I just returned from spending 4 weeks in Haiti. One afternoon I was trying to question one of the smaller boys in the orphanage about a “rock-throwing” incident. Because of the language barrier, he couldn’t understand me and I sure couldn’t understand him. Bruno, a 13 year old orphanage boy, came to my rescue. He said, “I interpret you”. Bruno proceeded to help us communicate and I got to the bottom of the issue.
University Christian Ministries team from Bellingham, WA taught English to the kids in the orphanage for three weeks and made the above exchange possible. We saw considerable growth in the English skills of our kids. Some of them are quite shy about using it, but others like Bruno are starting to interact with us in English consistently. We really appreciate this team taking a month of their summer to minister to our children in the orphanage. As the children continue to improve and become proficient in English, it will give them more and better opportunities for employment and ministry in the future.
The evangelistic crusade that was scheduled for the village of Nan-Paul while we were there was postponed until the week of August 4th. That opened up the door of opportunity for the California team to show the Creole version of the ‘Jesus Video’ in four different locations. It was shown the first night in the back yard of the orphanage. Our children had never seen anything like it and were “glued” to the screen for the entire two hours. The portrayal of Jesus crucifixion touched their hearts deeply and many of them had a difficult time watching the pain and suffering.
At the close of the video, Pastor Diogene’s wife, Leonette, gave a short challenge and extended an invitation to those who desired to follow Jesus. Sixty-six children jumped from their seats and went forward, 15 of them for salvation and the rest for the rededication of their lives to Christ. God used this tool to draw some more of His children to Himself at the orphanage and the next three nights in the Tricotte church, the Drigeon church and in the village of Nan-Paul. A huge “thank-you” goes to the team members from Susanville, California for their part in presenting this media. God used it so effectively to accomplish His purposes those four nights.
We took some new children into the orphanage during July. The need is so great that it is difficult to say “no” when we hear of needs. Patrick, age 5, came to the orphanage a couple of weeks ago. He lived with his grandparents in Tricotte but they had a difficult time taking care of him. His father lives in Port-au-Prince and his mother lives in Les Cayes. Neither of them has any way of supporting little Patrick so he has found a new home with 58 sisters and 52 brothers. That’s a full house and I’ve told Pastor Diogene and Leonette again, “This has got to be it.”
We certainly do appreciate your prayers and support. As we served in Haiti these last four weeks, it was evident that many of you were praying. God was at work in each area of ministry. He is so faithful! We had very little sickness among team members. For the most part, flight schedules were good. Although the roads were in rough shape, we negotiated them without much trouble. But most of all, God was at work in team members lives as well as in the lives of those whom they had opportunity to minister to. Your partnership in praying helps to make the difference.
We’ll share more next month about the expanding school ministry. Exciting things are happening there!
Until then, please keep praying for us and this ministry.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp