Dear Friends,

Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Day after week after month after year our leadership team in Haiti deals with “ever-present” trouble.  It seems that they go from one hardship to the next and often deal with multiple trials at once.  They have endured hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, political unrest, persecution and more and the result of these is greater needs of hunger and much physical distress.  But through it all we see a confidence in these ministry servants that only comes as a result of their dependence on God.  They “will not fear” because they recognize that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

A couple of weeks ago Daniel was driving from Tricotte to Port-au-Prince when a couple of horses suddenly ran onto the road and Daniel had no alternative but to hit one of them.  He thought quickly and aimed to do the least amount of damage and was successful.  There was a bit of fender damage and the front bumper was hanging loosely.  It could have been so much worse.  No one was injured in the accident (except the horse of course) and the vehicle damage was minimal.  God was present as the refuge as they traveled.  Before our team travels they always stop and pray for safety and God’s favor as they maneuver through the complex maze of Haitian traffic and livestock. 

Daniel often preaches in our Tricotte church.  God has gifted him in many diverse ways and Daniel is very effective in his preaching ministry.  On a recent Sunday, January 19, Daniel was coming to the end of his sermon when he was handed a note telling him of a medical emergency in Belair.  He immediately asked Norius to get his pickup ready and he proceeded to wrap up his message.  Daniel and Norius then drove up the mountain to Belair, found a lady without use of her arms and legs and couldn’t speak.  Without a stretcher available, the Belair people had taken a door off one of their homes and had already put the lady on it thinking they may have to carry her down the mountain. 

However when Daniel arrived, they loaded her into the back of the pickup and moved down the mountain to our medical clinic in Tricotte.  Dr. Augustine was notified ahead and met them at the door of the clinic, ready to administer medical treatment.  It was determined that the lady had suffered a stroke.  Dr. Augustine served her needs and by the end of the day, she was moving her arms and legs and had started speaking again.  We are so grateful to God for providing the medical clinic in Tricotte and providing a very good staff.  Without this ministry in Tricotte they would have had to take the lady another 45 minutes to the next nearest clinic.

Daniel’s days are full  – that Sunday he started early finishing his sermon preparation.  He then is often part of the worship team.  Then he shares the message from God’s Word.  Then he’s part of the medical emergency response team and becomes the “ambulance” driver.  He then gathers a team of believers together to pray for the lady.  And all of that is before noon!

God has blessed Starfish Ministries with His servant Daniel Thelusmond.  Daniel has a great compassion for needy Haitians.  As a result of the political demonstrations throughout the country this past fall and early winter, almost a third of the population of Haiti will suffer from lack of food this year.  That’s over three million people!  Starfish Ministries has been able to feed thousands of them due to your support and the donation of food from Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).  Daniel’s heart for the hungry along with his wise sensitivity in how to help them has provided an avenue to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the spiritually hungry.

In the remote village of Charbe, way up the mountain beyond Belair, 66 people responded to the gospel during 2019.  Bible studies and church services and one-on-one discipleship is prevalent in Charbe today.  Many of these new believers have told us that they had not heard about Jesus until Pastor/Evangelist Herode came to their village and proclaimed the way of salvation.  

Thank you so much for partnering with us to help make all this happen.  We really appreciate your prayers for Daniel and his leadership team, for safety as they travel those troubled pathways, for the Charbites who are hungry for God’s Word and for positive fruit in their lives!  It is so good to be able to know that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”.  He gets all the praise!!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl and Philip Bovenkamp

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