Haiti Update - January 2018
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Agriculture & Health – Double Harvest's mission in Haiti centers around agricultural and related projects – 160 of its 200 acres – such as a grain & vegetable farm, trees for reforestation, a chicken/eggs project, and a fish project. From its inception over 30 years ago, however, a Medical Clinic was also established to care for the health needs of the people in the surrounding rural villages. This ministry has grown now to include exam rooms, a dental suite, an eye clinic, a pharmacy, and a surgery center with two operating rooms, a “lumps & bumps” room, and a 12 bed recovery area. The clinic is fully Haitian staffed with a full-time and two part-time doctors, a part-time dentist, nursing and administrative staff, and an eye care team. The surgery center has given opportunity for surgery teams from the U.S. to conduct procedures in which our Haitian staff is not trained, usually 6-8 teams each year.
Medical Mission Teams – Friends of Haiti, an organization based out of Green Bay, WI, fields two surgery teams a year to Double Harvest. During a week in November they completed 88 total cases. While hospitals in nearby Port-au-Prince are able to handle serious and life-threatening surgeries, we are grateful for the kinds of procedures our Clinic is capable of. Rural areas are practically devoid of adequate health services. Here is a short list of what this surgery team accomplished: 18 hernias, 24 hysterectomies, 3 foot masses, a prostatectomy, an umbilical hernia, and a breast adenoma. Patients are charged a fraction of what an urban hospital would, but receive world-class care. Their lives are changed, relieved of suffering they no doubt endured for years. We thank these skilled professionals for serving these disadvantaged but resilient people in this way!
Pastors Conference – Lives are being changed, as well – transformed spiritually – through the annual Pastors Conference hosted and sponsored by Double Harvest and the church meeting on our school campus. The week between Christmas and New Years saw 80 pastors/leaders, some of their wives, and 78 children and 25 youth in attendance. Again, a mission team with staff from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in KY and a Haitian pastor led the sessions. The pastors/leaders studied leadership characteristics of prominent Bible characters, including Jesus, while ladies on the team ministered to the wives of the pastors. The youth learned practical lessons from the book of Nehemiah and the children enjoyed Bible lessons and crafts; and even formed an impromptu choir. We thank the local church and its 37 volunteers who helped with food preparation, cleaning, transportation, ushering, translation, and financial reports. The shared impact of the conference will reverberate in the churches represented by these leaders. These are examples of the “double harvest” to which we are committed – serving people physically AND spiritually. This is “Sowing Seeds of Life”!
"And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Isaiah 58:10