June 2012 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

A HEALTH CRISIS“Call 911! Take him to emergency! This is a reminder: Your doctor’s appointment is scheduled for…! We have referred you to a specialist! Just take your prescription to the drug store!” These are all medical references we often take for granted when it comes to issues of our health. Sadly the health services available to us every day are few and far between or non-existent in developing countries. Add to this picture, deficient sanitation systems and poor nutrition and you have increased health problems alongside inadequate care facilities to meet the overwhelming needs, many of them treatable. This describes Haiti, close to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators and last in health care spending in the Western Hemisphere. A sad picture indeed!

MEETING THE NEED – While Double Harvest’s central mission is to develop agricultural projects in third world countries, we also desire to meet people’s physical needs through compassion ministries. Since 1987, we have offered medical services to the local area surrounding our 200 acre project. In 2004, a new Medical-Surgical Clinic became operational increasing the level of care to include surgeries and dental and eye care. Since then, 8-10 surgical teams visit each year to augment the daily care offered by our Haitian medical staff. In the past three months, we’ve hosted four such teams. Story after story could be told of how a routine operation has transformed the life of an individual suffering from a treatable condition. Of course, as is our practice, the physical care occurs in an atmosphere of spiritual care and concern. Daily devotional times with waiting patients, Christian DVDs playing on a flat screen, and individual prayer expresses our belief that human need goes much deeper than relieving physical suffering.

INCREASING OUR CARE – Over the past 14 months, an addition to the Clinic has been under construction. It is nearing completion with drywall, painting and flooring recently finished. With increased plumbing needs, a new septic system and leach field is also being installed. Soon more consultation and eye exam rooms, an X-ray room, a lab and more storage areas will enhance the medical care the Haitian people now receive. Beyond the normal expenses of the agricultural project and the school, the Clinic addition will represent increased costs to provide the care available. While patients are charged a reasonable amount (80% live in poverty), the services offered are still highly subsidized by generous donations from people like you. We thank you and encourage you to “spread the word”. A great way to do that is by giving them a copy of our recent full-color report/booklet: Haiti - Rebuilding After “1/10”. Pursuing Our Mission. We’d love to send you as many copies as you can use. Just contact us at our address or at info@doubleharvest.org.

Vernon Giesbrecht
N. A. Coordinator