It was Sunday afternoon in Haiti. I was walking through the village of Tricotte when one of the older orphanage children came to me with a crying Joanna. She had a large bump on her head which was bleeding a little, and it was Dr. Bernie to the rescue. I took her to my room, shaved a little hair, cleaned the wound, and put on some antiseptic ointment. The final part of the treatment is a piece of candy (I think that is why I have so many patients)! Taking care of orphanage children’s cuts and bruises gives me the opportunity to interact with these kids and let them know I love them. After I finished treating Joanna she didn’t want to leave. So I took her on my lap and soon she was sleeping. It didn’t take me long to doze off also, and there we were, both taking a Sunday afternoon nap. At some point I let out a snore and woke us both up. Joanna looked up at me with her beautiful, bright eyes and gave me a loving smile.
That was a moment God spoke to me. I was reminded of Mark 10: 13-16. “And they began bringing children to Him, so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to these.’ And He took then in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands upon them.” As Joanna fell back asleep, I was reminded again that God had called me to Haiti to be His hands and feet. I spent the next several moments praying for her.
There are 112 children in our Starfish Ministries’ orphanage in Tricotte. We believe God has chosen these children and that He has a special purpose for each one of them. As God entrusts each of these children to us, we believe we have a responsibility to minister to their whole person. Each child has physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs. We attempt to meet these needs by providing food, shelter and medicine for them physically, love and nurturing for them emotionally, education for their intellectual needs, and Christian training and fellowship for their spiritually needs. We believe it is God’s vision that each of these children would grow to be an ambassador for Him in their own country of Haiti.
Thank you for your part in the work with these precious children in Haiti. We appreciate your faithful support, prayers, and encouragement. We also appreciate the interest shown in providing items for the container we plan to ship to Haiti.
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp