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.
Good soil is critical to the growth of a healthy plant. In the Bible, Jesus told a parable about the importance of this truth. As a farmer was sowing seed, some fell on a hard path and birds quickly ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky soil, but withered because the soil couldn’t hold water. Some fell among thorns and weeds which choked the new plant. Other seed fell on good soil and yielded a crop 100 times more than what was sown. As an organization, key to our mission in establishing large sustainable agricultural projects in poor developing countries is implementing best practices for the highest possible production of healthy crops. Great care and environmentally sound technologies are used in the preparation and care of the soil. The result – nutritious food items find their way into the local economy, feeding thousands, and people are employed and trained in agriculture and honest labor. This has been occurring in Haiti and Ethiopia for 30 years, and is now in its beginning stages in the war-ravaged, newly independent nation of South Sudan.
Jesus’ purpose for telling the parable was much deeper than teaching good farming techniques. The seed represents the Word of God which is heard by various types of people as it is sown/spoken. The responses to the truths of the Word are also varied – some believe and some do not, depending on the “soil” of a person’s heart. For some, the seed is quickly taken away. For others, their belief is short-lived because no roots were developed. For another group, their fragile faith is choked by life’s anxieties, riches and pleasures. But for those with hearts of “good soil”, the Word is retained and strengthened to yield a fruitful life. As an organization, we are also committed to not only spread the seed of the Word, but to also make every effort to prepare the soil of people’s hearts. How? By scheduling daily group devotional times for our workers; by establishing and supporting Christian schools and medical clinics; by building homes and delivering clean water to those in need; by supporting church outreaches to local villages. In the physical and spiritual realms, “Sowing Seeds of Life” are at the core of our mission. Thank you for partnering with us in helping to make a difference in people’s lives.