Haiti Update - June 2018
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Drought & Hurricanes – During the months of May and June, Haiti struggled with an eight week drought, affecting both large and home farming operations. The Double Harvest agricultural project was no exception. The government sorghum contract, mentioned in our May Update, came to nothing for lack of rain. Our well irrigation is limited to the smaller vegetable crops. Now it appears that, while rain is needed, it may come in the form of Hurricane Beryl (as I write)! The Caribbean Islands, especially Haiti, are ill-prepared for the devastation these storms leave in their path. Please pray for these people’s protection during this hurricane season.
Medical Teams – June also saw a number of mission teams serving at Double Harvest. A repeat surgery team from Miami Baptist Hospital used their skills to conduct around 80 procedures in their 3 day visit. Proximity to the island allows for the opportunity to serve during a long-weekend. Later, an Eye Surgery Team, including 4 university optometry students, did 54 cataract surgeries and 157 patient evaluations. We thank these professionals for offering their skills to improve and correct the health issues of the Haitian people.
Graduation – An estimated 600 friends and families were in attendance, including my wife and I, a board member and his wife, AND four great grandchildren of the founder of the mission – a long, hot & humid affair! This was a well-deserved celebration for 27 of our Grade 13 students, half of whom had attended the school for their entire education. Many of them, however, face a daunting 40% unemployment / under-employment rate. Contact us about our College Scholarship Program for the top students.
Vacation Bible School – Imagine organizing 300 children from neighboring villages into a relatively cohesive program of Bible lessons, crafts, games, and testimonials! We thank the 12 members (11 first-timers to Haiti) of a team from Landmark Baptist Church in KY for stepping out of their comfort zone to join our Haitian leaders, teachers, and translators on our school campus for this opportunity to impact the spiritual lives of these kids. The mission team took on the responsibility of the crafts, games and testimonies. The first day was a “little chaotic”, but each day was marked with improvement. Snack times and lunch each day served the physical needs of the kids, for some their only meal. Partnering together in ministry also resulted in many friendships being formed. We and the team were thrilled to hear that 21 children professed faith in Jesus. Our VBS staff will do their best to follow-up on these young believers to encourage them in their faith. This again was “Sowing Seeds of Life” in action – a “double harvest”!