Conditions in Haiti continue to deteriorate. More gangs fighting to control more areas. Recent assassinations of a politician and reporter. Citizens caught in the crossfire. Food is very scarce and fuel almost impossible to find. And we could go on and on about the tremendous hardship Haitians are exposed to daily.
Our Haitian director, Daniel, remains faithful and presses on to serve his people. Daniel grew up very poor. He knows the feeling of not knowing what he would have to eat each day. He remembers going days at a time without food. Daniel understands poverty because he lived it. Daniel recently shared that “through Starfish Ministries I have the opportunity to serve students who are experiencing exactly what I experienced as a child. I am a missionary to my own people. In their faces, their struggles, their prayers for help, I see myself.”
I remember the day several years ago that Daniel encountered a blind man, dressed in rags, begging for food on the streets. Daniel came back to the guesthouse in Tricotte and exclaimed, “This is not acceptable.” Daniel gathered some food and clothing, went back to the man, and told him he wanted to help him. The blind man wept and told Daniel that he had never heard those words before. While others saw an old, poor blind man, Daniel saw himself in him.
Daniel continued to minister to him over the next couple of years with the help of FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) and Starfish Ministries. He made sure he had food every day and built a small two room house for him. Daniel goes on to explain, “He not only became a friend to me, but he also became a brother in Christ. He’d never experienced God’s love in his life before. Other people didn’t see the value in him; they didn’t see him. He felt forgotten by the world and in turn, by God.”
The kindness that Daniel showed to him changed all that. He came to love the Lord and before he passed away, he had the full assurance he was on his way to his heavenly home.
Daniel shared, “Truthfully, I helped do these things for him not just because of my own experiences; I did it because of Jesus. What Jesus did for me! What Jesus did for all of us! What Jesus calls us to do for others in return! The need here is great. There are so many people who need to see a vision for a better life for themselves. I believe God has called me to help give them that vision.”
Daniel ended this communication with, “God brought me out of poverty, and He gave me the mission to do the same for others. So, until that work is done, I will serve my people in the same way the Lord has served me.”
Starfish Ministries is so blessed to have Daniel with “boots on the ground” in Haiti to lead the ministry. God is using him to truly make a difference in the lives of thousands of needy Haitians. Through the orphanage, schools, medical clinic, church planting, agriculture projects, humanitarian relief, construction projects, elderly ministries we are able to offer “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” It would seem that conditions in Haiti couldn’t be worse – but God is at work and through the good times or the hard times. We trust Him!
Thank you so much for your partnership with us in Haiti. Your gifts are going to help provide for the needs in a desperate country. Please continue to pray for Daniel and his team – especially for safety and for opportunities to share the gospel and for a fruitful harvest of souls.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp