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.
As you exit the airport and drive the streets, life seems to be back to “Haiti’s normal” with its confusing traffic congestion, endless vendor stalls, garbage along the roadside, people about their business, walking, on motorcycles or riding one of the multitude of Tap-taps (truck taxis). One thing however stands out this time – billboards, walls and doors are plastered with pictures of candidates for Haiti’s November presidential election. Nineteen candidates are vying for the position! Featured prominently in the campaign is the challenge of who will best manage the billions of foreign aid for earthquake recovery. Already demonstrations that threaten to turn violent are occurring. Pray that there will be a fair election and a peaceful transition of power. Huge challenges are ahead.
Some progress has been made in clearing the rubble, but it appears that the smaller organizations are the “points of light” amid the slow and massive reconstruction of buildings and infrastructure. We at Double Harvest are privileged to be one of those “points”. As the members of the board reviewed the past and looked into the future, they thanked God that the organization continues to accomplish its mission: meeting the physical and spiritual needs of people. The farm, greenhouses, reforestation, fish and chicken projects continue to flourish (naturally, with certain challenges) with expansion planned for a few. The Rebuilding Housing Project now stands at 56 Homes! Patients are seen at our Clinic every work day, with monthly surgery teams conducting operations. School is back in session, a month later because of the earthquake. Together with the photographers, we sensed the potential of each student as their picture was taken to use their education and spiritual training to affect change in their country. Your prayers and support are fueling this hope. Thank you!