Haiti Update - September 2015
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Haiti Needs Our Prayers! – It always needs our prayers! Multiple visits to the country tend to “vaccinate” one to the poverty and the dysfunction simmering under the surface. The words of a well-travelled mission leader sharpens the focus on the situation: “Of all the places I have ever been, I’ve never seen greater suffering than in a country only 90 minutes from Miami. Haiti is a place where the average person is poorer and more vulnerable to disease and crime than any place in our hemisphere.” In spite of these challenges, we along with this and other Christian organizations count it a privilege to come alongside peaceful, resilient, and hopeful Haitians to offer holistic ministry, presenting the Christian message together with works of development, compassion and education.
Your Gifts & Prayers At Work – You can read about how our mission is fleshed out in previous Updates here. Through your generous contributions these ministries are made possible: agricultural, fish, chicken and reforestation projects employing best practices; a clinic providing first-class medical care to the surrounding community together with surgeries conducted by visiting teams; a school offering a high level of education to sponsored students Pre-school – Grade 13 (Thank you, sponsors!), and now a College Scholarship Fund for top graduates; clean water provided to nearby villages, thus decreasing water-borne diseases; food and clothing distributions to needy people through local churches; partnering with and sponsoring church related programs.
Reaching Out – It has also been our privilege to partner with other organizations to reach out beyond our 200 acres to neglected mountain villages. A repeat mission team from TN formed their own non-profit mission to use their skills to build an orphanage in one of these villages. Using Double Harvest as a base, last year the “A Greater Tomorrow” team constructed a framed system and roof on an existing block structure. But there were greater needs for the care of the 30 orphaned children. In August, they constructed a dormitory, and supplied bunk beds, mattresses and bedding. Wiring and lights are now powered by solar panels, and a 200 gallon tank collects rain water. Rice, beans and spiritual food were also provided during a three day Vacation Bible School in cooperation with the small church. As the team reported, it was not the new soccer balls that were the most prized gift – it was the 100 Bibles that were distributed!
Our Response – With most people who venture to Haiti, a mix of emotions accompany them on their return to America or Canada: guilt, frustration, humility, anger, urgency. The need is so great – better facilities, available medical care, training to help Haitians fend for themselves and, above all, the need for a deeper understanding of the Gospel, the foundation for hope in this desperate country. Thank you, once again for your compassion and generosity in your support of this ministry!