Haiti Update - September 2016
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Dear friend of Double Harvest,
“You had to have been there!” You’ve heard the phrase before. Anyone 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 even now, periodic evidence of the January, 2010 devastating 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, often 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. Please pray for peace and calm as the country is also entering another election season after the failed elections of 2015. With corruption rampant and little change in their economic circumstances, Haitians are frustrated and angry. 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 your contributions make possible.
Hurricane Watch!! – As I write this, we are In Haiti which is in the path of Hurricane Matthew. We feel with our location (just east of Port-au-Prince) and structures, we’ll be safe but may experience strong winds and rain. The southern part of Haiti will take the brunt of the storm. With inadequate housing codes, deforested hillsides and the danger of mudslides, and poor infrastructure, there could be significant damage and loss of life. Please pray for this country (and other countries in the path of the hurricane) which has experienced nature’s devastation so many times.
Agriculture Projects – Central to the Double Harvest mission is the establishment of agricultural and related projects. On our 200 acres in Haiti, 160 acres are dedicated to commercial-type farm, vegetable, reforestation, greenhouse, chicken/egg, and fish programs. Through initial investment and ongoing donations, these projects (along with our school and medical clinic) give us the opportunity to provide employment to around 200 people. The product and produce they provide is impacting the local economy, and internally supplying feed for the chicken and fish projects, as well as food and water for our employees and students.
School – If you are a Sponsor of one or more of our 500 students at our school in Haiti (Pre-School – Grade 13), in about a month you will be receiving an annual picture. During the first week of October, my wife and I along with a photographer couple will work with a team of Haitian helpers to photograph each student and class, take their weight and height, and ensure that correct names and birthdates are recorded. Each year we note that the students are thriving physically and educationally. The Ministry of Education has recognized ours as one of the top schools with a high percentage of students passing in key grades, a compliment to our dedicated Haitian staff! Sponsorship – A monthly commitment of $45 gives 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 kids, we’ll send you a brochure outlining the program. Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the address below. In this way, you/they will join us in “Sowing Seeds of Life” in this desperately needy country!