“Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.”
For years, Beautiful Gate has been known as a “haven” or an “oasis” for those that come on our campus. The grounds and services that we have desire to provide hope and dignity for those that need a place to pour out God’s love over them. This includes not only the children, but also our staff and the numerous volunteers that come onto our campus.
In 2007, a family from Michigan came to serve at Beautiful Gate for 5 months to help finish some projects on our current campus and help the move onto this campus. The Kroll family, Keith and Lori and their three children Tyler, Zach and Morgan, served very well not only in those five months but they have continued to serve well when they went back to their lives in Michigan and pointed key people that are in leadership at Beautiful Gate to the organization. The Krolls have continued to serve through short term mission teams through their church, Haven Christian Reformed in Zeeland, Michigan. Tragically on February 1, 2015, Zach Kroll passed away from this earth and entered eternity in Heaven with Jesus.
Just over a year later, on April 6, 2016, The Kroll family along with the Beautiful Gate family dedicated the Katleho Gazebo. (Katleho, meaning success, was Zach’s Sesotho name.) This gazebo serves as a gathering place for all those that use it. It is a “shelter from the storm and shade from the heat” as it says in Isaiah 25:4. This gazebo serves as a gathering place on campus for people to come together and enjoy the blessings God has given them in each other. It serves as a place of joy and laughter. It also serves as a place of personal reflection and a place to spend time with our Abba. Zach knew and believed the promises in John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Ultimately, this gazebo serves as a place of acceptance. May those who use it either as a place to sit and reflect or a place to be with others, know the deep love of our Father that Zach knew and may they not only feel God’s love, but Zach’s love as well.
During the dedication the Kroll family said, “Today we dedicate this gazebo to God first, in memory of Zach.” To the average eye, the gazebo is a structure of concrete and thatch, but to those that use can feel the presence of the Lord. The swings and picnic tables, that were constructed by Zach’s friends, serve as a place to sit and take refuge in the One who has the world in the palm of His hand.
To Zach, thank you for being such a great friend to so many. Thank you for serving those in your path and loving them the way God loves them. Thank you for all the joy that you spread through your life.
To Keith, Lori, Tyler and Morgan, thank you for sharing Zach with us and allowing Beautiful Gate to be a part of your family. Thank you for continuing to be faithful to God’s leading in your life.
To those that donated the funds for the gazebo, we promise that this structure will provide the community and support that we all need and long for.
Last but not least, thank you Lord, for providing a place on campus that allows Your family to come together and find hope and shelter from the routines of their days.