July/August 2011 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Sowing Seeds of Life. This phrase or tagline always appears with the name of our organization. It was chosen because it reflects so well on the dual purpose of Double Harvest. We desire to minister to both the physical and spiritual needs of people in developing countries. The platform on which this is accomplished is primarily by establishing and resourcing agricultural projects while implementing best practices to increase food production and to build the local economy. In that sense, we are Sowing Seeds of Life into the lifeblood of a country. This is occurring through our major projects in Haiti, Ethiopia, Ghana, and just beginning, in Sudan.

For us, this “Business as Mission” model includes another critical element. Being followers of Jesus Christ, we also recognize our responsibility regarding the desperate needs of the poor in these countries. And so, we help to support schools, medical clinics, housing projects and water projects. However, at the core of these humanitarian efforts is a foundational belief that people’s spiritual lives are in need of transformation. This can only be accomplished through a restored relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. A vital ministry, then, of Double Harvest is to see that this message – the gospel – is clearly presented in every project we undertake and support. We believe we are Sowing Seeds of (Eternal) Life in individuals’ hearts to transform their fears, guilt, morals and ethics, and to give them purpose, hope, peace and joy for this life and the next.

In Haiti, with its dismal statistics on every level and its struggle to recover from the 2010 earthquake, this dual ministry is desperately needed. On our 200 acres, the farm continues to produce corn, sorghum, beans, vegetables and reforestation trees while employing hundreds of workers. The Tilapia Fish and Chicken-Egg Projects continue to provide these nutritious food items to local vendors. At our Medical-Surgical Clinic, in addition to daily care of the local population, the last two months have seen three surgery teams from the U.S. conduct numerous procedures. Every morning, however, a devotional time is scheduled for the farm workers and, later, for the waiting patients. Our school, now in summer recess, also offers a Bible curriculum to our 500 students. Recently a church youth team from California joined the church meeting on our property to conduct Vacation Bible School for 400 children, 100 of whom expressed their faith in Christ. The 40 students studying at the Bible Seminary meeting in our facilities have just completed this semester’s exams and will be active in their churches. For us, this is Sowing Seeds of Life with a potential of a Double Harvest.

Vernon Giesbrecht
N.A. Coordinator