Haiti Update - March 2018
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Why “Double Harvest”? – Our name reflects our dual mission: to serve impoverished people physically and spiritually, pursuing a “harvest” in both areas. We do this by establishing and resourcing agricultural and related projects, by supporting compassion ministries like education, medical services, and clean water needs. And, infused in our objectives is the Biblical message of the gospel, a renewed and vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ as the foundation for life and hope. Poverty is a vicious cycle with many causes; spiritual poverty has alarming consequences in the present and the future. Here are brief reports from two of the countries we serve.
South Sudan – In October, 2017, three men (one board member) were finally able to travel safely to this country ravaged by civil/tribal warring factions. Severe inflation and a gas shortage saw miles of parked vehicles waiting for the next fuel delivery. The Double Harvest Farm outside of Juba, with buildings intact, a sense of orderliness, fields of growing vegetables, and the White Nile as a back drop, provided a sharp contrast to the chaos and strife of the country. We are grateful to our local team who have continued to faithfully work and administer the project! A few farm vehicles needed repair, however, with its locations next to the produce market, a decision was made to increase production and cultivate more land. Also, we thank the Lord that the contentious lease agreement with the neighboring village was finally resolved with concessions made on both sides. We trust that now nutritious and reasonably priced vegetables will continue to be available to the people in this struggling and impoverished country.
Haiti – Besides the ongoing production on the Farm, Chicken and Fish projects, patient care and surgeries (U.S. teams) at our Medical Clinic, and the continuing education of 490 sponsored students at our School, two significant community outreaches of Operation Double Harvest deserve noting. You have played an important role through your gifts to help us help the Haitian people!
- In January, a Medical Team from TN conducted Mobile Medical Clinics in five nearby villages, one of three such teams planned this year. Treating up to 250 people each day, they were met with fevers, skin issues, chronic wounds and signs of malnutrition. Appropriate medications and vitamins with translated directions were given to each patient. One nurse was humbled when the team asked if they could pray with each patient – often they’d smile and drop to their knees. Quality health care in rural areas is practically non-existent.
- In March, we partnered with Midwest Food Bank (MFB), which shipped a 40’ container with 20 pallets of Tender Mercies pre-packaged, dry, and fortified food packets – 59,400 packets, each serving 4 people a nutritious meal of rice, beans, vegetables, chicken seasoning and vitamins. A potential 240,000 meals!! Young children in nearby Starter Schools, with graduates of our school as teachers, have already benefited with what probably is their one nutritious meal of the day. We thank MFB for their partnership!