I spent a week in Haiti the middle of July. It was a full week of meetings with many of our Haitian leadership team. It was a time of getting better acquainted with our new Haitian Starfish Ministries Director, Daniel Thelusmond. It was a time of sharing about the future with many of our older orphanage children. It was a time of praying and sharing with Daniel much of our vision for God’s work in Haiti. It was a good time! I came home refreshed and excited about how God has raised up Daniel for this time: to lead Starfish Ministries in Haiti as God continues to direct our path.
Doug Jarvie from Canada arrived in Haiti two days after I left. He again had a great time of getting to know Daniel better. He wrote in an email while in Haiti:
I had a great meeting with Daniel yesterday morning. We spent four hours together, talking through events of the past and what lies ahead. I had the opportunity to share where my heart lies in this ministry. Daniel then took the opportunity to talk about his life and what has brought him to where he is today. His life has not been easy, but he acknowledges the help he has been given. He went on to say how important it is to use that help as a boost up, but the recipient must then take the next step themselves or they become dependant on the aid forever. His example was like a ladder he was given to get to the next level. If you are still on the ladder when it is taken away, you fall to where you started, but if you use the ladder to reach the next level and take the step to get off the ladder, the ladder can then be given to someone else needing help.
Daniel has good skills and a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve as a ministry. He is responsible and accountable. I appreciate his heart for ministry and the dreams he has to reach the lost. God will use him in great ways.
After speaking first-hand with Daniel, I share Bernie’s excitement for what lies ahead.
And in another email Doug shared:
Daniel has shared much about his life with me. He wants to be sure I understand who he is and why he does what he does. He is a good man. I can’t express how excited I am about the future of Starfish Ministries in Haiti with Daniel as director. I am so pleased that we had this time to spend together and discover more about each other, which will allow us to build a strong and trusting relationship as we work together in the years ahead.
We thank God for Daniel and the gifts that God has given him for ministering. Daniel recognizes that these are gifts from God and is anxious to use them for God’s Kingdom. Please pray for Daniel as he takes over the responsibilities of leading Starfish Ministries in Haiti.
It was late in the afternoon one day in Tricotte. Daniel and I had met with several people throughout the day and I was tired. The coolest place to rest on this hot, humid day was out on the porch of the house. I sat down and nodded off and was sleeping within minutes. But not for long as someone began knocking on the gate. I decided to ignore it and hoped it would go away. It did but instead a sweet voice called out, “Daddy . . . Daddy?” and that I couldn’t resist. I opened the gate and invited Shelove to come in. Shelove is one of our older orphanage girls and wanted to spend some time with Daddy. I love spending time with these precious kids. And how much more our loving, heavenly Father loves spending time with us! He never gets tired or falls asleep and always responds to our cry of “Daddy.” What a privilege it is to go to Him and spend time!
Thank you so much for spending time with the Father and praying for us. Thank you also for your financial support. God is using both your prayers and support to accomplish much in Haiti.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp