September 2001 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As schools begin, both here in the U.S. and also in Haiti, we reflect back to one year ago.  Starfish Ministries had been asked to take over the operation of four schools in some surrounding villages of Tricotte.  At first that seemed way out of our reach.  Where would sponsorship and additional funding for that amount of kids ever come from!?  We prayed earnestly over the summer for God’s will.  We believed the vision God had given us was to work with the few children of our orphanage, meeting all of their needs.  Was God now moving our hearts to take over the educational support of 1000 children?  After much prayer and searching God’s word for wisdom, we believed God wanted us to do just that, although it seemed overwhelming.

Now as we look at the beginning of our second school year, we are completely amazed at God’s work.  Over the last year 115 children have been sponsored in this school ministry.  The gathering of these sponsors has been an ongoing miracle to us.  GOD alone has moved the hearts of people and they have obeyed His leading.  This has enabled 4 schools to operate, teaching approximately 1000 children.  These children are hearing the gospel and godly living principles daily.  All of the teachers were inspired and trained through a 5-day workshop in Tricotte this summer.  Our school director is doing a great job overseeing this school ministry.  God again has shown us His power and provision for these needy children. 

And now two more schools have been added to this ministry.  Another existing school of 450 students has lost its support and we will now be able to operate it.  This school is in the village of Drigeon, where we built a church in 1999.

In the village of Ravine, most of the children do not go to school because they would have to walk to the village of Beaudois.  Funds have been provided to purchase land in Ravine for a school building and we have begun construction of a 4-room classroom building at a cost of $12,000.  This fall 90 – 100 children, clad in new school uniforms, will begin their education in their new school, grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  More grades will be added each year as needed.  These children will have the opportunity not only for an education, but to daily hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

In August we took pictures of children in both Drigeon and Ravine.  Perhaps God is asking you to also be a part of providing for one of His children.

Twenty-three youth, parents, and other adults from Sunrise Baptist Church were involved in a mission trip to Haiti in August.  The team did three days of Bible School in the village of Nan-Paul.  This is a village of about 1000 people, heavily influenced be the voodoo religion.  Over the last years Christians from Tricotte have gone door to door in Nan-Paul sharing the Gospel.  As our mission team shared the difference between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, 44 children and adults came forward to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Just the week before, an evangelistic team from Pastor Diogene’s churches in Tricotte and Port-au-Prince, walked two hours (one way) to the village of Bera and shared throughout that village.  Forty-five received Jesus as Savior, including a witchdoctor.  It is so good to see God at work in Haiti and touching the desperate lives of these needy people.

The harvest is plentiful in Haiti and God is faithful.  We thank “Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us – to Him be the glory.”  Ephesians 3:20,21b

Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry in Haiti.  Your prayers and support are a vital part of what God is doing!

Serving our Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp