Haiti Update - December 2015-January 2016
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Significant Months - Looking Back...Looking Ahead
December – By now the celebrations of Christmas and New Years have begun to fade into the past. Despite the distractions of holiday shopping and gift giving, most Christians celebrated the greatest Gift, the advent of God into human history in the birth of Jesus Christ. Emmanuel – “God With Us” – was born to live a perfect life, die a sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins, rise again to conquer the power of sin and death, and give us the hope of eternal life with Him. This good news lies at the heart of the mission of Double Harvest – to proclaim the gospel of Christ and to demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ in developing countries. Even the beginning of Jesus’ life was marked by an identification with destitute and oppressed people – His birth in an animal stable, the first to hear and respond to the angelic news were poor shepherds, His flight into Egypt as a refugee to escape the death threats of King Herod, and growing up as a carpenter’s son in the backwater province of Galilee. We trust your celebrations reflected this amazing event!
January – As we look forward to this New Year, 2016, it offers both recurring commitments and new challenges. Our mission has not changed. We seek to “establish and develop agricultural projects in developing countries by providing capital resources and implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy.” This is “Business as Mission”. In Haiti and South Sudan, commercial farms are growing first-grade produce for local markets. Related enterprises in Haiti include Reforestation, Fish and Chicken/Egg projects, all providing employment in a country where combined unemployment and underemployment is at 70%!! From our deep wells at our project in Haiti we also provide clean drinking water to five surrounding villages, as well as construct a few homes for very needy families (a major project after the 2010 earthquake). Educational and medical ministries also reflect the compassion of Christ. Our Christian school with 500 students (sponsored at $45/month) ranks in the top 95% of passing grades and graduates in the country. At our medical-surgical clinic, our Haitian staff treats around 100 patients each day for tropical diseases and ailments as well as providing eye and dental care. Each year, 6-8 visiting surgery teams from the U.S. perform operations in a country close to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators and last in health care spending in the Western Hemisphere.
Opportunities to Care – While our commercial projects have a goal to become self-sustaining, the combined ministries offer a strategic opportunity to invest in their further development through generous contributions. It takes a team. We thank you who give regularly! Would your network of friends and relatives also desire to change impoverished people’s lives? We need your help.