December 2003 Newsletter

Dear Friends

As I was leaving the orphanage one evening, Daniel Maurice, one of our older boys, said he had some things he wanted to share with me. As he walked back to the guesthouse with me, Daniel told me he wanted to be a pastor. He went on to tell me how he is sharing his faith with others. Over the last couple of months, Daniel has explained the gospel message to many and prayed with four people who wanted to receive the Savior. He told about a young teenager he heard singing a song about demons. Daniel shared with him that he knew of someone more worthy of singing praises to. The boy was interested and Daniel told him about Jesus. The boy prayed to receive Christ as Savior. It’s so good to see our young orphans growing in their faith, reaching out to the lost, and being part of God’s work in Haiti.

We had another great trip to Haiti. Due to more rain than usual, the river was “great” and we couldn’t go to many of the places on our schedule. We didn’t get to the village of Ravine for evangelistic crusades or church dedication. We didn’t get to our schools to help with the feeding or share gifts and the gospel. But God’s plan is always better than ours. The team adjusted and got much accomplished in Tricotte. New shoes, clothes, sheets and other items were distributed to the orphans. Electrical and plumbing work was done. Church benches were built. Generator repairs were completed. Concrete cabinets were built. The gospel was shared in Tricotte, at the open market by the river, and in the village of Biscaille. Two leadership conferences were conducted, and the team had a lot of opportunity to nurture the children at the orphanage.

It was so good to have the Retinomax machine to test eyes and enable us to give out glasses to those in need. One young man who was almost blind was so excited about his new glasses. He came with a walking stick, but left with a big smile, without needing his stick. The next morning John Robert was up early (about 4:30 AM), walking along the Tricotte path, rejoicing, and sharing what God had done for him. Sunday night in church, he shared a testimony of how he was blind but now could see and was giving God the glory. As we fit another older lady with glasses, she was amazed and could hardly contain her joy. Thanks to all of you who are part of this sight ministry. God is and will continue to use this as another means to share the gospel with needy people as their physical needs are met.

One of the goals of Starfish Ministries is to allow God to impact the lives of team members on short term mission trips. It’s so good to see this happen. Team members were stretched to new levels of commitment in their relationship with Jesus Christ. They come back home with a renewed desire to make a greater difference for His kingdom at home. As we ministered in Haiti and as we worshipped together, we were touched by the powerful hand of the Almighty God. Praise be to Him!!

Our sixth year in this ministry is nearing an end and we rejoice in what God is doing in Haiti. He is allowing us to be a small part of His work. We are so thankful for all of you He has called to partner with us. We pray that each of you will have a very blessed Christmas season as you celebrate the birth of the Savior.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp