February 2017 Newsletter

Doug and I spent the last week of January in Tricotte with a team of 13 from Lynden.  It’s been a pleasure working with Rod Tjoelker and the team he assembled for this trip.  They worked on several construction projects: putting a roof on our Learning and Development Center (LDC) in Tricotte, finishing up some small items on the Boys’ Dorm at the orphanage, assembling and installing desks, chairs and bookshelves in our Starfish Ministries offices in Tricotte, and putting up a couple more solar powered street lights in Tricotte.  Another huge project was sorting and staging clothes, shoes, and medical supplies.  The five women on the team spent many hours on this project. The team did a great job and got a lot of work done.  And most importantly God is using this mission trip experience to affect their lives for His glory!

On Wednesday morning we traveled to Pommier, the newest of our school villages.  The last time I was there we had to hike into the village but much to my surprise, Daniel drove us all the way to the new school.  The villagers had worked hard to broaden the walking path so we could now navigate the new road with four wheel drive vehicles.

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January 2013 Newsletter

Starfish Ministries has now completed its 15th year of ministry in Haiti!  That means this is monthly newsletter #180.  I sometimes wonder if we’ll run out of material to share when it comes to the end of the month BUT it has not happened.  The fact is that God is at work in Haiti and there is always much to report on what He is doing.  In recent weeks several new Christians have been baptized.  Some new Christian couples have decided to get married.  We have 28 new children at the orphanage from non-Christian backgrounds.  So what a great opportunity we have to share Jesus with these children and see them respond to the gospel!

God is faithful, and we are overwhelmed how He touched the hearts of so many to provide for the needs in Haiti in 2012.  We thank God for you and for your desire to serve Him as you partner with us to accomplish His purposes in Haiti.  Thank you for your faithful financial and prayer support!  And you have been very generous in giving toward the Christmas Giving List – thank you so much!!!  What a difference this making in the lives of needy Haitians! Continue Reading →

January 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we look back at this past year we are again overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness in 2011 and how He has touched the hearts of so many to provide for the needs in Haiti.  It is such a blessing to experience God’s provision as you have generously given.  We thank God for you and for your desire to serve Him as you partner with us to accomplish His purposes in Haiti.

Whenever we shared a need you responded:

Like in September we wrote about an older couple in Beaudois with the handicap husband.  They were living in unacceptable conditions.  They had a dirt floor which was mud when it rained since their thatch roof leaked badly.  BUT not anymore!  They have a new home with a concrete slab floor and a leak proof metal roof.  Thank you for responding and being used by God to make this happen. Continue Reading →

December 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

While I was in Haiti in October, Jonette, one our orphanage workers, came to see Daniel and me.  She asked if we could loan her some money to pay a nurse who was caring for her.  Two weeks before Jonette had been bitten by a dog while carrying some things on her head from the market.  She fell and hurt her back and hip which was still painful – however the dog bite seemed to be healing.  Jonette told us that she has six children, and when I asked her about a husband she hung her head in shame and said she was never married.

Now Jonette had paid out all her money for the medical care and had no food for her children.  We gave her enough to care for her family and pay the nurse until she could get back to work and continue to support her family.  She came back to work about a week later and seemed to be healed and doing well.  Then about three weeks ago Jonette got sick again.  When Daniel heard about it he immediately had Garry take her to a clinic in Gros Morne.  The doctor examined her, considered her symptoms and told them that she would die soon.  The dog had given her rabies, and she had not been treated for it soon enough.  There was nothing more to do.  Garry had to take her back home.  When Garry reported this to Daniel, he immediately called a doctor friend in Port-au-Prince for a second opinion.  The doctor concurred and said it was too late to treat. Continue Reading →

November 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

On one of my recent trips to Haiti one of our orphanage kids handed me a letter as I was leaving Tricotte to give to his sponsor.  Well, I wasn’t paying very good attention and put it in my pocket.  When I opened it later I realized that it didn’t have the sponsor’s name on it, and the orphan hadn’t signed it.  So I don’t know who gave it to me or who to send it to.  As I was thinking about this dilemma I realized that we haven’t sent sponsor letters out for some time, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to do so.  And just maybe it was a letter meant for you all – that’s how I am treating it.  So here is what he writes:

Dear Sponsor,

Good morning my sponsor.  How are you?  And your family?  So I think your family is good.  Because I know God is responsible to take care of your family and you.

It is the joy, it is the best joy when I find the opportunity to write you this letter.  The aim of this letter that’s for to thanking you.  So I’m very happy to write you to tell you, so I know is not easy.  But Jesus give you courage for work every day very hard for you help me.  So I don’t stay indifferent.  Without I don’t say nothing so I write you this letter to say you thank you.  I want to say (thank you) very courageous because the Bible say in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.”

Thank you very well,

Thank you Dearly,

This letter come from the orphanage Haiti.

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The Hurricane and the Upcoming Trip

Hurricane Tomas has been looming with a possibility of hitting Haiti for the past several days.  Today Bernie heard from some of our friends in Port-au-Prince that the wind and rain was picking up.  But mercifully the hurricane passed to the west.  However, the extra rain that’s been falling — even on the edge of a hurricane — still presents significant danger, especially to those still living in tents and other temporary shelters after the earthquake.  But at least they were spared a direct hit.

Bernie, along with Doug Jarvie and Vincent Buys, will be arriving in Haiti on Monday and traveling to Tricotte on Tuesday.  Doug and Vincent will drill a well while Bernie catches up on administrative work.  Flooding is a concern, particularly for the drive to Tricotte.  So please pray for safety and that they will be able to reach Tricotte and do the work they are planning to do.  And of course, pray for the Haitians who would be affected by flooding, both from the initial danger as well as from the potential longer-term effects such as disease or crop loss.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp