Haiti Update - November 2014
by Vernon Giesbrecht
"You had to have been there!" - You’ve heard the phrase before. Any person who has been to Haiti has probably used it in struggling to convey their experience. The 90 minute flight from Miami transports you to a desperately poor developing country (poorest in the Western Hemisphere) with the typical sights and smells: the dirt and garbage in the streets, the endless dilapidated storefronts, the crowds of people and traffic, and periodic evidence of the January, 2012 earthquake. Your senses are bombarded if it’s your first time. Yes, there are a few locations where the developed world is evident, primarily in larger cities and the occasional village home usually funded by relatives in the U.S. But the outward poverty points to an inner dysfunctional economy, infrastructure and government. Employment, health care, and education have struggled for decades. It is in this world that Double Harvest seeks to make an impact, both physically and spiritually. Here are brief updates on two of our ministries in Haiti which your contributions make possible.
Clinic – At 6:40am each work day, a 20 minute devotional time is organized for the farm workers and waiting patients. October saw two surgery teams from Miami, FL and Manhattan, KS perform over 170 procedures in 10 days, some minor, others relatively major: from ENT (like goiter removal) to hysterectomies to hernias, to repairing childhood defects. As I write, another surgery team is on site at the beginning of November. These teams augment the healthcare our Haitian medical staff offers to 70-80 patients each work day. Also, our partner eye care ministry, Living in Faith, continues to conduct eye exams for prescription glasses and to prepare for cataract surgeries in December. The joyful responses to renewed health and new eyesight from patients and loved ones alike is reward enough!
School – If you are a Sponsor of one or more of our 530 students at our school (Pre-School – Grade 13), you will soon be receiving their annual picture(s). My wife and I along with a photographer worked with 5 Haitian helpers for 4 days in October to photograph each student and class, take their weight, and height, and ensure that correct names and birthdates were recorded. Not only are the students thriving physically but also educationally. This past year brought recognition from the Ministry of Education that we have one of the top schools with 100% of the students passing in key grades! Sponsorship – Presently there are around 50 students needing Sponsors. A monthly commitment of $45 will give children and youth from 30 villages in our area the opportunity for a strong Christian education, a nutritious noon meal each school day, and access to health care at our Clinic. If you, your family or friends are interested in giving hope to these children and youth, we’ll send you a brochure outlining the program. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Contact Us page. In this way, they/you will join us in “Sowing Seeds of Life” in this desperately needy country!