What a joy it was to spend almost three weeks in Tricotte, Haiti in August with two different teams from California. We spent a lot of time with the kids in the orphanage. Team members connected with these orphans so well. It was encouraging to see relationships develop as these special kids were held, loved and played with.
Our 99 kids are doing well. The 48 children who have been with us for over 2 years have accepted the new kids and are making them feel at home and welcome in their large family. And that’s exactly how the orphanage home appears–a large family of kids, working and playing and growing together. The frightened new kids that Sheryl and I met in May are now fitting in well. I wondered if little Theophile would ever smile. He seemed so sad when we took his picture in May, but now he was a little bundle of laughter, smiles and energy, as he connected with several of the team members.
The teams did a Bible School program for our kids at the orphanage and saw several of the new children respond to the gospel message to trust Jesus as their Savior. We observed the kids doing evening devotions. How touching it was when all 99 dropped to their knees and prayed. We believe God has chosen these children to be in this orphanage and He has a special purpose for each one. As they grow spiritually we pray His will would be accomplished for their life, which includes reaching out to their country with the good news about Jesus Christ. Please pray for these special children.
The team from Susanville was involved in an evangelistic crusade for five nights. God used, in a powerful way, the preaching of Pastor Rocky Schlange and his interpreter, PastorDiogene. Every night we saw people respond to the gospel message and come forward to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Over 25 people became Christians in those services. God is working in the hearts and lives of Haitians and drawing them to Himself. We thank Him for allowing us to be a small part in this work. Praise be to God!
While in Tricotte I met with the headmasters of the four schools in surrounding villages that Starfish Ministries will begin supporting. I also hired Norius Petit-Frere to be the director of this new ministry. The schools are very appreciative of this support and will be able to continue educating the children of these villages. I took pictures of almost 100 children from the four schools. If you or anyone you know, is interested in sponsoring one of these children, or would like more information, please contact us or our daughter Krishelle Bridges (707 279 1009) if you live in California. The monthly pledge will be $25 for sponsorship of the school children.
As we have begun this new ministry of meeting the educational needs in these villages, God has not only given us a complete peace, but He has given us an excitement and anticipation of what He is going to accomplish in the lives of these children as they hear the Word of God taught everyday. He has also given us a vision of reaching the other half of the children in these villages who do not presently attend school. And how better to reach their families for Christ than through the children. The excitement of the crusade in Tricotte in August only leads us to great anticipation of having crusades in all of these surrounding villages in the near future.
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35) There is a harvest waiting in Haiti but there is also a harvest waiting where we live. Oh, that God would find us faithful to His Word and obedient to his leading in our lives, whether that be in the country of Haiti or at home. As Paul says in Romans 12:11-12, “not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted in prayer.”
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie and Sheryl Bovenkamp