Haiti Update - January 2014
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Restating Our Mission – While in church ministry, we were counseled to verbally state the mission of the church at least every three weeks. This is also good advice for any organization, whether non-profit or for-profit. It not only keeps the leaders focused on primary objectives but also informs the public, whether a donor, investor or employee. At the beginning of this New Year, then, here is why we exist – “Double Harvest’s mission is 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. Being followers of Jesus Christ, we are guided by His example and the principles outlined in the Bible, and therefore support and implement ministries that reflect our deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of people. Our objective is a “double harvest”!”
Implemented In Haiti – On our 200 acre project, these dual purposes are fleshed out in the farm and greenhouses, the Tilapia and Chicken-Egg projects, the water project, the Medical-Surgical Clinic, the school, and the local clothing and distribution program. Two examples – While the farm, fish, and chicken projects were in production, in December a ENT surgical team from KS conducted 60 procedures on suffering patients, and we hosted an annual Pastors’ Conference for 150 church leaders during the week after Christmas. People’s physical and spiritual needs were addressed. “Sowing Seeds of Life” took place!
Urgent Prayer For South Sudan – After decades of civil war between north and south, in January, 2011, South Sudan declared its independence. Tensions and military clashes still occur along the border and Sudan (north) has been pressuring Christians in heartless ways to leave the country as it moves toward becoming an Islamic state under Sharia law. Now, South Sudan itself is in a state of civil conflict along tribal, political and economic lines! Terrible atrocities have occurred with people fleeing to safer locations, neighboring countries, or UN compounds. We have worried about the safety of our four national partners in charge of the 250 acre Double Harvest Farm just east of Juba, the capital city. They have sent their families to safer areas but have courageously remained at the farm with the possibility of losing it if abandoned. They continue to irrigate, plant and harvest but most markets are closed (to which produce is sold) due to the danger. So, we are giving the produce to the local UN compounds to which thousands of refugees have fled. Please join us in prayer that the civil war and unrest will give way to peace and stability, so the work of developing a sustainable, profitable vegetable farm can continue. Our mission is to provide affordable, quality produce for the people of South Sudan to offset the grossly inflated imports from Kenya and Uganda. Thank you for standing with us in this tense situation!
N. A. Coordinator