March 2009 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Pastor Diogene often asks me to extend his greetings and appreciation to his friends and supporters in America – so on behalf of Pastor Diogene, “Thank You so much for partnering with us in reaching out to the lost of Haiti.”

A couple of weeks ago Pastor Diogene presided over six marriages in the village of Bethel. It was a huge celebration! Prior to the church plant and spiritual transformation in Bethel, the witchdoctors discouraged couples from getting married. So none of them actually married. Now as these couples become Christians, they are encouraged by Pastor Diogene to be married as soon as possible. So six new Christian couples responded to what they believed was obedience to God and recited their marriage vows in a wedding ceremony.

Diogene’s wife, Lionette, coordinates the weddings and makes this occasion a grand event. She dresses the brides in beautiful wedding gowns (purchased by Sheryl at garage sales and thrift stores). Most of the men don’t own a suit so they borrow one from the men in Pastor’s Diogene’s church in Port-au-Prince. Lionette also decorates with whatever we send her and whatever she can find there to make this wedding a beautiful time of celebration. Starfish Ministries helps with a reception and a great party is enjoyed by all.

Pastor Diogene reported that many people of the area attended, Christian and non Christian alike. They had not seen anything like this before and it was a tremendous testimony to the people of this area.

Three of these couples are also recent recipients of houses due to their losses during the September flooding. In late February we had a team putting roofs on these houses and pouring concrete floors. This team from NCCTK in Lynden did a great job of interacting with the Haitians as they accomplished their goal of roofing six houses in Bethel. These flood victims were so very grateful. As we would complete one house we would gather the family and pray for them and dedicate their new home to the Lord. And did we ever get hugged! We don’t normally see a lot of demonstrated emotion in Haiti but we sure did see it from these people. And we pass that on to you – your prayers and support have made this possible.

The team also taught a couple of Haitian cement workers how to finish cement and then turned that project over to them. With the proper tools, Remy and NaNa did a great job and their future in cement finishing is set in concrete.

We have now completed eleven houses in Haiti and currently have another twenty-two under construction. Pastor Diogene tells us that this project is also a big testimony to the goodness of God. Many people are watching and are affected by what they are seeing. We trust that God will use this to also reach many with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

None of this would be happening without your support. We highly value your prayers and financial support as we continue to be obedient to the call to serve the poorest of the poor in Haiti. The time is right for a tremendous harvest of souls. Thank you for continuing to pray for Pastor Diogene and his ministry team as they go throughout Haiti to share Jesus and plant new churches.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp