Dear Friends,
Most of Haiti is now controlled by gangs.  In the capital city of Port-au-Prince, some estimate that 90% of the city is run by gangs.  That means kidnapping, murder and rape are everyday events.  The gangs have taken the law into their own hands and the result is chaos.  A lot of the schools throughout the country have closed for significant lengths of time.  The result of school closures is children on the streets and many of them are recruited by the gangs, issued weapons, and trained to fight.  As gangs try to expand their territories they fight against other gangs and many civilians are caught in the crossfire.
A couple weeks ago, the town of Gros Morne was like a war zone.  This large town is only an hour away from Tricotte.  The citizens of Gros Morne had to go into hiding to stay out of the line of gunfire.  At the risk of their lives, doctors at the local health care facility would leave their hiding places to care for those wounded during the uprising.  As soon as they had patched up the wounded, the medical staff would go back into hiding. 
But with all that going on and seemingly getting closer to our Tricotte ministry area, our Haitian leadership, under the direction of our Director Daniel, continues to serve the most needy every day.  Our school supervisors work hard to keep our schools open and provide a quality education.  And as a result, the children and young adults in our school ministry have been keeping up to grade.  Daniel’s vision seven years ago to provide high school education in Tricotte and Ti-David has been very positive.  Prior to that when our elementary students completed 6th grade, they would have to go to high schools farther from home.  And those high schools are no longer in operation.  So without our high schools the students would be like those in most of Haiti– on hold, waiting for security to improve.
Now we are graduating very successful students.  The Haiti Educational Department requires graduating seniors to pass a test to get their diploma, and most of our students pass the test on their first try.  But then comes the next challenge.  Very few university-aged students have the possibility to find the resources to continue their education.  So we have started a scholarship program for worthy students.  Daniel and his staff interview, determine the need, and accept those who otherwise would not be able to go the university or trade school.  Ketsia is one of these students and writes her letter of appreciation.
“I greet you in the precious name of Christ Jesus. My name is Ketsia Petit-Frère, I was born on February 18, 2003, in Port-de Paix. I grew up in Tricotte, and now am living in Gonaïves for my studies. I am 20 years old; I am a Christian. I have accomplished my high school classes in 2022, Now I am studying administration Sciences at University Notre Dame des Gonaïves (UDERS), And I am in my first year.
I have been entered in the Scholarship program of Starfish Ministries in November 2023; this program means a lot.  For me, thanks to it I do not have any problem to go to university in a moment which is so difficult in Haiti. Without that support it would be impossible to be a university student. This is a precious gift at this time in my life.
I am so thankful for the support you have given me. My parents do not have the possibility to pay my education fees to learn a profession, but you make it possible through the support you have given me. Thank you so much. So many young people cannot go to learn a profession after their high school classes because of the economic problems. Thank you again for making it possible for me.
I bow down with a humble heart to ask you to pray for my country Haiti. The condition of living in Haiti is complicated and with no security. Study in Haiti requires prayers. That’s why I ask you to pray for my spiritual life and my success. Please pray also for protection. Thank you.”
God has given us the privilege to serve Ketsia and the people of the Tricotte area of Haiti from birth to the very oldest of the population.  Babies are born safely in the medical clinic, and healthcare is provided for people of all ages.  60 children – ages four through 17 are cared for in the orphanage.  Many more children from preschool all the way through trade school and university are educated and fed through the school ministry. Children and adults alike are fed through the coffee and food program at the churches each Sunday morning.  Many of the poorest families in the region have received help through food relief. The elderly/handicapped ministry meets needs for 86 previously forgotten people.  And through every means possible, we present the gospel of Jesus Christ, trusting in Him to meet their greatest need.
Thank you so much for making this possible.  Your prayers and financial support are truly making a positive difference in Haitian lives.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp



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