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