September 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

A couple of days ago I was talking to our new Haitian Starfish Ministries director, Daniel, on the telephone and he shared about his day.  He had just spent most of the week in Tricotte and had several meetings with our orphanage workers, orphanage children and school directors.  He had also met with our construction workers and checked out the progress of the school building in Remoussin.

While in Remoussin, Daniel met with Pastor Exalius who pastors the church there and also is the headmaster of the school.  Exalius has a tremendous heart for the people of that area and uses his gifts to shepherd the people of the area.  He told Daniel about a particularly needy couple.  Annonse Pierre became paralyzed from the waist down in an accident nine years ago and has not walked since.  He has no wheel chair so the only way he gets around is by sliding on the ground by pulling himself with his arms.

His wife walked about three miles to attend an evangelistic crusade in Remoussin and she responded to the invitation to become a follower of Jesus.  When Exalius visited them at their home recently he was shocked at the conditions in which they lived.  Exalius shared this with Daniel and took him to visit the couple and Daniel saw for himself .  The house, shown here, is about 10’ x 14’ and is constructed of sticks, mud and thatch.  As you can see the thatch is old and certainly not holding out the rains, so they tried to keep dry by putting some sheets and blankets over the roof.  But the blankets are doing little good and the dirt floor is now a muddy mess with the recent heavy rains.

The wife tries to support herself and her husband by selling gasoline.  She buys a gallon or two (depending on how much money she has available) and puts it into quart or  pint containers.   Then she  sits out on the  roadside and hopes  to find a motorcycle taxi coming along that needs a little refueling to get to the next customer so she can make a few cents on that transaction and buy some food.  However on this day she had no money and was desperate for food as well.  Daniel gave her $100 Haitian ($12.50 US).  She didn’t want to take it without the agreement to pay it back but Daniel refused.  This was a gift from the Lord he said.

But now what do we do?  That was Daniel’s question as he told me about this needy couple.  As we discussed the situation we concluded that when God shows us this type of need we have no choice but to respond and do what we can to make a difference for this couple.  So Starfish Ministries will help them build a small house – with a rock foundation, concrete floor, cement block walls and metal roofing.

We trust that God will use the support for this couple to soften the heart of the paralyzed man and that he too will become a Christian.

This is just a part of one day in the life of Starfish Ministries Director Daniel.  Please pray for him – his days are full of seeing the plight of hurting people.

Philip, Glenn and I left for Haiti on Sunday night, August 28.  Philip will be speaking at a pastors’ conference with Pastor Diogene for a couple of days and then returning home.  Glenn and I will spend about two weeks in Tricotte.  Glenn will be working on well-drilling equipment and finalizing plans for the medical clinic that we will be starting to build in Tricotte later this year.  I will be working with Daniel on school budgets, meeting with our headmasters and school directors and other ministry administration.  Thank you for praying for us as we travel and minister in Haiti.

Your financial support is really appreciated!!  Without that we would not be able to respond to the needy couple.  God does always supply the needs and uses you to accomplish His purposes through your prayers and giving.  Thanks much for being obedient to Him!!!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl and Philip Bovenkamp