Dear Friends,

All of our luggage, including the lost shoe suitcase (from August), and all 100 plus quilts arrived safely in Haiti.  Going through customs went smoothly and then as we went outside the Port-au-Prince airport to load up our luggage and ourselves, we were bombarded with Haitian “help”.  Hundreds of people, pushing, shoving, and attempting to help in some small way in order to earn a tip.  With the help of Johnson, the young man I hired to help us carry and load, and Pierre, our paid translator, we made it into our vehicles and it only cost me about $45.00 in tips.

On Saturday, November 11, the quilts were presented to our 100 children in the orphanage.  Each quilt, made uniquely different, labeled with the child’s name, were presented with love to these special children.  As the children took them and placed them on their beds, it really brightened up each room.  Some of the children chose to keep their quilt folded and hidden away.  When I inquired about this, they indicated a desire to keep it clean.  In so doing, it wasn’t brightening that room and it reminded me of us, when we don’t allow our “light” to shine in the world around us, we don’t brighten our little corner of the world.  It’s like, “hide it under a bushel; NO! I’m gonna let it shine.”  The children really appreciated having this possession of their own.  Thank you Sue Brim and all your helpers for making this possible.

For Christmas this year, we are doing a couple of things for our children in the orphanage.  First, we are having a special Christmas dinner on Christmas day.  A memorial gift has been received to cover the cost of this dinner.  Secondly, we are having a party for the children.  Anyone desiring to be a part of this, may contribute a small amount to Starfish Ministries marked for “party”.  Pastor Diogene will purchase some new soccer balls, jump ropes and other items that all the kids can enjoy, as well as candy, cookies and soft drinks with ice for the party. 

This was the first trip to Haiti since we began our school support ministry.  It was exciting to see and hear what God is doing in these schools and villages.  As we embarked on this additional phase of our ministry, our goal was to provide the opportunity for each child in these villages to receive an education.  Part of this education is daily Bible teaching and the opportunity to become a Christian.  We are already seeing positive results.  In each school, enrollment has increased over last year by at least 40 students.  In Beaudois, it increased by 111 students!  In the village of David, since the beginning of this school year, 23 children have been saved and when we shared there in Bible School, 21 more trusted Christ as Savior.  Praise God!  He is at work in these villages.

This does present us with more opportunities.  As other nearby villages hear about what we are doing in these four villages, they are asking us to start schools or help with existing schools in their villages.  As God supplies sponsors for more children, we will be able to continue to expand this ministry.  Thank you for your involvement.  We do have about 100 more children to be sponsored.  If you are interested or know of someone who is, please contact us.  The sponsorship of a child is $25.00 per month and 100% of that goes to support the school that child attends, as well as helping with school supplies and school uniforms.

As we close out our 3rd year in Starfish Ministries, we are so grateful for what God is doing and allowing us the privilege to be a part of.  It’s with joy in our hearts that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, realizing it’s only by His grace and supernatural strength that we can accomplish anything for His purposes.  It’s our goal to abide in Him, learn to love Him more, and be obedient to whatever and wherever He calls.

Thank you for being such a vital part of this ministry as you pray and support!

May your Christmas be filled with Christ’s joy, peace, and love.

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp


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