While talking to Pastor Diogene on the telephone last week, I asked him how things were going in Haiti. “Life is so difficult in Haiti,” was his answer. He went on to describe the poverty, the lack of crops due to no rain in much of the country, the government that does nothing to help, and the infrastructure that continues to get worse (even in the capital city of Port-au-Prince there is limited electricity and telephone service and the streets are full of pot holes and lined with garbage).
However, with much enthusiasm his voice lifted as he said, “In the midst of this desperate situation people are responding to the invitation to follow Jesus. Four young people were saved in my Port-au-Prince church this past Sunday. Praise be to God!”
Pastor Diogene, his wife Leonette, Norius (our school ministry director), and our Haitian Board of Directors for the orphanage administer daily the work of Starfish Ministries in Haiti. God has entrusted them with a tremendously challenging work in this country of enormous need. What an awesome privilege to be in partnership with them, to meet needs in the lives of needy Haitian children and adults. God has brought us together to accomplish His work. We marvel at His gracious work in our lives, allowing us to be a part of this work.
On June 29th, Glenn Bridges and I leave for Haiti with ten University Christian Ministries students from Western Washington State University. This team will be teaching English to our children in the orphanage as they did last summer. They will also be leading two one-week long Vacation Bible School sessions in the villages of Tricotte and Ravine.
A dear friend of ours, Pastor Rocky Schlange from Susanville, California, will arrive in Haiti a few days later, along with some of his family. He has been invited to speak at the annual conference of the Union of Evangelical Churches of Haiti. This is a five day conference with over 10,000 Haitians attending. Pastor Rocky’s wife will be doing some sharing with the women at the conference. I will join them in Port-au-Pai, and have opportunities to share in some small group settings as well.
After the conference we will travel to Tricotte and join other team members from Susanville. The focus of this team will be outreach in the village of Nan-Paul. They’ll be leading a Vacation Bible School during the day and taking part in an evangelistic crusade in the evenings. One evening of the crusade, we will show the Jesus Video in the Creole language. This will be a first in this area and we expect to draw many from surrounding villages as well.
July is going to be a full month of ministry in Haiti. This will be the longest time I will spend in Haiti at one time, returning on July 26th. We really appreciate your prayers concerning this trip.
Please pray concerning:
- UCM team – English teaching at orphanage
- Vacation Bible School in Tricotte July 8-12
- Pastor Rocky and others sharing at Conference July 10-14
- Vacation Bible School in Ravine July 15-19
- Nan-Paul Vacation Bible School July 18-20
- Nan-Paul evangelistic crusade July 17-21
- Salvation of many at these various outreaches
- Team health and safety
We appreciate you and your support for this ministry. We believe that a vital part of the ministry is praying. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in fulfilling this need.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp