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Thank you Zeeland Team!

One of our main prayers when teams come and visit is that they don’t leave this place the same as they arrived. That GOD should touch their hearts in a different way and they should also impact us in way as staff of BG.

 

Zeeland team was one of our biggest teams this year and it was really a blessing to have them. Their projects and activities while with us included helping us to organize our storeroom, to paint our fence at Beautiful Gardens, to build baby cots, to assist housemothers (care staff) to take care of the children, to play and love-on our children. They were not only a blessing to Beautiful Gate but to other centres and organisations such as Good Shepherd Centre, Semonkong Children’s Centre, Juvenile Detention Centre and Christian Revival Church.

 

The best highlights or rather best moments with the team included playing soccer with the inmates at the Juvenile Prison, together with the staff of Beautiful Gate. Also, they blessed our staff and children during Chapel Time through an amazing time of prayer, singing and sharing the word.  They beautifully acted out Luke 18V16 and everybody loved it, especially the kids. Pastor Tim Spykstra concluded the Chapel Time by encouraging us that indeed Beautiful Gate is where Jesus dwells and we carry the kingdom of God in us.

 

Big ups to the team (and all the teams) by taking time out to serve at Beautiful Gate, by so doing they are indeed glorifying God. They teach us a lot:  we see in them servanthood because they leave their comforts and selflessly deposit into God ‘s Kingdom. God greatly bless you and protect you.

 

WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME, YOUR HARD WORK, YOUR LOVE, YOUR SUPPORT AND YOUR PRAYERS!!!

- Candy (PR Officer)

 

 

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A long awaited adoption

 Its always good to see one of our children being reunited with his/her family or being adopted because at the end everyone needs to belong, be loved and cared for.

Last Friday we were celebrating and saying farewell to one of our children who is been adopted by a Swedish Family. This 3 year old was told before that the family that love him is going to come and take him to live with them, so he was so excited and looking forward to meet his parents.  He had a dream and his dream was just to run in his dad’s arms for the first time, and when his new family arrived, he did just that. What a heart felt moment that was, and a dream came true for a little boy. We have never witnessed a child running across campus into his parents’ arms, and there were not a lot of dry eyes for our staff or volunteers after that beautiful moment.

On the day of a ceremony his house mother said “he should go and be the peace that his parents need and also he should grow to respect and appreciate their love, also God should give him peace that surpass all understanding’’.  Our director also said that they should raise him in the fear of the Lord and also God should give them all strength and wisdom in raising this boy. The Ministry of Social Development thanked his parents for choosing Lesotho to adopt in and also thanked Beautiful Gate for the good work it is doing for raising these children.

The new parents were overwhelmed and they were grateful, could not stop saying how much of a blessing their son is. They also said they are looking forward to bond and live with their new baby boy.

Lastly a man of God gave them the scripture to carry with them as they embark on this new journey as a family of three now. Isaiah 55v12-You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and hills will burst a song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

What can we say unto the Lord other than to say thank you for making a way for our children where there seems to be no way, Beautiful Gate is humbled…all glory to God.

Written by: Candy

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Green House Project

 This winter we have been blessed by God in so many ways, our thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough.

 

A few months back our neighbor, Jewels Of Hope, informed us about possible grants that were out at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) that we could apply for. Because we don’t let any window of opportunity pass us by, we did just that. Among the grants that were there, we applied for a green house project. Then we prayed and waited patiently for their response.

 

It was early in April when the CRS said yes to our request, that they will give us a green house worth M20 500.  We thank God that we were approved and it was on the 26th of June when builders started to build our green house. Now that they are done, it is up to us to see to it that our children can have daily access to healthy vegetables. CRS was gracious enough to give us this great gift, it is now our turn to deliver and provide the fresh vegetables for our children.

 

Feeding a child is not an easy task, let alone 74 of them, so our aim at Beautiful Gate is to be able to feed our children in a healthy and a good way.  Even the doctors encourage good nutrition in one’s life so we figured growing our own vegetables would help us to achieve that and more. Maybe if the production is good, we can sell some of our vegetables to our community as a way of raising funds to fulfill other needs of our children.

 

We really thank God for the YEARS OF FULL SACKS AHEAD OF US.

 

Written by : Candy

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Celebrating our new Generator

On June 28, we had a beautiful ceremony to celebrate our new generator. Last winter was pretty rough for all of us because the electricity went out most mornings during the 2 coldest months of winter. We would use our old generator, but then we had to turn off all the heaters in the children’s rooms as well as the hot water heaters for all the houses so we wouldn’t overload and kill our generator. It was frustrating for the housemothers and it was cold for the kids because it was the early morning hours when it is the coldest.

Peter began to look into options for a new generator that could power our whole campus. The quotes that came back were discouraging and we knew that our budget could not afford a new generator. Peter was sharing our struggle with an engineer from Amalgamated Engineering and he came up with a solution. Avani hotel was in the process of updating their old generator with a newer and bigger one. We could buy their old generator and he would fix it up for us. We were so excited that we may be able to make this happen. He talked with AVANI and said he wanted to buy the generator so he could donate it to Beautiful Gate (we did not know this right away, we thought we were going to have to pay for it). When AVANI heard that he wanted to buy it so he could donate it, they decided to give it to him for free. So our celebrating was that through these generous people, we got a generator that is more than sufficient and it is fully maintained and should last us for at least 10 years. WOW!!

To top that off, AVANI showed up to the ceremony with sacked lunches for all the staff and for every child on our campus. The engineer, while giving his speech, promised to donate 2 full tanks of diesel as well as the first four maintenance checks for free. It was a day of giving and then more giving and we were feeling so thankful and speechless. Both of these companies could have made a lot of money from selling this generator, but they chose to think of our kids and gave them the gift of warmth this winter. We stand amazed at the way God is working through the hearts of those who love His little children.

If you would like to read more from a newspaper article, here is a link from the Lesotho TImes http://www.lestimes.com/avani-comes-to-orphanages-aid/

There were also newspaper articles in a few other papers, but I could not find the online link.

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Bringing the Gift of Hope

We recently said farewell to another phenomenal outreach team serving here at Beautiful Gate. This one came to us from Ontario Christian High School in Ontario, California, USA. This team was unique among most of the teams we receive to BG because it was composed mostly of adult men. Several fathers of students at OC accompanied their sons and daughters on this outreach trip. Just by being who they were, the men on this team provided the children of BG with a gift they do not often have: father figures. It was such a blessing to see some of these men step out of their comfort zones and get down on the kids’ level, showing them in a very real way the love of their Father in Heaven.

As with most teams we accommodate, the OC team helped with daily chores and childcare in the baby houses. They came alongside housemothers who work day in and day out, learning their routines and gaining a deep appreciation for just how hard these women work. They participated in our playgroup, caring for both infants and older children. In addition to work with the kids, the team also helped us accomplish a few projects around campus. They helped us build a paved walking path in our pre-school area, as well as putting up a new fence around a portion of the pre-school itself. They also helped us take down an unused building on our campus.

What was so amazing about this team, however, was how they embraced and cared for our greater community in Lesotho, and not just Beautiful Gate where they were serving specifically. They played soccer with inmates at our local correctional facility. One of the members preached at a local church on Sunday morning. Probably most significantly, though, after visiting another child care facility in a more rural village of Lesotho that has recently lost the bulk of its financial funding, the men on this team made a decision to actively help keep this care center on its feet. In addition to providing a significant financial donation to the center so that they can purchase food for the children, they also began making plans for regular fundraising when they return to the US. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful to see the Body of Christ see a need and take immediate steps to fill it. They truly were and are bringers of hope.

Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice, Ontario Christian Team! We are so grateful for how you blessed Beautiful Gate and Lesotho at large. We look forward to continuing this relationship and seeing you all here in Lesotho again soon! Molimo a le hlohonolofatse!

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Happy Birthday BG!!!

16 years! God has blessed us with everything we stood in need of in order for us to have been able to serve His precious children for 16 years! Every year has had its ups and downs, but Beautiful Gate has testimony after testimony of God’s great faithfulness. He has been walking beside us and holding our hands through our trials, carrying us when we were too weak to take another step, rejoicing with us as we witness a second chance at family whether through adoption or through a reunification. God has wiped our tears as we have placed tiny caskets into the ground, visited with us as we went to the hospital with sick children, and smiled proudly as we have taught His little ones to sing and praise His name. Through it all, He has been with us and He has been faithful.

In 16 years, there have been 504 children who have come through our gates. 70 of them remain here with us as the wait for their turn to have a family of their own. Sadly, 42 of our precious children have passed away while under our care. Those have been the saddest and most difficult days for those of us who have been here. I know it was especially hard for the founders as many of the children passed away before HIV medication began being distributed to the children of Lesotho.

12 of our children have gone into foster care. It is not a very developed program and is not used very much in Lesotho, but it has worked in a few cases. 19 of our children have been transferred to other care facility either because of their age or because they had siblings or family living at or near other centers. We always do everything we can to help children to return to their family if there is someone within their family who can provide them with love and care. We have had 145 children who have returned to their families here in Lesotho.

When children are abandoned or do not have any family members who are able to care for them, we then look into placing them into adoptive families. It is so amazing to see the way God brings just the right family for each of our children. We have had 216 children who have been adopted both locally and internationally. 

While all of those statistics are great for helping you see the way that God has worked, it does not even begin to tell our story. There are just not enough words to describe this ministry and the way that it is changing hearts and lives. I know that I will never be the same after serving here in different capacities for 6 ½ years. I have heard countless testimonies of God’s great faithfulness so at this standing stone of celebrating 16 years of ministry. I think everything points to the fact that this ministry belongs to the Lord! He has equipped us all to play our role, and to do our part within His story, but without Him, those 504 children would not have the hope that they now have whether they are already with Him in heaven, with a family somewhere, or still waiting to see their story unfold within our gates. To God be the Glory! 

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A Deepening Relationship

Earlier this month we were blessed to once again host a team of students from Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, USA. Our relationship with HC began back in 2012 and has continued to grow and bear great fruit every year since.

Even though HC sends a team each year, every team is unique and the members bring their own perspectives and hearts to the experience. This year was no different.

In addition to helping out in the baby houses with daily chores and childcare, the team also participated in maintaining the fence at our rental housing property, Beautiful Gardens. They worked hard sanding and painting the fence (and sometimes themselves).

The HC team also blessed our Beautiful Gate family when they led our weekly chapel service. They prepared a couple of songs and one of the students shared an incredibly applicable devotion.

We are so grateful for the continuing relationship Beautiful Gate has been able to keep up with Holland Christian. We look forward to seeing what God continues to do through the bonds formed between HC staff and students and Beautiful Gate staff, kids, and volunteers!

Thank you again, HC team, for your diligent work, your deep love, and your devoted hearts. We appreciate you so much!

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The Story of a Beautiful Flower

I have a story to share that I have been waiting to share for some time now. It is a story that shows God’s grace for His little children in a really special way.

There is a child at Beautiful Gate that has been very special to many of us. She is a child who is absolutely beautiful with a dazzling smile, but also a child who has special needs. She needed so much love and support and specialized care, and it really took a community to raise her. She went through hours of therapy with many different volunteers, and even had a one on one volunteer when she was on a feeding tube. There were times of great despair when doctors said there was no hope of her swallowing on her own, but through prayer and fasting, our God proved to be way bigger than the medical professionals could have imagined. Not only did she learn to swallow again, but she learned to sit up on her own which no one thought she would ever be able to do.

This little girl has been a part of our story at Beautiful Gate. Her life is a testimony of people giving so much of their time and energy and persevering to help her have a better life. People fundraised for a wheelchair and a special stroller was purchased for her. Her progress under this kind of love was remarkable, yet she remained at Beautiful Gate year after year. It broke our hearts that this loveable girl may never have a home because her needs were too great.

However, all things are possible with God. He brought family members who fell in love with her and decided to do whatever it took to make a home for her. They needed some help making it happen, but they were very committed. The American board of BG did some fundraising of their own and helped the family add on to her home, as well as supply them with the needed bed, bedding, clothing and other needed items to make her feel welcome and at home. Our maintenance manager helped add on to their house and our volunteers spent a day painting the house for her. Our sweet little girl has a new home and moved in with her extended family a few weeks ago. We miss her smile and seeing her at playgroup everyday, but we couldn’t be happier that our special little girl has found a loving home. 

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Blessings Come Full Circle

We are in a busy season of hosting service and outreach teams at Beautiful Gate right now! While hosting teams requires a lot of preparation and work before and during their stay, we almost always find that the benefits and blessings of having them with us far outweigh the work we have to put in. This couldn’t have been more true with our most recent team from Prairie Edge CRC in Portage, MI, USA.

The team consisted of 7 individuals who came to Beautiful Gate with the epitome of servant hearts. They worked full time in the baby houses and playgroup, assisting house mothers with daily chores, engaging the children with unconditional love, and bringing life, light, and joy to all of our staff and volunteers. Additionally, this team spent many months before their service trip raising funds to help Beautiful Gate purchase new vehicles. We at Beautiful Gate are so grateful for the relationship we can have with Prairie Edge.

It was extremely evident, too, with this team that God works blessings both ways when teams come to Beautiful Gate. Most, if not all, of the team members expressed that their time in Lesotho was eye-opening and life-changing. They all shared how deeply God touched their hearts through the staff and children of Beautiful Gate. And they all conveyed a deep desire to keep the lessons they learned in Lesotho alive and active even after they returned home. We are so thankful that God doesn’t just bless Beautiful Gate through the service and generosity of our teams, but that He uses their experiences at Beautiful Gate to transform their lives as well.

Thank you so much to Prairie Edge CRC for supporting us and sending this team! Thank you to all the team members for offering your time, gifts, and resources to bless our Beautiful Gate community. We love you and we hope to see you back in Lesotho soon and often!

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Adopted Forever

Last week we were blessed to witness God bring together another forever family! It seems that God has been doing a lot lately, bringing new children to us and sending others out in families. It is always such an incredible privilege to see adoptive parents lay eyes on their child for the first time. It’s always a joyous celebration to welcome them back on campus only days later to commemorate their adoption with them. And it’s always an amazing gift to see how much a child has bonded with his or her new family over the course of those few days. What an astonishing glimpse God gives us in each adoption ceremony into the even greater adoption He has provided for us, His children, into His family!


Join us in praying for this new forever family. Pray that their transitions go smoothly and they settle in together as father, mother, brothers, and sister. Pray that God blesses them richly and makes His face to shine upon them as they grow together as a family.

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My First Impression of Beautiful Gate

Candy is our new PR/Fundraising Officer at Beautiful Gate. She started working with us on April 3rd, and I have asked her to share some of her first thoughts/impressions of Beautiful Gate. Please enjoy reading what she has shared!

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, the plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”…. Jeremiah 29v11.

 

God ordered my footsteps to Beautiful Gate. I didn’t know much about it but I got there, I am here now.  I thought it was a work place, but it is more of a home and body of Christ. People who availed themselves to serve God by being devoted in taking care of vulnerable children in all of their different needs. Morning devotions to me are God’s way of positioning me. The colleagues’ morning greetings represents an amazing love, and my everyday job is my offering to the Almighty.

 

One great afternoon, I took my time to join the kids at the playground, honestly I was nervous as I didn’t know where to start because my fear was what if they cry and they don’t really like me. The best thing that happened was when the holy spirit intervened in a way that left me wowing, this what he said, “YOU DON’T NEED TO PITY THEM, THE GREATEST GIFT THAT YOU CAN GIVE THEM IS LOVE AND NOTHING BUT GENUINE LOVE”. I went there with so much love in me to pour out to them and all I saw in them was abundance of life, of love and of joy. Then I remembered Jesus came so that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance John 10v10.

 

It does not matter where we all come from and what really happened in our lives, what really and truly matters is to trust God with our future for it is in his hands. This I learned through a kid who was adopted by a family from the Netherlands. That was indeed a very heartfelt moment for me.

 

Since God entrusted me with these kids lives, I am really looking forward to spend more time serving until he takes me to another greater heights either here, or where he knows, for I trust him with my future plans.

  

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More Blessed to Give...

Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

 

When you are a care center who depends on everything from the kindness and generosity of others, it is not often that your cup runs over. 2 years ago we, as a management team, realized that we were not tithing and we did not feel good about that. Yes, some months are hard and money is not there, but we need to trust God and in His faithfulness. So, we began the community outreach task force. This task force decided to go looking for people in the community who were desperate for help. We have helped with seeds for fields, housing for a special needs child, food for hungry families, and school fees and uniforms for kids who were unable to (or too embarrassed to) attend school.

This year we targeted 18 students from 4 schools who were in great need. Thankfully the schools are able to tell us which children have the most need and then Beautiful Gate chooses 4 to 5 from each school. This year we did something different because we wanted to have a chance to encourage the children. We invited them to come for a little ceremony at BG, and then our task force and PR Officer went to businesses asking for some support for the children. We received burgers, fries, and drinks from Spur and 20 small pizzas from Romans (both local restaurants), and we received 25 hot dogs and buns from our local grocery store, Pick N Pay.

Not only were we able to provide encouragement to the children, but also uniforms for the next year or two and full bellies for the day. The children were so grateful, especially the 4 Secondary (high school) students whose school fees and exam fees were paid. It felt good as an organization to be able to bless those in our community. These children’s lives can go in a new direction because they have a chance for an education.

I did not want to exploit the children by taking pictures, but these children have been wearing uniforms that are so worn, tattered, ripped and hole covered that they have been teased by fellow students. It is a real blessing that we can also restore some of their dignity by allowing them to be just like the other kids at their school. No longer an outcast for being in tattered clothing, but an equal who can learn and grow in their knowledge and also in their confidence.

We give God the glory for taking care of our needs so we can give a little back to our community. Thank you for your support so that we can really continue bringing hope to children and families both in our care and in our surrounding community.

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Joyous Welcome

Every family walks into meeting their child for the first time with different outlooks and attitudes. Some come to us and they are an excited and nervous wreck. Some come to us and they are full of questions and uncertainties. Some come to us with quiet anticipation for the day they have waited for, for many many years. Some come and they are about to explode with joy and love. The couple we met last week were so full of joy and delight. They were both so captured by their little daughter that the whole world around them stopped. It was only them and their precious girl. Both of them said at different times about how the other parent was going to be the best mom/dad in the world. It was clear that this was a pinnacle moment in their life and they were embracing it with full joy. 

Our staff were so happy as well because the family shares their faith in the Lord. They promised to raise this precious child in the same manner that she was being raised here at Beautiful Gate. They even took the time and shared a testimony of God's faithfulness through rainbows along their journey until their adoption was complete. Wow, God is so good and so faithful. Please pray for them as they continue bonding and then return to the Netherlands. 

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Go Well Bailey

One joy of being at Beautiful Gate long term is the joy of meeting a lot of new people. We have so many short term volunteers who come each year, and it is nice to see how God is using each person. One of our volunteers left on March 28th, but I am only now writing a blog post about her because she decided to surprise her family. They all thought she was going to be coming home in April so she was able to pull off a fun surprise for them all.

One unique thing about her already having been home for a week is that I read a blog post from her about her struggles at home. For many of our volunteers, they feel an incredible amount of homesickness when they arrive at BG. I have also just read from her blog that they  experience the same sense of homesickness months later when they return to their home country. The children and staff at Beautiful Gate are so loveable that people feel they have really lost something when they leave. Please pray for our volunteers as they leave because it is so hard, and I know that Bailey is struggling with missing the children and housemothers.

Bailey was a very fun volunteer. She has a love for life and not a day went by without seeing her big smile. She went through some very difficult trials while she was here, but she trusted God and overcame each trial. I am amazed at the work God is doing in her life and look forward to seeing how He will use her in the future. She has a great love for kids, and especially for kids with special needs. She helped another of our volunteers with daily physical therapy for about 5 children with special needs. One of them is getting close to walking and I am thankful for her dedication with therapy. She also helped as a volunteer in one of our children’s homes and really did well helping her housemothers and fellow volunteers. I know a few of the children in her house stole her heart so it was very hard for her to say good-bye. We are thankful that you came Bailey! Go well and may the Lord be with you.

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Busy With Blessings

Over the last couple of weeks in March Beautiful Gate Lesotho was incredibly blessed and privileged to host a service team from Canada, including members from Crossridge Church and Discipleship International. Some of its members have been long time supporters of BGL via a 5K run/walk fundraiser in Vancouver, and were able to finally visit and see the ministry they’ve been supporting for the first time!

During their stay the team worked very hard and had a huge impact on the lives of our staff and children. In addition to working in the children’s houses and playgroup and helping the housemothers with general day-to-day care and chores, the team gave up much of their daily breaks to bless the staff and children even further.

During the break a few members of the team led a discipleship training for our staff and volunteers. They taught many basic discipleship skills including how to read and memorize Scripture, methods of prayer, and how to write a testimony. By the second day we already began to see this training bearing fruit in the lives of our staff. Individuals willingly volunteered to practice their memory verses out loud during the sessions and one staff member even shared her testimony with the group. It is evident that the Holy Spirit really worked through those discipleship training sessions.

Immediately following the training sessions each day the team switched gears and put on a Vacation Bible School for our school-aged children. There were stories, puppet shows (with handmade puppets), and unique crafts that really engaged our kids with Biblical topics and principles. After the stories they asked comprehension questions and it was amazing to see so many of our kids’ hands fly into the air to answer them, and to answer them correctly at that!

In addition to their service, the team also blessed us with a donation of medical supplies to help stock our on-campus clinic. The donation was way bigger than we had initially expected, so we will be able to give some of the medicines to other local clinics as well!

We were also blessed during our nightly devotional times as each team member shared their personal testimonies. Many of the BG volunteers were inspired to share their testimonies as well. It was always a beautiful time of hearing example after example of God’s faithfulness in the lives of His children.

The time that this Canadian team spent with us was so rich and full of God’s blessings and mercy. We are so grateful that they were willing and able to come and serve God’s Kingdom at Beautiful Gate Lesotho.

Thank you, team, for all of your contributions to our ministry. Thank you for caring for our children. Thank you for investing in our staff and volunteers. Thank you for helping us meet so many different needs within our organization, as well as empowering us to further be a blessing in our local community! May God continue to bless you! We look forward to seeing you all at BG again soon!

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A thoughtful Gift

Today was a day of great celebrating and thankfulness. Usually when I write those words, it is followed by a story of an adoptive family. Not today though!

We were given a very special and thoughtful gift today. This gift is special because it has come from a local Lesotho company. We were given 20,000 Maluti worth of electricity from LEC (Lesotho Electricity Company). Our electricity meter went from 1281 to 15154. We were all joking that our meter was going to break because we had never put that many units on at one time. We have thankful hearts because this gift is coming right before we go into our cold winter months. We typically use 1000 – 3000 Maluti worth of electricity each week depending on the weather, so it is like we have received enough for about 9 weeks with our current weather. What a blessing!

 

As we quoted today, “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a whole country to care for a child care centre like Beautiful Gate.”

 

A huge thank you to LEC, and also to many of you who have done things both large and small to keep our care centre running and able to provide for the needs of over 400 children!

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Crossridge church/ Discipleship International team

This blog post was written by a team who has come from Canada to Beautiful Gate for the first time. The leaders of this team and several members have been supporting Beautiful Gate through a 5K run/walk for the past 6 years despite never having come to Lesotho. I wanted to share their letter back to their supporters because they shared their first impressions of Beautiful Gate, and I thought it is so interesting to see what parts of Beautiful Gate affect people the most in their first impression.

Greetings from Beautiful Gate March 21, 2017

 

The Team: Idy and Christine Ema, Elliott and Joanne Wong, Ralph and Anna Irwin, Belinda Poon, Chyrlle and Michael Dunne.

 

We arrived safely in Johannesburg March 17 and with God's help passed through South African Customs. Idy and Elliot were asked what they were bringing with them and they provided the letter from Discipleship International and the customs officer, looked at them and said they were honest looking and then cut open a box looked at the content exposed and immediately sealed up the box and sent them on their way. When we arrived on our flight, we were asked what we had and we said some meds for Beautiful Gate. He then x-rayed our boxes and suitcases and told us to enjoy our stay. On March 19 we journeyed through South Africa to Lesotho and had to show our passports which were stamped and approved by Lesotho Customs, our driver and Van also passed through without incident.   

 

Praise God for His response to your prayers and ours.

 

How can I describe our feelings? Until arriving Beautiful Gate was one-dimensional, this far-off place within Lesotho in South Africa. Since leaving you, we have been filling in other dimensions in our experience here. We have been on Safari, and up close to four of the big five: lions, elephants, rhinoceros, and cape buffalo, we did not see the leopard. We also saw giraffes, warthogs, zebras, impala, eland, kudos, springbok, wildebeest, porcupine, ostrich, etc., along with many birds, and vistas of the Southern Cross after dark. God's works are declared by the heavens, and His creation.

 

Now since arriving we have been helping out in baby and child care, preparing and delivering the Children's Bible Lessons with stories, puppet show & crafts, and Discipleship Training. We have been hearing testimonies from those at Beautiful Gate, and sharing ours. Bryan and Anita Geurink are transitioning back to the USA by the end of this year, Lindiwe Kirstein has replaced Bryan as Director. With Lindiwe are her husband Peter, and foster son Simphiwe, a special needs child. Tyler Robbert has been our immediate host, and mentor, and great to work with.

 

Today the nurse, Mme Mataeke was back on Campus and we were able to present to her the medicines provided by HPI Canada, Dr Amy Weber, and donations received from supporters. The joy we saw in her smile and delight in seeing 300 lbs of medicine was beyond value. God is amazing. Beautiful Gate will be able to meet many needs for the children, and staff. By God's provision medicines will also be used in other clinics in Lesotho to care for those who are ill.

 

As mentioned Beautiful Gate has 5 children's houses, Khotso 1, Khotso 2, Pula 1, Pula 2, Nala. We have met the house mothers, their assistants, and full-time volunteers serving here from Lesotho, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA.

 

Each of the team have consented to share their impressions, or highs and lows over the past two days.

 

Joanne:  My low for this trip (besides all off the bugs), was when Tyler shared about the Basotho culture, and how traditionally the men must prove themselves by raping a women.  Since the Basotho culture place a high value on their familial bloodlines, once the girl has been raped (through no fault of her own), her family considers her blood tainted, and her and her unborn child are banished, which is how many children end up at Beautiful Gate.  My highs have to be from spending time with the children and seeing the beautiful smiles on their faces from being shown love.

 

Elliott: Since arriving it has been encouraging to see faithfulness of the staff directors in that it is evident that at the centre of their focus is to see God glorified. It has been encouraging to hear and see reports of how Beautiful Gate has been relying on the providence of God to provide for some of desperate needs in Lesotho.

 

Christine: My highlights for this trip is the children they are all so welcoming and happy to see you everyday,  even though they have been put in this situation they still have so many hugs to give.  My low is probably when we have to leave and say bye to the kids, I hope they can find a family to love them.

 

Idy: My highs and lows come from the same place - the tour of the orphanage given by Tyler. On the high side, there is a great need for this orphanage and it serves a great purpose especially given a better understanding of the culture, people, and bad conditions at other orphanages. On the low side, the various conditions, situations and stories that result in children ending up at the orphanage can be very difficult to accept or digest. All in all, this has been an eye opener and a great reminder of the unconditional love that is required of me, just like the love that Christ has for us.

 

Chyrlle: The highlight, so far, for me is just being here at Beautiful Gate. We have been working with them for 6 years now raising support with the Beautiful Run run/walk. It is such a blessing to be here, see the complex, meet the people and interact with the children. Another highlight has been presenting some of the Discipleship tools to the staff. They are so appreciative of our efforts and have embraced the teachings we have shared with them. Today, we had a visit from the nurse, who enthusiastically shared how much the donation of medical supplies meant to her. It was an abundance for Beautiful Gate so they will share it with their associate clinic, Baylor, which will benefit the whole community.

 

Anna:  My high of this time here so far was today with the little children.  It is a silly thing but when I saw all the little children sitting on their potties in the bathroom it was so cool and I was amazed to see the kiddies putting back their bath containers in their places it was so cute.  My low today was struggling to clothe a little girl who did NOT want to get her clothes on.

 

Ralph: My high -  I had a vision at home before coming to Beautiful Gate of me holding a infant. On my first day of serving the initial job I was given was to hold a two month baby the same as in my vision. This confirmed God had a plan for me to come here to Beautiful Gate.

 

Belinda: Beautiful Gate is truly a Christ Centred and God glorifying place for the Lesotho orphans, from the well maintained grounds and houses to the welfare of the orphans. It was such an amazing time with the children who are so heartwarming and loving. Another highlight was the answer to prayer about giving some discipleship training to the staff, who were so enthusiastic that they have started to memorize Assurance of Salvation already! All glory be to God.

 

Below are a few photos from the donations we received from Health Partners International. Not only did they donate some very useful medications and supplies, but they also blessed us unexpectedly with some knit dolls and animals. We added the animals to our library along with some new book donated from this Canadian team. 

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Finally…Family

There is one part of Beautiful Gate that can just never get old, and it is watching families come together. There is so much joy when we sit a family down in our boardroom or chapel, and they look forward to meeting their new child/children. It is so amazing to see the looks of hope and expectation on their faces. Then it turns to absolute joy, and even sometimes tears. It has been really great watching 2 families come together after YEARS of waiting. One family waited 9 years for their child and the other family waited for 5 years. After all those years waiting and yearning for a child, the desire of their heart was made complete.

We had two beautiful ceremonies to celebrate these children and their families. We were able to say good-bye and send the children off with our blessing. Please pray for them as they continue to bond with their parents, and as they transition to their new home in the Netherlands and Canada. Becoming a family is such a beautiful gift, but it is also a lot of hard work and full of unknowns, so please also pray for the parents to have wisdom and a good support system. Here are pictures of the new families, unfortunately the father is missing in the picture with the 3 daughters due to some visa complications that arose. We hope those are all sorted as the family was scheduled to leave Lesotho today.

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Easy to Forget...

When you watch a little child playing on a swing with full joy and laughter, it is easy to forget that they were left at the gate of a stranger’s home as their mother ran away.

 

As you hold a tiny newborn in your arms and watch them sleeping peacefully, it is easy to forget that their mother could not even look upon the child because it reminds her of the day she was raped.

 

As you watch a little one taking their first step and see the amazing look of pride and determination on their face, it is easy to forget that their father gave them up the day they were born because their mother died giving birth.

 

When you walk a child to their very first day of preschool and hear them talking non stop about how much they have been looking forward to this day, it is easy to forget that they were once laid in a plastic grocery bag and thrown in a dumpster.

 

It will never cease to amaze me that despite the hard and sad start that many of these kids come from, they really thrive at Beautiful Gate. They have been given real hope so that their future looks limitless to them. They make friends, learn to play, go to school, and hit their milestones despite their early circumstances. They really rise above, and even the kids who are older when they arrive adapt so quickly to the drastic changes in their life.

 

I find a life lesson in this for myself. When my circumstances are looking bad, and I have trials that seem insurmountable, I need to have faith like a little BG child. Rather than dwelling on the past and feeling sorry for myself, I need to be able to thrive and look outward with hope into my future. So many people think that volunteers/missionaries who come here are going to be a real blessing to the kids, but we all find it more true that the kids bless us. This is just one tiny way that I have been blessed and challenged by the kids at BG.

Anita

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Thanks to "Jenny's Team"

We are always so blessed to have our friend, Jenny Dobson bring a team to Beautiful Gate. She usually comes for 3 to 4 weeks, and it is always amazing the things that get accomplished during that time. I will give you a few examples but I doubt that I will cover all of it because she and her team (Fred, Nell and her husband, Steve Dobson) accomplished a lot. They cleaned and organized the playgroup, labeling all the cupboard shelves and even replacing the old bookshelves with more child friendly drawers. They made and decorated cooking with the children, cleaned the old play kitchen and supplied new play food and dishes, played daily with the toddlers and babies, helped the house mothers, read countless books to the kids, helped all the office staff get connected to the server, fixed several computer issues, and even painted murals. As you can see, they were very busy.

Beyond all that they did, they just shared life with everyone at Beautiful Gate. Inviting volunteers over and playing cards, talking to staff and neighbors, and just living life in community. We are very thankful for their time and the talents they shared. Bryan and Lindiwe are going to be headed to England next week where they have been invited by Jenny and other friends of BG, Gill and Stephanie, to share about BG with their churches and schools. We are grateful for the partnership that has formed between these churches and Beautiful Gate, and look forward to more community as Jenny, Stephanie and Gill bring their friends and share life with all the kids, staff and volunteers at BG.

Here are a few photos of the team:

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