On our last day in Haiti, before leaving for home this past September, Glenn, Philip & I had several things to do in Port-au-Prince. Because we didn’t know our way around this city of over two million people and Pastor Diogene was busy with other responsibilities, we needed someone to guide us. So Pastor Diogene enlisted Garry Charles for this job. Garry’s English is very good so he also did the interpreting for us for some business transactions. He knew the city and took us exactly where we wanted to go.
Garry is a young man of about 25 years old. He comes from the Tricotte area but has been in Port-au-Prince for several years while he completed his high school education. He is now attending a mechanic trade school specializing in auto electronics. He will complete this training in about six months and then plans to start his own small business.
Garry comes from a family that is deeply involved in voodoo. His father is a witchdoctor and is not pleased that Garry has become a Christian. His father often tries to get Garry to denounce his faith and to come back to voodoo. Garry tells me that it is not at all easy for him. The temptations come in many different ways and he struggles to stay on the right path. The demonic influence that is encouraged by his father is attacking Garry on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Garry is a growing believer, active in the local church and serving with the outreach ministry team.
As we completed our business around Port-au-Prince that day and returned to the hotel I gave Garry a few dollars for all his help. He didn’t want anything, but I told him how much I appreciated him and his help and wanted to give him this small gift. He looked at me and in a very matter of fact way, said “ I want to help you any time I can. I’m your son.”
As I thought about that statement, it humbled me and caused me to really consider the responsibility. Even though Garry is a young man that we have helped and encouraged over many years, I hadn’t considered how impactful that was in his life. With a biological dad who is a very negative influence in his life, Garry looks to me to fill the role of a father. I hadn’t even realized it. What more could I do for him? Garry immediately gave me the answer. “Every time you pray, remember me.”
I told Garry I would be happy to do that for him. He and many other young Haitian men and women come to my mind regularly as I pray, and now I am much more committed to pray for them. I’m taking it more seriously. I consider it a privilege to bring these young men and women in prayer to their Heavenly Father, a Father who deeply loves them, has chosen them, redeemed them, cares for them, and desires they live their lives for His glory.
I encourage you to pray for your sponsored children. In many cases they have become Christians. However, some of them have not yet received Christ as their Savior. Also, like Garry, many of the children in our schools come from homes with voodoo influence. Please pray not only for protection on their lives but that God would give them great influence in their homes, schools, and villages. The voodoo power can be defeated through the prayers of God’s people.
Whenever anyone tells us that they pray for us and Starfish Ministries we are greatly encouraged. We see God at work in the country of Haiti and it is through His power that we can be part of that.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. God is using you to affect many lives in Haiti.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie & Sheryl Bovenkamp