It’s Friday, March 28th, about 10:30 in the morning. I’m sitting in my room in the guesthouse here in Tricotte, Haiti, in 90 degree humid weather. I’ve been reflecting over the last couple of weeks. I’m sure the war is a big part of the news and life at home. But here in Haiti, most people are oblivious to it. They continue to struggle for their next meal, wonder how to support families, and are concerned with what their future holds.
Yesterday I visited a new village, Trou-Codon. It is one of 30 – 40 villages that have applied for support for a school in their village. A few weeks ago some of the village leaders and parents came to Tricotte to meet with Norius, the school director for Starfish Ministries. They told him they had heard about our ministry and asked if we could help them. Norius began to pray and a few days later visited the village to survey the need. He discovered many children with no possibility for an education and no gospel presence in the village. So Norius began to inquire about available land for a school and possibly a church.
We traveled by vehicle for about a half hour and then had to walk the last 15 minutes to reach Trou-Codon. We found a very primitive village with small huts with mud walls and thatched roofs. After looking at the available land, we began the hike back to our vehicle. We met a couple of men from the village and Pastor Diogene began a conversation with them. He asked them what they thought about a possible school and church in their village. One of the men told Diogene that he had heard of the work Starfish is doing and they welcomed us to come to their village and start a school. Diogene then asked him what he knew about Jesus. His response was, “I have heard of Him and am interested. If you start a church in our village, I will come and become a follower of Jesus.” We are trusting that God is opening this door to start an outreach into this needy village.
Because of the war, the team that was to come to join us the second week felt it best to postpone their trip. So the evangelistic crusade in Nan-Paul is rescheduled to a later date. Pastor Diogene and I went to Nan-Paul a couple days ago. It was so interesting to watch Diogene at work with the people. He seems to know everyone and reaches out to people wherever he goes. In Nan-Paul that day, several times I saw him reach into his pocket and give a little money to someone after inquiring of their needs. As we were leaving the village and were about to cross the river, a man came up and offered to wash the pickup. So Diogene moved the pickup into the middle of the river and the man began his work.
Diogene then interacted with people who were washing clothes and coming to fetch water. Some were bathing. Diogene asked one man if he had considered the gospel message he had shared with him the last time they talked. The man said yes, and that he was planning to come to the new Nan-Paul church when it started in order to learn more. God is at work in the hearts of these people. We look forward to the opportunity to see these people in Nan-Paul and Trou-Codon and many other places in Haiti become Christians.
Glenn and Doug have been very busy with construction projects. They have completed the well drilling in Ravine which is now over 100 feet deep. Today they are checking the depth and volume of the water and optimistically expect over 40 feet of water. On our next trip they will install the hand water pump so the people of Ravine will have a water source in their village for the first time. They have also helped to lay out the foundation for the new church in Ravine and have assured me it is square and level. In Tricotte they have also been doing some electrical and plumbing projects at the orphanage. We really appreciate these guys and their wives for supporting them in this ministry. It means being away from home a lot and a real sacrifice. We thank God for their dedication to helping the needy people of Haiti.
We appreciate your prayers. Many decisions need to be made concerning new village schools in the fall. We have many children available for sponsorship and as more of them are sponsored, it makes it possible to reach out to more villages to be able to minister to more children and adults. God always supplies and He is using you to accomplish that supply in Haiti. Thank you!!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp