While in Haiti last month, I met up with Dr. Reynaud Petit-Frere. Dr. Reynaud is a dentist who has been practicing dentistry in Port-au-Prince for about five years. Dr. Reynaud was born and raised in the village of Tricotte. His family was very poor, his parents never had the opportunity to go to school, and they lived in a mud hut with a thatched roof until just a few years ago. But Dr. Reynaud’s parents encouraged him and his siblings to work hard and get as much education as they possibly could.
I first met Reynaud about 15 years ago when he had just finished high school. At that time he wanted to fulfill his dream of continuing his education and of becoming a dentist, but he had no support. A couple of team members who were with me in Haiti at that time were touched by Reynaud’s story and need and agreed to sponsor him through his university/medical school education. Seven years later Reynaud completed all of his university requirements, graduated and is now Dr. Reynaud Petit-Frere.
It was great to catch up with Dr. Reynaud and see how far God has brought him during these past few years. Shortly after completing his education Dr. Reynaud was married and they now have two beautiful little daughters. He is very active in his church in Port-au-Prince, playing the keyboard or guitar with the worship team. He regularly teaches Sunday School and occasionally has the opportunity to preach as well. He built a small dental office and his practice is very successful. Dr. Reynaud has come back to Tricotte and treated our orphanage kids’ dental needs. He has also joined our medical teams and provided much needed dental care for needy Haitians.
Dr. Reynaud told me that he never fails to share Jesus with his patients while they are in his dental chair. And many times he has had the opportunity to pray with them as they share needs or a desire to become Christians. It was a Saturday morning at his house that we talked and we were interrupted by another dental appointment and off Dr. Reynaud went to minister to another patient physically and spiritually.
Dr. Reynaud was very appreciative for the support he received through Starfish Ministries. In fact he sent cards of thanks along with me to send to his sponsors. We thank God for success stories like this! It is so good to see God using the Haitians to make such a positive difference in Haiti.
Currently we have two more young men in medical school. Bruno came through our orphanage ministry in Tricotte and always excelled in his education. Three years ago he completed high school in Port-au-Prince and told us of his desire to become a doctor. We encouraged him and told him we would support him through his medical school training, but he needed to commit to come back to Tricotte to work in our Starfish Ministries’ medical clinic for a minimum of two years after he completed his education. Bruno agreed. He is now at the top of his medical school class and has been chosen to teach some of the freshman anatomy classes. We look forward to Bruno completing his education and giving back as he serves in the clinic in Tricotte.
Joel is a young man from the village of Tricotte. He completed high school last spring. His father died a couple of years ago and his mother has no possibility of helping him. Last fall Joel came to visit our director Daniel and told him of his desire to become a dentist. We agreed to help Joel with his education and he started medical school last October. He also has agreed to give back at least two years in the Tricotte clinic after he becomes a dentist. We don’t have a sponsor for Joel at this time so if anyone is interested in supporting him please let us know.
It is so good have an opportunity to support the young men and women of our orphanage and of the Tricotte area in helping them fulfill their goals. We currently also have several of our former orphanage girls who are in medical training and others who have indicated a desire to be doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists, and dentists after they complete high school. We trust that God will use these young people to make a difference in Haiti just as He has used Dr. Reynaud.
We thank God for you and your support and prayer for this ministry, which enable all these things to come to pass. God continues to supply through you and that makes it possible for this ministry to go forward in helping to develop the future leaders of Haiti.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp
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