Upon arriving in Tricotte two weeks ago, I walked to the orphanage to extend greetings to the kids. The boys always rush up and shake hands with a big smile. The girls are a little more shy, but one by one they come and reach up for a kiss on the cheek. As I looked around, I spotted a boy who stayed in the background. He didn’t look familiar. I approached him and asked, “kouman rele?” He responded in Creole, “ My name is Landi.” Our 105th child in the orphanage, Landi, came from the village of Mola. Mola is high up in the mountains about 12 walking hours from Tricotte. Landi’s family is extremely poor. Hearing of the orphanage, they brought him to Tricotte, trusting that he would be cared for. Sure enough, there is always room for one more. We are now nine children over the capacity in the orphanage. The other children don’t seem to mind doubling up in beds, remembering the time when they were the ‘new’ kid. There’s always room for one more.
No birth certificate came with Landi and he had no idea how old he is. We guess him to be about 12 years old, although he looks somewhat younger. Children who have not had enough food and proper nutrition often appear to be much younger than what they are. Landi hasn’t had the opportunity to go to school so two weeks ago he started kindergarten in Tricotte.
I sometimes wonder why God has chosen Landi, from so far away, to be part of Starfish Ministries’ orphanage. Why will Landi . . .
- have three meals a day while so many children in Haiti go hungry?
- receive an education while 50% of the children don’t go to school?
- hear the gospel of Jesus Christ while so many have never heard?
Perhaps Landi will someday make that 12 hour trek back to the village of Mola with the precious message of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. What a joy it is to anticipate God’s possible plans for these chosen children and watch as He prepares them.
It was great watching Bob and Carol Jarvie develop a relationship with Landi and choose to be his American mom and dad. Landi’s smile grew bigger as they poured themselves into his life. Those five days were significant in Landi’s life as Bob and Carol shared with him and loved him.
We struck water in the village of Ravine! Prior to now the nearest water was three miles away and carried each day, by the women, in five gallon pails on their heads. There will now be water available in the village as we develop this well. We believe God will use the water from this well, as physical thirst is satisfied, to open up opportunities for us to present the Living Water to many in this village and bring everlasting satisfaction to their spiritual thirst.
Beginning on Monday, March 4th, we are starting a daily feeding program in four more of our schools. We have provided a hot meal each day in the school in Ravine since October and have seen such a difference in these children. As we’ve observed Ravine, we sense God’s leading to provide food for the rest of our school kids as well. The cost of this feeding is significant – an additional $4313 per month. But God is so faithful. We have already seen His hand in this and trust Him to supply every need.
Hudson Taylor once said, “God’s work, done God’s way, never lacks God’s supply.” We have experienced this and thank Him for His constant supply.
Thank you for your prayer, support, and encouragement. God is using you to accomplish His work in Haiti.
Serving our Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp