August 2000 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

By the time you’re reading this letter, I’ll be back in Haiti, leading a couple of short term mission teams from California.  On August 1, a team of 11 from Kelseyville, along with 5 of us from Washington, will leave.  That team returns on August 10 and when they are dropped off at the airport in Port-au-Prince, we pick up a team of 14 from Susanville.  We then return home on August 19.  Both teams will share the gospel of Jesus Christ in Bible School with children in several villages, worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday, and be involved in an evangelistic crusade for 4 nights in Tricotte.  Projects we’ll be working on include: 1) laying a 2000 foot, water pipeline to provide water for our new orphanage and 2) installing shelving in the closets, storage rooms, bedrooms and library of the orphanage.  However, holding, loving, and playing with our 96 kids in the orphanage is always a highlight of each trip.  Please pray that hearts and lives of team members will be touched for the glory of God. 

Just as we put the finishing touches on this new orphanage building and see our children joyfully settling into their new home, God gives new vision!  Although the children in the orphanage will always be at the heart of our ministry in Haiti, God has now broadened our vision.  Children in four villages near Tricotte, are losing their opportunity for an education.  Recently an organization decided to discontinue supporting these schools.  This decision  affects 4 schools which have been totally relying on the sponsorship support from this organization.  When I asked Pastor Diogene about the impact of this decision, his reply, “it’s devastating!”  Education is crucial.

Starfish Ministries will reach out to support these 4 schools.  This will be done by providing the opportunity for sponsorship of children affected in these villages.  The villages and approximate student population are Miock 150,  Champaign 250, David 200, and Beaudois 350.  Only about half of school age children attend school in these villages now. 

Our vision is to provide the opportunity for each child in these villages to get an education.  This education will include the presentation of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ not only for each student, but also to each of their family and community.  God has asked us to step out in faith to this vision.

Sponsorship of one of these children will be $25 per month.  This will provide tuition (which pays teachers salaries), books and school supplies, and a school uniform for this child.  Not all students in each school will be sponsored, this means that sponsoring a child will also be helping other students.  100% of the $25.00 will go to Haiti for these educational needs.  A  Haitian director of this program will oversee the schools and continually evaluate the results. If God is asking you to sponsor one or more of these children or you know of someone who might, please notify us.  Our mode of advertising needs is simply God’s people sharing with God’s people.  If you are one of our many California readers, and you wish to sponsor a child, please contact our daughter, Krishelle Bridges in Kelseyville, California at (707) 279-1009.  Pastor Diogene and I will be identifying needy children in these villages while I’m there and I will be taking photos of them for their new sponsors.

God continues to supply for all the needs, and we trust Him to provide in this new ministry area as well.  We believe that He has called us to this — and when He does, He always provides.  Philippians 4:19.

Thank you so much for your continued support!  Many of you have told us that you pray for us and this ministry every day.  God is using each of you in a mighty was as you do.  Please pray for us in this new area of ministry.  God is so good!  What a privilege to serve Him along with you in Haiti  — making a difference, for His sake, in the lives of needy children in that country. 

Serving our Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp