October 2004 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

A huge “THANK YOU” to so many of you who helped to make Pastor Diogene and Leonette’s visit to the Lynden area a tremendous time of blessing. They told us to pass on their appreciation to you. They were tired (their schedule was full) – but rejoicing for the opportunities they had to share their hearts concerning the ministry in Haiti.

As we write this letter, information is slowly coming in concerning conditions in Haiti. We have still not had any direct report from Tricotte and the orphanage. We do know that the roads are still impassable and this means food and supplies are not moving into our area of ministry and things could be getting desperate soon. The price of gas has gone for $3.48 to $12.68 per gallon in one week’s time in the northern part of Haiti.

Gonaives is the city that was hit with the tropical storm, Jeanne, which caused severe flooding. Over 1500 lost their lives, another 1000 are still missing, and over 200,000 are left homeless. The road south of Gonaives is still covered with water and mud for several miles. The road between Gonaives and Gros-Morne is not passable with vehicles. The people left homeless in Gonaives are trying to get out to find food and water. By the thousands, they are moving south into the Saint-Marc area. They are desperate for help and not finding it.

When Pastor Diogene was here, many of you shared financially with him to help the Haitian people in the midst of this disaster. He was very grateful for this help and will use the money to buy food, water, and building materials. He will partner with other pastors in the Gonaives area to distribute to the most needy and asks that we pray for him as he goes. Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as he shares in the name of Jesus. Also pray for protection and safety among desperate people.

As Pastor Diogene returns to Haiti this week, he is not sure how he will get to Tricotte (the center of our ministry) as the devastated Gonaives is on the route between Port au Prince and Tricotte. Please pray that God will make the way, not only for Pastor Diogene but also for supplies of food to get through to our orphanage and school children there.

Glenn Bridges and I will be going to Haiti October 7 and returning the 21st. We hope to survey the needs in our villages and inspect school buildings and churches for damage. We also would appreciate your prayers for protection.

It’s difficult for us to identify with the tremendous needs in Haiti today. Hunger and thirst is something most of us have never experienced. In a country that is already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere — there is now more devastation. There seems to be no hope! However, Pastor Diogene clearly stated in his message this past Sunday morning. “There is hope for Haiti. And that hope is God!” Our prayer is that these desperate Haitians will turn to the only Source of hope, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that this tragedy will bring many souls to a saving faith in Him.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp