Dear Friends,

I Chronicles 16:8  “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.”

It’s Thanksgiving morning as I write this letter and I’ve been reflecting on the many things that I am thankful for.  God has provided so much more than I would ever have thought when we started this ministry 22 years ago.  In spite of the numerous obstacles our Haitian leadership face every day, they keep pressing on to accomplish God’s purposes in Haiti.  His name is being made known among the lost souls of Haiti and we are so grateful for changed lives. 

I am thankful for Edvar Pierre.  Sheryl and I become acquainted with Edvar on our first trip to Tricotte in January, 1995.  This was three years before Starfish Ministries was started and we were traveling and ministering with Childcare Worldwide.  While walking in the village of Tricotte, Sheryl met Edvar.  He and Sheryl started a conversation with Edvar’s limited English and he was very pleased to have someone to practice his English with.  At one point in the conversation Sheryl asked him what he does.  Edvar’s answer, “Nothing”.

Sheryl continued to ask him about his goals and he quickly said he would like to continue his education.  Edvar had successfully completed elementary school in Tricotte but would now have to travel to Gros Morne or Port-au-Prince in order to go to secondary school. That would cost money that his family did not have.  Edvar is the oldest of a family of nine children, his mother is often sick and his father tries to support the family by growing vegetables and bananas in his small garden and selling them at the local market. 

We talked to the Childcare director about Edvar and he concurred that without some help he would have no opportunity to continue his education.  That began a long relationship with Edvar.  We not only helped Edvar but the support we gave helped most of his siblings as well. Edvar began secondary school in Port-au-Prince the following September.  He then went on to trade school studying mechanics and construction.  And finally he studied at a Bible School for a couple of years. 

By the time Edvar’s education was completed, he was married and began his family.  Since his wife is from Port-au-Prince, she wanted to stay in Port-au-Prince to be close to her family.  We encouraged Edvar and family to come back to Tricotte where there are more opportunities for employment.  He worked at several different jobs in Port-au-Prince but could not find a steady income stream. 

A couple of months ago I received a text from Daniel saying, “We’ve hired Edvar!”  With his wide range of skills Edvar is a great addition to our staff.  Currently he is helping Lizette at the orphanage school and will soon fill the position of administrator at our elementary school in Tricotte.  A few days after he began his work in Tricotte Edvar came to Daniel and asked if he could meet with the clinic patients in the morning when they come for care and pray with them.  Since there is no appointment schedule, the sick come to the clinic at 7:00 AM and wait for their turn to see the doctor.  And now Edvar spends time with them sharing and praying. 

From doing “nothing” in 1995 to becoming a team member in 2019, Edvar is becoming a difference maker! We are grateful for you and your partnership with us which gives us the opportunity to help the many Edvars of Haiti.  Thank you also for your generous response to Christmas Giving and for your prayers during the unrestful times in Haiti.

Have a wonderful Christmas,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp

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