Haiti Update - November 2013

by Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Destruction in villagesThe Philippines – Our hearts and our prayers (and hopefully our financial and practical aid) go out to the people of the Philippines this month, as they recover from the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Reported to probably be the largest and most severe storm on record, the recovery will no doubt be agonizingly slow in much of this developing country, dotted with thousands of islands. Not to take away from the unbelievable destruction and personal suffering and loss in the Philippines, it reminds us of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, January 12, 2010. Although not a relief/ aid organization, Double Harvest obviously felt compelled to offer the resources we were blessed with on the ground – our Medical-Surgical Clinic, drinkable water from our wells, food from our farm, fish and chicken projects, as well as purchased rice and beans, and the construction of new homes for families who lost theirs. We were grateful for the outpouring of support allowing us to come to the aid of the Haitian people in their time of immediate and urgent need.

Rebuilding new homeHaiti Today – Looking back almost four years, we have seen life return to normal – defined by Haiti standards. In general, the landscape looks much like it did prior to the earthquake in this poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Here and there, however, are buildings that may never be rebuilt. The government and media capitalize on a number of new investment projects – a few hotels in Port-au-Prince and some small factories. Tent cities have diminished, but temporary housing for the displaced has become permanent for many, their flimsy construction easy prey for the next hurricane. Recent protests accompanied by voodoo ceremonies have turned violent as people vent their frustrations with a government they say isn’t doing enough to improve living conditions. As we have long believed, the country is in need of not only economic renewal but also spiritual transformation!

Clinic waiting areaDouble Harvest's Impact –We are privileged to be one of the “points of light” scattered throughout Haiti. Our Clinic serves daily health needs, with 8-10 U.S. surgery teams a year augmenting its care. Clean water from our wells is pumped to five nearby villages, reducing by half the intestinal related illnesses reported by our Clinic. Our school provides an excellent education for over 500 students, enhanced now by a recently installed Computer Lab. Food and clothing are regularly distributed to poor villagers in the area. Our Rebuilding Project is complete (160 homes), targeting now only a couple of homes a month. Foundational to these compassion ministries are the development/ business projects – the farm, and the fish and chicken projects – central to our mission. Infused into these efforts is spiritual ministry with devotional times for both farm workers and clinic patients. Bible classes and a weekly chapel are required curriculum at our school. Thank you for partnering with us as we look to accomplish what our name and motto represent!

Village Water Tanks

Vernon Giesbrecht
N. A. Coordinator