Dear Friends,

So much has happened since January 12, when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Port-au-Prince, it’s hard to know what to share and where to begin.  We could talk of the sheer scale of the disaster, a city in ruins, tens of thousands of lost lives, even more who have been left homeless and destitute. 

We could share individual stories of sorrow and loss, how Daniel Thalisimo, full of joy and anticipation after setting his wedding date the previous evening, lost his fiancée when the school she attended collapsed.

We could tell of God’s protection, how Pastor Diogene and the church leadership prayed as the church walls fell around them, and how God rescued them.  Or how Michelin felt such a strong urging from the Holy Spirit that he got down off of the roof where he was working and went home early, just moments before the earthquake struck.

We could share how God has provided again and again in the wake of the disaster, how God got Doug into Haiti and to Port-au-Prince, how He has provided food and other resources, how God has put Doug and Diogene in contact with the right people at the right time again and again in ways that defy coincidence.

Or we could tell of souls being won on the streets of Port-au-Prince, as believers proclaim the gospel, and many who have nowhere else to turn, turn to Christ.

All of this is exciting, and if you haven’t been receiving our email updates or following our updates online, you can read about all these things in greater detail at  But what I want to focus on right now is a single line from an update Bernie made on January 24.  Regarding Doug and all that he was doing in Haiti, Bernie wrote, “He began by spending time in prayer and reading his bible . . .”  This practice, this commitment to appeal to the Lord in prayer and seek His will through His word must guide us as we move forward.  Now as much as ever, if we hope to affect Haiti for the Kingdom of God, we must begin on our knees with our Bibles open.

There is a temptation to want to charge ahead, to act according to our own understanding and our own wisdom, to minister in the flesh.  Our inclination is to set our own agenda quickly without ever considering what God might want.  We want to change Haiti.  We want to fix it.

But here is the truth: God has the situation in Haiti under control.  He is in control and He will accomplish exactly what He intends.  It may be His plan to use my sponsorship for His purpose, or to use my labor, or my encouragement, or my teaching in Haiti.  And if it is, I want to submit.  I want to obey.  It is my desire to be part of what God is doing in Haiti.  But before I can participate in His work, I must first quiet myself and seek His will.  And that means prayer, and that means immersing ourselves in His word.

It is a blessing to minister with those who believe this and practice it.  From the beginnings of Starfish Ministries, Bernie and Sheryl have been committed to this.  And what a blessing to see others like Doug Jarvie and Glenn Bridges following in their footsteps.

We are convinced that God has work for us to do in Haiti, now more than ever.  And we look forward to Him continuing to reveal the details to us as we seek Him.

It is also a blessing to partner with all of you in this ministry.  We thank God for you — especially in these trying times — for your prayers, your encouragement, and your generous financial support.

Serving the Lord together,

Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp



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