April 2007 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Lately I have been reflecting on the life and work of our Haitian Director of SFM, Pastor Diogene Pierre and his wife Lionette.  It was in November of 1992 when I first met Pastor Diogene.  Ever since that meeting I have been in awe of his tenacious daily work for God’s kingdom.

We really appreciate Pastor Diogene and Lionette.  They are on the front lines of ministry in Haiti every day.  God is using them so effectively to reach into the lives of so many needy Haitian children and adults.  With the growth of this ministry, their daily responsibilities have multiplied many times over.

Recently Pastor Diogene has been elected the president of the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Haiti (UEBCH).  So now in addition to his responsibilities of the orphanage, our school ministry, feeding program, evangelistic crusades and church planting ministry, agriculture projects, construction projects and well drilling, Diogene leads another 200 churches in his new position.  I’m overwhelmed just writing all of that.  Although Diogene has a difficult time delegating responsibilities, he has been forced to do so and we are thankful for the men and women God has raised up in Haiti to come along side Diogene to lighten his load.  Please pray for Pastor Diogene and Lionette as they minister and raise up new leaders.

I talked to Pastor Diogene about a week ago.  He shared that he was just returning from Tricotte to Port-au-Prince with a heavy heart.  He had conducted a funeral in Tricotte for a young mother of three children.  This wife and mother in her late twenties, passed away eight days after she had given birth to her third child.  The nearest clinic to Tricotte is in Gros-Moines, about 45 minutes away by vehicle but over two hours away on foot.  Consequently, very few of the people in that area use the clinic and try to get by with home remedies.  In this young mother’s case, she gave birth at home with the help of a midwife and she never saw a doctor or nurse.  By the time her critical condition was discovered, it was too late.

This has stirred our hearts to move forward with a medical clinic in Tricotte.  Last year we purchased property in Tricotte for such a clinic.  We are now planning the building itself and hope to have the funds available this year to be able to begin construction.  Please pray with us as we go forward with this very important ministry need.

While in Tricotte, Pastor Diogene and Lionette had the opportunity to minister to a couple of the boys in our orphanage.  Fourteen year old Philippe and thirteen year old William were both showing some signs of demonic influence.  These boys came from non-Christian homes.  The parents were involved with the witchdoctor and voodoo. Pastor Diogene spent time with these boys and talked to them.  Phillippe gave his heart to Jesus Christ.  William was not yet ready although he is close to making that same commitment.   Please pray for these young boys – God is at work in their lives and He is mightier than the powers of the demonic.  He will win the battle.

Five of us leave for Haiti on April 9.  We will be staying in the Port-au-Prince area.  Glenn will be training the other three on the well drilling.  They hope to drill two more wells.  Thank you for your prayers for us as we travel and spend this time in Haiti.

Again we appreciate each of you – your prayer and financial support are making a significant difference in the lives of needy Haitians.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp