April 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Glenn and I were back in Haiti for a couple of weeks in March.  Glenn took along a team from his church in Kelseyville, California.  The team consisted of his sister Katie, our granddaughter Kristyn, and three young men, Christopher, Patrick and Timothy.  The women focused on teaching English to our orphanage kids, and the men worked with Glenn on finish work at the medical clinic.  They all were very involved in sharing testimonies and lessons during the evening devotions at the orphanage.  I was encouraged as I listened to each team member share how God used this trip to affect his or her life.

Daniel and I met with our school administrators, Norius, Duvigno and St. Facile.  Along with an update on our Starfish Ministries’ schools they shared about another unreached village.  Norius was traveling through the area of Pommier on his motorcycle and saw dozens of children in the village and began to inquire about their welfare.  Norius found that there is no school or church in Pommier and the nearest school is about an hour walk.  Some of the older children may walk that distance to and from school but most of the children simply don’t go to school.

So our leadership team asked, “Are we ready to plant a new school next fall and start a ministry in Pommier?”  We concluded that we should look into that possibility.  I asked them about available land to purchase in Pommier and they assured me that would not be a problem.  I suggested that I go with them and look at potential land but they quickly said no.  As soon as a foreigner would show interest, the land price would double or triple.  That doesn’t work for me, so I’ll wait until they negotiate the price before showing my face in Pommier.

The next step is starting a Saturday club program.  Norius, Duvigno and St. Facile have volunteered to donate their Saturdays for the next few months to head up a children’s outreach to the village.  They will have a game and craft time, feed the children a hot meal and present the gospel each Saturday morning until summer.  Then they will add a couple of days a week and do a summer ministry in preparation for the start of the 2014-2015 school term.

We trust that God has led us to Pommier and that He is at work in lives in that village.  Soon after school starts Pastor Esau will begin planning an evangelistic crusade in the village in order to share the gospel with the parents as well.  And Pastor Esau will begin leading a new believers’ Bible Study in Pommier soon after the crusade.

We really appreciate our Haitian leadership team.  They have hearts for the lost and needy throughout the country and are sensitive to where God would have us minister.  Please pray with us as we begin this outreach into a new village.

A couple of years ago we shared about a blind beggar named Examen.  Daniel and Glenn had discovered him begging on the path in the village of Nan-Paul.  As a result of that God-ordained appointment, we began to support Examen.  With your help we were able to build him a small home on his cousin’s property and have been providing food for him each month.  So Examen’s begging days were over.

Many of our team members met Examen as we would go to visit him, sing with him and pray for him.  It was always a very touching experience.  I’ll not forget the time when Mike Lange knelt down by him, took Examen’s hands in his and Examen began to sing.  We didn’t understand the Creole words but they were words of genuine worship to his Saviour.  Examen’s past couple of years were full of a ministry of prayer.  He told Daniel that he couldn’t do much but he could pray and that he faithfully did.

Last Wednesday Examen went home to his heavenly mansion.  He had next to nothing in this life but now he has everything.  And he did enrich many of our lives the last year of so as he expressed his gratitude for the little that he now had.  I thank God for the opportunity to know Examen and look forward to the day when we will see him again with his new body and perfect eyesight.

Thank you for making stories like this possible.  Your support and prayers and partnership with us are truly appreciated.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp