September 2005 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Over 100 people from Bethel attended the first Sunday church service in their own church on August 7th. The team who constructed the building was there to worship with them. It was a great day! God used Pastor Diogene’s message to speak to the heart of another young woman who then prayed to receive Christ as Savior.

I had been getting a little anxious about the building clearing customs in time — but again, God was right on time. He always is. My timing would have been to give me a little breathing room, but His timing is perfect. The team arrived in Haiti at about noon on Friday and the building cleared customs and was delivered at 4:00 that afternoon. So on a very hot and humid Saturday morning, the team assembled the 24’ X 50’ building in about two and one half hours. (Check out our website at www.starfishministries.org and see some photos of the building in process and completed.) Before the assembly was completed and we were still building benches, the gals on the team made a “flannel-graph” presentation of the gospel to the children who had been watching the construction process.

We are also starting a school in Bethel this month, using the temporary building for three of the classrooms. About 150 children are expected to attend. They are so excited about having their own church and now a school in their village. Thank you for your prayers and support for the work in Bethel. What a blessing to us to see God going ahead of us and inviting us to be part of His work.

Glenn and I went on to Tricotte to spend the next ten days. Your friends at the orphanage and in the village of Tricotte send their greetings to you. The orphan children always tell me to tell you that they are praying for you. So I’m passing that on to you with the confidence that, yes, they are praying.

One afternoon as I was working on the ministry accounting, I heard loud cheering coming from the center of the village. So I finished what I was doing and headed that way. A soccer match was just beginning. Our orphanage girls were teamed up against the Tricotte village girls. Our girls were proudly wearing red uniforms and used soccer shoes. They looked good! A sponsor of an orphan child collected and donated the uniforms and shoes to the team. The playing field was the new Tricotte church building site. The walls are partially up and the floor is fill dirt that needs compacting before the cement floor is poured. So the compacting process is happening with soccer games going almost every day.

Most of the village shows up to enjoy the match. All of the orphanage kids are there. As the game begins, the cheering intensifies. The fans even cut some tree branches to use as pompoms. When the girls score, the crowd goes wild. Our orphan girls ended up winning the match 3 to 1. When the game was over, the orphan kids ran through Tricotte yelling and cheering as they headed back to the orphanage. It is so good to see them having such a good time.

We will be shipping another container to Haiti again in a couple of months. Here is a list of some items we could use to help fill it.

  • more used soccer shoes
  • good used sandals, shoes, and socks
  • dresses, skirts, blouses, t shirts for girls size 5 to misses 8
  • boys jeans, shorts, t shirts, dress shirts & pants, belts, ties, size 5 to men’s small
  • warm weather baby and toddler clothes for village children
  • globes, spiral notebooks, pens & pencils for schools
  • any size sheets and towels
  • toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • new underwear for boys and girls
  • shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and lotions
  • tablespoons
  • games for all ages such as dominoes, playing cards
  • brushes, combs, hair ornaments and jewelry for girls
  • a gift for your sponsored child in a gallon size zip lock bag marked with child’s name and your name

Please drop off at our home at 1811 Main St, Lynden. We are the house at the end of the asphalt driveway. Put in office door on north side of house. Please have it here no later than September 30.

Thanks again for all your support.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp