(Dictated to Sheryl on the phone from Tricotte.)
Glenn Bridges and I arrived in Haiti Monday afternoon. Looking out our airplane window we saw a military tent city right next to our runway. As we got off the plane and walked to the immigration terminal we were greeted by troops in a jeep. Pastor Diogene was waiting to pick us up. As we drove to our hotel in Port au Prince we saw a lady laying by the side of the road, likely a pedestrian hit by a vehicle, being attended to by military medics and other soldiers standing watch. There were several French military personnel staying at our hotel. Wherever we went, U.N . forces were visible. I don’t think I have ever felt more safe in Haiti.
On Tuesday we went to several schools and churches around Port au Prince and helped distribute food. Over the last month we have received some generous donations to help the Haitians who don’t have enough to eat, and it was a privilege to represent you, our partners in ministry, in this distribution process.
At one church, after giving out rice and cooking oil to about 40 families, a mother came over to me with a huge “merci, merci.”. I pass on to you that “thank you.”.
We drove east out of Port au Prince for about 20 minutes to the village of Joineau. Pastor Diogene’s church has been reaching out to this village. Most of the mud huts showed signs of voodoo worship. One young lady has recently become a Christian. Pastor Diogene spent some time with her, asking about the voodoo influence around her. She responded, “I am now in the family of the One who is greater than all of those, so I don’t need to fear.” We praise God for His work in this village. They will be the recipient of some of the food relief donations.
As we walked through the village there were children all around interested in these ‘blancs’. One little toddler hid behind her mother’s skirts hardly daring to peek at this strange looking white man. Many of these children showed serious signs of malnutrition with very rusty colored hair.
Today (Wednesday) we drove to Tricotte. I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve never seen the roads so bad. The good news is that the government has announced that they have much of the funding needed to fix the roads and plan to start soon.
We were welcomed by the orphanage children and friends in Tricotte and are excited about spending the next few days with them. We’ll be traveling to several of our schools, taking pictures of children needing sponsors, checking out unreached villages, inspecting some construction projects, and distributing more food. Glenn also has some construction projects in the village to work on so we will be busy.
We do appreciate your prayers and support. Thank you for being part of this ministry. Please pray for us as we decide on additional areas of ministry. We desire to go where God is at work and is inviting us to come alongside Him. We desire His wisdom and direction.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp