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.
It would be wonderful to witness a coordinated “supranational” (multi-national) rebuilding effort for the country. One wonders, however, why change seems so slow when over 90% of the country’s development budget already comes from international donors. Perhaps a “supernatural” reconstruction needs to take place first. This is certainly Double Harvest’s view. Serving a unique niche in the mission enterprise in Haiti, its objective remains to establish and model excellent practices in the business, agricultural, educational, medical and community aid fields, all deeply rooted in Christian ethics, moral and values. And, it’s working, as the project was recently recognized for its contribution to the local community by an award and a feature story in a prominent newspaper. Fully adopting these guidelines for life, however, requires a radical change of heart in each individual. This can only occur through a renewed relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the “Double Harvest” we seek. Desperate people do desperate things, and desperation is evident in Haiti. We are praying that “Sowing Seeds of Life” will bring real change and hope to this country.