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.
The past year also saw further suffering in this impoverished nation: a cholera epidemic, a brush with a hurricane, and violent political unrest over a disputed presidential election. Many Haitians have lost hope. However, there are “points of light” where smaller organizations have generated hope by their commitment to bring life-giving change to their immediate communities. Through your help, Double Harvest is privileged to be counted as one of these. Here are a few highlights.
- Monthly volunteer surgery teams from the U.S. continue to care for the medical needs of people for which our Haitian staff are not trained. Often years of suffering are alleviated through these caring professionals.
- Food and clothing distributions are organized to the most desperate with care taken not to create dependency.
- Our Rebuilding Housing Project continues with almost 80 homes completed toward our goal of 220. Employment, training, supervision and sweat equity ensure a well-constructed building for the new homeowner.
- Mission teams have completed the renovation of a new cafeteria for our workers – the first noon meal was served this month.
- Also, an addition to our Clinic is progressing, which will house more examination rooms, eye care facilities, and a larger lab and medical storage. The second floor will eventually offer additional accommodations for mission teams.
- Construction of new tanks for our Tilapia Fish Project has begun. These will double the production of this nutritious food item.
- A conference for 180 pastors was hosted during the last week of 2010. These church leaders will bring spiritual hope to their people.
- The work of the farm – major grains, vegetables, tree seedlings, egg production – and the education at the school continue as we seek to model and implement best practices that will affect the economy, the education, the health and the spiritual lives of Haitians.
These are “anniversaries” we can all celebrate. Thank you for your commitment to assist us in Sowing Seeds of Life!