May 2005 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Our trip to Kenya was a tremendous encouragement to Sheryl and me. Our time with our son, Mainka, from the Maasai tribe of Africa was special. We quickly bonded with him as he called us Mom and Dad. We began sponsoring Mainka through Childcare International in 1994 and continued to support him through his Bible College education. As a chosen speaker of his graduating class we were very proud of him. Through interaction with his professors, his fellow classmates, and the people in the church in which he ministered, we heard about a dedicated young man who has been effectively serving the Lord and being used of God to touch the lives of many.

Mainka has a very humble and quiet spirit. But when he spoke at graduation, in his church, and at a celebration held in his honor at his home community he spoke confidently and boldly of his God. We believe that God will use Mainka mightily as he ministers to his Maasai tribe and beyond.

It is so encouraging for us to see the results of God at work in a young man’s life through sponsorship. I met him personally in 1994 when Mainka was in elementary school. Since then we have prayed for him, wrote him a letter occasionally, and sent our monthly support. We are very humbled to see that 12 year old child now a young pastor, totally dedicated to Jesus Christ with a heart for the lost in his Maasai tribe and his country of Kenya.

This experience has shown us first hand the great value of child sponsorship. We currently have 116 sponsored children in the orphanage and about 320 sponsored in our school ministry. There are another 25 sponsored that are already in high school or college. Thank you for your support for these children. Please pray for them and write to them. We believe that God is using you to help impact these precious lives. These children will be the future teachers, nurses, doctors, construction workers, Sunday School workers, agronomists, engineers, pastors, welders, seamstresses and possibly even the president of Haiti. It is our vision that these children will become godly men and women and be the leaders in their villages and churches as they serve their Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. Your faithful financial and prayer support helps to make this possible.

The month of May is full. Tobey Vos and I have a meeting in Port-au-Prince on Saturday morning, May 7. Later that afternoon a construction team of ten more guys from the Lynden area will join us. This team will be working May 9 – 14 on a new church building in Tricotte. This new church will be able to accommodate over 1000 people. The team will be working side by side with the Haitian Church members. They also intend to show the Jesus film a couple of times.

Then on Monday, May 16, Pastors Kim Ryan and four others arrive in Haiti to lead a three day leadership training seminar. This training is a very important, because as our ministry continues to grow, many Haitians are needed to lead schools and churches.

On Tuesday, May 17, the construction team along with the leadership training team will go to the village of Bethel and take part in a one night evangelistic crusade. Our plan is to show the Jesus film out under a tree.

Thank you for your prayers for these teams. We trust that God will impact our lives as we are faithful to Him.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp