Haiti Update - July 2016

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Haiti in Crisis - How Double Harvest Is Helping

There are many hotspots around the world where political opportunism, poverty, crises, and war collide. While Haiti is not experiencing war, it continues in crisis mode. The failed elections of 2015, the lack of a mandate for the interim President, and the news that the U. S. and other countries will not help fund a second round of elections in 2016, have fueled the restlessness and anger of the people. Demonstrations and violence are on the increase. In addition, unpaid and grossly underpaid doctors at main state hospitals have been on strike for three months! In a country where healthcare is either too costly or unavailable, there are few choices for the poor when illness or accidents occur. It is the privately-run clinics, like the one at Double Harvest, which attempt to treat the overflow of patients.

Which brings me to ask: “How is your support at work in Haiti?” Here are some snapshots.

  • Health Care – Addressing the healthcare crisis, our Haitian medical staff’s daily care has been augmented by 5 medical teams in the past 3 ½ months. Two teams conducted over 80 eye surgeries. The results have been life-changing for those afflicted with partial blindness to now have functional vision, especially children who have a life of great vision ahead of them! Two surgery teams, from Manhattan, KS and Green Bay, WI, dramatically changed the health of over 140 patients, relieving them of years of suffering. The Bridge of Life Medical Team (DaVita Village Trust, Denver, CO), a group of 20 volunteers, teamed up with 4 Double Harvest doctors, and 14 local translators to conduct rural clinics. Over 1800 people in remote villages received primary care screening and services! One team member’s response: “I am forever honored and grateful. This is the best week of my life!” It brings to mind the biblical theme: “Blessed to be a blessing.” Yes, and the blessing also returns to you. (Click here to view their video report.)
    Eye Exam in Progress Testing Patient's Sight After Surgery
    Eye Exam in Progress Testing Patient's Sight After Surgery
  • VBS – In keeping with our mission to serve impoverished people both physically and spiritually, in June, Double Harvest helped sponsor two Vacation Bible Schools – elementary and high school kids. Our school campus saw 400 kids the 1st week and 300 the 2nd week, all from surrounding villages. Many of our teachers joined other church volunteers to lead 5 days of Bible lessons, games, crafts, and snacks. Many of the children and youth came into a new relationship with Jesus Christ!
    VBS - Bible Lesson Class VBS - Let's all Sing Together
    VBS - Bible Lesson Class VBS - Let's all Sing Together
  • Board Meetings – Also in June, our Board of Directors met in Haiti for their annual meeting. Progress against our mission purposes were reviewed – to establish agricultural and related projects to increase food production and build the local economy and, as followers of Jesus Christ, to serve people through spiritual and compassion ministries. Details regarding the farm, reforestation, chicken-egg, and fish projects were discussed. Meetings with our Project Director, School Director, and lead doctor took place, reviewing their leadership of our 200 employees and the impact the over-all project is making in this struggling and sometimes frustrating country. Concern and prayer was also expressed for our project in South Sudan, in the midst of civil war.
    Large Field Crop
    Large Field Crop
    Observing New Feed Grinder
    Large Field Crop and Employees Working Them Observing New Feed Grinder

Vernon Giesbrecht
N. A. Coordinator