Haiti Update - December 2018
by Vernon Giesbrecht
CHANGES AT DOUBLE HARVEST– As we notified you in our November 2018 Update, changes have been occurring in the Double Harvest U.S. office. My wife and I are retiring and stepping down from our responsibilities with the mission. The transition to new leadership has been taking place in December and continues into January 2019. As a supporter of the ministry, you will have received a communication from the Double Harvest Board of Directors announcing this change, and introducing the couple who will be assuming the responsibilities of the U.S. office in the New Year. Rev. Chris and Carol Hinckley live in NE Ohio and come with excellent qualifications and a heart for the ministry of Double Harvest. Soon you will be seeing their names associated with the organization. For now, however, we wanted you to be informed of this change. Your prayers are welcomed as we make this transition! Now on to some Christmas and New Years reflections as it relates to the mission of Double Harvest.
Christmas & New Starts– While the celebrations of Christmas are only weeks in the past, the similarities between the world into which Jesus was born and developing countries like Haiti and South Sudan are striking. Israel was a backwater province of the Roman empire, its rule sometimes harsh. Transportation was by walking or donkey, often taking days. Medical care was lacking; life expectancy was short. Living conditions were primitive; Jesus was born in a stable. Corruption was rampant; the people languished in poverty. Local rulers protected their position and power; as a baby, Jesus became a refugee in Egypt, fleeing the cruel jealousy of King Herod. Yet it was into this world – our world – that Jesus, an unpretentious baby, came as “Immanuel”: God with us! In the words of one Bible scholar: “God came down the backstairs of heaven at Bethlehem lest He blind us by excess of light!” His purpose? To offer the final and only hope of a restored relationship between God and His creation through Jesus’ later sacrificial death and resurrection. The baby we celebrate (should celebrate) at Christmas was indeed the greatest gift of God’s grace to all who will receive Him as Savior from their sins. God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. His offer of forgiveness and eternal life promises a new start on a journey of freedom and purpose together with Jesus and the community of faith.
This is at the heart of the dual mission of Double Harvest. (Please see our mission statement on our website). Jesus came to heal not only broken lives, but also to heal broken and rebellious hearts. Jesus’ miracles, His clear teaching of God’s message, and His sacrificial death and resurrection are wonderful testimony to God’s solution to this hopelessness – Good News indeed! Now, He calls usto both compassion andgospel ministry. At this time, we thank you for your trust and partnership in Sowing Seeds of Life in impoverished countries in which we serve. And, we wish you and your family a Happy New Year!