April 2010 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We recently published accounts of the January earthquake in Haiti by two young men who have been friends and partners with Starfish Ministries for many years.  Daniel teaches in an English-speaking elementary school in Port-au-Prince.  Mickenson is in his second year of seminary, also in Port-au-Prince.

The striking thing about their reactions to this tragedy is their trust in the Lord and complete surrender to His will.  Daniel lost his fiancé in the earthquake and mere weeks later wrote, “God has given us the strength to accept His will.  He’s wiped all our tears, and we are doing His work with gladness.  Now, we are living proof that His mercies and His faithfulness never fail.  May His name be glorified in our lives!”

Mickenson wrote that in the midst of the earthquake, while the ground was still shaking and terror gripped most of the city, he prayed, “Lord, your will be done.”  He continued, “I could feel I was ready for whatever God wanted to do with me.”

Likewise, Pastor Diogene thought nothing of his own difficulties and loss but responded, “If only one is eternally saved, it is worth everything. . . . We will not let this opportunity pass.”

A friend once posed this question to me: What is the mark of a mature Christian?

“Love?” I suggested.  But love, according to the Apostle John, is the mark of every true believer.  “Righteousness?  Joy?  Contentedness?”

“It’s trust,” he said, “trust that comes from committing yourself to the Father’s charge and seeing Him deliver again and again to the point where, no matter the circumstance, you never question His goodness and His faithfulness.”

If my friend is right – and I tend to think he is – then these Haitian believers are some of the most mature Christians I’ve met, for they trust God in a way that we don’t often see in America.  And He rewards them in ways we don’t understand.

I am as convinced as ever that we are called to minister to these Christian brothers and sisters and their countrymen.  God continues to provide resources, both physical and spiritual, to use to meet a wide variety of needs in Haiti, and with your help we will continue to obey that call.

But I am seeing more and more the ministry that our Haitian partners have to us, particularly through the things they teach us as they model a life fully dependent on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you for the role you play in making this ministry possible.  God is using you as He continues to glorify Himself through the work He is doing in Haiti.

Serving our Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp