Haiti Update - March 2014

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Medical teamsHealth Care Crisis – Medical care has served a major role in our ministry in Haiti since its inception over 30 years ago. At that time, establishing a productive agricultural project and addressing the healthcare crisis were priorities. Since then, education (later in this Update) and other compassion ministries were added. Deficient sanitation systems, poor nutrition, and grossly inadequate health services, especially in rural areas, have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators. To help meet this need, Double Harvest has employed trained medical personnel, constructed a modern medical-surgical clinic in 2004, and has hosted 8-10 surgical teams from the U.S. annually, each conducting procedures previously unavailable to the surrounding population

Medical Teams working togetherMedical Teams – In February, two such teams linked with our daily Haitian staff, who are not trained in surgical procedures. Blue Sky Surgical, a team from the Philadelphia area, made their first trip to Double Harvest. This 20 member team with surgeons, an anesthesiologist, CRNAs, PAs, OR RNs, PACU RNs, and logistics people conducted 64 surgeries. Half of the procedures were on children less than 8 years old. Hernias, hydroceles, circumcisions, lipomas, breast tumors, even a mastectomy were done. The patients were literally given a new lease on life, all the name of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We thank these health care professionals for giving of their time and skills to help turn the tide in this crisis!

Painting the school

Blessing the School – Our school with its 520 students was the focus of another team of 11 which my wife and I took to Haiti from our church at the beginning of March. (See the August, 2012 & July, 2013 Updates here on our website on Education in Haiti under “Haiti News Archives” – another crisis!) Four tired buildings were painted, the Administration Office and Staff Room were reorganized with new shelving and paint, ceiling fans were installed in the new Computer Lab, soccer balls were given away to excited students, donated clothing was sorted and distributed to needy local families, and food and clothing were brought to a newly organized orphanage. As much as these works of mercy will help the people of this struggling nation, the experience also changes the lives and hearts of participating team members.

Loving the kids

We thank you for your support of this ministry serving the desperate needs of developing countries like Haiti and South Sudan. By employing a “Business as Mission” model and addressing the medical, educational and humanitarian needs of these people, all infused with a strong spiritual emphasis, you are assisting us in fulfilling our mission of “Sowing Seeds of Life”!

Vernon Giesbrecht
N. A. Coordinator