December 2004 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

“I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This message from the angels to the shepherds on the birthday of Jesus is the message that Pastor Diogene and his outreach team brings to the hurting masses in Haiti. There is hope and it is not the Haitian government, it is not their oppressive religious practices, it is not even the relief ministry of Starfish Ministries in Haiti — it is the good news of the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. He alone is the answer to their difficult lives.

Many are experiencing that hope as they respond to the gospel invitation. The LaBrant family was away from their house when the flood waters hit Gonaives. When Dad, Mom and the six children returned after the waters receded, they couldn’t find a trace of anything they owned including their house. It was all washed away with the flood. Had they been home, they would have all drowned. They now live under a cactus tree using whatever they can find to provide a little shelter.

A nephew of this family is an elder in Pastor Diogene’s Port-au-Prince church. Through that contact, we were able to provide food and clothing for the family. We are also providing building materials for a small house. And as these physical needs are being met in the name of Jesus, the family has begun to respond to Jesus. The mother, pregnant with her seventh child, recently gave her life to Jesus and her husband is showing much interest and we pray, he too, will soon respond. We praise God for how He is using this disaster to call His children to Himself.

Another man who Diogene is acquainted with was in Gonaives when the waters were rushing into the city. He was a Christian who had severely backslid. As the water was rising, he didn’t see any way that he would escape with his life. He saw everything he owned swept away as he clung to a tree. This man prayed and pleaded for another chance to serve the Lord. Miraculously God spared him, and he has now recommitted his life to Jesus. Diogene reports that he is “on fire for the Lord”. He shares his story and his faith in Jesus with everyone who will listen.

As we close out 2004 we thank and praise the Lord that He allows us to be part of His work in Haiti. Countless people see God’s love each day through the orphanage home, education, food, good water to drink, agricultural help, rebuilding homes and livelihoods, and many other circumstances. But it is through these means that the real need of each life is met–the Savior, Jesus Christ. It is with humble and thankful hearts that we give God all the praise and glory for what He is doing in Haiti. Thank you for being a part of this ministry.

Each year at Christmas time people inquire about the needs in Haiti and specific ways they can contribute. This past year it was suggested that we put out a gift list, not for a specific sponsored child, but a list of needed items for many to enjoy. If you would like to contribute you may designate to an area on the Christmas gift list. For those who wish to give gifts in honor of a loved one, there is a printable card available on the website.

May you have a blessed Christmas season.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp