Click here to see more photos of the QCS students hard at work!

Tuesday of last week was Haitian flag day, a holiday here in Haiti. Schools were closed, including Quisqueya Christian School but 35 of the QCS students spent that day off serving others.

It was hot, about 98 degrees along with Haiti’s normal intense humidity. The students had needed to raise $300 US in order to pay for enough quality paint to cover three newly built homes for three Haitian families….families that had lost their homes in the earthquake. The High schoolers had a bake sale and all grades brought in donations. They exceeded their goal of $300! They packed their lunches and water bottles and woke up to a day that would be full of labor and love for others.

Christian Service International (CSI) had built the three new homes and plan on continuing the new community with about 21 new homes for Haitian families. A new well that gives fresh, flowing drinking water resides there as well.

I can tell you that the QCS students worked hard. They were tired, hot and thirsty but pressed on until the jobs were complete. It was a long day but just a day. A day that would give others so much more. The youngest QCS students that were a part of this were pre schoolers and the oldest ones were 11th graders! They all worked in 3 teams, one per house. Each team had young workers and older workers and they all worked together side by side.

The paint that was applied to the houses should extend the life of each house 2 to 3 years. Way to go QCS students!! We praised the Lord that the day went well. We are thankful for this day and for the opportunity to serve others.

We’re here in Haiti now. It is great to be back! Our flight with Missionary Flights International went fine. We flew on one of their Douglas DC-3 Airliners…known as one of the worlds finest and most respected aircraft. The pilot said the one we flew in on was built in 1943! We stopped in the Bahamas for fuel and then went on to Cap Haitian, Haiti….landed, entered the country there and then flew down to Port au Prince…about a 5 hour trip altogether.

Obviously it is so wonderful to be back with Sean and together again as a family. We have spent the last few days getting familiar with Haiti again. To our surprise we have noticed that much of the rubble that was along certain roads and other places has been cleared already and much more clean up is under way. Before we left we were wondering how many years most of the rubble would remain were it lay.

It is a bit strange being back. On one hand it seems like we never left and on the other hand, it feels like it was a lifetime ago.

We spent most of the weekend putting our house back in some sort of order. Sean had been staying here for the most part but his days consisted of 14 hour days working at QCS, plus helping with its extraordinary relief efforts…so he’d come home late, catch some sleep and then be off again early in the morning…non stop like that, 7 days a week for the last 3 months.

We are thankful our house is still structurally sound. We are thankful for our friends here and for all of the hard and endless work so many people have put in to help this country. We are excited to be going back to school and work tomorrow. Our children seem to be adjusting well as we take all this in again and continue to process Haiti, its people and our lives and roles here.

Yes, that is our plan and its in action! Actually, not our plan, but the Lords! After being here in the states without Sean just 3 days shy of 3 months from the day we were evacuated, the kids and I are on our way back to Haiti…

The above title is taken from an email of some pics that our friend sent (thanks Mark!). They are from today, taken by his cell phone, giving you a glimpse of it all. But only a tiny glimpse, as they do not do the day and all of its work and many blessings a bit of justice!

We are sad to leave our new-found lives and friends of Merritt Island, Florida. A very special church called Georgianna “took us in” these last 3 months. We have experienced so many blessings and acts of genuine kindness and generosity through the people of this unique church…people we didn’t even know or had ever even heard of before the night we flew in.

Both I and our children have gained wonderful new friendships with wonderful families and people from our time here in Florida.

We find ourselves making our way back to our beloved Haiti with high hopes and encouragement and strength gained from the walk we have walked while residing here.

I want to thank and praise the Lord for guiding us to the place he did. I want to thank the people of Georgianna church on Merritt Island, for you all have loved us and walked with us during this time of uncertainty and change. It was no accident or coincident that we ended up with you! You couldn’t have been “with us” better. Georgianna doesn’t just talk the talk, these people walk the walk and they do it in a way that glorifies the Lord and in a way that benefits their community and all of those around them.

Tom B and Mark W and their families, thank you for your help today. Dr. Hoagland thank you for your truck which gave us freedom and opportunities these past 3 months. The Joiners welcomed us and shared their home with us our second week here, Eric gave us his home for a month, Sara and Steve took care of many of our needs as Sean was away, all of you that brought us those wonderful meals, the gifts, the friendships, the kind words, the hugs, your prayers, thank you….all of you, the Lord knows each one of you and your kind acts. We too, hold these things close to our hearts.

We will take on your acts of kindness and pass them on in Haiti. So many of you at Georgianna, plus our neighbors and special others outside of Florida that helped us and loved on us during this time, thank you for all that you did for us. The Lord knows many of these days were not easy for us but we pressed on and gained strength through Him and His people. May the Lord continue to bless everyone that knows Him and keep calling the ones that don’t.

We are about to catch a MFI plane to Haiti in about 5 hours! Praise the Lord!

The middle pic is us with our friends in front of the plane we’ll be flying on~

Please visit the Quisqueya Christian School link to the left for more informative updates on all that is going on there. QCS is helping to coordinate some amazing things & at the same time striving to serve it’s students & staff with excellence. Sean remains there & reports that they are all putting in 16 to 20 hour days with all that is going on with the relief efforts & school.

Praise the Lord as QCS did re-open its doors today (Wednesday)…just 15 days after the earthquake! Sean said that their were either 58 or 68 (couldn’t hear which) students that returned today! I & our children were so excited to hear that!

Adjusting to life here in the states after the crisis of Haiti is hard. We couldn’t be in better hands or with better people but Haiti is heavy on our hearts & we miss our lives there.

Although the media may not recognize this, isn’t it amazing to see so much of Gods miraculous glory during this time of devastation for Haiti?! He is there. Hope is real. Much good will come from all of this.

I have no title for this. My brain, thoughts & emotions are not themselves. This is from Denise. I wrote the below post & pics from when we were still in Haiti but didn’t have time to post it. So I will now.

First an update on us. I am in the states (FLorida) with all of our children, even Bethaina. Sean is still in Haiti doing relief work & will remain there until not needed as much.

We came in late Monday night, on my 41st Birthday with 26 orphans & about 10 other people. We landed in Ft. Pierce. We are doing ok. Decompressing & processing. It is very weird & a bit of a bumpy road. I will write more another time about how God has us so clearly in His hands. Not only did we experience His protection during the earthquake of Haiti but we have experienced nothing but miracle after miracle since it hit, even in the hardest moments. Even amongst such devastation, I know His hands our protecting us & guiding us, not only us but all of His children. I am overwhelmed at what He has done for us & continues to do for us through His people & His plans.

Did God let this tragedy strike Haiti? Yes. Did He cause it to happen? Yes & no. Will nothing but great future blessings come from this? Yes. His plans are for eternity, not just the immediate. He cares for souls & His plans in all of this are to save as many as He can. & He will.

I have no doubt that He is very near everyone involved in this tragedy. All they have to do is look & seek, as I know many of the Haitian people were doing just hours after the earthquake. Their is a God. He is a good & loving God.

Thank you for your prayers & love & support. Please keep the prayers going past when the media is quiet & this all is on the sidelines. Haiti needs them. The people of Haiti need them. The people that serve in Haiti need them. Please continue to pray for Seans safety & the safety of those that are helping Haiti.

In Christs hands,
Denise & family

Here are some pics from Friday & Saturday, days 3 & 4 after the quake. Their is a story to each one of these pics. It now seems so fruitless to post them but know that each of these moments were treasured as opportunities to serve. The pics with the pills are of QCS staff helping put together bags of about 20 Ibubrophin & such to hand out to the wounded people that were coming in. The little boy, Quincy, age 6, had a broken leg & head & jaw injury. No morphine or pain meds other than what we had. We housed him at QCS for 3 days along with his parents until help came. Other injured people stayed as well. Everyone that was already there did all that we could do & gave all that we had to help.

These next pics are from Saturday, day 4 after the quake of our kids & Denise at the Bresma 1 house where about 100 of the Bresma children were residing since the usual 48ish at the Bresma 2 house where there as well because their house was not safe to stay in.

Bresma had received word Friday am that it may be a possibility that the children get to go to the states…waiting for all of the bureaucracy & a miracle from God & many behind behind this, we remained at Bresma 1 most of the day to help with the kids & be ready to get them ready for when we get the ok to go. While we were there, another aftershock hit. All of the kids within a split second were running, screaming & crying as they ran outside. We remained with the nannies & children the rest of the afternoon in the front courtyard area of the orphanage. The children were scared to death. Maryann was at Jaimie (sp) & Alis (sp) with a fever & nausea which she had not been feeling well for 2 days prior but still did her job & took care of the Bresma 1 & 2 orphans. Please pray for her. She is visiting this month for Christmas vacation from college. She has been sick twice now since being here this time. I know after the quake hit & the stress of that & being responsible for 40+ children & not having any sleep or enough food or water did her system in. Please pray for her. If she has not left yet, she is scheduled to be on the Pittsburgh flight with the children.

OK folks… We do not have any “ins” with any adoption agencies or officials. We have had a bunch of people who have inquired about adopting an orphan from Haiti. Wherever you live you still need to go through the process for individual states. Yes there are orphans who are leaving with not quite completed paperwork. However the people who are receiving these kids have gone through the “process”. This includes homestudy etc… I’m sorry but we can’t really help with the adoption stuff.
Gotta go to bed and catch a couple of hours…

This is not proof read or fully spell checked~just posted with what limited time & energy we had~

Please keep praying for Haiti.

And thank you all whom have personally prayed for us and our children.

Here are some pictures taken about 20 to 30 minutes before the earthquake hit. It was the first day of soccer this year for the girls QCS High Schoolers. Sean is one of the coaches & Chloe is on the team so we were all there on the QCS campus except Banning whom had left for his first drum lesson here in Haiti.

Here are some pics below from day three I think. We were up for the first 48 hrs after it hit with only about 4 hrs of sleep total. We had the camera with us from the moment it struck as you can see from the soccer try outs but it was just too much to take any pictures. Personally it was the very last thing on Seans or my mind. We’ll have to post sometime about our personal experience during & right after the quake. Don’t even think I can put it into words right now. It is just too raw & surreal.

After finding our son Banning whom we didn’t know how or where exactly he was when it hit as he was at a friends house but was to be in route back to the school around that time. We found him by car & then by foot 2.5 hours after it hit, Praise the Lord he & the people he was with were all ok!!). We then immediately proceeded to make our way to the Bresma orphanages (none of them needed to go to a hospital, they had all made it outside safely, along with Maryann! Praise God!!) we stayed a bit to assess how they were & loved on the kids & Maryann & the nannies & then drove on to a few loved ones homes that we knew were not solid. We then went to the Caribbean Market on Delmas. We knew at this point that it had completely collapsed as we had already heard, plus we had driven by it several times during our first rounds of finding people. We had assumed that rescuers or UN or someone would be in there helping. We just couldn’t pass it again though without knowing for sure. We got in & their were about 50+ Haitians inside the parking lot & all of the rubble. About 6 to 10 were trying to dig people out. Everyone else was watching. Their was no professional help there. None. And this was about 4.5 hours after the quake hit. Denise was with Jaime Kuhnle and Nicole Steiner (new teachers this year at QCS) whom were riding along with us. We walked in & asked what we could do to help. “Are you Doctors?” No. We walked around and saw people looting. We climbed up the rubble to hold our flashlights & lantern for the men digging whom had no lights at all. We could hear people trapped inside as we stood there. We gave them our lights and moved on. Then we were lead to a woman on the other side of the market that had just been pulled out & she was not in good shape. Her face, chest & one leg were drenched in blood. She was conscious but didn’t look like she would be for long. We had her put on a board laying down & lead some men to carry her to our car outside on the street where Sean had been waiting. He didn’t ask any questions. We threw down the back seats & took her to the nearest hospital that we heard was still up. We got to the hospital & their were at least 30 critically wounded people outside of it packed in the street. It was already full inside. Sean went in & found a Doctor or nurse that was there. He comes out to check the woman still in our car. Tells us that all medical supplies are gone already. Asks us to find a towel, paper or take off our shirt or something to help.

We unloaded her & told him that we would try to bring back whatever we could find. Ended up grabbing pillow cases, towels & any first aid stuff we had & went back to QCS campus to get Miquette the school nurse. She accompanies us along with Art Mcmahon back to Caribbean.

We all spent the next 6+ hrs at the Caribbean market. We learned then that some of the owners of Caribbean were there & spoke with them. They too had taken people to that hospital, I think she said at that time about 20 already. We also asked about different friends that were employees there & found out that some of them had been working that day. One of that had not. Sean & Art were literally two of about 12 men total helping to dig, search & find people. Miquette set up a bit of triage & us ladies helped her. As the night went on & the early morning hours came, we did notice more of the people watching began pitching in to help. But we also noticed many more looters, looting right around & next to the very people laying on their stomachs inside a half dug hole of cement debris while trying to reach the ones they heard buried under all of that.

The next day sometime, it must have been late morning we were driving by again & saw that some more official aid was in there helping & then by the second day 2 cranes were actually in there.

No pictures of that & those first 12 hours & I wouldn’t wish to have any.

Here are a few we do have. These are all rated G…& we only shot G rated pictures. I don’t think we were up to taking any pictures at all until the 3rd day after. Just wasn’t an option or a thought for us….we won’t need pictures to remember what we saw those first 48 hours after the earthquake hit Haiti.

This will be a quick post to let you all know that we really appreciate all your prayers. We are really getting into the relief effort now. We have teams of doctors and search and rescue people and aid workers on the campus. Sleep is tough but we are managing. The assistance has been great but one of the main ways to help would be to donate funds. These will be used to help us distribute food, water, and medicine as well as medical services. Eventually Denise and the kids will get out to Pittsburgh. Check this link These are the orphans we work with here & Denise & our kids will be going with them hopefully to help out…

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