there are few choices for the poor when illness or accidents occur. It is the privately-run clinics, like the one at Double Harvest, which attempt to treat the overflow of patients.

Protesting Election Delays UN Presence in the Country
Protesting Election Delays UN Presence in the Country

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Tuesday

May

10

2016

Haiti Update - May 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Addressing Haiti's Struggle

As the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, two-an-a-half million people in Haiti live in extreme poverty according to the World Food Program. The government is also in crisis. For the third time its presidential runoff was delayed with the cancellation of the January elections, leaving the populace restless and angry. The United Nations is deeply concerned about the inability of the caretaker government to follow through on an agreed upon plan. While we as an organization do not involve ourselves in the failed politics of the country, our mission still remains to serve the people of Haiti both physically and spiritually. Your financial gifts assist us in the ongoing development of our agricultural projects, our medical-surgical clinic, our school with its 500 students, and the support of local churches. Your generosity helps provide employment for 200 Haitians who serve in these areas. Here are some brief highlights.

Impoverished Family Received New Home Protesting Delayed Elections
Impoverished Family Received New Home Protesting Delayed Elections

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Friday

Apr

08

2016

Haiti Update - April 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Special Ministry to Women

Program of Worship & Singing The Theme - How Great is Our God
Program of Worship & Singing The Theme - How Great is Our God

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Women Matter – Sadly, women in developing countries are often marginalized, devalued, and sometimes abused. Unfortunately, these cultural pressures are found in church communities as well. Empowering women around the world has become the well-intentioned focus of both non-government organizations and political policy. The main thrust of these efforts has been job creation and increasing social status. Many believe that the future flourishing of poor countries lies with the women of these nations. In the countries where we work, we agree with most of the secular agenda, and also provide opportunities for employment and education for women. This is evidenced by the 200 employees and the female students in our school at the Double Harvest work in Haiti. However, we believe that the value of women has a much deeper foundation than a job or status. It is rooted in the heart of the Biblical message – God created women, God loves women, God in Christ died to save women, and God desires that women serve Him to their fullest potential!


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Friday

Mar

11

2016

Haiti Update - March 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Sowing Seeds of Life

“Sowing Seeds of Life” has been our tag line for many years. This brief phrase expresses the mission of Double Harvest on multiple levels, even as our name does. We are committed to both a physical and spiritual harvest – a “double harvest”, particularly in poor, developing countries. In Haiti, Seeds of Life are sown in our agricultural and related projects reaping major grains, quality vegetables, and nutritious fish and chicken meat along with Grade A eggs. Tree seedlings are grown to supply reforestation projects attempting to reverse an environmental disaster. These commercial enterprises provide employment and a product source for local vendors, thus influencing the surrounding economy. Ongoing financial contributions are needed to continue the development of these projects. Seeds of Spiritual Life are sown each work day morning with a devotional time to begin the day. Singing, a Bible lesson, and prayer are offered for strength for the day, for an embracing of hope, and for life transformation through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Starter Plants for the Fields Tree Seedlings for Reforestation
Starter Plants for the Fields Tree Seedlings for Reforestation

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Thursday

Feb

04

2016

Haiti Update - February 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Quick Takes From Haiti

Pesidential Runner-Up March Delayed Elections - Civil Unrest
Pesidential Runner-Up March Delayed Elections - Civil Unrest

Haiti Elections – As of this writing, two run-off elections for the next President have been postponed due to protest and accusations by the second runner-up of voter fraud. By law the current President, Michel Martelly, must step down February 7. It appears that an interim government will need to be formed until a solution can be found for a recognized democratic election that moves Haiti forward. Protests and violence have occurred by various factions of the voting public causing safety concerns for travelers to the country. PLEASE PRAY FOR CALM and a SOLUTION to this POLITICAL CRISIS. We depend on travel warnings and our local leadership for direction as it regards the mission and medical teams that have plans to travel to Double Harvest.


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Wednesday

Jan

06

2016

Significant Months - Looking Back...Looking Ahead

Meeting Physical & Spiritual Needs Developing Agricultural & Related Projects
Meeting Physical & Spiritual Needs Developing Agricultural & Related Projects

December – By now the celebrations of Christmas and New Years have begun to fade into the past. Despite the distractions of holiday shopping and gift giving, most Christians celebrated the greatest Gift, the advent of God into human history in the birth of Jesus Christ. Emmanuel – “God With Us” – was born to live a perfect life, die a sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins, rise again to conquer the power of sin and death, and give us the hope of eternal life with Him. This good news lies at the heart of the mission of Double Harvest – to proclaim the gospel of Christ and to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ in developing countries. Even the beginning of Jesus’ life was marked by an identification with destitute and oppressed people – His birth in an animal stable, the first to hear and respond to the angelic news were poor shepherds, His flight into Egypt as a refugee to escape the death threats of King Herod, and growing up as a carpenter’s son in the backwater province of Galilee. We trust your celebrations reflected this amazing event!


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Sunday

Nov

29

2015

Haiti Update - November 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Protesting The 2015 Elections Police Moving Street Blockades
Protesting The 2015 Elections Police Moving Street Blockades

Unsettling Times In Haiti – Continuing on the theme of our October Update, the election process in Haiti is experiencing protests at the highest level and violence on the streets. The official results of the October 25 elections, seen as a first-round presidential election (54 candidates!), surfaced two leading candidates. The second-place finisher, Jude Celestin, is leading a group of eight, known as the G8, who threaten to force a transition government unless fraud is addressed and changes are made to the electoral council and police hierarchy. The G8 is calling for peaceful protests, but intimidation and manipulation are widespread. As of this writing, Celestin has yet to accept to participate in the December 27 presidential run-off against government-backed candidate, Jovenel Moise. PLEASE PRAY for Haiti during this volatile and sometimes dangerous time in its political history. 


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Saturday

Oct

31

2015

Haiti Update - October 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

ELECTIONS / ELECTIONS

City Traffic in the Capital Protests at Election Time
City Traffic in the Capital Protests at Election Time

Politics Anyone? – I hope you don’t mind a little politics in this Update. While we in the U.S. “endure” what has become the presidential election process, Haiti is also in the midst of a series of elections, August – December. “Delay” is the operative word, as many of the required legislative elections have been delayed for four years, contributing to the frustration and violence that has characterized these last few months in the country. On August 9th, voter fraud, intimidation (many don’t read), and violence were reported. Thankfully, on October 25th, the polls were more peaceful with a strong police and U.N. presence. Even tentative results, however, won’t be known for 10 days and the final results at the end of November, with a possible run-off for president into December.


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Friday

Sep

18

2015

Haiti Update - September 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Haiti Needs Our Prayers! – It always needs our prayers! Multiple visits to the country tend to “vaccinate” one to the poverty and the dysfunction simmering under the surface. The words of a well-travelled mission leader sharpens the focus on the situation: “Of all the places I have ever been, I’ve never seen greater suffering than in a country only 90 minutes from Miami. Haiti is a place where the average person is poorer and more vulnerable to disease and crime than any place in our hemisphere.” In spite of these challenges, we along with this and other Christian organizations count it a privilege to come alongside peaceful, resilient, and hopeful Haitians to offer holistic ministry, presenting the Christian message together with works of development, compassion and education.

Family Home in Many Villages Commerce on City Streets
Family Home in Many Villages Commerce on City Streets

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Wednesday

Aug

12

2015

Haiti Update - July/August

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, here are a few thoughts as to why we exist.

Looks of Despair Giving Out Food Packages
Looks of Despair Giving Out Food Packages

Compassionate people are motivated to do something for the poor and impoverished of this world. We thank you for standing with us in this ministry. We are aware, however, that many opportunities and solutions presented lead to quick-fixes and short-term results. Sadly, even as millions of dollars of relief pour into a developing country, hunger and desperation continue to grow. Those on the receiving end are grateful but too often no results are required. As more relief is provided, the danger of dependency increases. Yes, in crisis situations, relief is necessary and right. But, the question remains: What is being done related to long-term development?


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Saturday

Jun

27

2015

Haiti Update - June 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

AN EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT – The month of June marks the end of a school year. For many High School students, it also marks a rite of passage - Graduation! These students have grown into young men and women, and have developed educationally, physically, socially and, our prayer is, morally and spiritually. Their grounding and accomplishments should stand them in good stead as they look to the future. On June 21, our school in Haiti also celebrated the graduation of twenty-four Grade 13 students! Seven of these students have attended the school for their entire education thus far! As representatives of Double Harvest USA, my wife and a friend witnessed the three-hour graduation service, congratulated the students, families and teachers, and gave each graduate a Bible.

Evidence of Poverty 35 years of sowing seeds of life
Lining Up For Procession Awaiting Their Diplomas
Evidence of Poverty 35 years of sowing seeds of life
Congratulations To The Graduates Receiving Diplomas And Bibles

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Wednesday

May

27

2015

Haiti Update - May 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

A HEALTH CRISIS “Call 911! Take him to emergency! This is a reminder: Your doctor’s appointment is scheduled for…! We have referred you to a specialist! Just take your prescription to the drug store!” These are all medical references we take for granted in the West when our health is affected. Sadly, the health services available to us every day are few and far between or non-existent in developing countries. Add to this picture, deficient sanitation systems and poor nutrition and you have increased health problems alongside inadequate care facilities to meet the overwhelming needs, many of them treatable. This describes Haiti, close to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators and last in health care spending in the Western Hemisphere! A sad picture indeed.

Medical Surgical Clinic Waiting Area Serving Health Needs Together
Medical Surgical Clinic Waiting Area Serving Health Needs Together

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Thursday

Apr

09

2015

Haiti Update - April 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Easter Truth – As I write this, it is during Holy Week, the time during which Christians all over this globe celebrate in some form the central truth of the gospel as the Bible portrays it. Jesus Christ came to this world to save sinners through his sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection! None of us can escape our need of a Savior. Those who profess faith only in Christ are promised forgiveness of sins, a restored relationship with God, and the certain hope of eternal life. We at Double Harvest believe that the experience of such love and grace, in turn, gives motivation to share it both in word and deed in difficult and destitute places (see our Mission Statement). We work toward a “double harvest”, both physical and spiritual. Our adopted Scripture (Jesus’ words): “Man does not live on bread alone”, reminds us that we all need “bread”, but there is spiritual food available that is far more important and satisfying!

Corn Crop Reforestation Trees and Greenhouses
Corn Crop Reforestation Trees and Greenhouses

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Thursday

Feb

12

2015

Haiti Update - February 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

In the countries that we serve, Double Harvest seeks to ensure that out of its core mission of developing commercial agricultural projects, compassion and spiritual ministries are also established and supported. Just as our goal is to resource and implement best practices in order to increase food production where poverty is deep-rooted, we also desire to see that educational, medical, personal and spiritual needs are addressed with the same standards. Our objective is to meet people’s physical and spiritual needs in desperate and struggling countries of the world.

Agriculture-160 of 200 Acres Pre-field Starter Plants
Agriculture-160 of 200 Acres Pre-field Starter Plants

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Thursday

Jan

15

2015

Haiti Update - January 2015

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Resolutions – We’re into the New Year, 2015, and for many the struggle has begun to keep those new resolutions. We trust you will succeed! For churches, businesses, and organizations like ours, it is also an opportunity to resolve to better put into practice their mission. Here then is our Mission Statement“Double Harvest’s mission is to establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. Being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. Our objective is a “double harvest”!”

Storm rolling in on the farm One way to harvest beans
Storm rolling in on the farm One way to harvest beans

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Thursday

Dec

04

2014

Haiti Update - December 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Give…Thanks – With all the wonderful food that is served around the holidays here in the U.S., it is hard to imagine that right now there are families only hours away that are struggling with hunger. Families in Haiti and South Sudan suffering under corrupt government, civil strife, high unemployment, a dysfunctional economy. At this Thanksgiving and Christmas time, our responses should be gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy, and also giving to those less fortunate. Here are some things for which we are thankful...

Evidence of Poverty 35 years of sowing seeds of life
Evidence of Poverty 35 Years of Sowing Seeds of Life

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Wednesday

Nov

19

2014

Haiti Update - November 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

People and Traffic Double Harvest Project
People and Traffic
Double Harvest Project

"You had to have been there!" - You’ve heard the phrase before. Any person who has been to Haiti has probably used it in struggling to convey their experience. The 90 minute flight from Miami transports you to a desperately poor developing country (poorest in the Western Hemisphere) with the typical sights and smells: the dirt and garbage in the streets, the endless dilapidated storefronts, the crowds of people and traffic, and periodic evidence of the January, 2012 earthquake. Your senses are bombarded if it’s your first time. Yes, there are a few locations where the developed world is evident, primarily in larger cities and the occasional village home usually funded by relatives in the U.S. But the outward poverty points to an inner dysfunctional economy, infrastructure and government. Employment, health care, and education have struggled for decades. It is in this world that Double Harvest seeks to make an impact, both physically and spiritually. Here are brief updates on two of our ministries in Haiti which your contributions make possible.


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Monday

Sep

15

2014

Haiti Update - September 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,          

Sowing Seeds Of LIFE (Continued) – As promised in last month’s Update, we wanted to report on another mission team’s partnership with Double Harvest and a local church in reaching older youth. Our name reflects our dual mission to minister to the whole person – physically and spiritually! We seek to practice the compassion of Jesus while proclaiming the gospel of Jesus – the good news that He did what we could not do for ourselves to restore our broken relationship with God.


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Thursday

Aug

07

2014

Haiti Update - August 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, 

Sowing Seeds Of LIFE – If you’ve been interested in the work of Double Harvest you will know that our name reflects our desire to minister to the whole person – physically and spiritually – a “double harvest”! We follow the dual pattern Jesus practiced: compassionate deeds for the sick and impoverished AND proclaiming the good news of the gospel – that those who believe in His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection will be saved, thus restoring the broken relationship between them and God, their creator. Our particular mission in fighting poverty is to develop and resource large agricultural and related projects in the developing world. These provide employment, nutrition and impact the local economy, all within an atmosphere based on Biblical principles. In Haiti, we have also established ministries in education, medical care, food, clothing and water distribution, and partner with churches in spiritual outreach programs


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Thursday

Jun

05

2014

Haiti Update - June/July 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, 

FISH, EYES AND WATER

I hesitate to do this to you who read this Update. However, the heading on this report reminds me of a dessert we used to nickname: “Fish Eyes”. Yes – Tapioca Pudding. Usually made with milk and eggs, some small pearl tapioca (from the cassava plant) requires overnight soaking in water. There you have it – Fish, Eyes and Water! But, what do these have to do with the work of Double Harvest?


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Friday

Apr

11

2014

Haiti update - April 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, at this EASTER season here are the foundations of our ministry.

CropsOUR MISSION – The mission of Double Harvest, as its name implies, is twofold. We seek to establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. Also, being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. We embrace Jesus’ answer to Satan at His temptation: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God!”


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Tuesday

Mar

18

2014

Haiti Update - March 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Medical teamsHealth Care Crisis – Medical care has served a major role in our ministry in Haiti since its inception over 30 years ago. At that time, establishing a productive agricultural project and addressing the healthcare crisis were priorities. Since then, education (later in this Update) and other compassion ministries were added. Deficient sanitation systems, poor nutrition, and grossly inadequate health services, especially in rural areas, have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators. To help meet this need, Double Harvest has employed trained medical personnel, constructed a modern medical-surgical clinic in 2004, and has hosted 8-10 surgical teams from the U.S. annually, each conducting procedures previously unavailable to the surrounding population


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Friday

Feb

07

2014

Haiti Update - February 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest, 

How About Another “Fly-Over”? January and February are always busy months at our project in Haiti – mission teams love to plan their trips to warmer climes. To escape winter – especially this winter?? Maybe. But, more importantly, they go to serve God by serving the poor and underprivileged in this struggling country. Here are some brief reports and perspectives – a “fly-over”.


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Wednesday

Jan

15

2014

Haiti Update - January 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

ENT SurgeryRestating Our Mission – While in church ministry, we were counseled to verbally state the mission of the church at least every three weeks. This is also good advice for any organization, whether non-profit or for-profit. It not only keeps the leaders focused on primary objectives but also informs the public, whether a donor, investor or employee. At the beginning of this New Year, then, here is why we exist – “Double Harvest’s mission is to establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. Being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. Our objective is a “double harvest”!”


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Saturday

Dec

07

2013

Haiti Update - December 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

At this Christmas season it is often difficult not to reflect on the destitute conditions in the majority of the world and compare them to the affluence we enjoy in the western world. We have clean water, guaranteed food, a hospital or trauma center nearby, relative safety, political stability (some may not agree, I suppose), and an infrastructure that facilitates ease of movement and commerce – everything that is non-existent or in very short supply for much of the people on this planet. Yes, we have our own domestic issues but, compared to those living in developing countries, we live in abundance! A trip to Haiti, Ethiopia, or South Sudan, where Double Harvest works, immediately confirms this stark reality


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Thursday

Nov

14

2013

Haiti Update - November 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Destruction in villagesThe Philippines – Our hearts and our prayers (and hopefully our financial and practical aid) go out to the people of the Philippines this month, as they recover from the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Reported to probably be the largest and most severe storm on record, the recovery will no doubt be agonizingly slow in much of this developing country, dotted with thousands of islands. Not to take away from the unbelievable destruction and personal suffering and loss in the Philippines, it reminds us of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, January 12, 2010. Although not a relief/ aid organization, Double Harvest obviously felt compelled to offer the resources we were blessed with on the ground – our Medical-Surgical Clinic, drinkable water from our wells, food from our farm, fish and chicken projects, as well as purchased rice and beans, and the construction of new homes for families who lost theirs. We were grateful for the outpouring of support allowing us to come to the aid of the Haitian people in their time of immediate and urgent need.


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Saturday

Oct

19

2013

Hait Update - October 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Computer Lab installedSchool Computer Lab Is In – For you who follow these Updates, the new Computer Lab at our school on our project in Haiti is now a reality. Our teachers and students are excited!! Prior to our install team of nine going down, a few teachers had cleared out the old, outdated, equipment, cleaned the room, and ensured that a new A/C unit was installed. During four short days toward the end of September, our team worked hard to repaint the room, retrofit the desks, and install the computer equipment. Instead of each student receiving a laptop, each station is only equipped with a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse, with every station connected to a central server. With this concept, damaged equipment is cheaper to replace (kids will be kids!), better internet controls are in place, and adjustments/fixes can be done remotely from the U.S. via the internet.


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Monday

Sep

09

2013

Haiti Update - September 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest,

clinicBrief Report on Haiti – In Haiti, while the farm, greenhouse, and tree, chicken and fish projects continue to produce and sell their products as business development efforts, our Clinic hosted another surgery team in August. Miami Baptist Hospital organizes two or three trips each year to conduct in a four day span around 80 surgical procedures, in which our Haitian medical staff is not trained. We thank them and another 8-10 surgery teams on the Calendar for meeting this critical health need.


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Thursday

Aug

01

2013

Haiti Update - August 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest,

The Challenge of Haiti – We’ve said it here before, but ministry and development work in Haiti is not for the faint of heart. The economic, political, cultural and spiritual challenges are significant, causing many dedicated and skilled individuals and organizations to leave defeated and disillusioned within a short period of time. One must be prepared with more than theoretical knowledge of the pervasive culture of voodoo and armed with a God-centered determination and perseverance. While Double Harvest wouldn’t claim to have all the answers to these seeming roadblocks to success, we have adopted this two-pronged approach: strong spiritual ministry coupled with a determination to help lift Haiti out of its economic, educational and medical morass.


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Monday

Jul

01

2013

Haiti Update - June/July 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

“Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child. Now there’s proof that it works! This was the title of the lead article in the June, 2013 issue of Christianity Today. What we at Double Harvest and other organizations have long believed and practiced was highlighted by the article’s tagline: “A top economist shares the astounding news about that little picture hanging on your refrigerator.” The author, Bruce Wydick, is professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, and was frequently asked: “What can an ordinary person like me to do to help the poor?” His standard answer: “Perhaps sponsor a child?”


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Wednesday

May

01

2013

Haiti Update - May 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

How about a “fly-over” this month? A fly-over allows you to see the broader picture but only relatively few details remain impressed on your mind. Here are some fly-over “snap shots” regarding our work in Haiti. Please remember – you’re in the aircraft with us! Thank you for “flying” with us in this holistic ministry focused on meeting both the physical and spiritual needs of impoverished people.


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Thursday

Apr

11

2013

April 2013 Newsletter

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Easter Past - The month of April usually hosts the Easter week, but it fell to March this year. However, Christians worldwide are still basking in the aftermath of the celebrations and observances, as is the church in Haiti closely associated with Double Harvest, Eglise Baptiste Evangelique. It seems appropriate that this month we state our essential mission and values. Easter represents the central truth about Christianity, without which there would be no forgiveness of our sins and no hope for our life after death. God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus, who lived to teach us how to live but, most importantly, who died a sacrificial death but triumphantly rose again!


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Wednesday

Mar

20

2013

March 2013 Newsletter

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

A Trip to Remember – From March 9-16, my wife and I and a team of 11 from our church were at our project in Haiti “Blessing the School”. Double Harvest Haiti consists primarily of agricultural, fish and chicken projects, however, a quality Medical/Surgical Clinic and a Christian school (Pre-School-Grade 13) also have a significant presence on our 200 acres. While our team engaged in various projects at the school, we were very aware of the privilege our 500 students are afforded to receive a first-class education and compassionate care. Third world conditions take a toll on buildings and infrastructure, so buildings were painted, doors repaired, a water fountain and stairs installed, concrete pads poured, signs replaced and painted, and flowerbeds created. We participated in Chapel Hour, visited classes, and had fun at recess. An added ministry bonus included two trips to village churches where around 200 bags of family clothing, rice and beans were delivered. The joy and gratitude on the people’s faces was worth the trip!


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Wednesday

Feb

06

2013

February 2013 Newsletter

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Thank You – We are grateful for the trust you put in Double Harvest as we pursue our mission to “help people help themselves” in developing countries like Haiti, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The confidence you show through your contributions and prayers is evidence of the compassion you feel for the people living in impoverished situations. As previous Updates have noted, although we are involved with relief and compassion ministries, our central objective is ‘development” in nature – giving the people the resources, tools and training to establish productive agricultural and related projects to feed the local population and to build the economy. These efforts are all infused with a spiritual dimension which we believe affects the success of these projects. Yes, we desire both a physical and spiritual harvest. Thus our name and our motto – “Sowing Seeds of Life”! Briefly, here are some highlights from Haiti during the past month.


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Saturday

Jan

12

2013

January 2013 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Enchanted Island? – During this time of year, some American families enjoy a vacation somewhere in the tropical Caribbean islands… the “enchanted islands”. Yes, one sees poverty when you venture off your host resort, but probably not as dismal and disheartening as in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The one cruise line stop in the north of the country does not represent the experience most Haitians are living. This is a “disenchanted island”, as one publication coined it. Decades of mismanagement, political corruption, poor infrastructure and food production, hurricanes, lack of good education and health care have kept the nation struggling and dependent.


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Thursday

Dec

06

2012

December 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Christmas and missions.There should be an immediate linkage in our minds. At the center of the motivation for missionary activity is the good news that Jesus Christ brought to this world. The baby born in Bethlehem was the God-man who ultimately died a cruel death on a Roman cross as payment for the sins of the world. Every person in every nation who places their trust in Jesus, and not in their own attempts to win favor with God, receives forgiveness of sins and the promise of an eternity with God. At its core, missions is about proclaiming this good news – the Gospel – everywhere. Is this a message lost in the commercialization of Christmas?


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Wednesday

Oct

31

2012

November 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, here are some thoughts as to why we exist.

Compassionate people are motivated to do something for the poor and impoverished of this world. We thank you for standing with us. However, many of the opportunities and solutions presented are at times misguided, leading to quick-fixes and short-term results. Even as millions of dollars of relief pour into a developing country, hunger and desperation continue to grow. Those on the receiving end are grateful but no results are required. As more relief is provided, the danger of dependency increases. Yes, in crisis situations, relief is necessary and right. But, the question remains: What is being done related to development?


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Thursday

Sep

06

2012

September 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

ISAAC – Last month we watched Tropical Storm Isaac churn its way across the Caribbean and later upgrade to a hurricane. News headlines focused on the potential impact on the Republican National Convention and New Orleans. The RNC weathered the storm well while New Orleans, Louisiana and neighboring states experienced massive flooding and wind damage, in some areas rivaling the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Our hearts go out to those affected. Recovery will be slow but resources are available.


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Monday

Aug

06

2012

August 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest,

AN EDUCATION CRISIS – As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti also stands alone in the Caribbean with the highest rates of illiteracy and abject poverty. These two statistics are closely linked. Over 50% of the population lives with under $1.25/day and cannot read or write. The key to reversing this downward spiral is quality education. However, Haiti’s public education is in disarray. Costs remain high for poor families (50% of the population); access is difficult in rural areas; public schools cover only 20% of the demand; the quality of education is often poor due to untrained teachers and deficient curriculum; basic services are lacking in the majority of the schools – sanitation, equipment, supplies. For many observers, it is the top-priority issue for the future of the country!


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Thursday

Jun

07

2012

June 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

A HEALTH CRISIS“Call 911! Take him to emergency! This is a reminder: Your doctor’s appointment is scheduled for…! We have referred you to a specialist! Just take your prescription to the drug store!” These are all medical references we often take for granted when it comes to issues of our health. Sadly the health services available to us every day are few and far between or non-existent in developing countries. Add to this picture, deficient sanitation systems and poor nutrition and you have increased health problems alongside inadequate care facilities to meet the overwhelming needs, many of them treatable. This describes Haiti, close to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators and last in health care spending in the Western Hemisphere. A sad picture indeed!


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Monday

May

07

2012

SPONSOR A NEEDY CHILD IN HAITI!

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Education is one of the strategic ways to impact the future of a nation. In an impoverished country like Haiti, it takes willing Sponsors to make a first-class education available to children and youth at our school.


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Saturday

May

05

2012

May 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

HAITI – The country lives in the shadow of the comparatively prosperous U.S. It is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, a land of contrasts and contradictions, a place of inspiration and despair. Eighty percent of its people live below the poverty line, 54% in abject poverty. Out of 1000 live births, 54 babies die. Only half of the population over age 15 can read or write. It has a tragic history of economic instability and corruption, while enduring hurricanes, earthquakes, deforestation and lack of potable water.


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Friday

Apr

06

2012

April 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest, it’s good to periodically review who you are.

Our Mission – The mission of Double Harvest, as its name implies, is twofold. We seek to establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. Also, being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. We embrace the answer that Jesus gave to Satan at His temptation: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God!”


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Friday

Mar

09

2012

March 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest,

“You had to have been there to understand it!” You’ve heard the phrase before. This was the experience of the mission team from our church which my wife and I took to the Double Harvest project in Haiti at the end of February. For a week we engaged in work and compassion ministries, but were also exposed to a spectrum of activities all directed to “Sowing Seeds of Life”. Here is a brief overview.


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Friday

Feb

03

2012

February 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest:

During the month of January you may have watched a program or read about the progress of rebuilding the country of Haiti. Two years ago, on January 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ravaged a wide area surrounding Port-au-Prince, the capital city. Since then, recovery and rebuilding has been generally painfully slow in this nation that was struggling beforehand in practically every sector. Hundreds of thousands still remain in squalid tent-cities, while accusations of misappropriated and undelivered relief funds highlighted the media reports. While much of this is true, and the challenges on a broad scale are great, the comments of one Letters to the Editor to the Miami Herald spoke to a glaring gap in the reports: “I missed reading about the role of the many visiting church volunteers.” The writer was correct. Together with numerous smaller faith-based organizations located in Haiti, church and community volunteers have helped affect change in many organizations’ circle of influence. Progress is evident and donations have reached their intended purpose.


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Monday

Jan

16

2012

We were pleased to release our 2012 Report on Double Harvest's Haiti work. It also serves as a general brochure, giving an overview of the ministry in Haiti. Click here to view. (NOTE:This high resolution brochure may take a few minutes to download over slower connections.)

 

If you would like a copy mailed to you, please email us your address by going to the Contact Us section and requesting the Haiti 2012 Report.


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Wednesday

Jan

11

2012

January 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest:

Welcome to 2012! A New Year always brings new challenges. However, it is good to take a brief look back in order to give thanks for what has been accomplished and, from that perspective, resolve to pursue one’s mission. In that regard, you should be receiving a major Report in the mail during the month of January on the ministry of Double Harvest in Haiti. The Report points to the fact that two years have passed since the devastating earthquake in January, 2010. It highlights the developments that have occurred at the Double Harvest project over the past year or so, as well as how we are involved in helping and impacting the surrounding community. If you don’t receive the report, please contact us at info@doubleharvest.org, and we’ll gladly send you one. Although we have been in Haiti for over 30 years, we have no illusions that long-standing economic, cultural and spiritual issues are easily solved. We thank you, our supporting constituency, for your partnership in the advances that have been made. Here are just a few recent highlights.


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Friday

Dec

09

2011

December 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

At this Christmas season it is often difficult not to reflect on the destitute conditions in the majority of the world and compare them to the affluence we enjoy in the western world. We have clean water, guaranteed food, a hospital or trauma center nearby, relative safety, political stability (some may not agree, I suppose), and an infrastructure that facilitates ease of movement and commerce – everything that is non-existent or in very short supply for the rest of the people of this planet. Yes, we are experiencing a financial crises and an unprecedented jobless rate but, compared to those living in developing countries, we live in abundance. A trip to Haiti, Ethiopia, or South Sudan, where Double Harvest works, immediately confirms this stark reality. This past month we were reminded of God’s protection in a near tragic event. Please see our website’s home page for brief details.


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Monday

Nov

07

2011

November 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Do you remember the first time you saw a plant sprout from the ground? Perhaps, like me, your parents filled a shoebox with dirt and put a few seeds in it. You were to keep the dirt moist and warm, and to wait patiently. No digging it up to see what was happening underneath!! Weeks seemed like an eternity. One morning you checked the box and a little green shoot had emerged. A tiny miracle had occurred! Tender care and watering continued until a healthy flower bloomed.


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Sunday

Oct

16

2011

October 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Our children’s future! In this country we have our concerns for what the future holds for our children and grandchildren. Haitian parents and grandparents are no different. As one of our grandsons plays at my feet, the experience of a recent trip with my wife to Haiti brought this into clear focus. Travelling with husband and wife photographers (also grandparents), the trip had two main purposes: Taking the annual pictures of the over 500 students at our school and participating in a ministry board meeting. The residual impact of the trip however was far greater than the tasks we performed. We are changed each time we visit.


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Friday

Sep

02

2011

September 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

This last month, August, was a busy month! While many of us in North America were enjoying vacations or gearing up for our children’s schooling and programs, our project in Haiti hosted a number of volunteer mission teams. Here is a brief overview of what was accomplished.


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Thursday

Jul

07

2011

July/August 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Sowing Seeds of Life. This phrase or tagline always appears with the name of our organization. It was chosen because it reflects so well on the dual purpose of Double Harvest. We desire to minister to both the physical and spiritual needs of people in developing countries. The platform on which this is accomplished is primarily by establishing and resourcing agricultural projects while implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. In that sense, we are Sowing Seeds of Life into the lifeblood of a country. This is occurring through our major projects in Haiti, Ethiopia, Ghana, and just beginning, in Sudan.
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Monday

Jun

06

2011

June 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

The “Power of ONE”. You’ve probably heard the phrase before. It often refers to the strategy to accomplish a large vision or objective. A formidable task is reduced into manageable proportions. A number of years ago World Vision, the large international Christian humanitarian and relief organization, published a poster with a child’s face. At the top was the question: “How do you reach 3 million children?” At the bottom was the answer “One child at a time!”


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Thursday

May

05

2011

May 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest:

What do Haiti and Southern Sudan have in common? While both are impoverished countries, Double Harvest also has projects in each of the countries. In Haiti, however, the farm, fish and chicken projects, school and medical clinic (An Eye Care Team and ENT Surgical Team visited last month) are mature and established, while the agricultural project in Southern Sudan is just beginning. If you’ve visited our website (see below), you’ll realize that we are represented in other countries as well. Most of our N.A. office activities focus on our Haiti project, but encouraging developments are occurring in East Africa too, specifically the war-torn country of Sudan.


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Friday

Apr

08

2011

April 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Volunteer Mission Teams. Over the past 25 years the world has shrunk. That is, the possibilities and opportunities that global travel offers have opened up multiple avenues of cross-cultural service unavailable a few decades ago. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages – youth to seniors – and with varied skills, offer their time and money to assist mission efforts around the world. The most effective teams are those who pre-plan and consult with the host mission or national partner how best to serve them. Care must be taken that we in the developed world don’t foist our agenda on foreign mission efforts and in the process damage the positive developments in their work.


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Friday

Mar

04

2011

March 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Did you ever try to drink from a fire hose? You can’t take it all in! That picture is somewhat like the blessing of God which Double Harvest has experienced in the last months. However, instead of a “fire hose”, here are a few “glasses of water” to refresh your soul.


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Thursday

Feb

03

2011

February 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

QUESTIONS. One year after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, questions are still swirling around about its recovery. What does Haiti look like now? Where did all the aid money go? What has the Haiti government done? Is there any progress at all?


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Tuesday

Jan

11

2011

January 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Anniversaries. We usually immediately think of the day of our own or another couple’s wedding day. It was a joyous occasion that changed much of the course of our lives. Other anniversaries recall tragic events like 9/11/01 when the World Trade Center was attacked. Burned into the memory of the Haitian people is the disastrous earthquake of January 12, 2010. This month marks the anniversary of that catastrophe when hundreds of thousands were killed and injured and over a million left homeless.


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Friday

Dec

03

2010

December 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest:

Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Americans, these two holiday celebrations fall only a month apart. Both give opportunity to give thanks. During the first, we express our appreciation for family, friends, our physical well being and, of course, football! During the second, we give thanks for God’s greatest Gift, His Son, Jesus Christ, the answer to our spiritual emptiness and separation from Him. And, in turn, we celebrate by giving gifts to each other. Although the commercial frenzy seems to cloud the reason for this season, yet it is good to stop and give thanks, and maybe say a “Hallelujah”! That’s what professional choirs are doing in malls around the country. In “Random Acts of Culture” they surprise hurried/harried shoppers with a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus, the climax of Handel’s Messiah (search YouTube.com). It’s a welcomed pause, giving opportunity to reflect and give thanks to God for His good gifts.


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Monday

Nov

22

2010

Double Harvest and Cholera

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Implementing Precautionary Measures

Double Harvest is taking the Cholera outbreak in Haiti seriously. There is a possibility that this silent but preventable killer could reach our project and the surrounding community, located about 10 miles east of Port-au-Prince. Essentially a water-borne illness, the bacteria causes vomiting and diarrhea which, if not treated in time, results in extreme dehydration and eventual death. In response, our Medical Director, Clinic staff and our Project Administrator have implemented precautionary measures and education to guard against contracting the deadly bacteria. They have also stocked up on IV solutions at our Clinic in the event that cases need to be treated.


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Friday

Nov

05

2010

November 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest:

“It’s such a God thing!” Maybe you’ve heard or even used this expression. We most often use it when something good happens. Of course, God does bless us and others in many ways. But, is God at work only when life is good? Isn’t He also there when things are bad? His Word unequivocally promises His presence in all circumstances. We can all look back and see that our faith grew when it was most tested. We may not be able to explain or fully understand suffering in this world, but the promise of God’s presence, strength and sovereign control is our sure foundation and only hope.


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Thursday

Oct

21

2010

October 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest:

I recently returned from a trip to Haiti. Its purposes were essentially twofold: the Double Harvest annual in-country board meeting and taking the annual pictures of the 465 students at our school for their sponsors. Flying in and out of the Port-au-Prince airport, one can still see amongst the stark realities of this third-world country the aftermath of the January 12th earthquake – collapsed buildings surrounded by rubble and, scattered throughout its environs, the precarious tent cities. From the vantage point in the air, the tragic individual stories of millions of people seem remote. But, sadly, each would tell a tale of heartbreaking loss and struggle as this nation continues to recover from the devastation.


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Saturday

Sep

11

2010

September 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Frustration is rising in Haiti. Now almost eight months since the earthquake, patience is growing thin as recovery efforts continue to crawl. Rubble remains where it collapsed, little rebuilding is evident, landlords are dismantling tent cities, and 1.3 million people remain homeless or living in tents near their damaged homes. The pace may not be due to lack of funds, but rather broken promises. The Haitian people have all heard about the money commitments but they are not seeing anything happening. Of the countries and organizations that have not backed out, those that remain are swept up in only holding repeated assessment meetings but failing to put their talk into action. Disillusionment with their government and its coordination efforts is reaching dangerous levels within the country’s population. A huge frustration is getting the aid into the country through the damaged Port-au-Prince seaport. Government neglect, cronyism and fierce rivalries present before the quake have since increased. We’ve had first-hand experience with our containers, as officials find any reason to delay release and charge exorbitant storage rates beyond the already expensive wharf fees.


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Wednesday

Aug

11

2010

August 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

HOW ABOUT A “FLY-OVER” THIS MONTH? A fly-over allows you to see the broader picture but only relatively few details remain impressed on your mind. Here are some fly-over details regarding our work in Haiti. Please remember – you’re in the aircraft with us!


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Wednesday

Jul

28

2010

We are pleased to release our Six Month Anniversary Report on Double Harvest's Haiti Earthquake Response. Click here to view.

 

If you would like a copy mailed to you, please email us your address by going to the Contact Us section and requesting the Haiti Earthquake Response Report.


read more
Wednesday

Jul

21

2010

July 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

July 12th marked the six month anniversary of the devastating earthquake that rocked the country of Haiti. In the capital city of Port-au-Prince and for hundreds of miles around, buildings were flattened, thousands of lives were lost, hundreds of individuals were severely injured, the already shaky infrastructure was compromised, and the government was essentially immobilized. Organizations and individuals from around the world responded with an outpouring of medical, relief and financial aid. After six months, however, little has changed for those affected by the tragedy. Most of the buildings destroyed or damaged in Port-au-Prince (60%) still lie in rubble. The Presidential Palace, the worldwide symbol of the destruction, remains “a gleaming heap of rubble” (USA Today). For the 1.5 million left homeless, many are still living in makeshift camps, while those who left the city for shelter and food in their hometowns are returning to nothing, their “cousins” resources depleted. Hurricanes threaten at this time of year and tropical storms have already swept away a few refugee tent cities. Frustration is growing over the slow pace of recovery. For too many, basic needs remain unmet, especially “hope”!


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Thursday

Jun

03

2010

June 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Normal and abnormal. Daily work and relief work. Blessing and heartache. Ongoing compassion and lingering frustration. These are the paradoxes of life in Haiti today after the earthquake. Life continues on for many but there are still thousands of homeless and displaced. While numerous lives were saved by amputations, for them a dismal future seems inevitable. For too many, life has returned to “normal” but their days are clouded by grief at the loss of loved ones.


read more
Thursday

May

13

2010

Hi.

Well, it's official the rebuilding of Haiti has started, or at least the Croix des Bouquets part. After careful inspection from the building committee, our first set of 14 houses passed the test. The building construction team lead by Uncle Abe, Nick, Joe and John gave the go ahead to continue full blast for the 200 and more houses. This journey started as you remember with the horrible date of January 12th, 2010. I do not know if we can call this irony but rather strong faith that today would be an important date for our program as today marks the 4th month anniversary of the disaster in Haiti.


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Wednesday

May

12

2010

May 2010 Newsletter

by by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear Friend of Double Harvest,

We thank you for your investment in the work of Double Harvest. Prior to the earthquake in Haiti, our website began undergoing a redesign. We are finally unveiling it this month. You will notice a new look and a new logo, reflecting the message of our motto: “Sowing Seeds of Life”. You will also note that the reach of Double Harvest goes beyond Haiti to several African countries, where agricultural projects and accompanying efforts are at various stages of growth. Please take a few moments to browse through the site. I’m sure you will find the new content interesting and encouraging.


read more
Thursday

Apr

01

2010

Earthquake April 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Signs of life! On and surrounding our project in Haiti there are signs of life occurring. While the tragic devastation and human suffering resulting from the January 12 earthquake remain a stark reality, especially in and around Port-au-Prince (PAP), there are indications of hope for the future. We feel privileged to be the hands of Jesus in meeting the health, food, housing and spiritual needs of those within our reach. We thank you for your compassionate generosity and trust as we attempt to do our part in this disaster!


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Monday

Mar

01

2010

Earthquake March 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Thank you for your contribution to Double Harvest and its work in Haiti! Your heart of compassion for its people is deeply appreciated during this time of crisis. On Tuesday, January 12, the country of Haiti was changed forever. The 7.0 earthquake and aftershocks caused catastrophic devastation and multiple casualties and injuries in a wide area in and around Port-au-Prince (PAP). With a sub-standard infrastructure and a depressed economy, the country has been hard pressed to meet the incredible needs without outside help. The U.S and other countries have organized relief efforts.


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Wednesday

Feb

10

2010

In addition to the feeding program we also included some rebuilding ideas with the program. To each family receiving from the feeding program we also provided one tree for them to plant in their neighborhood.
read more
Tuesday

Feb

09

2010

Haiti Food Distribution

by Frantz Angus

As promised I would let you know how our first food distribution went. Well, Maryka and Maria did not take long to put the food in some bags they bought with them.
read more

Good Things Are Happening

by Frantz Angus

Good news! Things are going much better around Double Harvest Haiti. We received the 28 doctors from Miami and the medicals teams are still coming to Haiti. We now have officially saved out 2 new little angels (pictures attached)
read more
Monday

Feb

01

2010

Earthquake February 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Thank you for your contribution to Double Harvest and its work in Haiti! Your heart of compassion for its people is deeply appreciated during this time of crisis. On Tuesday, January 12, the country of Haiti was changed forever. The 7.0 earthquake and aftershocks caused catastrophic devastation and multiple casualties and injuries in a wide area in and around Port-au-Prince (PAP). With a sub-standard infrastructure and a depressed economy, the country has been hard pressed to meet the incredible needs without outside help. The U.S and other countries have organized relief efforts.
read more
Sunday

Jan

31

2010

Double Harvest Friends,

While the media coverage of Haiti might have slowed, the need is still great, and the team at Double Harvest continues to work hard to restore the health and spirit of Haitian people in need. Businesses, banks, supermarkets, factories are opening up again, but there is much work to be done with so many displaced people.


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Wednesday

Jan

13

2010

January 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

In December, a week before Christmas, we received the shocking news that one the generous supporters of our work in Haiti had been tragically killed at the family run business, Metrolina Greenhouses, located in the Charlotte, NC area. Tom VanWingerden cut a wide swath in the greenhouse industry and in his other interests, as evidenced by the thousands who paid their respects to his wife, Vickie, and his family at the visitation and funeral. The contributions to Double Harvest via the Memorial Fund established in his name are also testimony to his impact in people’s lives. Our prayers continue for Vickie and their family at this extremely difficult time.
read more
Sunday

Dec

13

2009

December 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

During December people’s thoughts automatically turn to giving and receiving gifts. In North America, the avalanche of sale commercials almost “force” us into this frame of mind. Of course, we can’t discount the memories of family traditions that put us in the giving mode. For the Christian, the ultimate motivation for giving is the celebration of the greatest Gift ever given. The God of the universe gave His only Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world. His coming as a baby is both heart-warming and mysterious at the same time. In fact, the momentous occasion is filled with mystery. It seems the spiritual world erupted! The dreams that Mary and Joseph experienced; the sky bursting with a choir of angels; the star that guided the Wisemen to the birth stall. As in other Bible passages, we are reminded that this physical and seen world is not all there is to reality!
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Friday

Nov

13

2009

November 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Sadly, the country of Haiti appears at the top of a number of statistical scales. In the Western Hemisphere, it ranks as the poorest nation, has the highest death rate (12.2 per 1000), and the highest infant mortality rate of 72 deaths per 1000 live births. (2006) Deficient sanitation systems, poor nutrition, and inadequate health services have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators. With 80% of the population living below the poverty line, malnutrition is rampant with half of all Haitian children considered undersized. In terms of health care spending, the country ranks last in the Western Hemisphere. Most rural areas have no access to health care, making these people susceptible to otherwise treatable diseases. A sad picture, indeed!
read more
Tuesday

Oct

13

2009

October 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

We take so many things for granted here in America, don’t we? Take water, for example. We readily drink the water out of our taps without fear of getting sick. Now, many of us have swallowed the advertising bottled water companies have showered on us. Even though the 11.2 billion dollar industry is showing some signs of decline in this economy, we are prepared to pay around $20.00/gal for bottled water ($1.49/9oz bottle for a prominent brand). And, we think gas is expensive at $2.50/gal!! On the serious side, pure water is one of the greatest needs of the poor, especially in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, 80% of all sickness is attributable to unsafe drinking water, especially when accompanied by insufficient sanitation and hygiene. Haiti is no exception with almost 50% of rural and urban areas having no access to clean, fresh, reliable water.
read more
Sunday

Sep

13

2009

September 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

It hits you every time you travel to Haiti. The heat, the pot-holed roads, the gathering road-side trash, the unfinished buildings, the endless small vendor stalls, the crowds of people going somewhere, the crowds of people sitting idle, the looks of quiet desperation, the smells of third-world poverty. Yes, there are bright spots, places of respite, signs of affluence, friendly smiles, but they are few and far between. Double Harvest is one of those bright spots – a place of hope in a seeming hopeless situation. My wife and I recently returned from Haiti where we spent a week with another couple, both photographers, taking the annual pictures of our school's 490 students for their sponsors. These children and youth offer hope for the future of their country. However, there are other signs of hope with what Double Harvest desires to accomplish in "Sowing Seeds of life". Here is some of what we learned and observed.
read more
Thursday

Aug

13

2009

August 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

"Man does not live on bread alone", from Luke 4:4, is the verse prominently located on our website. It reflects the dual vision we have as an organization. As Christians, we are called to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus Christ in meeting the physical needs of people: nutrition, clean water, medical care, the dignity of employment. Double Harvest is involved in all of these areas. However, these are not the extent of human need, as the verse alludes to. The deepest need of every human being is a spiritual one, the restoration of the fractured relationship with their Creator God. This is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to forgive our sins and to offer an eternal relationship with Him for all who believe. The telling of this "good news" is at the heart of our mission.
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Monday

Jul

13

2009

July 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

ANOTHER FIRST OCCURRED IN HAITI THIS PAST MONTH! In 1996, Dave Marshall, then the Project Director in Haiti and a present-day board member, established the Aart VanWingerden School in honor of Double Harvest's founder. Dave and his wife, Elaine, recognized that an excellent education for the youth of Haiti, coupled with Bible teaching in a Christian atmosphere, was strategic for the future of the country. From humble beginnings, a class has been added each year and, recently, two Pre-School classes. Thirteen years later, Sunday, June 28, 2009, saw the school celebrating its first Grade 13 Graduation, truly a milestone in the school's history! Joining these 26 seniors, the 30 Kindergartners made it a "double graduation". In Haiti, graduating from Kindergarten is a major accomplishment, perhaps the only educational graduation many in the country will experience.
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Saturday

Jun

13

2009

June 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

YOUR INVESTMENT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE. Whether it’s giving financially or participating on a mission team on-site, the Double Harvest project in Haiti is accomplishing its mission through people like you. In these uncertain economic times, we thank you for the trust you put in us as we seek to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
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Wednesday

May

13

2009

May 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

IT’S HARVEST TIME IN HAITI! Not the physical harvest you may be thinking of (and which is included in this report), but the spiritual harvest represented both in the name of our organization and in our tag-line: "Sowing Seeds of Life". Over the past year(s), seeds of life have been patiently planted in people’s lives at our farm, clinic, school and the associated church, and have spread into the community. Now, over the past months, over 130 people have made professions of faith in Christ and others renewed their commitment to Him. In the hard soil of this culture, this is the spiritual harvest we seek and we praise God He has granted it.
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Monday

Apr

13

2009

April 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

What a busy couple of months! Operation Double Harvest in Haiti experienced the "invasion" of a number of teams and groups of people closely associated with the ministry. And, a "Double Harvest" was evident as various projects and ministries progressed. Draw a deep breath while we take a whirlwind tour. Ready? February 1 began with a 19 member surgical team from KS, AZ, NC and VA. These medical "warriors" (and cooks to serve the team) conducted about 70 procedures ranging from ulcerated wounds to hernias, biopsies, hysterectomies, tumors and administering chemotherapy. Along with physical healing came spiritual healing as songs were sung and prayer was offered in the Recovery Area! At the same time, a Texas dentist and his hygienist saw 146 patients and gave out 100 New Testaments in French. Later, our mission partner, Russ Montgomery, conducted pre-screening for eye surgeries scheduled for April and did follow-up on patients and distribution of eye glasses. He also found time to lead a family life seminar while training Pastor Gary to do the same. Essential Biblical elements for healthy families are lacking even in the Haitian Christian community.
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Tuesday

Mar

31

2009

March 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

"Despite skepticism, there is hope for Haiti". This was the title of an article in the Miami Herald in February. It referenced a private report to the Secretary General of the UN which concluded that, among the "fragile states" in the world, Haiti has the best chances for success. Despite its chronic political problems, the current global economic and food crises, and devastation from hurricanes, the report listed factors in its favor: not part of a troubled region; not divided by civil war; has a large and nearby immigrant community in the U. S. and Canada with financial resources and political clout; has duty and quota-free access to the U.S. market; current political leadership is good in comparison to other "fragile states". The report’s recommendations, however, had a catch: a coordinated and simultaneous action to rebuild the country by all key countries currently helping Haiti, including cooperation by Haitian leadership. Sovereignty issues aside, it may be quite a feat for these "key countries" to join a team in which Haiti’s government firmly states that it will control what reconstruction efforts are best for the country.
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Friday

Feb

13

2009

February 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

It seems that January and February are popular months to head to the Caribbean islands for either a winter vacation, a cruise OR a mission trip. Our project in Haiti has been the destination for the latter category and has seen (and will see this month) a flurry of activities. Spanning the week that includes New Years Day, Double Harvest sponsors an annual Pastors Conference. This year, 135 pastors from the Port-au-Prince area came by Tap-Tap (local taxis), bicycle and on foot to soak in Bible teaching, fellowship and encouragement. Both fluent in French, Evan Drake (U.S. pastor) and Pierre Cadet (pastor/missionary to Haiti) gave seminary-level lectures and demonstrated their heart for these men. This type of training will impact the Haitian churches.
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Tuesday

Jan

13

2009

January 2009 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Welcome to 2009! As I write this, I'm reflecting on an experience I had this morning. A friend of the organization and I had the opportunity to present the work of Double Harvest at his daughter’s Intermediate School. Obviously, his trips to Haiti had impacted his family and she, in turn, had passed on their burden for the country to her 5th Grade teacher. The enthusiasm to help in some practical way spread to two other classes. Having now seen and heard a little of the reality of life in Haiti through our presentation, in a few days, these students will gather a collection of clothes, shoes and toys for needy Haitian children.
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Saturday

Dec

13

2008

December 2008 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Gifts. Giving. These are words repeated more often during the Christmas season. Despite the economic troubles the U.S. is experiencing (indeed, the whole world), people are still purchasing items to give as gifts to family members and even friends and colleagues. Some are opening their wallets to spiritual causes or to those less fortunate than themselves, although their tribe is diminishing. A recent study on giving discovered that 25% of American Christians give away no money at all, while the rest average $200 in median annual giving. The study noted that 5% of this group provides 60% of the money churches and religious groups use to operate. It emphasized that it is these “truly generous Christian givers” who cover for the rest.
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Thursday

Nov

13

2008

November 2008 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Health Care: a hotly debated topic in our country during this past election time. Haiti is a country in which good health care is limited to the wealthy and, where care is available, it is often sub-standard. With 80% living below the poverty level and 54% in abject poverty, rampant diseases and chronic conditions remain untreated. Since 1987, Double Harvest has operated a medical clinic which has served the health needs of the larger community surrounding our project. Free medical care has been extended to our workers, teachers and students while the local population has been charged a minimal amount to give value to their care.
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Monday

Oct

13

2008

October 2008 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

My wife and I recently returned from a 10 day trip to Haiti. Some of you have been asking about the effects of the hurricanes on the Double Harvest project. You can read about this in my September Update on our website at http://www.DoubleHarvest.org. In short, what we witnessed and heard was that the southern part of the country (DH’s location) was spared the devastation experienced in the north. Aid and relief efforts are making progress however, with 80% of the country living on less than $2.00 a day, the future still looks bleak with inflated prices on food staples and gas. Double Harvest is seeking ways to strategically help villages in the immediate area.
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Saturday

Sep

13

2008

September 2008 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

No doubt you were watching with concern as Hurricane Gustav made its way across the Caribbean islands at the end of August, and then turned toward the Louisiana/Texas coastline, gaining strength as it approached. Lessons learned from the Katrina disaster were implemented with an unprecedented evacuation of the greater New Orleans area. Thankfully, the storm was not as strong as predicted and damage and loss of life were comparatively small.
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Wednesday

Aug

13

2008

August 2008 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Summer is a wonderful time to reach out to children. As with churches here in the U.S., Double Harvest sponsors a Vacation Bible School every summer while the farm, greenhouses, clinic and housing project continue operating. This year, two organizations teamed up with us to provide an excellent program – Child Evangelism Fellowship facilitated training sessions for the Haitian VBS staff AND Living in Faith, a Florida based mission led by Russ Montgomery, sent a 13 member team to lead the crafts and sports sessions, and to give out individual “goodie bags”. Sunglasses were included in the bags as eye damage begins early in the tropical sun. That was a hit! Of the 300 enthusiastic kids who attended, 55 opened their hearts to Jesus as their Savior! This was truly a “Double Harvest”! Haitian pastors will continue to disciple these children. Members of the Florida team also led a small eye clinic and worked handyman projects on the property. A double thanks to them!
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