June 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Glenn Bridges and I just returned from another successful trip to Haiti. Glenn organized several Haitian workers, and they were able to complete the roof project for the medical clinic building. They started by building trusses that had been designed by Glenn, installing those trusses, framing in the dutch-hip gable ends, applying the purlins and facia and finally screwing down the white metal roofing panels. So now we are down to the final finish stages of this four-story building. We are waiting for a container of some of the finish materials to arrive, and then we will be complete the project and be ready to minister to the medical needs in the Tricotte area.

This project has taken much longer than we anticipated but that was largely due to the modifications we made as we proceeded. Our original plan was a small one-story building. But due to the hillside land and the availability of an addition piece of land we decided to increase the size and utilize the mountain terrain for daylight access to four floors.

The first floor has two apartments where we will be able to house medical staff. The second floor has two overnight hospital-type rooms and a lot of storage space. The third floor is at the level of the Tricotte road that passes in front of the clinic. It has three exam rooms, a combined pharmacy and lab, large reception area, an office, and a chapel. The fourth floor is where our Starfish Ministries Haiti offices will be located.

Thank you for your prayers and support for this major project. We are looking forward to the opportunity to minister to the needy people in the Tricotte area both physically and spiritually.

Several times we have talked about the village of Moinville in our letters. Please continue to pray for this virtually unreached village. We have seen a couple of families respond to the gospel but we haven’t seen much growth in their lives.

Recently due to heavy rains there was a lot of erosion that took out part of the road the goes through Moinville. We decided to help the village by providing some funds to help repair the road. We trust that God will use the little practical things we can do to prepare hearts for receiving the truth of His word.

A few weeks ago as our director, Daniel, was driving through Moinville. He was partially through a one-way only portion of the road when a particularly rough man from Moinville came from the other direction and insisted upon his right of passage. Daniel knew Occelon by reputation. He was known to be influential in Moinville and quite demanding in his approach. Daniel calmly backed up, politely waved and smiled while the other driver impatiently, angrily gestured toward Daniel and then drove off.

Last week it rained a lot in that area and the road was almost impassible in some parts due to the muddy conditions. Daniel was driving through again and with his four-wheel drive pickup was able to maneuver the mud holes. When he came upon a particularly deep, muddy spot Daniel stopped, got out to investigate and see if he could get through. Just at that time the same angry man came up behind Daniel and got out to inspect the hole as well. Daniel decided he could make it through while the other vehicle wasn’t four wheel drive and probably couldn’t.

Now Occelon’s pickup was being used for a taxi that day and he had several paying customers in the back wanting to go to Gros Morne. Daniel told Occelon that he was on his way to Gros Morne so if his pickup made it through and Occelon’s couldn’t he would take his passengers to Gros Morne. Occelon responded that he needed to make the money and would try to find another way around. Daniel’s response, “You collect the taxi fee and I’ll take your passengers. I’m going that way anyway.”

Occelon looked at Daniel like he just couldn’t figure out this gesture of kindness and asked, “Why would you do that for me?” Daniel simply smiled and responded that he wanted to help anyway that he could. And Daniel was off with Occelon’s passengers and delivered them to their destination in Gros Morne. And Occelon was on the other side of the mud hole wondering, “Who is this guy?”

Please pray for Occelon and the lost in the village of Moinville. We trust that God is at work in the lives of these people and the day of harvest is approaching.

Thank you so much for your support! God is using your partnership with us in this ministry to reach many for His Kingdom.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp