Haiti Update - December 2017
by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht
Mission Team From TN – In October, this 15 member church mission team raised the funds to not only pay for their trip, but also fund the purchase of wood and materials to construct 110 school desks and 97 church benches/pews. While the Double Harvest School is relatively well-equipped, schools in the surrounding villages possess only the barest of essentials to facilitate learning. The desks were joyfully received as were the pews for churches in the area! In Haiti, rural churches rarely have the means to support the pastor (he usually needs a second job) let alone to fund upgrades to their buildings. The church team’s pastor, also on the trip, had the opportunity to preach at a worship service as well as teach a class at the Bible Institute that meets on our school campus
Medical Mission Teams – In recent months we’ve also welcomed two surgery teams and an eye surgery team to our Clinic. As we’ve reported before, these medical professionals perform procedures and surgeries in which our Haitian medical staff is not trained. Patients visiting the clinic and found needing additional care are placed on a list to match the skills of the surgeons on a medical team. Typically, 60-80 procedures are conducted during a 5-6 day period and include severe wound care to removal of goiters and hysterectomies. An Eye Surgery Team also performs the same number of cataract removals on pre-screened patients. The tropical sun and lack of protection are the cause of a number of eye maladies. The joy on patients’ faces, some who have suffered for years or can now see again, is worth the effort and expense. These dear people will be able to return to work, support their families, read and write again, relieve care-givers – their health has returned, their lives dramatically changed! Medical ministry has been an integral part of the mission of Double Harvest from its inception. It reflects the compassion of Jesus in a country so deprived of adequate medical services.
At This Christmas Time, it is helpful to remember that Jesus was born into a world not unlike a country like Haiti or South Sudan. Israel was a backwater province of the Roman empire – its rule sometimes harsh; transportation was by walking or donkey – travel took hours if not days; medical care was lacking – life expectancy was short; living conditions were primitive – Jesus was born in a stable; local rulers protected their position and power – as a baby, Jesus became a refugee in Egypt, fleeing the jealous cruelty of King Herod. Yet it was into this world – our world – that Jesus came as “Immanuel”: God with us! His purpose? To offer the final and only hope of a restored relationship between God and His creation through His later sacrificial death and resurrection. The baby we celebrate (should celebrate) at this time of year was indeed the greatest gift of God’s grace to all who will receive Him.
With these thoughts, we thank you for YOUR partnership through this past year and wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!