Yes, I’m home again. I got back on April 9 and plan to leave again for Haiti on May 11. We’re taking a ministry team from the Chi Alpha Ministry at Washington State University. They’ll be doing an outreach ministry in some of our school villages and taking part in an evangelistic crusade in Nan-Paul. We also expect to help with some more food distribution. We appreciate your prayer support as we interact with the needy Haitians.
This is the time of the year when we seriously look at making decisions concerning where to start new ministry work in the fall. There are so many opportunities. While in Haiti this past time I traveled to some unreached villages. Although there are some villages in our area that have small unsupported schools and are asking us to come and help, we sense God leading us to go to totally unreached villages. These are the ones that currently have no school or church.
We have been praying that God would make it clear to us as to which villages He wants us to start schools in this September. I struggle with the decision because it obviously takes more resources for each additional child we educate and feed. So I try to figure it all out. I look at the finances and try to balance the current availability of funds with the faith factor. Every time we have taken a new step of faith, God has proven His faithfulness and has provided everything needed. But each time it’s a little larger step and I need another push. This time is no different. We are considering five to six new schools this fall for a total of approximately 600 more children. It costs us about $5.00 to educate and feed a child each month so that would require an additional $3000.00 per month. So I ask, “How much can we afford to do?” Perhaps I should ask, “How much do I trust God to do?”
About a week ago, God helped me with these decisions through a dream. I’ve got to say that this is not a normal occurrence for me, in fact it’s probably the only time I have ever sensed God communicating to me in this way. In my dream, I was walking along with Pastor Diogene in the village of Tricotte. There was a young Haitian couple walking with us. They had a little daughter limping along with us. She obviously had a physical deformity. At one point the little girl fell and began to cry. Since her parents were loaded with produce from the market, I picked her up and carried her.
We arrived at the edge of the village and the young family was to continue on. I asked Diogene about them and he said they were very poor and lived farther up in the mountains. I asked him if I could give them a little money to help them and he agreed that they could really use any help they would receive. I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and began to check out what I had available. I did some calculating in my mind what I still needed to purchase while in Haiti to determine how much I could spare. Before I had made that decision, I looked up and the couple and daughter were gone. In the dream, my heart sank low as I realized that I had lost the opportunity to help. Then I woke up.
The next morning during worship time in church, the dream came back to me very vividly. I sensed that our great God, whom I was worshipping, was reminding me of the dream. I sensed Him saying, “You need to trust Me. The needy unreached villages of Haiti that you are considering are villages where I am at work. The opportunity to reach into these villages is now. You need to go forward and begin to minister there and allow Me to provide all that is needed. If you wait, the opportunity will be gone.”
I was reminded again of I Thess. 5:24 “Faithful is He who has called, and He also will bring it to pass.” I believe He has called us and is directing us to Trou-Codon, Nan-Paul, Joineau, Bethel, Gardon and other villages that I don’t even know the names of. I believe He will provide whatever is needed to accomplish His purpose. Praise be to God!
We really appreciate each one of you. God is using you through your prayer and financial support. Those of you who sponsor children in the orphanage and school ministry have been so faithful. Thank you so much!
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp