Bernie received a call from Doug late this morning. Doug had a great deal to report: relief going to the needy, provision for the Starfish Orphanage, destruction in Meprise and Biscaille, and rain coming.
Food for some of the hardest hit
Pastor Diogene was able to use some of the money that you have contributed to buy a great deal of food — flour, rice, beans, tomato paste, pasta, and cooking oil. He was able to buy so much that it took three trips with a large truck to bring it all back to Mephibosheth. Praise God for the relationship that Diogene has established over the years with this particular food warehouse. It is based on that that he was able to purchase the food.
At the same time, Doug traveled to Tricotte, where he picked up a truck load of pre-packed meals formulated specifically for those in need of nutrition. These were donated to Starfish Ministries by Feed My Starving Children, and just arrived in Haiti this month. After loading this food, Doug returned to Port-au-Prince as well.
With all the food at Mephibosheth, Diogene’s ministry team spent this morning dividing it into 180 bags, each containing 50 lbs of food for the 180 families from Diogene’s church who are in the most desperate need right now. These are extended families, and there is no telling how many people this will feed. This afternoon, Doug, Diogene, and the team distributed these provisions to those families. We thank God for the role you have played in providing this relief.
There was no damage at the Starfish Orphanage! In fact, there was no damage in the entire village of Tricotte. Tricotte is perhaps 80 miles from Port-au-Prince, and it is in the mountains. So we did not expect there to be any significant damage. But it was still welcome news to hear that all was well.
Lionette is in Tricotte now. At this time, food is still easier to buy in this part of the country than it is in Port-au-Prince. But that may not be the case for long. So Lionette is buying as much food as is possible. First, she set aside a two-month supply for the orphanage. Everything additional she is able to buy will be sent to Port-au-Prince to continue with the relief efforts.
Biscaille and Meprise
The villages of Biscaille and Meprise, which both have Starfish Schools, are further up into the mountains than Tricotte. But both sustained significant damage from the earthquake. We are not sure why. Norius, our School Director, walked to Biscaille to investigate the damage. He said that at least 60 homes were destroyed. But praise the Lord, it does not appear there were any deaths.
The skies are darkening over Port-au-Prince, and it appears rain is coming. This will only aggravate the living conditions for the newly homeless. So many people are sleeping outside now. They have nowhere else to go.
In order to try to alleviate some of this, Doug and Diogene are working to secure ropes and tarps in hopes of being able to provide makeshift shelters that will at least keep them out of the rain.
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support. We count ourselves blessed to partner in ministry with brothers and sisters like you.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp