October 2001 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Obedient, faithful people partnering together to accomplish HIS purposes–what a joy it is to be part of this ministry with you!

Some of you sponsor an orphanage child or school child, some support with general gifts, others assure us they pray often for Starfish Ministries, others have joined teams, and others encourage us by your interest.  God uses each one in His own way to accomplish His purposes.

Our school building is finished in Ravine and school has begun, the first school ever in that village.  We anticipated 90-100 students and approximately 250-300 came.  We have enrolled 150 and the rest were turned away.  The enrolled 150 children were are all beginners so we have 3 classes of Kindergarten and 1 first grade class.  As these new children arrived at school, it soon become evident that they are the poorest of the poor.  Many of them are hungry and have suffered from malnutrition.  Hungry children don’t learn well, so we are starting a feeding program in this school.  However, our hearts go out to the 100 – 150 that were turned away.  How do we meet their needs?   Please pray with us concerning these needs.  We are confident that “God will supply all the needs according to His great riches in Christ Jesus”.   Philippians 4:19.

We are really excited about what’s happening in Nan-Paul.  In this village the August mission team from Sunrise Baptist Church shared the gospel through Vacation Bible School.  During those 3 days of VBS 45 children and adults were saved.  The village had no school or church.  But now it has a children’s church.  Every Saturday morning, one of our orphanage boys, Robenson, age 18, and a Tricotte village boy, Evens, age 21, walk the 2 miles to Nan-Paul and pastor this little church.  They meet outside, under some mango trees, and teach the children songs and the precious Word of God.  Pastor Diogene is mentoring these 2 young men as they develop into present and future church leaders in Haiti.   We are so thankful for what God is doing in Nan-Paul and expect to see an adult church and a school there within the next year or so.  Currently we are looking for land that would be suitable for classrooms and a church building.  Please pray for Robenson and Evens and these 60+ children that currently attend this children’s church.

In August I asked Robenson to interview several of the children in the orphanage.  I think you’ll enjoy some quotes from those interviews.

Rubens Toussaint – “ — Before coming to the orphanage the life wasn’t good for me.  I could not find someone to help me.  One day God was call to Pastor Diogene.  Now I’m better”.

Theophile Mera — “When I was very young somebody is tell me that I was almost lost my life.  Now it’s God’s Grace.  I’m so happy to be in orphanage.”

Eldona Pharisien — “Before coming to orphanage my mother have spoken with me about I was sick so much I was almost to lost.  But with God’s Grace, I am here.”

Joanes Utiles — “When I was 5 years old my father died.  I could not understand because I was so little.  The life wasn’t easy for me.  But now I’m so better than the last years.”

Dieu-Mene — “Before coming to orphanage, I liked voodoo dancing because I was not Christian.  Now I’m Christian and I love Jesus!”

Anita Petit-Frere — “The road wasn’t easy for me.  I did not have somebody to keep me –  to help me.  Only God who kept me and up to now He keeps me.”

Eder Sanon — “My life was bad before coming to orphanage because I was not Christian.  Now I am Christian!”

Violette Charles — “The life was so difficult for me.  I could not understand that.  But God allows me to understand.”

As we have been able to watch these children grow physically and spiritually, we can only praise God for His goodness.  To see these kids on their knees during devotion time, brings tears to our eyes as we realize God’s grace and mercy.  As little 6 year old Anita says – it’s God who “keeps” each of His little ones in His loving hand.

Thank you for your part in this ministry.

Serving our Lord together,

Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp