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Continuing Relationships

As most of our readers know, outreach and vision trips are a regular occurrence here at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Rarely a month goes by where we don’t have a visiting team here to serve our care staff, love our children, and help improve and maintain our campus. This year is no different. Already we’ve had a few teams offer themselves as living sacrifices for God’s Kingdom work at Beautiful Gate, and we are preparing for a whole slew of teams yet to come. Over the last few months, though, we had the unique opportunity to welcome back teams from two high schools that we’ve been able to cultivate relationships with.

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In March we were privileged to host a team of students and adults representing Parker Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado, USA. This was the second team we’ve been able to interact with from this school. In addition to the normal team activities of serving our housemothers, doing household chores, and assisting with caring for the kids, they also led our weekly chapel time. As their big work project, this group blessed us richly with a brand new, beautiful playground structure. Not only did they bring over plans and certain materials from the US to put the structure together, but they also endured the challenge of seemingly unending rain during construction. They didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits, though. By the time they left us their hard work had paid off, and our children have enjoyed playing on an incredible playground ever since.

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In June we welcomed back another team from Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, USA. It is always a joy to have HC students on our campus, as we’ve been able to cultivate an awesome relationship with the school since 2012. As always, their schedule left little room for down time. Again, like most teams, they spent much time giving our care staff a much-needed hand taking care of their homes and their children. They, too, led our weekly chapel time and one of the students graciously offered prayer to any of our staff who needed it. This team’s work project for the duration of the week was helping us begin a renovation project in the baby house bathrooms. Team members were literally knocking down walls as they helped us make more space in the bathrooms. Even though they were only able to help start this project, they worked hard to make sure the bathrooms are still usable while reconstruction is in progress.

While having a large group of new people on campus can be a little crazy, we have been gifted so much over the years by our visiting outreach teams. Parker Lutheran and Holland Christian are two more examples of just that. Though they do help us immensely with the day-to-day, physical work and projects, the greater blessings are the relationships that form and the ability to watch God work in team members’ hearts and lives in brand new ways.

Thank you Parker Lutheran! Thank you Holland Christian! We are so grateful for how you’ve chosen to continually partner with us on this journey God has us on. We look forward to the next time you are with us.

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Navigating a Dry Season

To the supporting community of Beautiful Gate Lesotho,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…
- Proverbs 3:5

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- James 1:17

            As a predominantly donor-funded non-profit organization, it truly is only the will of God that has allowed Beautiful Gate Lesotho to be able to operate and function for almost 17 years. Over the course of that time, though we have never been in financial debt, we have walked through a number of dry seasons. We’ve endured periods in which we were unsure if we would be able to purchase food for the children the following week, or pay the staff that month. Always we’ve looked back on those times as God teaching us to trust in Him alone for our daily bread. We do not often have more than we need, but God has always been faithful to provide what we need, when we need it. He has proven Himself faithful.
            Hindsight is 20/20, though. It is easy to look back on a difficult time after it has passed, when you already know full well that God has brought you through it. It is easy to quote Proverbs 3:5 when things are going smoothly. Trusting God is never really an issue…until you actually have nothing left to go on but that trust.
            We wanted to take an opportunity to humbly share that Beautiful Gate Lesotho is experiencing another one of these financially dry seasons. We are so incredibly grateful for the countless individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, and more who have generously given over the years to help make Beautiful Gate what it is today. Despite how wide spread the knowledge of what God is doing at Beautiful Gate is and the faithful financial contributions of our donor base, the difficult reality is that the need is ongoing. Without continued funding we cannot continue to provide quality care for the children God has entrusted to us or to pay our local staff, who work tirelessly to provide that quality care.
            We think most of our supporters probably believe we are doing fine financially, so we want to be transparent in making our needs known. Our current greatest financial need is simply money for our general fund. This fund pays for all of the day-to-day basic needs including food, water, clothing, electricity, general maintenance, staff salaries, etc. While we thoroughly appreciate all the people who have aligned their hearts and passions with specific projects we have underway, we have seen a decline in financial support for these most basic needs.
            In addition to being transparent with our supporters, we also want this post to be a call to action. The first and foremost action we are calling you to is prayer. Join us in continuing to set Beautiful Gate before the Father’s throne. Pray that we will endure this trial, faithfully trusting in the God who is the source of every good and perfect gift. As James says, He does not change like shifting shadows. He has been faithful to provide for our every need in the past, and we believe He will be faithful to continue doing so in the future.
            Secondly, as you pray for and with us, we ask that you might humbly search your heart to discern whether you could contribute financially to Beautiful Gate. Through a one time or recurring financial gift you are investing in the lives of real people with real stories. You are helping to provide a hope for a better future for our children. You are helping to provide an income and a livelihood for our staff and their families. You are making a real difference. For those who already partner with us in a financial capacity, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We pray that you will continue to feel called to give, but also that God might stir it in your hearts to encourage others in your spheres of influence to start giving as well.
            Our goal in sharing our present reality, again is to be transparent with you, and to be faithful to do our part in openly sharing our needs. Having made the opportunity known, we step back and allow God to do what He does best. We now actively practice the trust that is so imperative in walking in God’s will.

Thank you for your continued support, financial and otherwise. We look forward to seeing how God will work through you to help us continue bringing hope to children and families in Lesotho and around the world.

If you have any questions about donating or anything else, please feel free to contact our Operations Director (opsdirector@beautifulgatelesotho.org) or our Volunteer Coordinator & International Fundraising Officer (bglvolunteercoordinator@gmail.com).

Molimo a le hlohonolofatse (God bless you),

The Beautiful Gate Lesotho Family

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A Most Bittersweet Goodbye

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Goodbyes are a constant reality for us at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Children who we’ve come to love dearly, who we’ve poured our hearts and souls into, are matched for adoption or reunified with biological family members. Sometimes they must be transferred to other care facilities. Occasionally we even have to say farewell to a child who has passed away. We say goodbye to staff and volunteers who pass through our lives fleetingly, but definitely not meaninglessly. Goodbye is a notion we are all too familiar with here.

Yet, in spite of how often we say goodbye at this place, some goodbyes still hit hard and break your heart. These goodbyes aren’t necessarily bad, oftentimes they are actually very good, but they hurt. They hurt because God has blessed us so richly through those relationships, has changed us for the better in so many ways, that it seems unlikely we can move forward without those relationships in our lives on a day to day basis.

It is this kind of goodbye that we recently had to experience with the Geurink family. For those who don’t know, the Geurinks were our former directors here at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Bryan and Anita came to Lesotho to serve back in 2010 along with their three children, Elijah, Faith, and Mercy. They served faithfully in Lesotho for seven years. Throughout that time they touched many lives, encouraged many people, and helped provide hope and futures for many children. They practiced their ministry personally when they adopted two beautiful girls, Polita and Nthabeleng, into their family. Not only were they a huge blessing and a source of strength and growth to the Beautiful Gate community, they humbly allowed this community to be a blessing and a source of strength and growth to their family as well. After seven years of faithful, committed service, God has called them back home to the USA. He moved mountains in their last months in Lesotho to help make acquiring visas for their adopted girls smooth and quick. There are not words to express how intensely we are praying that God goes before them as they begin this awesome new chapter of their lives.

Because I know them well, I know Bryan and Anita would cringe if I neglected to mention God’s hand in their faithful service. And it’s true that He alone was the source of every good thing they were able to accomplish and participate in while they were here. Our God is so faithful! He is the example of faithfulness the Geurinks followed every day in Lesotho. And it is God’s example that all of us who remain at Beautiful Gate will continue to follow as we seek Him to help us care for the children He’s blessed us with. It is this same God who continues to show His faithfulness to us as we walk through the grief of sending our beloved friends home. As I said before, these kinds of goodbyes can make it seem like we cannot move forward without those relationships in our lives. Because our God is faithful, though, we can experience this season of grief while we continue to move forward in His will.

Thank you, Geurink family. Those words seem so small in comparison to all that you’ve done for and with us. We already miss the life, laughter, and love you brought to this campus. We pray that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we will always love you, always cherish the time you spent at Beautiful Gate, always be grateful for allowing us to be a part of your life, and always honor the sacrifices you made along the way. May God’s Presence go before you and be with you always and in every circumstance.

Until we meet again, beloved ones.

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Ausi Sarah's Heart

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We have been so blessed to have Sarah Munson from England serving with us at Beautiful Gate for the past five months. She was such a source of joy, humor, hard work, and love during her service. We are privileged to share a summary of her experience in her own words.

In October 2015 I came on my second trip to Beautiful Gate Lesotho with a team, including my Mum and my Sister. I had already fallen in love with Lesotho and the children from BG during my first visit back in 2014, but coming back that second time really changed something in my heart. I started to feel as if this place was a home away from home, a place I belonged and a place I needed to be. As we left from that trip, we had a long drive back to Johannesburg airport from Maseru. Watching the beauty of Africa pass me by from the car window really got me thinking about how much I love being here and how much I wanted to stay for longer so I could really learn to understand the culture and the people better.  As soon as we arrived at the airport, a lady traveling with us, who is my mum’s friend and a woman I admire and love a lot, came up to me and told me that she could really see me coming back to Lesotho again for a longer period of time. She suggested I should come during a gap year between school and university. She confirmed everything I was thinking. I saw that as a sign, God telling me this is my next step.

I emailed the university I had applied for as soon as I got home and deferred my place and contacted Beautiful Gate. A year later I was arriving at Maseru Airport to begin the next 5 months of my life.

I can be a very anxious and nervous person, especially in a new environment with new people, but as soon as I arrived on campus I felt none of those feelings. I only felt comfortable and content. I knew this was where God wanted me to be and I trusted that He would use this time to help me get closer to him.

Seeing how much some of the kids had grown up since my last visit was amazing. I wasn't shocked to see that many of my babies from the previous year had turned into cheeky, sometimes naughty, adorable little toddlers. It was very good to be home.

I was assigned to serve in Pula 2, which I was nervous about at first as I'd always been in Pula 1 and knew how the house was run. I can see now however that Pula 2 was exactly where I needed to be. I fell in love with my kids and my housemothers almost immediately and they continue to teach me new things about myself everyday.

I have learned that I can be strong when I need to be but weak when I'm allowed to be and that trusting in God and His plan for my life will only bring me toward amazing people and experiences. I can see how God has used this time for me and I am eternally grateful for BG for giving me this opportunity.

There have been tough times during my stay at Beautiful Gate. Having to go through the pain of losing one of our children was definitely the hardest, but the support and love we have as a BG family and the love of God we share helped us all through that tough time. I am so thankful to have fellow volunteers and mentors to lean on in times of pain and upset and I will be forever grateful for my housemothers for caring for me and making me feel part of a family whilst being away from my own family.

Any tough times I've been through here are completely outnumbered by the amount of amazing moments I've shared with people here. From seeing a stubborn child stand up for the first time, to getting surprise hugs and kisses from the kids. Whether it's hearing the children laughing as you play with them or experiencing the beauty of Lesotho with friends. They all add up to 5 months of amazing memories I can never forget and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to go on this journey with Him by my side. I truly believe that my time in Lesotho has brought me closer to God. Everyone I meet here is so full of love for their Saviour and they have taught me so much about loving and worshiping Him.

The kids here have such a big place in my heart now, I'm not quite sure how I will go back home to my normal routine after this experience. One thing is for sure though, I will be back as often as I can. I want Beautiful Gate and these kids in my life forever.

Sarah

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your heart with us. We will forever miss your Christ-like love, kindness, and generosity. May God bless you richly wherever He leads you next, and we pray that occasionally it will be back to Beautiful Gate. 

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Stepping Into the River

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Our first team of 2018 has come and gone and how incredible it was to do life with them and experience God’s blessings together! This team was unlike any we’ve hosted before. While most groups we host tend to be outreach and service teams, the one to kick us off this year was a conference and vision trip for a group of pastors and leaders from all over the USA.

The gathering was titled the Stepping Into the River Conference, and what an apt name it turned out to be. Though we at Beautiful Gate played host to the group, they did not only serve on our campus. In addition to participating at BG they also experienced other ministries around Lesotho, including the Good Shepherd Centre where they interacted with teen moms and their kids; Semonkong Children’s Centre, another child care facility further out in the mountains; Baylor University’s children’s HIV/AIDS clinic; and an individual man living in Lesotho reaching out to local street children. All in all it was a very full and busy “river” that the team stepped into over the course of a few short days.

In regard to their time at Beautiful Gate, some of the most meaningful times were those spent hearing (or re-hearing for some of us) the stories of how God brought BG about in the first place. We were blessed to also host Beautiful Gate Lesotho’s founders and “grandparents,” Ray and Sue Haakonsen. We were all encouraged as they shared the stories behind how God led them to start BG and how He provided for their every need. It was incredible to hear those stories and then look around us to see how God has continued to be the source of a “river” of blessing that has brought forth life, blessing, and growth.

As we reflected on that river image, we were drawn in Scripture to Ezekiel 47. The chapter reveals the vision of a river flowing from the temple, bringing forth and encouraging restoration and new life wherever its waters touch. Because it has been a difficult season for us here at BG (recently losing a child, losing a staff member, and enduring both a child and a staff member suffering injuries) we were so blessed when God took the image of the “river” the team was stepping into and made it a reality. Due to an incredible storm that dumped a deluge of rain on our area, the three ponds on our campus were connected by a swiftly moving channel of water - a literal river! “Where the river flows everything will live” (Ezekiel 47:9b)! It felt like a promise to us of the restoration and life to come. God is so good!

We extend our utmost gratitude to the conference participants. Thank you for your service to Beautiful Gate and to Lesotho as a whole. We invite our readers to join us in praying for the conference participants as they return home. We pray that God will give you all quality time to process your experiences in Lesotho and clarity and guidance for the next steps He has planned for you!

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Wonderful Surprises: Andy and Carlie Shults

Proverbs 16:9 tells us “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”.  This has been so true for Andy and Carlie during their time at Beautiful Gate.  This wonderful couple from Michigan, USA, came to serve at BG one month after they got married. They were so passionate about serving that they didn’t want to wait until they are settled in their marriage to start thinking about moving to a different country and a different continent. This was the first surprise.

When they arrived, the plan was that Andy will oversee our Playgroup program working with our Playgroup Coordinators to put in place a long-term curriculum for our pre-preschoolers, work with our special needs children as well as take over some Chaplain roles while Carlie would teach at the Missionary School in the morning and then come to assist at Playgroup in the afternoon, and she volunteered a full day on Fridays at Beautiful Gate. These plans didn’t work out quite the way we thought because “…the Lord directed their steps” slightly differently.

Just shortly after they arrived, we found ourselves with a shortage of volunteers to assist in the Soft Playroom that caters for our children between 6 months and 1 year. So, Andy jumped right in and did an amazing work with these young ones. He truly became their ‘wonderful surprise daddy’ and most of them were saddened to see him go. He didn’t take over the Chaplain role but he and Carlie assisted with Wednesday Chapel times telling bible stories for the kids and sharing the Word of God with staff.

He also did an amazing job helping our special needs children, doing therapy and giving them one-on-one assistance. He worked tirelessly with one special guy to try and help him to walk. Those two built such a relationship that it was a beautiful, touching sight seeing them ‘walking’ together through campus. At the end of their time, Andy trained one of our young local volunteers to take over the one-on-one sessions with the special needs children. Andy also had some surprise skills and passions that he put into very good use while he was here. He is a very good photographer and he loves it! So, he helped in taking pictures of our children and organizing them for use for scrapbooks, facebook and blogging.  He also managed to make a few promotional videos to share with supporters and donors.

Carlie, on the other hand, did an amazing work with her students at the Missionary Kids School and even helped our school-going children here at BG, especially those that were struggling with their studies. She also assisted Andy with the special needs children when she was on campus. Like Andy, Carlie has special skills that came in handy for us here.  She is the master Scrapbooker (she even managed to teach me how…a difficult feat indeed considering I am not at all artistic. Well that just shows you the extent of her teaching abilities!). She helped us tremendously to put together scrapbooks of children to be adopted, especially when Anita was not around to do it.

Halfway during their time, they shared with us wonderful news: “SURPRISE we are going to have a baby”. This was yet another wonderful surprise, not just for us but for the Shults as well. Our God is full of wonderful surprises indeed. Thank you Carlie, Andy and little Preston Rethabile for being such a blessing to Beautiful Gate. May God continue to bless and provide you with more wonderful surpises!

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My Final Day

It has been almost 7 years since I stepped off a plane and stepped into a land that would change my life forever. I thought I was coming here to help at a care center for orphans and vulnerable children. I had no idea that I would become vulnerable too. I would love deeper than I thought possible. I would grieve deeper than I knew my heart could withstand. I would feel bouts of joy that would take my breath away. I would experience anger at situations that would make my blood boil. I would never live an ignorant and sheltered life again because I prayed a prayer that God would break my heart for the things that broke His heart. God answered my prayer in every way. Even in ways I wish I hadn’t experienced like placing 8 tiny little coffins in the ground on this side of the ocean, and 2 precious parents in the ground on the other side of the ocean.

My family has grown and changed dramatically over these past 7 years. We have welcomed new members through adoption and marriage, but we have welcomed many more through love and friendship. I thought I might just be a friend to the kids of Beautiful Gate, but instead I have found a family here. My children have many “aunts’ and “uncles” who have loved them dearly and helped encourage and shape them over the past 7 years. All 5 of my children have lived on campus and been showered with love and affection. They are all better people because of the relationships they have made here with the staff and volunteers. I have been welcomed as a mother to everyone here, some staff who are older than me even call me mother. It has been a great honor to be their mother. I struggle to leave because in a small way it feels like I am abandoning my children, but I know that is not true because God has called up a wonderful new mother to care for them.

Bryan and I have walked through the hardest trials in our marriage over these past 7 years, but we are stronger and closer because of those trials. We learned to depend on God more and rely less on our own strength. In our weakness, He has been shown strong. God has shown us new sides of ourselves, and abilities that we never would have realized we had if we had never been called to direct this amazing place. To say that I am thankful would be such an understatement of the truth. I will be forever thankful and grateful to God for bringing us here.

Today is my final day as a full time volunteer at Beautiful Gate. I have had many jobs in the past and leaving them was nothing like leaving this place. It is unlike any place in the world, and if you have never been here, then I am sorry for what you have missed, but if you have come and gone, you understand my heart. The love for the children that I carry in my heart is honestly, like the love I have for my 5 precious children. The love I have for my co-workers is not that of a working relationship, but that also of a mother who cares deeply for the well being of her children. Beautiful Gate will always be a huge part of my heart and my family. When I came here on a mission trip in 2009, I prayer that God would burn the images I saw on my heart forever so I would never forget. He has done that and so much more so I will never forget this amazing place where God turned my whole life and world upside down so I would grow and learn to depend on Him.  I only wish it did not hurt so much to leave, but I will trust God that He will carry me for the next 7 years the way He carried me through these almost 7 years.

My prayer for Beautiful Gate is that God will continue to work in the lives of the children, staff, and volunteers until the day He returns. That they would never lose heart in doing good, and that the lives of everyone who walks through their gates will be touched and changed forever.  I look forward to a beautiful reunion in heaven of all of us who shared our lives together in this little piece of Heaven on earth.

Anita Geurink - Former Co-Director of Beautiful Gate October 2011 - January 2017

 

 

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OBSERVANCE OF WORLD AIDS DAY

This is how we came in contact with Road Fund and they expressed themselves “In December 2016, the Road Fund Secretariat was among the organizations which took part in the event organized by the National Aids Commission in observance of World Aids Day 2016 at the ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre. The Road Fund Secretariat came out of that event highly motivated to contribute meaningfully towards combating the scourge of HIV and Aids and have in turn identified Beautiful Gate Lesotho being, a home for orphaned and neglected vulnerable children, particularly those afflicted by HIV and Aids”.

On the 18th August 2017 Road Fund came through for the children of Beautiful Gate.

We had a mini event where Road Fund was really celebrating Beautiful Gate for the good work it is doing. The CEO of Road Fund couldn’t stop to be amazed by what he was seeing; he said hearing is one thing is seeing is yet again another thing. He then handed over the grocery (gifts) to our director.

Our director was grateful and glad that organizations like Road Fund do care about what happens in the community and lastly she said it is our responsibility to fight against HIV/AIDS to better our country. We also had the representative of NAC, who talked about how AIDS is affecting everyone even our economy and what is it that we can do to help stop the spread of it.

Lets be safe, stop the spread and fight this together!!

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Women's Day At Beautiful Gate

The month of August is considered Women’s month in South Africa.  Each year Beautiful Gate honors their women by choosing a day to celebrate them.  This year I had the pleasure of attending as the new Operations Manager of Beautiful Gate. Although this special day is to be celebrated in August, they waited until September 1st so I could also take part. 

A team had been put together to plan the events of the day.  A special speaker was selected to talk with the ladies who serve Beautiful Gate and a meal was planned.

On the day of the event, excitement was in the air.  The Basotho people love to celebrate.  There was an abundance of singing, whistle blowing and trilling on campus.  The ladies were all dressed in their finest Shashoeshoe (pronounced – sha-shway-shway, the traditional material of Lesotho) and Beautiful Gate blankets.  As the time approached for the speaker to arrive, the bo’me (ladies) gathered together to start their procession into the chapel where the celebrations of the day were going to take place.  They started to sing in a beautiful harmony and blow whistles as they danced their way into the chapel.  Joy entered the room with them.  Soon after, all were seated and the event began.  There was a time of singing, prayer and announcements.  Then the speaker was introduced.  He shared with the ladies about the joys of being a woman and encouraged them through the difficulties of life, with Scripture, humor and songs. 

After the speaker was finished, our Director, Lindiwe Kirstein spoke to the ladies.  Thank-you cards were given to all the ladies from the directors.  Then the Beautiful Gate Woman of the Year, based on Proverbs 31, was announced… Mme Majosepha !  Mme Majosepha is one of the housemothers of Pula 1 and she has been with Beautiful Gate for over ten years.  She is greatly loved and admired by all the housemothers, staff and volunteers.  Congratulations Mme Majosepha !

Next was the luncheon. The ladies were presented with a sumptuous buffet of beef stew, papa, chakalaka, maroho, and soft drinks.  For dessert there were some delectable scones. 

We ended with more dancing and singing. It was a truly beautiful day at Beautiful Gate.

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Farewell to our Loving Little Angel

FAMILY, BELONGING, BEING LOVED, BEING CARED FOR IS what we all deserve and need because we are indeed relational beings.

God always strives for better relations with us, and we see how he did that in the bible. From when he used Moses to free Israelites, and lastly he did the most unexpected selfless thing ever, he then sent his only son again for a better and good relationship with men. We are all relational beings and he hasn’t stopped making ways for these relationships to be fruitful.

He is a faithful God for that he keeps on providing for our children with the families for them to belong. Not just any families but the one’s he sees fit that will fulfill the need of better relations, best future, most importantly for our children to grow in the fear and knowledge of him.

We said farewell to our baby boy, who was adopted by a family from Canada, they were humbled by the love of God and provision of their baby boy. They then named him a new name that means a gift from God, they said he is an easy boy like quick to bond with and he is forever laughing, joyful. They promised him a better future and his father said he cannot wait to teach him how to be a good man.  

His housemother said he is indeed an answer and God graced him by providing him with a family, she sees the scripture of Jeremiah 29v11 being fulfilled in his life.  Our director sent them away with gifts as is our custom and she also added that even though the boy had some health issues that never got in a way of him being happy, laughing and being joyful. Lastly the man of God, said this boy is a indeed an answer to his parents just like in the book of 1Samuel 1v 1-28 where the woman called Hannah couldn’t bare children and that didn’t sit her well so she went to God to ask him to give her a child with a promise that she will give a child to God. So same things goes to them the Lord has answered.

Even though it is hard on us when they leave, we also get to be so happy that they belong to a family of their own. God highly bless the families and we know they are in good hands. By this act you have indeed honored the Lord (Proverbs 14v31). 

- Candy

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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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