Handicap people in Haiti are often shunned, bullied, and generally considered of very little value. So when Denise Rochelle came to Tricotte to attempt to meet with Daniel she was shocked to be invited into his office. Daniel treated her with dignity and listened to her story. Denise was born in 1987 with a deformed upper back and has suffered abuse throughout her life. In her hunched position she stands about three feet tall. As a result of being taken advantage of Denise has a nine year old daughter who goes with her wherever she goes.
Denise tries to find hairdressing work but most prefer not to use a handicap woman so she finds very little success. The morning Denise and her daughter came to Tricotte they had walked for several hours from up in the mountains. Having no other family members, they currently live with an uncle, but it’s not a permanent solution to their housing needs. So Denise came to Daniel asking about the possibility for help to build a small house. She will first need to find a small piece of property to purchase.
Daniel sent them off with hope and they were encouraged. He gave Denise a little money, some rice and the commitment to help her build a two room house. With Starfish Ministries help, Denise will own a small piece of property and a house and begin to experience God’s love and provision.
Recently Daniel sent three of our staff to Charbe, Pendu, and Cadette to survey the needs within those remote villages. We have started schools and churches in these villages and find the need for housing is great! Many of their houses have thatch roofs which leak whenever it rains. They use tarps, bed sheets and even umbrellas to try and stop the leaking. The floors are dirt so they turn to mud with each rain that results in very unhealthy living conditions. So as much as possible we are helping with metal roofing.
Daniel’s approach to this tremendous need is to help as many families as possible. Rather than help to build an entire house we are providing materials in order to help many times more. Generally, it’s with metal roofing, cement for floors, or concrete blocks for walls, and they provide their own labor.
Daniel shares his heart concerning these needs and more: “These people are thrilled to just have a roof over their heads. To me, that’s the best way to help boost the self-esteem of those needy people right now. It’s a shame to not have a decent place to live. We can preach the Gospel to those people, but it’s hard to explain how much God loves them if their living conditions remain the same.
“I am thankful to serve ‘The faithful God.’ That’s why I can continue to pick up the load everyday and continue to press on. I have to admit that, after fighting the battle against the ‘demons of poverty’ for nine years, I could easily grow weary. I thank God who sustains me. I really appreciate the opportunity to serve my people in a way that wouldn’t be possible without the partnership with Starfish Ministries. There’s more misery in Haiti than we can imagine. What a blessing to be able to intervene and make a difference in places where even the government has totally abandoned its own people. God’s name is lifted higher when we do.”
Schools will open in Haiti on August 10. When they closed the school this past spring elementary education stopped. There is no avenue to do remote learning. So now Haitian schools will complete the final quarter of the 2019-2020 school term in August, September and the first part of October. Then in mid-October they will begin the 2020-2021 school term and they have it calculated that without further interruption they will have caught up by July of 2021.
We thank God for you and your faithful support! He is supplying for the needs with His immeasurable resources and is using you to accomplish His work. As I opened mail again this month and see God’s provision, I am humbled and encouraged to continue on to fulfill God’s work in Haiti. Thank you for your faithful partnership with us as you pray and give!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp