Our mission in Haiti is first of all to introduce the spiritual needy to Jesus Christ and pray that they will respond and begin living their lives with a new, born again, transformed emphasis. We see that happening on a very regular basis as our evangelist, Herode, and his team go out and witness throughout the Tricotte area and our pastors share the truth of the gospel in our churches.
Secondly, our goal is to help those who are poor and dependent on others for their daily food and support, to become self-sufficient and independent financially. One of the ways this is accomplished is through our micro-loan project. Over the past several years many of you have given toward this goal and that money has been used to great advantage in making a difference in the lives of many.
A few days ago Daniel shared a couple of stories about recipients of those loans.
Our construction projects use large stones for foundation work, retaining walls and fences. So we purchase those from local people who gather them from various sources in the area. Many of those rocks come from the nearby river bed. One of our “rock vendors” has been renting a horse for $200 Haitian per day which is about $10 US. She came to Daniel and asked about the possibility of borrowing $8000 Haitian or about $400 US in order to purchase a horse. She had found a huge supply of rocks and was looking for an opportunity to maximize her profits. Daniel had the lady share her business plan and she showed Daniel how she could repay the loan within six months. Daniel approved the loan, she bought a horse and she left as a very happy horse-owner! And the horse came equipped with saddle bags to carry the stones!
A couple days later a man came to Daniel with a similar request. He too had a big supply of rocks and had been delivering them to us on a rented horse. He had actually saved over $7000 Haitian or $350 US. That showed a great deal of discipline – very few Haitians have the ability to save so Daniel was impressed. This man had found a bigger horse to buy that was selling for $10,000 Haitian or $500 US and the owner wanted to sell it immediately. So through our micro-loan program Daniel loaned this man $2500 Haitian or $125 US. He bought the horse and immediately began hauling rocks with a new pride as he now owned the means to make a better living. He will likely have this paid back within two to three months.
And when the immediate need for rocks is not there, these horse-owners can rent out their services to people in the area who need produce and other products delivered to and from the local market.
Now we share these two stories for two reasons. First – here are two needy Haitians who are benefiting greatly from the micro-loan project which many of you have been a part of. And they will likely become more financially independent as a result. We are so grateful to God and to you for providing the funding to make this possible!
Second – when I asked Daniel if these two new horse-owners go to our church in Tricotte, he replied, “No, neither of them are Christian yet”. What a great opportunity to reach out with the gospel! We are praying that the micro-loan project with have its positive responses both physically and spiritually in these lives as well as many more!
Thank you so much for your partnership with us in serving the needy in Haiti. God is doing great things in spite of, or maybe because of the many obstacles Daniel and his team have to navigate every day! Your prayers and financial support are really appreciated!
The second verse of an old hymn, So Send I You, says:
“So send I you, to take to souls in bondage – The Word of truth that sets the captive free, To break the bonds of sin, to loose death’s fetters; So send I you, to bring the lost to Me.”
That’s our prayer – souls in bondage being set free! There is Victory in Jesus! We praise Him for the opportunities to serve Him in His work!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl, and Phillip Bovenkamp
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