Dear Friends,

As I write this, I’m making the final preparations for a trip to Haiti, leaving Saturday night, June 30.  We have a team of 13 going from University Christian Ministries.  UCM is a discipleship and outreach ministry on Western Washington University campus in Bellingham, WA. 

These students and leaders will be spending 23 days in Tricotte teaching English.  In the mornings, they will partner with the Haitians in a Vacation Bible School ministry, teaching English to kindergarten through 6th grade children.  In the afternoons, they will teach English to teenagers and in the evening they will teach 2 adult classes.  This is an aggressive schedule but the team is ready and prepared.

English is important to the Haitian people.  It will enhance job opportunities.  Our goal for our children in the orphanage is that when they leave the orphanage, they will be productive citizens in their country.  They will have had an adequate education in order to prepare for a trade.  Then as they go out, they can support themselves, and at the same time, share their Christian faith.  We’re excited about the part that English will play in all this.

Senilia, our house mother and administrator at the orphanage, is due to have her second child soon, possibly while we’re there.  We are bringing along many baby items for her that were given at a baby shower for her by the Sunrise Women’s Ministries.  Senilia has been given a three month, paid maternity leave of absence.  One of our board members, Jan, has assumed the responsibilities during this time.  It’s difficult for Senilia to be away from the kids.  She is such a great mother to the 101 children.  Diogene tells me that Jan is doing a great job along with Senilia’s assistant, Wilbert.  He also says that the children are doing well and are anxious for us to get there, play with them, and teach them some English.

As I spoke with Pastor Diogene yesterday by telephone, he sends his greetings to all of his friends.  He asks me to thank you for your prayers and support.  His schedule is very full.  Beside the 3 churches he pastors, (along with his assistant pastors) he often speaks at conferences and evangelistic crusades.  He is also on the board of directors of the Union of Evangelical Churches of Haiti that represents about 200 churches.  Add to this his full time job of directing Starfish Ministries in Haiti including the orphanage, the school ministries, building projects, and mission teams coming.  God is using Diogene effectively for His Kingdom.  He appreciates your prayers.  Please pray that God would protect Diogene and give him the strength that he needs.

We appreciate you — your support and encouragement!

Serving our Lord together,

Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp



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