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!
MEETING THE NEED – While Double Harvest’s central mission is to develop agricultural projects in third world countries, we also desire to meet people’s physical needs through compassion ministries. Since 1987, we have offered medical services to the local area surrounding our 200 acre project. In 2004, a new Medical-Surgical Clinic became operational increasing the level of care to include surgeries and dental and eye care. Since then, 8-10 surgical teams visit each year to augment the daily care offered by our Haitian medical staff. In the past three months, we’ve hosted four such teams. Story after story could be told of how a routine operation has transformed the life of an individual suffering from a treatable condition. Of course, as is our practice, the physical care occurs in an atmosphere of spiritual care and concern. Daily devotional times with waiting patients, Christian DVDs playing on a flat screen, and individual prayer expresses our belief that human need goes much deeper than relieving physical suffering.