Doug and I spent the last week of January in Tricotte with a team of 13 from Lynden. It’s been a pleasure working with Rod Tjoelker and the team he assembled for this trip. They worked on several construction projects: putting a roof on our Learning and Development Center (LDC) in Tricotte, finishing up some small items on the Boys’ Dorm at the orphanage, assembling and installing desks, chairs and bookshelves in our Starfish Ministries offices in Tricotte, and putting up a couple more solar powered street lights in Tricotte. Another huge project was sorting and staging clothes, shoes, and medical supplies. The five women on the team spent many hours on this project. The team did a great job and got a lot of work done. And most importantly God is using this mission trip experience to affect their lives for His glory!
On Wednesday morning we traveled to Pommier, the newest of our school villages. The last time I was there we had to hike into the village but much to my surprise, Daniel drove us all the way to the new school. The villagers had worked hard to broaden the walking path so we could now navigate the new road with four wheel drive vehicles.
Many of the children in the school would not have had the opportunity to go to school without this new school. What a pleasure to see them in their new uniforms, studying in their classrooms and eating a nutritious rice meal donated by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) at lunch time. We also presented a stuffed animal that we had received from Gifts for the Heart to each of the kids in the school. Many of the children had never seen a stuffed animal before and were frightened, thinking it was a real animal that had died. So we had to do a little explaining and demonstrating to do to help them understand and enjoy. We trust that God is using this to reach these children and their families with the good news about Jesus.
Late in December, Pastor Esau and his Haitian leadership team held an evangelistic crusade in Ti-David. We have a school in this village with almost 300 students. Also a church was planted in Ti-David a couple of years ago. The first two nights that were scheduled were rained out. But then God favored the team with good weather and the people came. Six people responded to the gospel during the next several nights. Praise God for His saving power in needy lives!
About ten days after the crusade was over Jonas Joseph, the assistant pastor of the Ti-David Church, received a message from Nocius Pierre, his wife, Daphica, and their one year old son, Donald. Nocius asked for Jonas to come to his house. That Friday afternoon Jonas went to visit. Nocius shared with Jonas that he had come to the crusade every night but he had stayed outside, not feeling comfortable in being a part of service. With a very loud sound system, the sound is broadcast over a large area so he was able to hear the message very well. And God was at work in his heart and now ten days later Nocius and Daphica were ready to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Nocius was a rough character in Ti-David and had a long dread-lock hair style which in Haiti often signifies association with voodoo. But now he is a new creation in Christ. On Sunday morning Nocius, Daphica and Donald came to church. And Nocius brought with him everything that he owned that was associated with voodoo and gave it up t0 Jonas, separating himself from his dark past. And he had cut off the dread-locks to also signify a changed life. Now the people of the village are talking. If this wicked man could be saved, maybe they could also. Please pray for Nocius and Daphica as they grow in their faith and for the village of Ti-David, that there would be a big harvest of souls.
Nocius and his wife have now started a 12-session Bible study that will help them truly understand what it means to be a Christian and how to live a life that brings glory to God. We thank God for Daniel, Pastor Esau, Pastor Pauley, and Jonas, who have dedicated their lives to serving God and the people of Haiti as they present Christ to the lost and disciple believers toward spiritual maturity.
Thank you for your faithful partnership with us with your prayers and financial support that helps to make this possible.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp