It’s Monday afternoon in Tricotte and it’s hot – about 95 degrees with very high humidity. We’ve had a couple of good productive weeks here and are ready to return home on Wednesday. Doug Jarvie installed a new satellite phone system and it’s working great. His wife, Ruth, and Glenn’s wife, Anita, loved on the kids in the orphanage and in the village. Glenn Bridges completed the well in Ravine, installed the hand pump and we have fresh, cool, clean water at our school there. He has now started a well in Beaudois at our new high school site. Construction will begin this summer on an eight classroom building. We currently have 140 students in this secondary school and expect about 250 in the fall as we add another grade.
Yesterday evening church started in Tricotte at 5:30. It was a special prayer and worship service led by some of the church leaders. They started singing when the first people arrived and that was the signal to the village that it was time to come — the service is beginning! By about 6:00 the church was filled. After several sessions of prayer with singing intermingled, Madam Diogene shared some thoughts on prayer from the Word and then invited those who had unresolved personal conflicts to come forward. About 15 people came forward to sit at the alter and the rest of the congregation began to pray with hands extended toward these people, young and old alike prayed together for their needs.
Another song was sung and all those with unsaved family and friends were invited to come. About 25 quickly came to have prayer concentrated toward this need. Then another song and the invitation was extended to those that wanted to dedicate their lives totally to Christ. Over 100 came forward including many of the older orphanage children. As I observed our kids going forward to renew commitments and dedicate their lives to Jesus, I was overcome with emotion and began to shed a few tears.
Tamara, a little five year old orphan, was sitting next to me during the service. She had been snuggling close, holding my hand and just enjoying our friendship. When I began to cry, Tamara gave me a loving look, reached up with her little hand and wiped away a tear. God used that little gesture to soften my heart even more. I thought of how He, our loving and caring God, reaches down in compassion to us and wipes away the anxieties and cares of this life. As these dear believers in Tricotte prayed, God was at work in many lives.
Madam Diogene then invited Glenn, Anita and me to come to be prayed for. As we sat at the alter in this little church in Tricotte, Haiti, the leaders of the church gathered around us, laid hands on us and the entire church body began to lift us up to the Father. We experienced the presence of the Lord as these precious brothers and sisters poured out their hearts to Him concerning our needs and the work of Starfish Ministries. O, how I thank God for these dear people who faithfully live their lives for the Savior and show us so much as we worship and minister with them. What a privilege it is to partner with them for Christ’s purposes.
Pastor Diogene then invited me to come and share a song. The song Glenn and Anita had suggested that I sing was “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. How appropriate as we had experienced the faithfulness of God in this church’s life on this special night. As I sang the chorus the final time, I invited them to sing along. The Bridges and I singing in English and the 300 plus Haitians singing in Creole, together lifting our voices to the Lord and singing,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided,
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
He is so faithful. We continue to see Him supply all the needs. We rejoice in the opportunity to serve Him in the country of Haiti. We are so thankful for you — our faithful prayer and financial partners.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp