December 2006 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I just got back from ten days in Haiti.  Due to the extreme rainy weather conditions, I couldn’t get to Tricotte.  The rivers were too high and the roads were too muddy.  So I spent the time in Port-au-Prince.  That wasn’t my plan but I keep learning that it’s not my plans that matter.  And I’ve learned to adjust to whatever God has in mind for me, even though I miss seeing our orphanage children. 

Spending the time in Port-au-Prince gave me the opportunity to push toward getting the container out of customs.  We are thankful that was accomplished.  For five months with one obstacle after another it sat in customs.   But with a little pressure and a lot of prayer, the container is now in a secure location in Port-au-Prince.  Due to the weather conditions we couldn’t have it trucked to Tricotte.  As the conditions improve we will bring the contents to Tricotte in our dump truck.

Some of our projects have been on hold as we waited for the container to arrive.  We have enough solar panels in the container to adequately serve our electricity needs at the orphanage and also for some of the village of Tricotte.  Doug and Glenn will be installing these in December and that will enable us to shut off the gas generator and have the solar panels invert the energy to a bank of batteries. 

We also have equipment that we need to support our well drilling ministry.  With these now in Haiti, we will be able to start drilling much needed wells in many of our villages.  We expect to start drilling sometime in January. 

But the immediate needs were the clothing and shoes for the orphanage as well as our schools.  Our school director, Norius, just told me last week that many of our school children need shoes.  We have many sacks of shoes (given to us by many of you) to distribute to these children.  We also have 16 barrels of vegetable soup mix and 8 barrels of dried apples that we will be able to start using in our school feeding program.  These were donated to us by the Gleaners in Abbotsford, Canada. 

While in Haiti, I also visited Bethel.  Pastor Diogene and his ministry team had just completed another evangelistic crusade there.  During that week another 41 people responded to the Gospel.  God continues to use this team to reach many lost souls. I had the privilege of meeting one of our new Christian brothers, Jacque.  He is 27 years old and was a voodoo witchdoctor.  On Sunday morning he came forward at the crusade and received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord, a man lost in darkness but now transformed into the likeness of Christ. 

I also visited Joineau, a village of about 10,000 and about 45 minutes east of Port-au-Prince.  We will be starting new school classes there in January.  Joineau is about as poor an area as I have visited in Haiti.  Many of the children were suffering from malnutrition.  Several of them were really scared of this white man, probably the first they had ever seen.  My heart went out to the people, they seemed dreadfully sad and without hope.  The signs of voodooism were everywhere.  We look forward to the opportunity to begin meeting the physical needs of Joineau, the education needs, and then with great expectation look forward to seeing many children and their parents trust the Savior. 

Thanks to each of you who gave to the Christmas list of needs in Haiti.  You may continue giving to that through this month. Thank you too for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for Pastor Diogene and his outreach team as they will celebrate Christmas with a large group of new Christians throughout Haiti.  We praise God this Christmas season for the gift of His Son, in Whom there is salvation to those who believe.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp