November 2010 Newsletter
by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht
Dear friend of Double Harvest:
“It’s such a God thing!” Maybe you’ve heard or even used this expression. We most often use it when something good happens. Of course, God does bless us and others in many ways. But, is God at work only when life is good? Isn’t He also there when things are bad? His Word unequivocally promises His presence in all circumstances. We can all look back and see that our faith grew when it was most tested. We may not be able to explain or fully understand suffering in this world, but the promise of God’s presence, strength and sovereign control is our sure foundation and only hope.
Hope is alive in Haiti. In fact, for many, it is their only recourse. Still recovering from the devastating earthquake in January, the country is now reeling from a cholera epidemic which has sickened 4,764 and killed 337 as of October 30th. And, as I write this early in November, the Tropical Storm Tomas threatens to strengthen to a Level One Hurricane with Haiti directly in its path. With over a thousand tent cities still in the Port-au-Prince area, concern is high not only for these people’s safety but also about the danger of the cholera spreading. The disease is typically a water-transfer disease. With such a concentration of people, a great strain is put on clean water supplies, sanitation and shelter, all critical to the prevention of the disease. One wonders how much more the country can take. In the midst of such daunting circumstances and challenges, prayer and hope are the only ultimate answers.
Being the hands and feet of Jesus, Double Harvest is attempting to offer hope to the people in its immediate community. Precautions are being taken. The students at our school have been instructed about preventive measures to avoid contamination, and told to pass on the information to their families. At our Clinic, similar measures have been taken and we have stocked-up on IV solutions. We supply drinkable water from our wells to a number of villages nearby. Where unavailable, instructions on boiling water or treating with aqua tabs have been given out. Our Rebuilding Project continues at a good pace, providing well-built homes to replace those destroyed by the earthquake. In all this uncertainty and suffering, spiritual care is offered and spiritual renewal is evident. Devotions for our farm workers and Clinic patients occur daily; seminars for pastors on helping traumatized people have been hosted; hundreds of people have embraced new faith in Jesus Christ through church outreaches. Yes, hope is alive even here. And that, surely, is a God thing!