March 2001 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Many of you have been praying along with us that Leonette, Pastor Diogene’s wife, would get her green card, allowing her to return to Haiti.  The orphanage in Haiti was Leonette’s vision.  She longs to be there with the children and we believe she needs to be there too.  Recently something very interesting has been brought to our attention.  While living in the states, Leonette spends 3 hours a day on her knees praying for Pastor Diogene’s ministry in Haiti.  During these 3 hours she is not to be disturbed for any reason.  Perhaps for now, God is using Leonette in a more powerful way than we can imagine.  “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, My ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts, than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This morning I read in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest “We should get in the habit of continually seeking God’s counsel on everything, instead of making our own common sense decisions and then asking Him to bless them.”  I thought back over the last 3 years and realize that our involvement in Haiti really doesn’t make much sense.  Why wouldn’t God call someone closer, like in Miami, to go and minister in Tricotte?  Logistically that would be so much easier–shorter flights, better communication, and a host of other logical reasons could be considered.  So why did He call us?  I certainly don’t understand God’s thinking.  I do know it is so important that we don’t “lean on our own understanding” but that we do continually seek God’s counsel on everything.  Then we must obediently move forward as we “trust in Him with all our hearts.”

We shared in a newsletter a while ago that one of our boys, Salnave, had been taken from the orphanage because of his hard attitude after being caught stealing.  He was taken back to his very poor mother and siblings.  Hearing we were in Tricotte in January, he and his mother took public transportation from their village to Tricotte.  Pastor Diogene met with Salnave. He felt that Salnave’s heart had softened and that he was very repentant and agreed to give Salnave an opportunity to prove himself.  He needs to complete the school year at his present school and then he will be allowed a three month trial period back at the orphanage.  We were also encouraged by the warm receptive attitude of the orphanage children toward Salnave and his coming back.  We rejoice that our Good Shepherd seeks after the one sheep who has gone astray.  “It is not the will of the Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  (Matthew 18:14)

In November while we were in Tricotte, Sanelia, our house mother, shared with us that a few of the older girls were not being respectful and obedient to her.  Realizing how very important it is for the older ones to set a good example for the approximately 100 younger brothers and sisters we felt immediate and severe action needed to be taken.  I talked to all of the older children, praising some who were setting a good example and challenging others.  Pastor Diogene spoke privately with the few girls explaining that if they were to remain in the orphanage their attitude would need to change.  We are very thankful to now hear a good report from Sanelia.  The girls are now respectful, obedient and doing their chores with a good attitude.

Sanelia is also expecting her second child, probably in June.  We have been encouraging her to delegate more responsibility to our other workers, as she has quite a take charge, hard working, do it myself personality.

As this ministry grows, our desire is to wait patiently on the Lord.  He has called, He will continue to show us what is next.  We praise Him as we see His provision over and over again.

It is through the faithful prayers and financial partners of Starfish Ministries, that He accomplishes His work.

With heartfelt thanks for your participation in this ministry,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp