June 2000 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Of all the differences between our life in the states and life in the village of Tricotte in Haiti, there is probably none so great as the pace at which life is lived.  Here, at home, we have become an impatient society, wanting things done immediately, if not sooner.  Life in Tricotte, on the other hand, seems to abound in patience.  Each visit to Tricotte is for us a refreshing time of living our life in a quiet, slow paced, reflective manner.  Somehow it brings us closer to our Lord, having time to see Him in the little things of life.  We are told many times in the Bible to wait, and to do so patiently.

Yes, God reminded us to once again wait on Him.  When we got to Tricotte the orphanage was not ready for the kids to move in.  The outhouse and the kitchen were not finished.  We are told the walls of the outhouse are now up.  And the roof  has also been put on the kitchen.  Kitchens in Haiti are often entirely separate of the main building, which is the case with the orphanage.  The cooks will be using propane for cooking which is certainly an improvement from the charcoal they are used to.  We plan to return to Haiti in about a month.  Hopefully the children will all be moved in and life will be progressing smoothly.

We did have the dedication of the orphanage while we were in Haiti.  It was a joyous service, the children sang several songs of worship and praise to the Lord.  Three of the older children spoke.  Dieunide welcomed the “new” children, Jona thanked Starfish Ministries for our part, and Maurice thanked the Tricotte village people and board members.  Bernie challenged the children to grow and mature in their love for the Lord and take hold of God’s vision for them to someday go out and share the gospel throughout Haiti.  We prayed that God would bless this home and it would be used for His honor and glory.  Afterward the kids were treated to a chicken and rice dinner.

Our hearts go out to the thousands of children living in poverty in Haiti.  It was hard to see just a few chosen to live in the orphanage.  Yet, we believe this is God’s will for SFM–to minister to the whole person of a few children.  Six children were chosen from Port-au-Prince.  The day before leaving the country we met these six children and took their pictures for their sponsors.  As we walked toward our vehicle to go back to our hotel I felt the hand of 10 year old Carline take my hand as she anxiously asked me a question.  I shrugged and replied “no Creole”.  Speaking a little slower and a little louder she asked again.  Hearing the concern in her voice we got Pastor Diogene to interpret.  She wanted to be sure of the time and place when she would be picked up to go to the orphanage.  Carline’s mother had died and her father had abandoned her.  Pastor Diogene confirmed the time and place and reassured Carline that, yes, she was one of the chosen for this new home.  Her face softened as the concern vanished.  She happily made her way through the slums of Port-au-Prince to wherever her home was for now, confident that in a short time God had someplace very special for her.  God uses people like you and me to build a home for His Hatian children.  Thank you for responding to His invitation.  It is our desire that He will be honored and praised.

Some gals from Sunrise Church are making quilts for each of the 96 children in the orphanage.  Each Tuesday morning they meet at the church and have a work party.  They begin at 10 o’clock and work till 2 or however long each can stay.  If anyone would like to be part of this you are very welcome to come.  You don’t have to be an expert quilter, but bring your sewing machine if you like to sew.  Otherwise you can iron, pin, or cut blocks.  If you sponsor a child in the orphanage you can work on a quilt for your own child if you like.  Besides being very productive, the fellowship is fun.  Give Sue Brim a call at 366-5106 or Sheryl at 354-2789 just to be sure we are working.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp