October 2005 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

 Our Starfish Ministries’ office is overflowing with grand offerings of all kinds. Your generosity has enabled us to pack many needed and sought after items for the orphan kids, schools, and village people of Haiti.. As we sorted and labeled we moved the ‘ready to go’ containers into our garage which is now stacked with rows of large bags and boxes marked “village” “orphanage” “shoes” “towels” “sheets” “glasses” “backpacks” “sponsor gifts” “quilts” “soccer shoes” “soccer uniforms” “school supplies” “orphanage toys, etc”. We heartily thank you for the generous donations for the container.

I plan to get the metal roofing, windows, framing lumber, and solar panels in the 40 foot container, which sits just north of Westside, this week end so we can then begin to load the donated items. If anyone is hoping to still send a sponsor gift or anything else you have a few more days, till the middle of October. Thanks again for your generosity.

Sometimes our American gifts can be a bit mysterious for our Haitian kids. Sheryl and I once sent a frisbee to one of our sponsored children along with some other items. When the thank you letter came back to us, he thanked us for the plate. I can just imagine that frisbee plate loaded up with rice, beans and goat and never used for its intended purpose.

This month Sheryl and I have been especially conscious of prayer and how our lives have been deeply impacted in this ministry through the power of prayer. A few days ago I was talking to an older couple and they said there wasn’t much they could do to help us in the ministry. They said, however, that without fail, they pray for Sheryl and me every day. Now I’ve got to say this — that is huge!! Someone recently shared with me that they would sooner be friends with a dedicated prayer warrior than friends with the richest man in the world. More gets accomplished in the kingdom of God through prayer than through vast sums of money. I agree. Now don’t take that as an invitation to stop sending your financial support — but take it as an encouragement to pray on. We appreciate your prayers.

There are areas of our ministries in which we are struggling and especially need wisdom. Making decisions regarding schools is a concern. The operation of 24 schools comes with many questions we have not encountered before. We need to rely on God’s guidance one step at a time.

Another area of concern at this time is the transition of our older orphanage children, especially the boys, into the next stage of their life. Some of these ‘boys’ are about 20 years old. We need to find a home more suitable for them. Some will still be finishing their elementary school, others are moving toward higher education, trade school, or some other opportunities.

We did not go to Haiti this past month, so I was off the hook to be in shape for the 3 hour trip to Corail. But exciting things are happening in that village. More on that next month.

Pastor Diogene tells me that the Bethel church is filling up for every service. There are as many people there for the Tuesday afternoon Bible study as on Sunday morning for church. We are praising God for His work in these lives.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp