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Above the hills of Kenscoff, Haiti, 4,921 feet above sea level, lies the beautiful mountains of Belot.

There the earth is rich & moist, the grass is green & luxurious & beautiful pine trees surround the area. The majority of the year, the temperature is ideal, ranging between 60 to 75 degrees (which seemed cool, almost cold to us). Belot’s natural atmosphere & environment are breath-taking.

The QCS staff & their families had the opportunity to spend the weekend together in the mountains of Belot for their annual retreat.

The focus of the retreat by the speaker was on life together in unity as staff, as family & as family members in God’s family. The speaker was a pastor from Kentucky & it was his first time in Haiti…us adults had several different classes with him throughout the weekend to educate us, encourage us & to spiritually nourish us…he did a great job! The kids got to do all kinds of fun things while we had our sessions. Their was also a lot of family sports to play.

We had a great weekend & our kids were able to reconnect with some friends here…something they really needed, especially Banning & Chloe as they have really been missing their best friends in Idaho…

The coolness of the weather, the crisp air & fresh smell of the pine trees were simply rejuvenating. To be able to get away from the business & never ending noises of the city, the constant smell of diesel, the unforgiving heat & the ongoing needs of everything was even better.

We were in the clouds literally much of the time…you could see & feel the clouds/fog just blow in & over & through you…it was amazing.

We are so grateful we were able to attend the retreat…it was a wonderful blessing for all of us! Sean & I strongly felt the presence of God throughout the weekend. He used this experience to encourage us & guide us & remind us that this is His perfect plan for our lives & our family. That… in spite of all of our struggles, fears & questions that we are facing right now, He is the one we so desperately want to obey & it is in Him whom we put all of our trust.

Our struggles, fears, losses, personal health issues & family matters have seemed so confusing for all of us lately, but God is seeing us through, we feel stronger & more at peace this week. We feel focused once again. We feel His love & see His hand in our lives & in all that is happening both around us & within us.

For those of you who are praying for us & who are supporting us…we thank you. We are grateful & mindful of all that we have & all that we can do because of your prayers & support.

Chloe took most of these beautiful pics. Hope you enjoy them…

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The Haitian government has declared the next 3 days as “days of mourning” due to the loss of life and catastrophic events that have happened recently in the country. Please pray for the people affected by the storms and flooding and pray that the assistance will rapidly reach the people who need it.

In His Service,
Sean

Yesterday QCS held their parent teacher conferences. It is good to talk with the parents regarding the progress of their children at QCS. It was also good to talk with the teachers of our own kids about their progress. Denise & I are so proud of all of our children! They all are doing an excellent job in school this year both academically & behaviorally. We’re thankful & praise God that they continue to adjust well to living in Haiti. We feel blessed that our children are having many positive experiences at QCS & that they are able to attain an excellent education while attending such a diverse international school. I can’t believe we are already half way through the first quarter!

While conferences were going on the food and clothing that was donated for the hurricane victims were being sorted through & organized on the picnic tables. I think there were at least 50 bags full of clothing and food items! These items are going to be distributed to those who were affected by the floods from the hurricanes.

Along the same lines the school is currently on a service project with 10 students. They went to a town called Cabaret which is north of Port au Prince about 30 minutes. This town was also wiped out and the QCS students are going to offer any assistance they can including manual labor (digging and clearing) as well as spiritual and emotional help. Please continue to pray for these people. We continue to get rain in the evenings and that is hampering cleanup efforts.

The refugees from Gonaives that are staying next door to QCS are doing well & continue to come & play on the QCS campus. QCS & it’s students, families & staff are such a blessing to this area of Haiti. We are thankful to be a part of this awesome ministry.


Well it looks like Ike is going to miss Haiti. Of course we will keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t make a hard left turn like Hanna did. We do have some rain & had some wind earlier today but not nearly as much as the northern cities.

Now on to our other news. We have had a first hand account of refugees from the floods in Gonaives.

On Monday Sept. 1, the water started rising at an orphanage in Gonaives. The guards alerted all the people inside the orphanage and they retreated to the roof. We are told it all happened suddenly & that the water came & rose very fast. 2 caregivers and 18 children got on the roof to avoid being swept away & then to wait out the storm. Apparently they had some food for 2 days then ran out.

They were rescued from the roof on Thursday by an NGO (Non Government Organization) called Food for the Poor. They were lowered down by a rope onto a boat and were then loaded onto a 4 x 4 jeep and transported by a pastor to Port au Prince. On Friday they came to the QCS campus and they had a hot meal. They were wearing the clothes that they slept in on Monday.

They currently are staying at the pastor’s house very near the school. Saturday we went to see them to see how they were doing.

Considering the horrible emotional toll they have endured they seemed relatively healthy & in good spirits. 2 of the children have TB so we are looking into medicine for them. The folks that came from Gonaives have told us that it is very very bad there. Please pray for those people. Please pray that neighbors will help neighbors & also that the Haitian government will help with the devastation of it’s people that were affected by these storms. Denise and I along with Steve and Ruth Hersey, Carol Heath, Kim Hargrove, and Art McMahon got together and went to the store to at least get these kids and the caregivers some essentials. Here are some pictures…

These pictures are from the first visit. These pictures below are from the visit today…

First of all, we are fine. Thank you for your prayers & encouraging words. The flooding has really hit other towns hard though, especially the town of Gonaives. Gonaives is about 70 miles north of Port au Prince where we are. Port au Prince is surrounded by mountains which creates a natural buffer for us; although we did see quite a bit of rain here along with dark skies & some mild to moderate winds. It rained 36 hours straight and then off and on for a full 6 or 7 days. QCS was closed for 2 of those days. We are very thankful for our safe & dry housing accommodations & all that we have. Here are a couple of QCS campus pictures during this time…

As for QCS we had a wet start but now we are starting to get into full swing. Students are getting lockers and books and getting settled. The campus is now a buzz of activity. Here is a picture of some QCS students playing 4 square earlier this week: (credit to Tony DeKoter)

QCS alumni has organized a food and clothing drive for the hurricane victims. Here is the flyer:
clothing-and-food-drive

Through all of this God has been so good to us. We have been at peace during these storms and we know that only the Lord can give that sort of peace.

Please pray for all the people that are victims of these flooded areas; many lives, homes, resources, fields, livestock & roads have been lost. Please pray for all the missionaries & ministries that are here on God’s behalf. Seems like everyone & every ministry is taking on & planning extra help for the victims of these storms.

We have had a few dry days however, it looks like Hurricane Ike is headed our way. We will keep you posted.

Our children are listening to one of their CD’s & the song “Every Move I Make” is playing…I hear them singing along & I ponder & feel humbled by the lyric that says “Jesus, you’re the one that saved myself from me…”

Also, our hearts feel extra heavy today for those who do not personally know Jesus Christ & all that he offers.

Serving with you in Haiti,
The Blesh Family

On Saturday I took Chloe with me to an appointment we had. After that, we decided to stop by this “store” which is like the closest thing we have to a mini Walmart; we went to look for a shower organizer thing that you can hang up in the shower & put your shampoo & soap on…we found one but as we were looking around Chloe found some little notebooks & pencils for really cheap…the pencils were like 10 for .25 US & the notebooks were I think .15 each. She wanted to get them for the orphans we know up in the mountains…the ones that have so little of anything…

So we decided to put back the shower organizer & just keep our shampoo on the floor so we could buy some stuff for the orphans instead. She also picked out a pack of yellow balloons, little pencil sharpeners, a few toothbrushes & soap. She then found some mini chalk boards for .50 each…we got 6 & then some boxes of chalk for .35. She figured that the older kids could share these & reuse them. We had a good time & it was nice to even get out, & especially just the two of us. When we got home, she organized everything in a box & put it with our “to deliver” stuff.

Since hurricane Gustav, we have been particularly worried about the the Kenscoff/”mountain orphanage” (what our kids call it). We finally got a chance to go up to it on Sunday after church.

We took one of the new teachers (Carol Heath) with us & another friend & teacher Kim Hargrove~the one who first showed us this orphanage last year. Kim took individual pictures of each child & wrote down their names & ages. The rest of us handed out the clothes, food & toys to the children. We played with them & talked with them. We also got to meet with the “Haitian director” & were able to get more information & set up more future plans as far as helping more with this particular place. (We usually only have seen & met with the one Haitian woman that lives there & tries to care for the children with her very limited resources).

Needless to say, the trip was bittersweet. Every time we go there, it is still so hard to fathom. Seeing that extreme of poverty & it’s effects on the children is just overwhelming. The children are beautiful, sad, grateful & hungry. They’re eyes tell it all. Yet, being able to hug them & bring a bit of joy & nourishment to their day is immeasurable. We are so grateful we could visit them & show them Jesus’ love & compassion.

We are thankful for safety while we traveled there, for the donated funds we had enabling us to purchase food to take them: bread, crackers, eggs & peanut butter; & for the donated toys, clothes & toiletries that people gave us when we were in Idaho this summer. Thank you to those who support us so we can be here as we all work together for God’s glory.

Chloe took this picture the other day up near Petionville…

This guy is either going to eat really well or make some good money!

This guy is either going to eat really well or make some good money!