January 2003 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Starfish Ministries has just completed its fifth year.  We are in awe of all that God has accomplished in Haiti and are humbled that He has allowed us along with you to be a part of that work.  We must admit that our vision wasn’t very big when we took over the orphanage ministry in January of 1998.  However God has expanded our vision and we are excited about what He has done and now move forward in anticipation of what He has laid out ahead of us.

Here are the areas of Starfish Ministries involvement:

  • The Tricotte orphanage that now houses 111 children who are growing stronger physically, educationally and spiritually.
  • The school support ministry that now includes 9 elementary schools with a total of 2362 students.
  • Each of these elementary school children are receiving a quality education, hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and receiving a hot meal four days a week.
  • The secondary school (currently grades 7 – 9) was relocated from Drigeon to Beaudois this year and the enrollment has increased from 45 to 120 students.  Next September we will add the 10th grade and continue to add a grade each year.
  • We continue to lead short term mission trips.  During 2002 we took six teams to Haiti.  God used these teams to serve in various areas as well as impacted team members’ lives for His purposes.
  • The Jesus Video was shown three times in July with many responding by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.
  • An evangelistic crusade in Ravine was the beginning of a church plant in that village.  58 Ravinites were saved in November.
  • Constuction projects went forward in Ravine and Champagne and we purchased land in Nan Paul and Beaudois for future projects.

As we look forward to 2003, we are excited about where God will take us this year.  As God has expanded our vision, our faith has grown.  It would have been difficult for us to say “yes” to the call five years ago if we had known what was ahead.  But as we look back, it is so obvious that God is in control.  He has given us one small step at a time to take as He was preparing us for the next bigger step.  As we have been obedient, He has shown us the next phase.  And now, God only knows what’s ahead!  We are open to whatever He has and are ready to respond as He directs.

We are praying about several things as we enter the new year:

  • More orphan children to house.
  • Several more villages to help with educating the children.
  • Evangelist crusades in Nan-Paul and Eau-Janvier.
  • Construction projects to fund and complete.
  • A medical clinic in Tricotte.
  • Short term and possibly long term mission trips.
  • Pastor Diogene’s upcoming six month sabatical.
  • Leonette’s (Diogene’s wife) eye surgery and her ongoing health issues.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp