Earthquake April 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Signs of life! On and surrounding our project in Haiti there are signs of life occurring. While the tragic devastation and human suffering resulting from the January 12 earthquake remain a stark reality, especially in and around Port-au-Prince (PAP), there are indications of hope for the future. We feel privileged to be the hands of Jesus in meeting the health, food, housing and spiritual needs of those within our reach. We thank you for your compassionate generosity and trust as we attempt to do our part in this disaster!

During the last months, our Medical-Surgical Clinic became the care facility for some of the most critically injured within the PAP area, requiring at times two surgery teams operating 24/7. Sadly, previous amputations required repeated surgery as infection set in again. Now, over the next months, one team per month will be scheduled to augment the continuing care by our Haitian medical staff. Food distribution to the surrounding villages will slow down as people are able to access original sources of food. Dignity, order and organization by village leaders were important aspects of the plan, with weekly donations of rice, beans, oil and fish to each village. Board members have made repeated trips to develop a strategy for the monumental rebuilding effort. In the surrounding community at least one-third of the homes are uninhabitable due to the earthquake. With participation by the Haitian people as paramount, meetings with village leaders resulted in a plan for Double Harvest to provide materials, training, and supervision for homeowners and tradesmen in the reconstruction of their homes. No corners are to be cut this time! Visiting mission work teams will assist at times, however, there will also be projects on our property directly related to enhancing our relief efforts.

By government decree, school will officially begin again on April 5th and continue through August! During the last month, informal sessions, discussions and games have attracted some students – therapeutic for the trauma they experienced. Of great encouragement are reports of increased spiritual interest in the country. With challenges still ahead, faith and hope are fueling signs of new life!