We look forward with excitement and anticipation to the year 2002. Starfish Ministries has just completed its fourth year. What a blessing to see God’s wonderful work in the country of Haiti and to be part of that along with you. We have to admit that our vision wasn’t very big four years ago as we took over the orphanage with the 27 kids. No, we had no idea of the plans God had. As we begin 2002 we’d like to share with you some of the areas in which Starfish Ministries is actively involved.
- Our Tricotte orphanage now has 104 children, three children came just a few weeks ago. Each time we go to Haiti we see the children growing stronger physically, happier, and doing better in school. Best of all, we see a growing love for their Lord and Savior.
- The school ministry has grown this past year from approximately 900 students attending our original four schools to 1100 students. These children are taught the Bible each day. We have also hired a full time evangelist to visit one village each day of the week, reaching out to the families of our school children.
- Starfish Ministries has also assumed the responsibility for the 407 students in an existing school in Drigeon. The former organization supporting this school discontinued their sponsorship in that area.
- A new school was started in September in the village of Ravine, where there is no church and never had been a school. It is going well with 150 children attending. An additional two classrooms are being built and plan to open this month. This will bring the total number of children attending Starfish schools to about 1700.
- A feeding program is going well in this village of Ravine. Teachers there said the children could not learn because they were coming to school hungry. Starfish Ministries is able to give each child a hot meal at noon Monday through Friday, which has made a marked difference in the learning going on in the classroom.
- We continue to praise the Lord for our Director of Schools, Norius Petit-Frere, who oversees all of these schools. In Haiti it is often difficult to find a person capable of this work, but God has chosen a very gifted man to do this.
- God continues to supply funds each month for His work in Haiti. This has been one of the greatest joys of serving in this ministry, to see how He continues to touch the hearts of His people to give and be blessed as they respond to His leading. God doesn’t need our money or our service, but allows us to be part of His work for His glory.
- We are in the process of trying to locate, or put together ourselves, a portable church for the village of Ravine. We are thinking of a large tent structure (like the old revival tent) that would be moved to other villages in the area after a permanent structure is built in Ravine.
The following are some things we are praying about and looking toward during 2002. It is our desire to be obedient, trusting the Lord as we wait on Him to lead and guide this ministry.
- We are considering another orphanage in Tricotte as we continue to see children in need of a home.
- We hope to start a church in the village of Ravine.
- It is our goal to build needed classrooms in the village of Champagne.
- We are considering expanding our feeding program to some of our other schools.
- We are looking for land to buy in the village of Nan Paul with the possibility of starting a school and planting a church in this needy village.
- We hope to have evangelistic crusades in the villages of Ravine and Nan Paul.
- We are also evaluating our secondary school (grades 7 through 12) in Drigeon and trying to determine if Drigeon is the right location for this school.
- Pastor Diogene is hoping to take a 6 month sabbatical toward the end of 2002. He would use this time to further his studies.
Thank you for praying with us. We believe that God will continue to work and use this ministry for His purposes as we pray and stay focused on Him. We appreciate you so much as you pray for us and encourage us with your faithful support.
Serving our Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp