by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht
Dear friend of Double Harvest,
Frustration is rising in Haiti. Now almost eight months since the earthquake, patience is growing thin as recovery efforts continue to crawl. Rubble remains where it collapsed, little rebuilding is evident, landlords are dismantling tent cities, and 1.3 million people remain homeless or living in tents near their damaged homes. The pace may not be due to lack of funds, but rather broken promises. The Haitian people have all heard about the money commitments but they are not seeing anything happening. Of the countries and organizations that have not backed out, those that remain are swept up in only holding repeated assessment meetings but failing to put their talk into action. Disillusionment with their government and its coordination efforts is reaching dangerous levels within the country’s population. A huge frustration is getting the aid into the country through the damaged Port-au-Prince seaport. Government neglect, cronyism and fierce rivalries present before the quake have since increased. We’ve had first-hand experience with our containers, as officials find any reason to delay release and charge exorbitant storage rates beyond the already expensive wharf fees.
The exceptions to the ineffectiveness seem to be the smaller non-profit organizations which have been able to organize a relief and rebuilding response within their immediate sphere of influence. With Double Harvest’s 30 year presence in the country and resources with which God has blessed us, we were able to respond to this tragedy. As we’ve reported before, almost immediately we provided food and water, medical relief, clothing, and spiritual care. This continues where needed. Now, our Rebuilding Project is progressing at an encouraging pace. With 46 new homes already built in the villages, we may well exceed our projected goal of 220! Plans are to train a new set of masons to double the progress. New portable concrete mixing machines have finally arrived via container (see above) to aid in the increased rebuilding effort. Also, construction on the prosthetic/eye care wing of our Clinic is continuing.
While our relief efforts progress, our farm, greenhouses, Tilapia Project, and Egg Project continue to operate and produce. We were privileged to receive a recent visit from the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten at our project. He affirmed the work that is being done for the Haitian people. We pass that affirmation first on to our Lord, and then to you who respond with generous contributions and prayer. Thank you for “helping us help” the Haitian people during this difficult time in their history.