As we left the village of Tricotte last Monday morning it was raining, and the water in the river that needed to be crossed was rising quickly. Later in the week some parts of Haiti got so much rain that flash flooding took the lives of hundreds of Haitians. It seems that hardships and struggles are a common part of life in Haiti.
In our own ministry area we have also recently experienced the loss of life. Three weeks ago one of our teachers in our Bera school was killed in a “tap-tap” accident. As he rode in the back of a small pickup it overturned on a treacherous road and he was pinned underneath. This young male teacher left behind a wife and two young children who have no way to support themselves.
A week later, Woody Rosie, a five year old boy in Ravine died of pneumonia. Little Woody was in our sponsorship program and had heard the good news of Jesus Christ in school. Woody’s mom worked for us as a cook’s helper at the Ravine school because the father had deserted the family a couple years ago. Woody had been sick for a few weeks and was taken to a hospital in Port-au-Paix where he passed away.
A few days later a 58 year old women in Tricotte died. Our ministry had been helping her and her 16 year old daughter for the last couple of years due to her failing health. These three loved ones went to be with the Lord, and we greatly rejoice in that. They each leave behind family who need our prayers and support.
So we’ve experienced the loss of life, but we’ve also experienced new life. A week ago Friday night in the village of Nan-Paul we shared in an evangelistic meeting. Pastor Steve Barke from the WSU ministry team preached a challenging message from the Word of God and two women in their 20’s responded and prayed to receive Christ as Savior. On Sunday morning these two young women walked to the Tricotte church and introduced themselves when visitors were welcomed. Also a man in his early 30’s came from Nan-Paul, having been at the Friday night service. He hadn’t come forward at that time but said he was in the Tricotte church that morning because he wanted to become a Christian. God is at work in Nan-Paul, and we praise God that the WSU ministry team could be part of that work.
This past Tuesday, some of us went along with Pastor Diogene and his Port-au-Prince team to share in a Bible Study in the village of Bethel. This is the village we were introduced to through the unfortunate circumstances of Joe, our truck driver, who hit and killed a drunk pedestrian. Because of that incident Pastor Diogene met with a judge who invited him to his home village of Bethel. After meeting with the judge Pastor Diogene was invited to begin a Bible study in this village every Tuesday afternoon.
Four weeks ago, 14 unsaved people came together under a large tree to study the Gospel of John . The next week 22 were there. The third week it was 26 of which two indicated a desire to become Christians. When we were there, 36 people came to hear the Word of God shared and three more became Christians. Pastor Steve had the opportunity to pray with them. It is so exciting to see the interest and hunger for the truth. One of the older women in the group was a witch doctor’s wife. Many more people passed by, slowed down, and listened for a while, wondering what was going on.
We are in the process of purchasing land in Bethel and expect to start a small Christian school there this fall. An evangelistic crusade will be held there sometime this summer. Please pray for the people in this village — God is working in their midst. We are trusting Him for a great harvest of souls.
We appreciate each of you and thank you for your faithful support!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp