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.
Daniel then went to visit Jonette that same afternoon. When she saw Daniel she said, “Director Daniel, thank you for sending Garry to take me to the hospital today and trying to help me, but you are going to lose an orphanage worker. I am going to die.” Then Jonette took Daniel’s hand in a firm hand shake and said, “Keep the faith!” She went on to share her testimony of how she had become a Christian at one of the evangelistic crusades in Ravine and that she was ready to meet her Lord and Savior. And then she said, “Daniel, I am leaving my children under your care.” She then began to pray and testify to the people gathered at her bedside of her faith in Jesus. Many of them, including her parents, are not believers, so she encouraged them to leave their voodoo ways and trust in Jesus.
Jonette went to be with the Savior early the next morning. Daniel took all of the orphanage children to the funeral the next day. Pastor Jerome shared the gospel with many non-believers at the funeral, and we are praying that God will use His Word through these difficult circumstances to open the hearts of these people to the truth of the gospel.
Five of Jonette’s children are now in our Starfish Ministries’ orphanage in Tricotte, and Daniel told me today that they are adjusting well. We are looking for sponsors for these five, so if you are interested please let us know.
After several years of planning and waiting on God’s timing we are beginning construction on the Starfish Ministries’ Medical Clinic in Tricotte. This is a major project for us and we thank God that most of the money needed for this project has been donated. Of the approximately $120,000 needed we have $85,000 already and the land has been purchased. Thank you for your donations toward this need. We trust that God will continue to supply all that is needed to complete this project.
Our vision for the clinic is twofold. The physical need for medical care in this area is critical. So we are looking forward to being able to meet this need with Haitian medical staffing and regular medical teams from the United States and Canada. The second and more important part of our vision is the spiritual need. Our goal is that we will meet the medical needs but at the same time share Jesus with the patients and their families. The church in Tricotte is partnering with Starfish Ministries on this project and is excited about providing daily chaplains to minister to the spiritual needs of the visitors to the clinic. We trust that as we are able to serve the physically sick and injured, we will also be able to introduce the One who can heal the sin-sick souls.
Thank you for praying with us as we proceed with this medical ministry. Please pray for:
- The construction process
- Haitian medical staffing
- Necessary funding
- Salvation for those who hear the gospel through this ministry
As 2011 comes to a close we are again so thankful to God for another great year of opportunity to minister in Haiti. We thank God for raising up Daniel to take the Haitian leadership for this ministry. He is doing a great job and is very sensitive to God’s direction for the ministry. He asks for prayer for wisdom as he often has difficult decisions to make.
We certainly appreciate your response to the Christmas Giving List! If you desire to contribute, there is still time to do so.
And we wish you all a very Blessed Christmas and New Year!!
It is truly a privilege to partner with you as we follow God’s plan and reach out to touch the needy lives in Haiti.
In His service,
Bernie, Sheryl and Philip Bovenkamp