December 2009 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I’m on my way home again after spending the last two weeks in Haiti.  It was another great trip as we saw God at work in many ways.  Vince Buys and Brent Ahrens were our well drilling team on this trip.  I really appreciate these guys, going out early each morning and donating their time to serve the Lord in this way.  We look forward to providing good, pure water in each of the villages that we minister in.  We are seeing such positive results of the wells that are currently producing – there is less sickness and also the people are realizing that this is a gift from God and it softens hearts for the gospel.

We have a good producing well in Ravine.  It was one of the first wells we dug and the people of Ravine are so thankful.  I went along with Pastor Diogene on Sunday night for the last night of a week-long spiritual life crusade in Ravine.  Diogene was asked to preach that night.  Now Ravine is not an easy place to access.  When we visited there in August, the road was so bad that I got high centered at one point and the passengers had to get out in order for me to proceed. 

Well the road has not improved.  We had a very difficult time getting there on that Sunday night.  Then just before Pastor Diogene got up to preach, it started to rain.  We had come to Ravine in the daylight and now it was dark, raining, and the road was getting muddy.  The Ravine pastor, Jerome, encouraged us to leave before it rained too much but Diogene said, “No – that is exactly what the devil would like us to do.  I came to share the gospel and I will preach.”  He did share a short, 15 minute message and gave an invitation saying, “ if you want to respond, do it quickly.”  Three young men and one young lady hurried up front and prayed to receive Jesus Christ.  Praise God for changed lives!!

Then we hurried to leave – I slipped and slid out to the pickup on very slippery, sloppy mud.  Then another adventure began.  We got stuck!  It took us almost two hours and about 100 Haitians to get us pushed out.  Even as it rained very hard at times, the people came from all around the village to help us get out.  It was quite the happening in Ravine that night.  Pastor Jerome still had on his slacks, white shirt and tie and he was out leading his people in digging and pushing.  The Haitians generally seemed to enjoy such activity.  Many of them stripped down to their underwear and just slopped around in the mud.  Someone ripped the door off his outhouse and brought it to shove under one of the tires for more traction.  Pastor Jerome was totally covered from head to toe in mud – but he still had on his tie.  And then finally we were free and made it back to Tricotte.  I am so thankful for the persistent Haitians who endured a sloppy mess to get us on our way.  Diogene tried to pay them but they insisted that this was a gift and they would take nothing for it.

During the time we were stuck I sat in the passenger’s seat in the pickup, praying and observing.  Pastor Diogene was feeling bad and at one point apologized to me and said that we should have left sooner.  My response, “No Pastor, it was worth being stuck even if we had to spend the entire night in the mud, to see four more souls come into the Kingdom.” 

Life is difficult in Haiti but God continues to use difficulties to bring many to himself.  We are so privileged to be a part of that and thank you for partnering with us with your prayers and support.

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all his people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”  Have a great Christmas, celebrating the birth of the Savior!!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp