January 2013 Newsletter

Starfish Ministries has now completed its 15th year of ministry in Haiti!  That means this is monthly newsletter #180.  I sometimes wonder if we’ll run out of material to share when it comes to the end of the month BUT it has not happened.  The fact is that God is at work in Haiti and there is always much to report on what He is doing.  In recent weeks several new Christians have been baptized.  Some new Christian couples have decided to get married.  We have 28 new children at the orphanage from non-Christian backgrounds.  So what a great opportunity we have to share Jesus with these children and see them respond to the gospel!

God is faithful, and we are overwhelmed how He touched the hearts of so many to provide for the needs in Haiti in 2012.  We thank God for you and for your desire to serve Him as you partner with us to accomplish His purposes in Haiti.  Thank you for your faithful financial and prayer support!  And you have been very generous in giving toward the Christmas Giving List – thank you so much!!!  What a difference this making in the lives of needy Haitians!

Several months ago we started construction on the Starfish Ministries Tricotte Medical Clinic.  As we finalized the plans we recognized that if we had some additional land we could better accomplish the overall goals we had established.  For several years we had tried to purchase an adjoining lot with no success.  But after praying and negotiating, last March we were able to purchase this lot.  And then the plans for the building really started to come together.  And the medical clinic grew!  Now we are about two thirds finished constructing a four story small hospital.  Due to the “lay of the land” we now have two daylight basement floors below the main medical clinic floor.  These two floors will be utilized for medical staff apartments and two rooms for overnight patients.  Then the fourth floor we will use for our Starfish Ministries offices.

Of course more than doubling the size of this facility has resulted in more than doubling the cost as well.  But again God is so faithful and the Great Provider!  Although we are still a little short of the total needs, a lot more of the money has come in.  Thank you so much for your financial support for this tremendous ministry opportunity.

Often in Tricotte we see family members carrying a sick child or adult through the village on their way to a medical clinic another two hours away.  We don’t know how many just don’t get medical treatment due to the distance.  The path in front of the future clinic is starting to be a meeting place for many.  They are really excited about having this facility to meet their medical needs and are watching closely for its opening.  We estimate it will be approximately six more months before we will be ready to open.

This clinic in Tricotte will not only provide much needed medical care for Tricotte and tens of thousands of villagers in the area but it will also provide an opportunity to provide spiritual care.  We will have volunteers from the Tricotte Church prepared to share with patients and family members the gospel of Jesus Christ and trust that God will use this ministry to accomplish much for His Kingdom.

Doug Jarvie and family are currently in Tricotte.  Last Saturday afternoon they had an orphanage Christmas party – the kids had a great time eating, playing, singing, watching a movie and receiving gifts.  Thank you to North County Christ the King Church for putting together shoe boxes of gifts for these children.  Doug is also doing some necessary maintenance work on our well drilling equipment.  His wife Ruth, along with her mother June Bright, are organizing and distributing shoes and clothing.  Ruth is also updating information on the orphanage children and taking new photos.  Ruth’s dad, Ken Bright, shared from the Word for three days at a leadership conference.  He also preached in the Tricotte Church on Sunday.  We really appreciate this family and their willingness to sacrifice their holiday to make a difference by ministering in Haiti.

2013 looks to be a full and fruitful year of ministry.  Thank you for your partnership with us as we together serve!  It is our goal to “Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and not lean on our own understanding; In all our ways we desire to acknowledge Him and allow Him to direct our ministry.”  Proverbs 3:5-6    Wishing you a very Blessed 2013!!!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp