As we begin this year it is our desire to continue to share the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Haitian people. We’re not always sure exactly how God wants us to do that. Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” We hope to stay close to Him and allow Him to direct our lives in order to accomplish what He desires in Haiti.
Pastor Diogene recently told me that just 4 years ago Satan was in control of the village of Bethel, however today “the Living Christ reigns!” The power of darkness has been overcome by the almighty power of God. We have also seen this happen in several other villages where we started schools within the past few years. And we trust that God is softening the hearts of people in many more villages. As the great news of salvation through Jesus Christ is shared in villages through the school ministry, people are responding to God’s call bringing forth a great harvest of believers.
In the village of Bethel there was a witchdoctor named Jackie. A year ago, after much agonizing warfare, Jackie submitted to Christ and became a Christian. During the evangelistic crusade in Bethel a few weeks ago, Jackie was one of 13 people baptized by Pastor Diogene. He shared at that service about what God had done in his life and how he wanted to totally live for Jesus Christ. Diogene said that God’s hand is on Jackie and he sees the potential of a very gifted, influential Christian leader.
Pastor Diogene tells me that there are between 20 and 25 witchdoctors in Bethel. He has developed a relationship with two of them. They are upset with what’s happening in Bethel because their jobs are in jeopardy. The people who formally came to them for protection are no longer coming. They also shared with Pastor Diogene about the huge satanic ceremony that had taken place in Bethel for the past few decades. This was always held the last week of December through the first week of the new year. This was a celebration of the power of Satan and his demons along with a time of sacrificing to appease the demons. However, the demons no longer come and this year was the first year there was no celebration. They realize that God has taken over and the demonic power cannot compete.
One of the witchdoctors, who has many children, told Diogene the spirits are mad at him because some of his children have trusted the Savior and are now attending our school and church. The spirits don’t like that at all. Jackie’s life has also been threatened recently by the witchdoctors who want him to denounce his faith and come back to being a witchdoctor. They have put curses on him but all to no avail. So now they have started to threaten Jackie’s young son. But Jackie is convinced that God will protect him and his family.
It is difficult for us in America to realize the reality of some of this demonic influence. It is also difficult at times for us in America to recognize the influence of the enemy that we encounter here, like the busyness of life and those seemingly important things that too often take precedent over “God’s things.” It is good to know that God is in control of Bethel and the lives of the new believers, and it is our desire that we would allow Him to control our lives here and the decisions we make. We appreciate your prayers.
Thank you for being a part of this battle – please continue the fight. We appreciate you!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp