Haiti Update - November 2016
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Hurricane Update – It has been over a month since Hurricane Matthew battered the SW arm of Haiti. Media reports have quieted but the devastating effects have not! (See our October Update) Over 800,000 people in Haiti need food, shelter, and clean water. Almost 100,000 children are not in school. The fear of cholera spreading has caused the Haiti Ministry of Health to request the World Health Organization to mount a massive oral vaccination campaign to one million people! This is a country in desperate need!
Double Harvest & Aid Efforts – In our desire to assist in the relief effort, we have partnered with a trusted organization on the ground, Nehemiah Vision Ministries, led by Pastor Espérandieu Pierre. Food (rice, beans, spaghetti) and clothing have been donated, organized into food packets, and carried into a number of villages in the devastated areas. And, not without difficult and hazardous travel. Medicine has also been purchased and delivered to the Ministry of Health for distribution. One of our doctors at our Clinic travelled to the SW of the country to join other medical aid workers in treating the multiple injuries people received as a result of the hurricane. Despite the monumental need and the trickle of aid reaching the affected areas, it has been heartwarming to witness Haitians helping Haitians in their time of need. Rebuilding and re-development however will take years in this impoverished country. Your generous contributions to “Hurricane Relief” will continue to help meet the immediate needs caused by this tragedy.
Annual School Pictures & The Hurricane – During the hurricane a group of five of us were in Haiti at the Double Harvest mission. With our location east of Port-au-Prince, we were safe and no damage was sustained to our property; only strong winds and rain from the outer bands of the hurricane. The trip’s purpose was to take the annual pictures of our students for their Sponsors ($45/month/student) and print a copy for each student. With school cancelled country-wide, and what usually takes 6 days to complete, was accomplished in the last 3 days of the week, the storm having subsided! With cellphones buzzing and word of mouth throughout the surrounding villages, it was amazing how our School Director and teachers called in all but 8 of the 480 students!
A Special Blessing – At Double Harvest each work day morning begins with a devotional time with singing and short Bible lesson. On Saturday morning, our last day, the devotional time had ended (we thought), but one of our longtime Haitian leaders, in Creole, spoke to our employees, and before we knew it they had gathered around us, praying over us and thanking us that we had not “deserted” them during the hurricane. We were humbled as our plight paled in comparison to what even our workers and especially their countrymen had just experienced that week. We were (and are) grateful that we could be used by God in “Sowing Seeds of Life”!