In early February we had a short term mission team from Southridge Community Church in Langley, BC, join us in Tricotte for nine days. They took over 100 soccer balls and uniforms with them and put on six mini soccer camps for children in our schools and orphanage. The kids really enjoyed learning a few soccer moves and probably shared a few of their own with the team. One of the team members, Sandra Heppell, shared a flannel graph gospel presentation at each session. The children appreciated the opportunity to see the story of creation and the cross in a visual form.
We really appreciated the work that was accomplished by this team as well. They spent many hours pressure washing the orphanage walls and ceiling and then painting most of the walls. The orphans got right in there and gave a cheerful helping hand. They were rewarded with a party at the end of the week.
The well drilling machine was also busy in the center of the village of Tricotte. After several days of work and prayer, water was struck. When Glenn and I return to Haiti the end of March we will install a hand pump and the villagers will at last have access to a supply of water. The women of this village have still been carrying water in buckets on their heads from the nearby stream. We are so thankful for another well to provide pure water.
Several months ago we wrote about the well drilling efforts in Bethel. During that process we experienced a lot of difficulties and sensed a tremendous spiritual battle waging. It was only after several breakdowns and a lot of prayer that we hit a substantial amount of water at just over 140 feet. Since then we have installed a solar powered pumping system and have a tremendous flow of water. However the battle is not over. The water has a bitter, salty taste. And we are asking if this is the enemy’s work. It reminds me of the waters of Marah in Exodus that were so bitter the children of Israel could not drink it. God provided a miracle and the water became sweet. We are praying for a miracle in Bethel as well. Please pray with us and our Haitian brothers and sisters for pure drinkable water.
I spoke with Pastor Diogene this morning. I asked him about conditions in Haiti at this time and his response was “life is becoming very difficult in Haiti.” That’s quite a statement when we realize that life has always been hard in Haiti. Many circumstances have contributed to escalating of food prices beyond the ability for many to be able to eat. Much of Haiti’s food has been imported from neighboring Dominican Republic and a recent bird flu scare there has cut that source of financially accessible food. Many food prices are almost double from a year ago. Pastor Diogene said that there are reports that people are dying from starvation in Haiti every day. It is very difficult for Diogene, as many people come to him for help. Just yesterday Diogene was asked by a pastor from Jean Rabel, a very poor area where many of our orphanage children came from, if there was anything he could do to help them. Through your giving he has been able to provide for some of the poorest in this area and also those desperately in need in the Starfish Ministries’ churches. Pastor Diogene sends his greetings and his sincere thanks. Your continuing partnership with us is appreciated.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp