March 2005 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The mission team, a combination of people from Lynden, Canada, Idaho, and one from Illinois, returned home a few days ago. Once again we saw our great God at work in the lives of needy Haitians–children in the orphanage, children in the schools, and many hurting people in the remote villages around Tricotte. We are humbled that God allows us to be part of His work in Haiti. Thank for your support for this team as many of you prayed for us. Your part is a vital role in this ministry.

We had the opportunity to show the children’s version of the ‘Jesus’ film six times. Most of those who watched the film had never seen a movie type picture before. And it was most effective to have the film in their own Creole language. They were “glued” to the screen. We shared the film in a chapel setting in three of our schools and at night in three churches. The response was tremendous. Over 200 children and adults responded to the invitation to follow Jesus.

On Thursday evening we showed the film in the village of Nan-Paul. After setting up our video equipment, screen, and lights in the church, the team started singing worship songs. And the village people began coming. All the benches were filled so we began showing the film. But people continued to come. About 70 – 80 stood in the back of the church. Another 25 or more watched through the open door and windows. Many of them were hearing the gospel message for the first time.

As the film concluded Pastor Diogene gave an opportunity for the people to respond. One married couple stood and came forward. This was a couple who had become Christians earlier that same week through the outreach evangelistic team from the church in Tricotte. The husband was a witch doctor and he and his wife were involved in the voodoo religion. The witch doctor’s mother-in-law had recently died and he was being blamed for her death because it is common for witch doctors to put a death curse on someone. But God used this situation to draw this couple to Himself and they saw their need to turn from their false religion and embrace the truth. They came forward that night to make a public declaration that they had turned from voodooism and were now following Jesus Christ. It is especially difficult for a witch doctor to convert since he is not only turning from his religion but also is turning form his source of income. The church leaders from Tricotte went to the couple’s home, burned everything that was associated with voodoo and prayed protection over their lives and property. There’s much opposition in that village, but God is at work and will use the decision of this couple to further His Kingdom in Nan-Paul. Please pray for this family — that God will keep them safe and strong in Him and that they would be able to influence others for Christ.

A highlight of the trip was the orphanage party on Saturday afternoon. The children had not yet had their annual Christmas party so this was it. There was a lot of decorating — balloons, crepe paper and pictures. In the early afternoon, the team set up a carnival type play area with lots of games, prizes, and candy like they’d never experienced before. The kids had a blast. Then the kids sang and told jokes and riddles and had lots of special entertainment. Later, dinner was a feast of goat & chicken, rice & beans, soft drinks, and the ever popular ICE! They ate to their fill and then some. After it got dark, we set up the video equipment and showed the Disney cartoon movie ‘Finding Nemo”. It was a great party! Most of the kids thanked me for all the food and fun and I pass that “thank you” on to you.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! Your partnership in this ministry is vital!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp