August 2005 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

“Great!” was the response from Pastor Diogene when I asked him how things were going in the village of Bethel. “The people there are so hungry for the Word of God and are really growing in their faith in Jesus.” He went on to say that they are very anxious to get a church started. “Every time I’m there people ask when they will be able to have a church building.”

Pastor Diogene has been sharing from the Bible each Tuesday afternoon in Bethel, but as yet there has been no service on Sunday. Last Tuesday afternoon’s Bible study (July 26) had 40 adults and almost 50 children in attendance. When Pastor Diogene shared about the “saving blood of Jesus Christ, shed for lost sinners,” one young man with a voodoo background fell down and passed out. When he came back to consciousness, Pastor shared with him and he prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. Another sinner saved by the precious blood of Jesus!

I was so excited when I got the good news that a 24’ X 50’ portable fabric shelter had been donated to Starfish Ministries to be used as a portable church in Bethel. I quickly phoned Pastor Diogene to tell him about the portable church building but also that we had a team ready to go to Haiti in August to assemble it. I thought I could hear Diogene doing cartwheels over the telephone. He was truly praising our Faithful Provider for this gift.

There are 4 couples in Bethel who are most eager to see the church come. They have recently accepted Christ as their personal Savior. Each of these couples have been living together and have children, but have never been married. But now as Christians, they want to be obedient to God’s Word and be married, and do it in their church.

A group of people from Lynden will travel to Port-au-Prince on Friday, August 5, and then on Saturday to Bethel to assemble the temporary structure. We will also be assembling 20 eight foot long benches for the new church. We plan to complete this project by the end of the day. And then Sunday morning at 9:00 AM, the first ‘church service’ will be held in the village of Bethel. Believers from Pastor Diogene’s church in Port-au-Prince will also be there. And we trust that many inquisitive villagers will also come. To God be the glory for the great things He is doing!

Once again we see God at work, this time through most unusual circumstances. He then invites us to join Him in His work. What a joy, to work alongside Him! We really appreciate your prayers for us during this weekend. Please pray for safety as we travel, good health, open hearts to the gospel message, and God’s impact on our own hearts and lives as we serve Him.

While the rest of the team returns home on Monday, the 8th of August, Glenn and I will continue on to Tricotte where we have much to do over the next 10 days. Please pray for us as we make decisions for the new school year, considering new school starts and, along with that, school building projects.

Many of you have asked about the current political situation in Haiti. The interim government is still in control and the United Nations is there with about 8000 troops. The country is preparing for elections on October 9 for the smaller offices like city mayors, etc. and then on November 13 for the Senate, President, etc. They are trying to register up to 2.5 million eligible voters, but that has been very difficult. At last count about 600,000 were registered. There are many unhappy ex President Aristead supporters who are trying to disrupt the election process. This is played out in much civil unrest. We are praying that the election goes well and that a legitimate government is elected and supported and the country settles into working on their many problems.

Thank you so much for your faithful support and partnership with us in this ministry. God is so good and is allowing us, along with you, to make a difference in the lives of many needy Haitian children and adults.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp