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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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See You Later...

I so did not see this coming and it has been very difficult to accept, but after hearing his heart, we know that God is calling him to new things. These words were written by one of our staff, Ntate KB, as we had his farewell ceremony at BG on Friday:

 

Today marks the day I have to say goodbye to a place that has been in my heart since its established in 2001, Beautiful Gate. Technically my last day here is Friday the 24th but a farewell ceremony will be today. Though I have officially being working here for the past seven years I feel like I have been here forever. Many of my friends may not know that I have known the BG co founders Ray and Sue Haakonsen for a little longer than the establishment of BG. Not only did I personally know them but the relationship I have with them goes beyond just my former YWAM Lesotho leaders in 2000 or my BG former directors but I see them as my parents from "another mother". I still remember it like it was yesterday the small beginnings of this now so big place known all over the world. I was there when the first seven children child were transported from Queen Elizabeth II hospital in a tiny little White mazda 323 to tiny two roomed home in the industrial area in Maseru. I lived in the same house with the Haakonsens for a little more than three years and that makes me feel like I was part the household when decisions about this place were made. I would like to thank my makhooa parents Ray Haakonsen for playing such a great role of being a such and amazing father figure in my life. For the years grooming correcting and genuinely loving me as their Mosotho son, crazy trips to Cape town, the list goes on and on. I would also like to thank 'me Sue Haakonsen for having such and amazing big heart for the children of this country. Thank you for the meals you cooked for so many years without complaining. Thank you for teaching me how to drive. The list will not end. I would also like to thank Bryan and Anita Geurink for six years of amazing leadership. Thank you for the sacrifices you made. Me Anita thank you for your humble heart. I am sorry to Peter and Lindiwe Kirstein that my time came so early in their few weeks of their leadership stage and would like to wish you guys all the best in this big shoes you are wearing, may God bless you. Lastly a big thank you to all the BG office staff maintenance and care workers. Please continue to make BG a place to be. Love you all.

This ceremony was a very hard one because Ntate KB has been with Beautiful Gate from before it was even started. He has been a part of all the ups and downs of this ministry. He has been a valuable member of our management, and he has been a man who could be depended on whenever BG needed anything done. More than all of that, he has been a friend and brother to us all. He has loved and supported Bryan and I as leaders and even prayed over us during some of our valleys as leaders.

 

When I think of him, I think of a man who loves God and who loves children. Every time I saw him walk across campus, he would take the time to hug a kid, push a swing or merry go round, or kick a ball back and forth with a kid. His love for the children is such a beautiful picture of a father’s heart. I also think of him as a man who doesn’t rush into decisions, he would weigh the thoughts and opinions of others before he would make a decision. We have been very blessed to have Ntate KB at Beautiful Gate, and we are going to miss him terribly.

Ntate, may the Lord bless you in the next chapter of your journey and know that I am praying faithfully that God will give you the desires of your heart because you have a loving and noble heart! 

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Playtime fun

It has been a very rainy February, but the campus is green and lovely now. We thought we might need to build an ark this week, but thankfully the water is slowly receding from campus. Our poor children have been stuck playing indoors more than usual. We are so thankful for the English team (which we also call “Jenny’s team”) because they saw some needs and then they worked on filling those needs. We have a really fun play kitchen, but it was looking a little run down and there was no play food for the kids. Jenny’s husband arrived here at Beautiful Gate after she had been here for 2 weeks, and she had all of her friends dropping off play food to him before he flew here. Jenny and her team cleaned up the play stove and even added some details to the burners, so we have some future chefs on our hands.

 

It is so wonderful to see the kids using their imagination. They love to “cook” food for us volunteers and let us pretend to eat it. Thank you England team for turning the very routine, stuck inside during the rain playtime into something new and exciting.

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A picture's worth

Imagine investing in the life of a child for anywhere from a few months to several years, and then never hearing anything or seeing anything again. I imagine it would be sad. A few families send letters and pictures or visit, but for the most part, once a child leaves there is very little contact for the house mothers.

However, there are court reports which are filled out every few months or years as time goes on, and these report have photos of past adoptive children. Our staff come into the office and exclaim over the children they raised and how they have grown. It is always special to sit back and listen to their comments, memories, and laughter in these moments. These little reports lift their spirits in such a nice way. They may not be able to see the children daily anymore, but seeing their pictures with their family fills their hearts with joy.

I have helped put these photo updates on the walls many times over the past 6 years, and there is always one country missing. Due to a changeover in agencies and a lack of communication or understanding, the American wall has been blank for 6 years. Every team and volunteer, and even our staff have asked me about that wall. Aren’t there children in America? Why don’t you have any updates from the children in America….?

I am so grateful to the American adoption agency, Small World, because they sent us copies of the children’s reports this month. I was able to print off the pictures of the children who have been adopted within the last year and a half. Our staff and volunteers have already been looking at them and making comments today. I got to listen to our nurse and a few volunteers talking about some of the children as they looked at each update. They are so happy and feel so blessed to see the children that they loved living in a new country, with a new family. A picture really is worth “a thousand words.” Just seeing the children in the photo brings a peace that all is well. Who knew that something that seems so small, could really make a big difference in the heart of a house mother?!

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A Piece of our Hearts

 

Sometimes there are people who are brought to a place, and those people make that place so much better. Ron and Karen are such people. They came to Beautiful Gate on February 1, 2015, and they just left on January 31, 2017. They left Beautiful Gate a better place because they came and fully invested in the lives of the staff, kids and volunteers. They took time each day to go into the houses and not only visit the kids, but they visited the staff. Praying for them, encouraging them, offering a warm smile, and always showing the deepest, heartfelt care. There is not one person on our campus who was not touched by their great love or their peaceful presence, and so many hearts are heavy as we have said our farewells. 

Despite the loss, our staff were able to send them off with a warm and heartfelt farewell. They shared stories, offered words of encouragement to them as they return home, and gave meaningful gifts to show their love. It was beautiful. One of the comments that Karen made to me really struck me as an honest truth. One person asked her if she felt really loved by all the comments and gifts, and Karen said, “I don’t feel any more love today than I did any other day because they have always shown their love.” Wow, what a statement of the kids of amazing people that we work with here at Beautiful Gate, and also of the way God brought just the right people here.

Ron was our chaplain for 2 years and he started a Sunday service for the Bo’me who work weekends and never get the chance to attend church. He also led time with God (chapel time for kids, staff and volunteers) and a volunteer bible study. Ron cared for the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of our staff. He was a good listener and very intentional about checking in with the staff. His daily check in visits are already missed in the houses.

Karen was our operations manager and came alongside Bryan in running the day to day operations of BG. She helped lead teams from July-December, took care of volunteers, ran meetings, helped in the playgroup and did countless unseen but supportive things to keep BG running smoothly. She became a sister to many of our staff, and they knew they could depend on her. Her friendly smile and easy laughter are already missed in the office.

We know that God’s timing is perfect and so we send them off with our love, our blessings, and a piece of our hearts. We are grateful that God saw fit to send us such a great couple for 2 years, and we look forward to the ways He will continue to use them in West MI or wherever else God calls them in the future.

Written by: Anita Geurink

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Haven Family

We thank God for another team that has come to serve the children and staff at Beautiful Gate. We enjoyed 2 weeks with a team from Haven Church in Michigan, which consisted of both adults and young children. The families served here together for God’s glory and to be open to what God wanted to show them during their stay here. What an impact this place has been for both the adults and children who saw what God is doing here.

The team helped in the baby houses and at playgroup, they helped with the maintenance department, they planted flowers at Beautiful Gardens, and one of the men, who was a mechanic, helped service our Beautiful Gate fleet, which was a blessing and a big need for us. These are just a few things among many they did while they were here.

Beautiful Gate is also very thankful for their donation of good quality kitchen knives and can openers! The housemothers were so happy that their job was made a little easier!

But, above all the physical tasks they accomplished, what stood out was the deep love and care they had for the staff and children.  They were serving as Christ in all they did

Thank you Haven Team for your service and the love you have shown!

May God bless you as you have blessed us!

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

 

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December~ a month of new families!

Adoptions are the most amazing experiences at Beautiful Gate!

This past month we were blessed to witness 3 adoptions!

Two wonderful little boys and a sweet little girl.

 

Every time we see an adoption we are in awe of what God is doing. He has a plan for each child here and each family who adopts. It is a joy to see how God has matched these families and how quickly the bonding happens between child and parent.

It seems as if the child knows that they are now where they belong.

What a joy! We celebrate these new families and we praise God for His work in their lives!

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God's Story

There are certain moments when you realize you’re witnessing substantial history being written right before your eyes. Those moments are often humbling and incredibly emotional. That was the case for all of us here at Beautiful Gate Lesotho last Friday (20 January, 2017). It was a day where we celebrated the handover of Beautiful Gate Lesotho’s directorship from Bryan and Anita Geurink to Peter and Lindiwe Kirstein. It was a highly anticipated day, charged with a full gamut of emotions, laughter, joy, singing, tears, and camaraderie.

We were not only celebrating a change in leadership, though. We were also celebrating the rich, deep history of Beautiful Gate Lesotho. We welcomed people from all over the world who have had a hand in making Beautiful Gate what it is today. We were especially privileged to have Ray and Sue Haakonsen, the original founders of Beautiful Gate Lesotho with us. They shared the story of BGL’s modest beginnings, of how God worked through their hearts, and how their humble “yes” to God’s call in their lives set in motion a project that would affect children and families the world over.

We were blessed to relive the Geurinks’ and the Kirsteins’ stories of how God brought them to Beautiful Gate as well. We remembered the innumerable ways that God has walked with us, has provided for our every need, and has given us all abundant life in this place over the last 15 years.

We had the pleasure of sharing this experience with people who have and continue to support us at Beautiful Gate Lesotho in so many ways. Leadership from Beautiful Gate South Africa and International came alongside us to commemorate the event. Friends from businesses, churches, government, adoption agencies, and the local community surrounded us to help commission this next phase of Beautiful Gate’s history.

Ultimately, we celebrated God and His incredible work in and through Beautiful Gate Lesotho. From the very beginning Beautiful Gate has never been about its leaders and participants or their stories. From the very beginning Beautiful Gate has been about God and His story. He has raised up incredible, visionary people to be a part of that story. He has allowed so many individuals to come into His plan for this ministry in Lesotho. He has written their stories into His greater one. He has brought together people from different backgrounds and nations, with different sets of gifts in order to further His design. He placed people exactly where they needed to be exactly when they needed to be there. He has been faithful for 15 years and our celebration last Friday reminded us of that in the best way imaginable.

As we move forward now into this new era for Beautiful Gate Lesotho there is a great deal of change ahead of us. As always, people come and people go. But we have a renewed strength and hope that the One who never changes continues to lead and guide us in this mission. No matter how much Beautiful Gate Lesotho continues to grow and change, it will forever be God’s story and a testimony to the great love and faithfulness He shows to His children.

 

- Tyler Robbert

****Click on the picture below for a beautiful slide show of the days events

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Belated Christmas Blog!

Christmas Time is such a great time for our children!

They start their day off by getting new Christmas clothes and shoes.

They each also get one toy and a small stuffed animal. We had a donation of dolls for our older girls, they even came with their own bottle. What a hit that was!

Each year we have a couple of jumping castles set up for them. After opening gifts and getting dressed in their new clothes, we took some photos. This year we attempted to take a group shot of all 65 children. You can imagine how difficult it was to get everyone to look at the camera!  Then it was back to play clothes and then jumping and playing in the castles. Because of the heat, we put out the sprinkler and hose for a place to cool down. The children had a blast playing and laughing, jumping and running!

Our local KFC donated chicken for our children’s Christmas dinner so they enjoyed chicken and finished their meal with an icecream cone.

The children were all smiles on Christmas Day!

Our desire is to give them everything for Christmas, but most of all, a family that knows Jesus, the one who came at Christmas time, for each precious one!

 

 

 

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Amazing Love

Beautiful Gate celebrates the joining of a new family through the adoption of a precious little boy. The love between them already is evident and we are so thankful that they were committed to adoption; and adoption from Lesotho!

 

The bond has formed between parents and child and we can see how wonderful this family is. Their love and care for him will no doubt help him to flourish and grow into a wonderful young man.

 

Congratulations to this new family!

We praise God for His work in their lives and pray for God’s continued leading in the lives of each of them.

 

 

 

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