As we write this letter, things have settled down a little in Haiti. Increases in the price of food and other necessities of life had caused “food” riots in most of the large towns in Haiti. Tires were burned in the streets and many businesses were vandalized. Marching on the capital brought out the United Nation troops to help bring back control. This resulted in the firing of the country’s prime minister, who was blamed for many of the problems. Then there was an easing of taxes and duty on rice in order for the people to realize a 15% decrease in the price of rice.
Thanks so much for your help during this time. Many of you have added to your sponsorship donations and many others have given specifically to help with the food relief. Many have prayed much for God’s intervention during this difficult time. Your prayers and donations have made a difference. We have been able to help a significant amount of hungry Haitians with food for their families. Through our Haitian churches we have distributed thousands of dollars worth of rice, beans and cooking oil. After receiving a food package, one man in Nan-Paul thanked Pastor Diogene over and over and told him that his family had not had food for three days. Now they would eat again. God has supplied through you! Praise be to God!
We are experiencing challenges as well as blessings in our orphanage ministry. Having 100 plus children living together under one roof brings problems at times. Occasionally, after all other avenues of discipline have been attempted, for the best of others involved, we have had to move some older children out of the orphanage and find other living arrangements for them. We continue to support them in their education whenever possible. However, we are thankful the positives outweigh the negatives.
While visiting the orphanage last month, Idones came and said he would like to meet with me. Idones is about 15 years old and has a 17 year old brother, Rubens, also in the orphanage. They came from the Jean Rabel area. I invited Idones over to my room. He said he wanted me to pray for him. As I inquired how I could specifically pray, Idones responded, “I want to grow in my spiritual life. I want to always live for Jesus and I would like to be able to encourage the younger children in the orphanage in their spiritual lives as well. Please pray for me.” What a joy it is to see God at work in the life of Idones! I lifted Idones up to the throne room of the Lord and prayed for him and his future and that God would use him mightily to reach out to spiritually needy people in Haiti. He also asked me if he could visit his family this next summer. He and Rubens left Jean Rabel almost ten years ago and have not heard from their family in all that time. He said he would like to go and share Jesus with them. We will try to make that happen.
The next day, Wislo said he wanted to see me. Wislo and his two sisters came to the orphanage about seven years ago after both their parents had passed away. Wislo has become a leader in the orphanage. We arranged for him to come to the house the next morning after church. I asked Wislo what I could do for him. His response, “I want to pray for you!” Oh how I welcome that! So he called Eldier and St Julius together and they began to sing, “My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine.” And then the three of them laid their hands on me and prayed. What a gift that is! The prayers of His righteous children availeth much! We are so thankful that God is raising many of our orphanage children into a mature relationship with Jesus Christ.
We appreciate each of you! Please continue to pray for this ministry. God is faithful and doing marvelous things!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp