This is the time of the year when we have to make decisions for the fall school ministry. All nine of our current elementary schools have indicated that they will grow by 30 – 40 students this fall. That means one more teacher per school, more uniforms, more supplies and more opportunities to reach children and parents for Jesus. Our secondary school adds the tenth grade this fall and we expect to grow by about 100 students. We have just started construction of an eight classroom school which will house all of our high school students this fall.
In May, Pastor Diogene and I talked about the many requests for help from villages. Who are we going to respond to this fall? We have over 40 villages begging us to come and support their schools or to start a school in their village. Many more villages continually hear about us and request help from Pastor Diogene. We don’t have the ability to help each one so how do we determine which village to go to?
Pastor Diogene indicated that he thought we should focus on villages that currently have no school, no church, and no Christian presence. I didn’t disagree with that but at the same time wondered about the struggling schools in villages that have no outside organization helping them. Those teachers should be getting paid and those children are hungry as well. So it’s a difficult question. Whom do we help?
Since I’ve been home, I’ve been contemplating this issue and praying for God’s wisdom and direction. This is His ministry and we desire to follow His leading and be obedient to His call. I believe we must wait on Him, believing that He will show us where He is already at work and wants us to join Him. While I was going through this process, I was reading through and studying the book of Romans during my daily devotional time. As I was reading the 15th chapter a couple of verses spoke to me concerning this issue.
Paul is sharing with the Romans how God has called him to share the gospel with the Gentiles and in the last part of verses 19 -21 he says:
So from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: ‘Those who were not told about Him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.’
As I read and meditated on these verses, I sensed God speaking to me. I sensed the confirmation that God desires us to go to the unreached villages. He wants us to build schools, feed hungry children, and share the good news with these peoples who have not yet been told about Him but will see, those who have not heard but will understand. It is so good to have the living Word of God. It is so good to sense God’s leading through His powerful Word. We can go forward with confidence that we are doing His will and He will provide all the resources needed to accomplish this work. I believe the result will be that many will come to receive Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and have their eternity secure.
As we start schools in three or four new villages this fall, it is another step of faith. The funding has been generously provided for construction needs but as we begin to educate another 500 – 700 children this fall and feed them four days a week, we don’t know where the money will come from. As Hudson Taylor said many years ago, “if we do God’s work, His way, it will never lack His supply.” We have experienced this over and over again in this ministry. As we step out in faith, God sends more of you to partner with us and support these children.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. God is using you to feed His kids in Haiti both physically and spiritually. We praise Him and give Him all the glory.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp