Earthquake March 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Thank you for your contribution to Double Harvest and its work in Haiti! Your heart of compassion for its people is deeply appreciated during this time of crisis. On Tuesday, January 12, the country of Haiti was changed forever. The 7.0 earthquake and aftershocks caused catastrophic devastation and multiple casualties and injuries in a wide area in and around Port-au-Prince (PAP). With a sub-standard infrastructure and a depressed economy, the country has been hard pressed to meet the incredible needs without outside help. The U.S and other countries have organized relief efforts.

Double Harvest has been in the country for almost 30 years and was uniquely poised to do its part. We are grateful to God that our project, our students and our people were safe. We are aware of four employees who died off-site and our condolences go out to their families. Within a couple of days we were able to fly in a team of six to assist our Haitian staff in organizing our response. Almost immediately we began providing food, water, shelter and medical care to thousands within our reach. Since then, multiple surgery teams have been operating around the clock in shifts with compassion and skill. Overnight our Clinic became a hospital with patients also being transported from PAP. Those who lost loved ones and patients have been receiving pastoral care and follow-up. Drinkable water from our wells has been made available to points in PAP. Rice and beans, vegetables from our farm, and fish and eggs from two new projects are being delivered weekly to surrounding villages with organized committees charged with orderly distribution.

The crisis is far from over.  We continue to give priority to the services of medical personnel. Soon, we will be coordinating teams with skills in rebuilding damaged and destroyed areas. Our plan is to include the Haitian people in this process. We will provide the materials and training in proper construction skills. For now, however, we thank you for your generosity in meeting the overwhelming needs of this devastated nation and its people. “Sowing Seeds of Life” will continue to characterize our mission.