April 2006 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Having not been to Haiti since last November, Glenn, Doug and I were anxious to get past the pot holes and rough roads to our final destination, Tricotte.  We knew the orphan kids would be eagerly waiting to greet us.  Many of them now speak a little English which makes it even sweeter.  That reunion is something I dearly look forward to each trip to Haiti.

Last November, coming home from Haiti, I met a man, Joel, in the Ft Lauderdale airport while we both waited for our luggage.  I call it a divine appointment.  Joel is a white American who has worked in Haiti for over 31 years, the last 20 as an evangelist.  Joel supports himself by doing High Speed Internet hook ups with satellite dishes and many other computer services.  His 2 sons actually run the business.  They are a large company, also serving the US Embassy and the UN.

As a result of that encounter, we hired his crew to set up internet access and e -mail for us in Tricotte.  This will greatly enhance our ability to communicate with Pastor Diogene, transfer financial information, and stay abreast of building projects.

Joel not only funds his evangelistic ministry by this work but last year God led him to start producing a half hour weekly TV documentary to be done in Creole and shown on public TV throughout Haiti and also in the Creole speaking areas of the US.  It’s called “The Good News.”  And that’s exactly what it is.  GOOD NEWS.   While most news of Haiti is about unrest, poverty, corruption, killings, and kidnappings this news program is about the positive stuff. 

Joel’s primary purpose is to share the gospel.  Now that’s good news! He also shares about ministries making a positive difference in the country of Haiti.  As he helped his crew put up our satellite system he saw God at work in many people’s lives in the Tricotte area.  He filmed the one acre fenced in garden spot bordering the stream where our agricultural director has been harvesting his first crop of tomatoes, cabbage and peppers for the orphanage kids to eat and also some to be sold at the market.  He also filmed the newly planted mango and papaya trees and the spices. He interviewed Nodi and Darlene from the orphanage and Pastor Diogene.

We took the crew to the village of Ravine where they filmed classroom teaching, children eating their noon meal, clean water being pumped from a well, and the beautiful sight of kids laughing at play.  Joel said he would show the segment in June and send me a copy.

This trip I brought good news for one of our older orphanage boys, Eder.  My niece, Sandi and her husband Bryan Cobb, first went to Haiti when we were just beginning Starfish Ministries.  They chose Eder as the child they would like to sponsor.  Bryan and Sandi have returned to Haiti to visit Eder and have kept in touch with him.  Recently they had their first baby and had sent with me photos for Eder.  Eder had been praying with Sandi and Bryan for a child for many years.  As Eder looked at the first photo, he said, “This, my new brother?”  Then as he looked at the next photo, “I am very, very happy.”  I could see the tears welling up in his eyes.  As he gazed at the next photo, “my mommy Sandi is beautiful,” and “my father Bryan is so happy.”

Eder kept looking at the photos over and over.  He continued to laugh and cry with excitement.  He then read aloud to me the note Bryan and Sandi had sent.  He wanted to be sure he understood each word.  How he enjoyed hearing about their new little son.  He then said, “I will always pray for my new brother.”

Thank you for your part in allowing us to bring the “Good News” to Haiti and being a positive influence there.  Your prayers and support are making a difference in the lives of many.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp