Dear Friends,

While in Haiti last week I visited some of our schools.  This time I took the opportunity to interview a couple of our school children.  In the village of Nan-Paul it was lunch time at the school.  The kids were coming out of their classes, heading to the outside kitchen where each received a large dish of rice.  (This rice was donated to Starfish Ministries by Feed My Starving Children, FMSC, a Minnesota Christian non-profit organization).

I informed Carius, the school headmaster and pastor of the Nan-Paul church, that I wanted to interview one of his students.  As Clenson Alteus came to receive his dish of rice Carius pulled him aside and the interview began.  Clenson was born in Nan-Paul on September 19, 1997.  He is currently in the third grade and he tells me that he is doing very well in school.  Clenson tells me that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up.  He lives with his grandmother in the village since his father has gone to the Dominican Republic to try to find work and his mother is a merchant on the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Clenson’s grandmother has nothing except the little his mother sends to them from time to time.  And then two weeks ago, Clenson’s grandmother got sick and went to Port-au-Prince to try to get some medical help.  Clenson moved in with an older cousin and he said that they have nothing, not even food to eat.  So as he stood sharing with me, with his dish of rice in his hands, Clenson told me how important this meal was for him. He said he didn’t know if he would have anything to eat again until lunchtime tomorrow.

I asked Clenson if he was a Christian and his quick response was, “No, but I want to be.”  But he went on to say that his mom doesn’t want him to become a Christian.  As I left Nan-Paul that morning, Pastor Carius was explaining to Clenson the good news of Jesus Christ.

From Nan-Paul we went to Remoussin.  Headmaster and Pastor Exalus brought me seven year old Stephanie Dorvil.  Stephanie was born in Drigeon, a nearby village, and is one of seven children.  Her dad and mom could not take care of all these children so Stephanie and an older sister were sent to live with an aunt in Remoussin.  Although the aunt has six children of her own she was willing to take on two more.  The aunt and her husband became Christians during one of the evangelical crusades in Remoussin about three years ago.

I asked Stephanie if she was a Christian and her immediate response was “Yes, when I moved in with my aunt a year ago, she introduced me to Jesus.”  Pastor Exalus says that Stephanie and her new family in Remoussin are regularly in church and Sunday School and are growing in their faith in God.

Although Stephanie is only in the first grade, when I asked her if she had a goal for her future she said she wanted to be a nurse.

As I hear these kids’ stories I’m encouraged.  In a country that so often seems hopeless – with so much tragedy and disaster – with hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, cholera epidemic, corrupt government and so much more.  If we focused on these hardships we would despair.  But then to hear the first hand stories of Clenson and Stephanie and realize that God is allowing us to reach out to over 7000 more of His precious children, I am excited and praise Him for what He is doing in these individual lives.

Thank you so much for helping to make this possible.  Your prayers and financial support are so appreciated.  Your partnership with us is making a difference in these lives.

Have a very blessed Christmas!

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp

Thank you for your response to the Christmas Giving List! If you desire to contribute, there is still time to do so.

Oh, yes, a well drilling report – Doug Jarvie and Vince Buys reached 180 feet before we had to pack up and catch our plane home but still no water.  I really appreciate these guys’ patience and willingness to give of their time to pursue clean drinking water in these needy villages.  Doug is heading back to Haiti in late December and will continue the well drilling effort in Remoussin.  Thanks for you prayers – we trust that God will provide!



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