A couple of weeks ago a group of 24 girls ages 13-21 from the community had the opportunity to come together for 5 days and 4 nights on the campus of Beautiful Gate. They came to bond with one another, support each other, to work on schooling, to laugh and play, to be pampered, to hear from the word of God, to be mentored, to hear inspiring messages and much more.
These girls belong to a non profit organization that meets at the Ray and Sue Haakonsen (founders of Beautiful Gate) Training Center, which is located on our campus.
The organization is Mustard Seed Lesotho Society which includes Jewels of Hope which is a discipleship and skills program of the Mustard Seed.
Typically the girls come together once a week on Sunday’s where they enjoy a meal together, a time of mentoring, Biblical training and jewelry making. The benefits of belonging to the Mustard Seed reaches far into the girls lives. Not only do they get Biblical training and the mentoring needed during some tough situations, but the proceeds from their jewelry sales go toward their schooling and for some; it gets used for living expenses. Some of these girls are orphans and are caring for younger siblings at home.
But Cherish Week was unique and special; instead of one short Sunday afternoon, they were able to spend 4 nights and 5 solid days together. What a rich time for these precious girls!
I had the privilege of interviewing the girls after the week was over. I asked them what were some of the highlights of their week.
Here are some of the things they shared with me:
1. Taking a shower
2. Having hot water
3. Playing and seeing each other happy
4. Sleeping on comfortable beds
5. Having electricity
6. Sharing our dreams and stories at night
7. Hearing a Bible message from Ntate Moribe
8. Having others pray over them
9. Working on school (their dream is to be able to finish school)
10. Eating pasta (thanks for the spaghetti from the freezer Holland Christian Team!)
11. Making bread with success
13. Having time to talk to an adult
14. Skyping with a big sister/mentor in Japan
15. Attending Beautiful Gate’s church service
The leader had a few things to share as well:
“ We are thankful to the private individuals whose contributions make it possible for us to reach these girls. We are also thankful to the community of Beautiful Gate. You allowed us to use your team housing with such amazing facilities. The girls were overwhelmed with the luxuries they received while staying at the Maroon House. As a leader and the cook, I appreciated the kitchen facilities, they were so amazing and so convenient. We were so thankful for the food that was already in house for our use, as our donations for Cherish Week were not as much as we were hoping for. We are thankful that the community of Beautiful Gate prays for us and supports us. We are also thankful when you admire the jewelry that the girls make; it’s such an encouragement to them when someone gets excited about their jewelry.
God has blessed us richly through Mustard Seed donors and through Beautiful Gate.”
What a joy is was to interview these girls and their amazing leader. They truly are beautiful young women of God, seeking to follow Him and make a better life for themselves and their families. Please pray for them as they have some big challenges in their lives. But praise God for this organization that mentors and encourages young girls to be all that God wants them to be!