I extend greetings to you from Pastor Diogene and his wife. They, along with a team of 50 believers from his Tricotte and Port-au-Prince churches, spent December 21 – 25 sharing the gospel at an evangelistic crusade in the village of Bethel. Pastor Diogene was so excited as I talked to him on the phone today. “It was marvelous to see God working in these people’s lives,” he said. He told me that 49 more people from Bethel have become Christians. That is after 128 trusted the Lord in November.
Diogene went on to tell about the difference that is now evident in Bethel. In the past, at Christmas time, the voodoo worshipers and witchdoctors have used this time to encourage evil spirit activity. Their demonic calls lasted throughout the night as they would sacrifice pigs and beat their drums. But this year, no evil spirits arrived. The Light of the Savior is shining bright in that formerly dark village. We praise God for what He is doing in Bethel!
Our orphanage ministry in Tricotte is going really well. When I was there in November, it was exciting to see new orphan leadership developing. Some of our older children are not living at the orphanage, but are now going to high school in St Marc and Port-au-Prince. That has opened the door for others, like Daniel Fantil and Baurace, to assume leadership roles, and they are doing it well. They lead the devotional times and use many of the others to help with leading music and scripture memorization. God is using these young men to mentor the younger children.
A prayer team of some of our “young ladies” in the orphanage has also developed. Yoline, Louna, Ismita, Benita, Lucienne and Mikerlange get together regularly to pray for the needs of the orphan children. When a child is sick, this team is right there to pray for the child. A couple of months ago, at about midnight, the children heard a disturbance outside the orphanage. As they awoke they sensed an evil presence, and they began to pray. Within minutes every child was awake and praying aloud. The intensity grew as they called to God for protection. Many of the Tricotte villagers heard the praying coming from the orphanage and went to investigate. They found a woman, who trying to enter the orphanage grounds, had fallen off the fence and injured herself. She was known to be a voodoo worshipper who lived outside the village. We thank God for His protection for these precious children.
We now look ahead to our ninth year of Starfish Ministries. We don’t know what God has for us in 2006 — and we’ve become accustomed to that. We know that it is important for us to remember that we go to Haiti to fulfill God’s purposes, not our own. We know that we must stay close to Him so that He can guide us into His purposes.
Thank you all so much for your partnership with us in this ministry. It’s such a blessing to see God provide in so many ways each month. Thank you for your generous giving toward the “Christmas Gift List”. Many needy Haitians will be encouraged by the gifts you have offered. Thank you for your faithful support through sponsorship and general giving. Sometimes I wonder, how is God going to supply for all of the school feeding this month, or construction funds, or other special needs? But He faithfully supplies!!! Thanks be to our great God!!
Please continue to pray for us and this ministry. That is always the most important need. The political unrest in Haiti continues, and has caused us to cancel another trip scheduled for January. We look forward to a time when the country stabilizes and we can travel more freely. At the same time we realize that God is using these difficult circumstances to further His kingdom — so we will continue to give Him thanks for the difficult times as well as the good times.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2006!!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp