I’m on my way home again from Haiti. Glenn Bridges, Vince Buys and I spent two weeks in Tricotte and Port-au-Prince. I really appreciate these guys and their service to the Lord as they serve the people of Haiti in very practical ways.
Vince is one of our well drilling experts and he spent nine days of the trip working on drilling two wells. The first one was in Ti-David, one of our school and church villages. After he and his Haitian helpers, Michelan and Wilson, got the equipment set up we were led by Pastor Esau in a time of prayer, asking for safety and success. This village is about a half hour walk away from a river and that is the source of all their water needs. So having a well with a good hand pump will be very helpful for them. Our prayer is that we find pure, clean, drinkable water to provide for this entire village. But it wasn’t to happen on this trip. On the third day of drilling and down to about 85 feet one of the cables broke. So Vince and crew had to reattach the bit with the remaining cable but it wasn’t enough to go much further down. Vince had estimated that this well would need to be over 150 feet deep.
New cable is not readily available in Haiti so we would not be able to finish the well on this trip. Disappointing? Yes– but it also provides an opportunity. The last time we had drilled in Port-au-Prince we were not able to complete all the wells we had intended. AND in the Port-au-Prince area we usually reach good water at 80 feet. So Vince broke down the equipment in Ti-David and headed for Port-au-Prince. Drilling was slow at first but on the second day of drilling he was at about 60 feet when suddenly things really moved quickly. In the next half hour he dropped 20 feet and was in a sandy layer filled with good water. We thank God for the opportunity to provide this water for Haitians in need. And we trust that when the necessary cable arrives with our next container we will be able to successfully complete the well in Ti-David.
Glenn worked on the water and electrical systems for the medical clinic and orphanage in Tricotte. On a previous trip Glenn had a well hand dug down close to the stream running below our orphanage. He had great success with over 20 gallons of water per minute flowing into this 17 foot deep well. So this trip was dedicated to getting that water up the mountain to a location behind our guesthouse in large storage tanks. Glenn installed a solar powered pump that pumps 11 gallons per minute. He had his Haitian helpers dig a trench about 400 feet long to run the pipes and electrical wire to power the pump.
I was working in the house on Tuesday afternoon when Glenn excitedly came in and announced, “Do you hear that?” The sound was water pouring into the tanks. The next word out of his mouth was, “Hallelujah!” We praise God for his provision!
On Glenn’s next trip to Haiti in early November Neal Hershey will join him and they will add a purification system and then we will have all the water we need for the orphanage and the medical clinic.
I spent much of my time in meetings with our Haiti directors and school administrators as we prepared for the start of the new school year on October 1. God has provided good leadership and I enjoy planning and budgeting for our school ministry. Based on our pre-registration we will have almost 4000 children this year. What a great opportunity to provide education, physical food each day and spiritual food for all these children that God has entrusted to us.
Daniel and I took the day off last Monday to go relax at the beach. Well that’s not entirely true. We loaded up the 30 oldest kids from the orphanage into our two pickups and drove them to the beach for a fun day. Not one of these children had ever experienced the ocean beach before that day. They were a bit tentative at first but Daniel, Apollos and Lizette took them by the hand and waded out. And the fun began! They spent the next three hours playing in the enjoyable waters of the Caribbean. It was a good break for us and such a joy to watch these kids have a day out of the normal orphanage life. I wish you all could have been there.
Thank you so much for your support for this ministry. We really appreciate your prayers and financial support. God is using you to make a difference in Haiti.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp