This quarter we were blessed to host two outreach teams, both from Michigan, USA. In April we had Christina and Melissa Terpstra serving with us, and in June we welcomed another team from Holland Christian High School.
The Terpstra team was a special blessing for our Beautiful Gate family. For those who don’t know, Christina Terpstra, or better known as Terp around here, has been a part of the Beautiful Gate Lesotho community for a long time, most notably as the North American Ambassador. For several years, Terp lived six months in Lesotho, organizing outreach teams and helping wherever she could, and six months in the US, traveling throughout the States and Canada to raise awareness and funding for BG. Needless to say, the staff and many of the children who remember her were very excited to see her again. Terp’s sister-in-law, Melissa, has also served at BG previously on church outreach teams.
Because their team consisted of just the pair of them, Terp and Melissa were able to spend lots of quality time rekindling and further developing relationships with BG’s staff and kids. It was neat to see them witness how BG has grown and changed over the past couple of years. They also happened to be here over Easter, and participated in our celebration by providing lunch. It’s a real treat when old friends come to visit, and we truly enjoyed having them with us again.
June is simply known as Holland Christian month at Beautiful Gate. For the past several years now our good friend Mike Verkaik has led a team of students from HC to serve alongside our staff and interact with our children. It is always fun to watch these groups of high schoolers experience the Basotho culture, one so different from their own, and quickly fall in love with the simplicity, joy, and genuine unconditional love they encounter.
Most HC teams hold to a fairly similar pattern (i.e. serving alongside care staff, looking after the children, leading Wednesday chapel, oftentimes putting on a Vacation Bible School, touching base with other local ministries, exploring the beauty of Lesotho, etc.). Despite the recurring nature of the schedule, it probably goes without saying that no two teams are identical. It truly is the individuals that make up the personality and character of each team. Luckily for us, responsible, hardworking, and servant-hearted are attributes that always accompany HC’s teams.
In addition to helping in all the aforementioned ways, this year’s HC team also helped with the initial construction phase of our new play therapy/child development center.
The longer we welcome outreach teams on our campus, the more it becomes clear that God is doing a global work for His Kingdom through Beautiful Gate. We are so grateful for the people who come to serve with us, giving of their time, finances, and abilities. With all the support we receive, we have been able to do abundantly more than we ever could have hoped to achieve on our own. Thank you to both the Terpstra team and the Holland Christian team for blessing us!