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Rekindling a Relationship


It is always fun after outreach teams have come and gone to reflect on how faithful God is. He has raised up such an incredible network of support for Beautiful Gate around the world. He works in individuals’ hearts and brings together each team for His purposes according to His perfect timing. And through each team experience, He teaches, encourages, and prunes us (team members and BG staff/volunteers alike) to be more effective contributors to His Kingdom. What a mighty God we serve!

In August we had the pleasure of hosting a group from CrossPoint Church in Chino, California, USA. CrossPoint and Beautiful Gate have had an ongoing relationship for many years, but this was the first group to serve with us in some time. It was so wonderful to see some of the passion for what God is doing in and through Beautiful Gate rekindled in the hearts of our CrossPoint brothers and sisters.

As is often the case with our outreach teams, this group served passionately, wholeheartedly, and selflessly the whole time they were here. They cared for and encouraged our childcare staff, loved our kids with the love of Jesus, and participated in hard manual labor without complaint. In addition to their work with the children and staff, the team helped with the ongoing construction of Abba’s Playhouse, our new playgroup facility. They dug out ditches around the foundations that will eventually be filled with concrete as a porch. They also willingly led our weekly chapel service with songs and a fun skit.

We are so grateful for the ways the CrossPoint team blessed us so richly during their time in Lesotho. Thank you all, for serving our community so well. Thank you for being flexible and helping to meet the needs we actually had as opposed to the needs you thought would be pressing for you. Thank you for your generous hearts and contributions to helping make Beautiful Gate the best version of itself it can be. We look forward to what God has in store for this relationship in the future, and we can’t wait to see you here again!

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Our outreach team for July was an absolute pleasure! All five of the ladies who made up the group have been to Beautiful Gate at least once before. Two in particular, Emma and Sarah, served with us as long-term childcare volunteers. It was such a joy to interact with them again and to witness the staff and children welcome them “home” with open arms and hearts.

Instead of summarizing all of the ways this incredible group of women utilized their time while in Lesotho, we are excited to give Sarah and Emma an opportunity to express in their own words what it was like coming back to serve at BGL after some time away from their volunteering experiences. We hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into their hearts!

From Sarah:
The 18 months between leaving Beautiful Gate in 2018 and going back again for our short term visit felt like forever. Every time I saw a post on Facebook or someone asked me about Beautiful Gate, I would instantly want to go back. With starting university and moving away from home, it felt like so much time had passed by but as soon as I saw the kids again it felt like that time instantly disappeared.
Although they looked a little older, and some had lost their baby fat (much to my disappointment), they were still the same kids with the same unique and amazing personalities. The naughty ones had become slightly naughtier and the shy kids slightly bolder but they still had the same hearts and ability to make you fall in love with every single one. Day one and I was ready to quit university and stay forever!
The days went by too quickly just like I knew they would and I tried to hold onto all the moments I could with these beautiful children but the time to say goodbye snuck up on me and all too soon we were packing our bags and heading back to the airport. It’s never easy saying goodbye, especially when you can’t promise the children that you’ll see them again but one thing is for certain, part of my heart will always remain at Beautiful Gate.

From Emma:
Being back in Lesotho was so refreshing. I loved every moment of being back with my mothers, the kids and my close friends (who are more like family). 
While I was away there have been a lot of change in the kids at Beautiful Gate. There have been countless adoptions and reunifications which can both be bittersweet. Overall, it really changes the dynamic of some of the houses and of playgroup. It was really special to see how some of the younger kids that were there last year had matured over the year and have taken on the roles of “big brothers and sisters”. 
The house that I was in last year, Khotso 2, had 6 of the same kids out of the 14 while I was a long term volunteer in it. Because Khotso 2 had changed so drastically, I was able to volunteer in the same house again. I loved being able to work with my housemothers again and to spend quality time with them and reconnect with the kids that were still there. It was funny because even though a whole year had gone by, it felt almost like I had never left.
It was also so much fun to catch up with some dear friends of mine. We were a Mother / Daughter Team so it was my mom and I and then we met my roommate Sarah with her mom, Gill, and sister, Zoë, at Beautiful Gate. Our time overlapped for almost a week and it was really good spending time with them each night. As well as the volunteers that we were able to have over a few times. 
We didn’t plan too many excursions while we were there. I wanted to stay nearby and spend as much time as I could with the people that had impacted my time as a volunteer there. My time with everyone was so precious and made this trip so meaningful.

Thank you, Sarah, Emma, Gill, Zoë, and Dani. We so appreciate your love, support, and service. It was wonderful reconnecting with each of you during your time here, and we look forward to the next trip! And thanks again to Sarah and Emma for giving us all a little insight into what it’s like to live and love in Lesotho.



Two Terrific Teams

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.

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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!



Dear Daughter, Sweet Sister

Being a witness to a fulfillment of God’s plan is always an incredible blessing. It’s a reminder of how faithful our Heavenly Father is, and it reinforces the simple truth that He is in control of all things. So often for us at Beautiful Gate, however, those fulfillments are accompanied by bittersweet goodbyes. This doesn’t change the fact that God’s plan is perfect and good, of course, but it does make our hearts ache for a time.

This week we have said farewell to two very special individuals from our BG family.


Yesterday, we celebrated God’s incredible grace in the life of a child who has kind of become a staple of Beautiful Gate. Anyone who has set foot on campus over the past six years knows Mpho Grace. As one of the longest standing children in our care, we have had the opportunity to watch Grace grow, reach milestones, and develop a personality beyond what we normally see as kids come and go. As she’s gotten older, it has become a persistent prayer of every staff member and volunteer (and Grace, herself) that God would provide a forever family for this dear daughter. And our God not only hears our prayers, but He answers them, too!


Grace’s adoption ceremony was the epitome of bittersweet where the sweet FAR outweighs the bitter. Though it is certainly sad for us to say goodbye after caring for her for six years, it is so obvious that the Clausing family is the answer to all of our prayers for Grace. Our hearts overflow with joy!


This week also brought the end to another one of our international volunteers’ commitments. Over the past six months, Ausi Marissa has lavished every child, staff member, and fellow volunteer with incredible love, deep compassion, and unconditional grace. Her smile and laugh have spread contagiously through campus, and she has been a true source of light and life to everyone she meets. In both fun-loving and heartbreaking times, Ausi Marissa’s strength and peaceful nature have given others strength and peace to carry on. We will without a doubt miss this sweet sister’s comforting presence on campus, but we are also very excited to see what lies ahead for her as God continues writing her story.

We thank God for the privilege and opportunity it is to care for such amazing children, and to work alongside such phenomenal volunteers. Join us in praying for Mpho Grace and her new family as they enter a season of big transitions. Pray, too, for Ausi Marissa as she returns to life in the US, and as she humbly seeks God’s guidance for the future.



A Team of Kingdom Builders


As March quickly comes to a close, we want to take the opportunity to shine a light on the incredible outreach team we were able to host this month. We were pleased to welcome another team organized by our partner ministry, Oceans. The team was composed of individuals from all over the US. Some of the team members knew each other prior to coming on the trip, while others had never met before. Additionally, a few people had been to Beautiful Gate in the past, while several were coming for the first time. You would have never known that to be true, however, as the synergy between everyone on the team was so open, positive, fun, and full of love.

While at Beautiful Gate, the Oceans team engaged in all the usual ways our outreach teams tend to, but they did so with their own unique brands of love, compassion, energy, and perseverance. Our care staff was blessed to have eager helpers with the day-to-day chores in the baby houses. The children were ecstatic to have another group of willing and energetic people to play with. The maintenance team was encouraged as team members came alongside them to finish the last phase of our ongoing bathroom renovation project (you know they were joyfully serving the Lord when they installed toilets with huge smiles on their faces). And the whole campus was bolstered spiritually as the team led us in Word and song during our Wednesday chapel session.

Above and beyond all of the seemingly “ordinary” ways the Oceans team served our Beautiful Gate community, one particular situation stands out. While hosting the team, we were also privileged to have a past adoptive father from the Netherlands serving with us at the same time. During his time here he was able to interact with many of the team members, specifically those working on the bathroom project. Day after day he witnessed the light of Christ in these strangers he had only just met, and not long after his roving heart found the truth and the love it had been longing for for years. Kneeling on a dirty bathroom floor, installing a toilet, this man gave his life to the Lord. Needless to say, everyone was overjoyed and we celebrated with him over his new life in Christ.

The Oceans team reminded us again of how powerfully God works in and through His beloved children, if only we are humble and willing to be used. We are so grateful for the incredible ways each team member manifested the Kingdom of Heaven in their words, actions, and interactions. We are also excited about the many seeds that were planted during this trip, and we can’t wait to see what God does in the future. Thank you, Oceans Team, for listening to God’s call and sharing His love with us in fantastic ways.



Farewell, Ausi Britney


Bittersweet farewells are consistent occurrences here at Beautiful Gate, and I’m not just referring to when children are adopted or reunified. So many people play their own part in making life at BG what it is on a daily basis. Some of the most enthusiastic support comes from our long-term volunteers. They give up their time, their energy, their finances, and all that is familiar to follow a call God places on their heart, and be a part of the BG family for a significant period of time. They receive no material reimbursement for their sacrificial spirits (though that certainly doesn’t mean they leave their experience empty-handed), so their faithful service is almost always directly rooted in a deeper heart desire to glorify God as they care for vulnerable children.

Recently we had to say goodbye to one such volunteer who, over the course of seven months, shared her heart, joy, and laughter with everyone on BG’s campus. Below, Ausi Britney shares a brief reflection on her time in Lesotho:

When I first got to Beautiful Gate I had no idea what to expect. I had never been there before, but for some reason God was calling me to go spend 7 months there. Once I stepped foot on campus I found contentment in being there. My days at BG were not easy... being away from home, long work hours, and for most of my time I was the only volunteer, so I had no one to go home and vent to about my day. However it was all worth it; it gave me a chance to bring glory to God in a different way: playing with the most adorable kids, and working beside the world’s most amazing house mothers and BG staff. I found out that my love for kids is not what brought me to BG like I thought. It was God giving me a chance to glorify him through giving love to orphaned and neglected children and to Lesotho as a country. My experience was so incredible, and I am so happy to have found another family and home in Lesotho, Africa.   

Thank you, Britney, for the unwavering love, affection, and generosity that you shared with your Beautiful Gate family! You are dearly missed already, but we are so grateful for the time God allowed you to spend with us. We continue to pray for God’s wisdom to lead and guide you into whatever adventure He has in store for you next.



Time Flies When You're Having Fun (And When You're Working Hard)


Isn’t it amazing how you can spend so much time planning for something and then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, it is over? Somehow, January is already finished, and with it our first outreach team of the year has come and gone.

January brought us a team from Canada representing both Crossridge Church and Discipleship International (DI). Beautiful Gate Lesotho’s relationships with both Crossridge and DI have been growing and expanding over the past several years. We have had members of Crossridge visit and serve at BGL, others have adopted, and many support BGL annually at a run-walk fundraiser. Likewise, DI supports BGL as a fundraising collection point in Canada, as well as allowing team members to teach their discipleship courses to our staff.  

This year’s team consisted of 12 people, half of them being 12 years old or younger. Led by returning couple, and Beautiful Gate Representatives, Mike and Chyrlle Dunne, the Funk and Robinson families followed the call God placed on their hearts to serve together as families in Lesotho. This was a very unique and blessed group to have on our campus. 

As with most of our teams, the group helped out with the day-to-day childcare tasks in the baby houses and our playgroup program. Unlike most teams, however, the younger members of the team were able to not only help care for the kids, but play with them and enjoy them on more of a personal, peer level. It was absolutely awesome to see the younger kids from the team playing side by side with our BG children.

Above and beyond caring for our children and serving our staff (as if that weren’t enough in and of itself) the team also gave of themselves in numerous other areas. Each day, as some of the group helped in the houses, others were helping us in the finishing stages of our bathroom renovation project. All of the bathrooms now have a fresh coat of paint that brightens them up and makes them feel new. In the afternoons, Mike and Chyrlle facilitated discipleship courses for our staff to attend. They were able to learn new techniques for reading and memorizing scripture, prayer, and discipling others. After discipleship training, the whole team provided a Vacation Bible School experience for our school-aged children. Finally, the fathers on the team organized and, together with the other team members, led our Wednesday chapel time.

All in all, the Crossridge Church/Discipleship International team was a great group of people to kick off our team schedule for 2019. They worked hard, pushing through bouts of sickness, and really showed the servant heart of Christ in all they did. It was an absolute pleasure to host them and we look forward to seeing what God has in store for all of them in the future. Maybe some of them will come back to spend some time with us again. We certainly would be grateful if they could.



Sharing the Light of Christ: 2018's Final Team

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And that’s a wrap! Team season 2018 is officially finished at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. It’s hard to believe how quickly this year has flown by in so many ways.

 Our final team of the year was a group from Lighthouse Family Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This is the second team the church has sent and we are so grateful to continue growing this relationship.

 During their time on outreach the majority of the team spent time in the baby houses assisting our care staff and volunteers. There were enough team members that all the aspects of our playgroup program were fully covered as well. That means even our infants, who generally stay in the houses throughout the day, had daily interaction, stimulation, and play.

 The other members of the team spent the week renovating the exterior of our long-term volunteer housing. Initially they were just scheduled to paint the building, but they went above and beyond, repairing cracks and doing some preventative work to protect the house from future water damage. All of that, and they managed to complete the project in full in just a week. They worked so hard and it definitely paid off. We are so grateful for the updates they made.

 Lastly, one of the team members shared a portion of his testimony and words of encouragement at our weekly chapel service.

 All in all, we are so thankful and appreciative of how the Lighthouse Family Team served us so selflessly. We look forward to the next time God brings us all together.

 We also want to say thank you once more to all of our teams from 2018. It has been such an incredible year of sharing together in God’s Kingdom-building work. Our hope and prayer is that every individual who has served on a team at Beautiful Gate has experienced the love of the Father in a rich and impactful way. Thank you all for a great year!



Representing the Father's Love

In October we had the privilege of hosting not one, not two, but THREE of our international Beautiful Gate Representatives. It was a real glimpse of God’s Kingdom on earth as our friends from Belgium, England, and Australia joined us in Lesotho, and came together to make the Father’s love known on our campus. In addition to utilizing all of their unique giftings and specialized areas of service, all three groups joined forces to fundraise for our ongoing bathroom renovation project in the baby houses. Thanks to them, this project is fully funded and will be able to be completed in the near future!

Andrew Pimm, our Belgian Representative has been blessing us at BG for several years now. Every time he comes he brings peace, joy, and love to children and staff alike. This year he continued forming special bonds with the housemothers and children in Khotso 1, as well as playing a fatherly role in our playgroup program.


Jenny Dobson, our Representative in England returned to Lesotho with her friend Christian. Like Andrew, Jenny has shared incredible love and passion at BG numerous times over the years. In addition to further developing relationships in Khotso 2, Jenny also spent a great deal of time on playgroup. Her methods of helping the children develop their imaginations, especially through dress-up, are always a highlight of her visits.

Christian was also a returner to BG. During his time this year he partnered with our maintenance staff to help hands on with the bathroom renovations. He helped install new sink basins and taps, installed curtains to provide privacy in the toilets, and designed and built new baby baths that will be installed once renovations are complete. We are grateful for the hard work and overwhelming generosity he poured into this project.


Last, but certainly not least, we welcomed back Barbara Quinn, our Australian Representative. Barbara, too, has invested in our BG community a great deal over the past few years. Along with her came friends Rosemary and Shane. This was Rosemary’s second visit and Shane’s first. Beyond spending time with the care staff and children in Nala, Barbara and Rosemary spent time acquiring many items to donate to our BG community. They were able to bless us with a variety of donations ranging from new school water bottles to a sewing machine for our campus. They also enjoyed blessing the children at playgroup with special snacks in the afternoons and our staff with a braai/barbecue one day at lunch.

Shane also joined our maintenance team, helping with routine maintenance around campus, as well as lending Christian a hand with the bathroom project. He worked hard and was able to establish some new friendships with the maintenance guys.

 While this short blog post doesn’t do justice to how these individuals have impacted us here at Beautiful Gate, we hope it provides a glimpse into why we treasure them so much. We so appreciate their contributions, both financially and in service, but even more so we value their hearts as they lavish the Father’s love on our children and staff. We are also so incredibly blessed and humbled by the work they do in Belgium, England, and Australia to tell their communities about what God is doing in Lesotho through Beautiful Gate’s ministry.

 Thank you Andrew, Jenny, Christian, Barbara, Rosemary, and Shane. There are words adequate enough to express how truly grateful we are to all of you. May God continue to equip you to be radical Kingdom-builders. We eagerly anticipate the next time we get to see each of you here in Lesotho!


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Loving Ladies


Beautiful Gate has been blessed with really great outreach teams this year! In September we welcomed a group of four wonderful ladies: Danell and Kayla Czarnecki, Donna Blair, and Ashely Beyer. Danell is a board member for one of our partner organizations, Oceans Ministries. She was able to return last month with her lifelong friend, Donna, and their daughters. Together, the four of them served with abandon, bringing life, light, and the Father’s love to everyone on our campus. 

In addition to coming alongside the housemothers to care for our precious children, these ladies served and gave in a variety of other ways too. As a member of Oceans’ board, Danell sat in on and gave input to a meeting of leadership for another childcare centre here in Lesotho that Beautiful Gate has been walking with for the past year. Ashley spent time before their trip crocheting several beautiful blankets that will be given to our children when they are adopted or reunified with family. All four of the ladies helped lead our chapel time and, at the end, presented the care staff with new work overcoats that they had raised funds for.

If you’re interested in reading Danell’s firsthand account of her experience, you can find it here: https://oceansministries.org/bless-the-bo-mme/

It was a privilege to have Danell, Donna, Kayla, and Ashley serving with us, even for a short time. We are so grateful they followed God’s promptings to spend time with us in Lesotho, and for all the incredible ways they blessed us. Thank you, ladies! We hope to see you again soon.

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An Ocean of Service


August has brought us to the end of our busiest season of the year for outreach teams. This month we welcomed a team of people from Michigan and Colorado serving through one of our partners, Oceans Ministries. This group included a number of individuals who have served in Lesotho and at Beautiful Gate in the past, as well as several who were able to experience it all for the first time.

As with most of our visiting teams, several people helped our care staff look after the children and accomplish the daily household chores. Others also assisted in furthering our baby house bathroom renovation project, particularly with re-tiling portions of the floor.

The team also served our staff and children spiritually. Most of the students on the team led our Wednesday chapel service, and a small group of them also provided a Vacation Bible School program for our school-aged children on a couple of afternoons.

In addition to serving in most of the typical ways outreach teams tend to, this team also had two young men with a passion for auto mechanic work. With the help of one of the team leaders, they managed to purchase a great deal of mechanic equipment and set up a shop in one of our garage stalls. Not only did they spend a lot of time looking over and maintaining our Beautiful Gate vehicles, they also taught and trained some of our maintenance staff how to do regular and routine maintenance themselves.

All in all it was another wonderful team to add to our 2018 docket. We are so grateful for all the many ways the Oceans team participated on our campus and blessed our staff and children. We look forward to seeing many of these faces at Beautiful Gate again in the future!



A Beautiful Sisterhood


Volunteers are a regular part of daily life at Beautiful Gate. From the long-term volunteers who make Lesotho their home for an extended period of time to the various outreach teams from around the world that serve our children and staff throughout the year, we seem to be constantly saying hello to new people and goodbye to beloved friends.

Despite the increase of long-term volunteers we have worked with over the past couple of years, it is not every day that those who are staying on campus together become a tight-knit family. When you have people from varying backgrounds, cultures, age groups, and standards of living forced to suddenly live together in a small living space (only one bathroom!), while enduring the stresses of serving at a care centre for orphaned, abandoned, and vulnerable children, the differences can sometimes feel insurmountable. Tensions can rise and disagreements can break out. Such is the life of being and working with other volunteers.

However, there are also occasions when God brings together a truly remarkable group of people. He equips and encourages them to overcome their differences for the sake of achieving something greater than each individual. He warms their hearts toward one another and knits their souls together in a deep and powerful way.

Such was our experience with our most recent group of volunteers.

We were beyond blessed to have Emma Kroll, Jennie Van Groningen, and Leah Koeman with us for one year, six months, and five months respectively. Over the course of their time at Beautiful Gate Jennie, Emma, and Leah (or Jemeah as they referred to themselves as) touched the hearts of our children and staff in so many different ways.

Emma came to BG a soft-spoken and gentle spirit. She brought joy to everyone she met with her infectious smile and made everyone feel special in every interaction. In addition to learning a great deal about what it takes to care for vulnerable children in Africa, Emma learned a great deal about courage, strength, and power God had placed within her. After a year of service it was incredibly bittersweet to see Emma go, but we were all so proud to see the transformation God had done in her heart and her confidence through her experience.

Leah decided to volunteer long-term at BG after an initial experience here with a short-term outreach team. A strong spirit, Leah brought a great deal of fun to the daily lives of staff and children alike. Five months felt far too short a time to have here with us, but we are incredibly grateful for even that much.

Jennie came highly recommended by a former missionary in Lesotho and part-time volunteer at BG. It did not take long to see that the high praise was not an understatement. Jennie provided a sense of maturity while maintaining a very fun-loving spirit. She reminded us daily of God’s love for each and every person through her selfless service and her practice of making time for individual relationships. Thankfully, we only had to say, “See you later” to Jennie, as she felt called to serve for another six months beginning in December.

All in all, these three volunteers were phenomenal, hard working, servant-hearted, and loving in all they did. Their individual contributions to the BG community were only surpassed by their impact as a group. Their love, joy, faithfulness, and fun-loving natures were reflected brighter as they interacted together. They were a truly rare and enjoyable combination of volunteers.

Thank you so much Emma, Jennie, and Leah for all that you provided to the Beautiful Gate family. We miss each of you every day and we pray that you all are living into the deep love and peace that your Abba has for you.



Further Team Blessings

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Our busy season for outreach teams continues full-steam ahead! In July we were privileged to host a team from Ontario Christian High School in Ontario, California, USA. This is the second time OC has sent a team our way, but the team leader was the only familiar face. Each other person on the team was able to experience Beautiful Gate and Lesotho for the very first time. The group consisted of five adults and four students, three of whom are Chinese foreign-exchange students. It was an awesome blending of cultures while they were here.

Like most of our teams, the OC group primarily helped in our day-to-day care of the children. They served our housemothers, humbly and graciously taking up the seemingly mundane tasks of laundry, dishes, sweeping, etc. In doing so, however, they gave our housemothers a much needed break from their busy daily routine, and an opportunity to spend more quality time with the children they care for day in and day out. The team also participated in our playgroup program, helping the children work toward meeting various developmental milestones. And to top it all off, they led our Wednesday chapel service with an awesome puppet show re-enactment of a Bible story.

Aside from directly caring for the children and aiding our staff, the team also helped us continue the bathroom renovation project in the baby houses. They helped knock down the remaining walls that needed removing, got overly familiar with using the wheelbarrow to haul rubble, extracted unused shower stalls, and prepared all the bathrooms for the patching process.

We are so grateful for the relationship we get to continue cultivating with Ontario Christian. This year’s team worked so hard and served with incredible heart. We look forward to the next group we receive from OC!



Celebrating Faithfulness

As with most aspects of life, the procedure of walking with a child through the adoption process is one that ebbs and flows. We live in a world where adopting a child is not a simple thing to do. It is a process that can (and often does) take many years. It requires more money than many willing families are able to come up with on their own. And there are so many legal and political hoops to jump through that some families are not able to endure to the end. All that said, it is little surprise that we often have dry seasons of adoption here at Beautiful Gate. There are children eligible and ready to be matched with a forever family, but the process can sometimes hinder the dream from becoming reality.

At least that is how we can often perceive it from our finite human observation.

Recently we were reminded that it is not the legal, political, or financial realms that dictate adoption in the long run. Our God is the Champion of adoption. In the first chapter of Ephesians we read, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…” Not only does our God support the act of adoption, He instituted it from before time began!

A couple of weeks ago, after a long season with little or no progress on many adoption cases, God opened the floodgates and we were privileged to celebrate three adoption ceremonies within two days. Not only was that a blessing in and of itself, but it was extra special because two of those children had been waiting between one and two years since being matched for their families to be given the go ahead to come and get them. There aren’t words to express the overwhelming joy that was made manifest in dancing and singing, or the deep sorrow in saying goodbye to children who we have loved and cared for for many years. It was certainly a bittersweet occasion, but one in which the sweet far outweighed the bitter.

We give praise and thanks to our Abba in heaven for showering us with His great and unending faithfulness! In addition to witnessing those three adoptions, God is continuing to show His power as a good number of other children’s cases are showing a lot of movement. Join us in praising God for His faithful love!

We also thank our adoptive families. Much of the work that we do would be for naught if it weren’t for them. We are so grateful that God has made each and every adoptive family a partner with us in brining hope and a future to the precious children in our care. Thank you to all the families who have given our former children a home. You are forever in our hearts and prayers.



Continuing Relationships

As most of our readers know, outreach and vision trips are a regular occurrence here at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Rarely a month goes by where we don’t have a visiting team here to serve our care staff, love our children, and help improve and maintain our campus. This year is no different. Already we’ve had a few teams offer themselves as living sacrifices for God’s Kingdom work at Beautiful Gate, and we are preparing for a whole slew of teams yet to come. Over the last few months, though, we had the unique opportunity to welcome back teams from two high schools that we’ve been able to cultivate relationships with.


In March we were privileged to host a team of students and adults representing Parker Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado, USA. This was the second team we’ve been able to interact with from this school. In addition to the normal team activities of serving our housemothers, doing household chores, and assisting with caring for the kids, they also led our weekly chapel time. As their big work project, this group blessed us richly with a brand new, beautiful playground structure. Not only did they bring over plans and certain materials from the US to put the structure together, but they also endured the challenge of seemingly unending rain during construction. They didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits, though. By the time they left us their hard work had paid off, and our children have enjoyed playing on an incredible playground ever since.


In June we welcomed back another team from Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, USA. It is always a joy to have HC students on our campus, as we’ve been able to cultivate an awesome relationship with the school since 2012. As always, their schedule left little room for down time. Again, like most teams, they spent much time giving our care staff a much-needed hand taking care of their homes and their children. They, too, led our weekly chapel time and one of the students graciously offered prayer to any of our staff who needed it. This team’s work project for the duration of the week was helping us begin a renovation project in the baby house bathrooms. Team members were literally knocking down walls as they helped us make more space in the bathrooms. Even though they were only able to help start this project, they worked hard to make sure the bathrooms are still usable while reconstruction is in progress.

While having a large group of new people on campus can be a little crazy, we have been gifted so much over the years by our visiting outreach teams. Parker Lutheran and Holland Christian are two more examples of just that. Though they do help us immensely with the day-to-day, physical work and projects, the greater blessings are the relationships that form and the ability to watch God work in team members’ hearts and lives in brand new ways.

Thank you Parker Lutheran! Thank you Holland Christian! We are so grateful for how you’ve chosen to continually partner with us on this journey God has us on. We look forward to the next time you are with us.



Navigating a Dry Season

To the supporting community of Beautiful Gate Lesotho,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…
- Proverbs 3:5

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- James 1:17

            As a predominantly donor-funded non-profit organization, it truly is only the will of God that has allowed Beautiful Gate Lesotho to be able to operate and function for almost 17 years. Over the course of that time, though we have never been in financial debt, we have walked through a number of dry seasons. We’ve endured periods in which we were unsure if we would be able to purchase food for the children the following week, or pay the staff that month. Always we’ve looked back on those times as God teaching us to trust in Him alone for our daily bread. We do not often have more than we need, but God has always been faithful to provide what we need, when we need it. He has proven Himself faithful.
            Hindsight is 20/20, though. It is easy to look back on a difficult time after it has passed, when you already know full well that God has brought you through it. It is easy to quote Proverbs 3:5 when things are going smoothly. Trusting God is never really an issue…until you actually have nothing left to go on but that trust.
            We wanted to take an opportunity to humbly share that Beautiful Gate Lesotho is experiencing another one of these financially dry seasons. We are so incredibly grateful for the countless individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, and more who have generously given over the years to help make Beautiful Gate what it is today. Despite how wide spread the knowledge of what God is doing at Beautiful Gate is and the faithful financial contributions of our donor base, the difficult reality is that the need is ongoing. Without continued funding we cannot continue to provide quality care for the children God has entrusted to us or to pay our local staff, who work tirelessly to provide that quality care.
            We think most of our supporters probably believe we are doing fine financially, so we want to be transparent in making our needs known. Our current greatest financial need is simply money for our general fund. This fund pays for all of the day-to-day basic needs including food, water, clothing, electricity, general maintenance, staff salaries, etc. While we thoroughly appreciate all the people who have aligned their hearts and passions with specific projects we have underway, we have seen a decline in financial support for these most basic needs.
            In addition to being transparent with our supporters, we also want this post to be a call to action. The first and foremost action we are calling you to is prayer. Join us in continuing to set Beautiful Gate before the Father’s throne. Pray that we will endure this trial, faithfully trusting in the God who is the source of every good and perfect gift. As James says, He does not change like shifting shadows. He has been faithful to provide for our every need in the past, and we believe He will be faithful to continue doing so in the future.
            Secondly, as you pray for and with us, we ask that you might humbly search your heart to discern whether you could contribute financially to Beautiful Gate. Through a one time or recurring financial gift you are investing in the lives of real people with real stories. You are helping to provide a hope for a better future for our children. You are helping to provide an income and a livelihood for our staff and their families. You are making a real difference. For those who already partner with us in a financial capacity, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We pray that you will continue to feel called to give, but also that God might stir it in your hearts to encourage others in your spheres of influence to start giving as well.
            Our goal in sharing our present reality, again is to be transparent with you, and to be faithful to do our part in openly sharing our needs. Having made the opportunity known, we step back and allow God to do what He does best. We now actively practice the trust that is so imperative in walking in God’s will.

Thank you for your continued support, financial and otherwise. We look forward to seeing how God will work through you to help us continue bringing hope to children and families in Lesotho and around the world.

If you have any questions about donating or anything else, please feel free to contact our Operations Director (opsdirector@beautifulgatelesotho.org) or our Volunteer Coordinator & International Fundraising Officer (bglvolunteercoordinator@gmail.com).

Molimo a le hlohonolofatse (God bless you),

The Beautiful Gate Lesotho Family




A Most Bittersweet Goodbye


Goodbyes are a constant reality for us at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Children who we’ve come to love dearly, who we’ve poured our hearts and souls into, are matched for adoption or reunified with biological family members. Sometimes they must be transferred to other care facilities. Occasionally we even have to say farewell to a child who has passed away. We say goodbye to staff and volunteers who pass through our lives fleetingly, but definitely not meaninglessly. Goodbye is a notion we are all too familiar with here.

Yet, in spite of how often we say goodbye at this place, some goodbyes still hit hard and break your heart. These goodbyes aren’t necessarily bad, oftentimes they are actually very good, but they hurt. They hurt because God has blessed us so richly through those relationships, has changed us for the better in so many ways, that it seems unlikely we can move forward without those relationships in our lives on a day to day basis.

It is this kind of goodbye that we recently had to experience with the Geurink family. For those who don’t know, the Geurinks were our former directors here at Beautiful Gate Lesotho. Bryan and Anita came to Lesotho to serve back in 2010 along with their three children, Elijah, Faith, and Mercy. They served faithfully in Lesotho for seven years. Throughout that time they touched many lives, encouraged many people, and helped provide hope and futures for many children. They practiced their ministry personally when they adopted two beautiful girls, Polita and Nthabeleng, into their family. Not only were they a huge blessing and a source of strength and growth to the Beautiful Gate community, they humbly allowed this community to be a blessing and a source of strength and growth to their family as well. After seven years of faithful, committed service, God has called them back home to the USA. He moved mountains in their last months in Lesotho to help make acquiring visas for their adopted girls smooth and quick. There are not words to express how intensely we are praying that God goes before them as they begin this awesome new chapter of their lives.

Because I know them well, I know Bryan and Anita would cringe if I neglected to mention God’s hand in their faithful service. And it’s true that He alone was the source of every good thing they were able to accomplish and participate in while they were here. Our God is so faithful! He is the example of faithfulness the Geurinks followed every day in Lesotho. And it is God’s example that all of us who remain at Beautiful Gate will continue to follow as we seek Him to help us care for the children He’s blessed us with. It is this same God who continues to show His faithfulness to us as we walk through the grief of sending our beloved friends home. As I said before, these kinds of goodbyes can make it seem like we cannot move forward without those relationships in our lives. Because our God is faithful, though, we can experience this season of grief while we continue to move forward in His will.

Thank you, Geurink family. Those words seem so small in comparison to all that you’ve done for and with us. We already miss the life, laughter, and love you brought to this campus. We pray that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we will always love you, always cherish the time you spent at Beautiful Gate, always be grateful for allowing us to be a part of your life, and always honor the sacrifices you made along the way. May God’s Presence go before you and be with you always and in every circumstance.

Until we meet again, beloved ones.



Ausi Sarah's Heart


We have been so blessed to have Sarah Munson from England serving with us at Beautiful Gate for the past five months. She was such a source of joy, humor, hard work, and love during her service. We are privileged to share a summary of her experience in her own words.

In October 2015 I came on my second trip to Beautiful Gate Lesotho with a team, including my Mum and my Sister. I had already fallen in love with Lesotho and the children from BG during my first visit back in 2014, but coming back that second time really changed something in my heart. I started to feel as if this place was a home away from home, a place I belonged and a place I needed to be. As we left from that trip, we had a long drive back to Johannesburg airport from Maseru. Watching the beauty of Africa pass me by from the car window really got me thinking about how much I love being here and how much I wanted to stay for longer so I could really learn to understand the culture and the people better.  As soon as we arrived at the airport, a lady traveling with us, who is my mum’s friend and a woman I admire and love a lot, came up to me and told me that she could really see me coming back to Lesotho again for a longer period of time. She suggested I should come during a gap year between school and university. She confirmed everything I was thinking. I saw that as a sign, God telling me this is my next step.

I emailed the university I had applied for as soon as I got home and deferred my place and contacted Beautiful Gate. A year later I was arriving at Maseru Airport to begin the next 5 months of my life.

I can be a very anxious and nervous person, especially in a new environment with new people, but as soon as I arrived on campus I felt none of those feelings. I only felt comfortable and content. I knew this was where God wanted me to be and I trusted that He would use this time to help me get closer to him.

Seeing how much some of the kids had grown up since my last visit was amazing. I wasn't shocked to see that many of my babies from the previous year had turned into cheeky, sometimes naughty, adorable little toddlers. It was very good to be home.

I was assigned to serve in Pula 2, which I was nervous about at first as I'd always been in Pula 1 and knew how the house was run. I can see now however that Pula 2 was exactly where I needed to be. I fell in love with my kids and my housemothers almost immediately and they continue to teach me new things about myself everyday.

I have learned that I can be strong when I need to be but weak when I'm allowed to be and that trusting in God and His plan for my life will only bring me toward amazing people and experiences. I can see how God has used this time for me and I am eternally grateful for BG for giving me this opportunity.

There have been tough times during my stay at Beautiful Gate. Having to go through the pain of losing one of our children was definitely the hardest, but the support and love we have as a BG family and the love of God we share helped us all through that tough time. I am so thankful to have fellow volunteers and mentors to lean on in times of pain and upset and I will be forever grateful for my housemothers for caring for me and making me feel part of a family whilst being away from my own family.

Any tough times I've been through here are completely outnumbered by the amount of amazing moments I've shared with people here. From seeing a stubborn child stand up for the first time, to getting surprise hugs and kisses from the kids. Whether it's hearing the children laughing as you play with them or experiencing the beauty of Lesotho with friends. They all add up to 5 months of amazing memories I can never forget and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to go on this journey with Him by my side. I truly believe that my time in Lesotho has brought me closer to God. Everyone I meet here is so full of love for their Saviour and they have taught me so much about loving and worshiping Him.

The kids here have such a big place in my heart now, I'm not quite sure how I will go back home to my normal routine after this experience. One thing is for sure though, I will be back as often as I can. I want Beautiful Gate and these kids in my life forever.


Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your heart with us. We will forever miss your Christ-like love, kindness, and generosity. May God bless you richly wherever He leads you next, and we pray that occasionally it will be back to Beautiful Gate. 



Stepping Into the River


Our first team of 2018 has come and gone and how incredible it was to do life with them and experience God’s blessings together! This team was unlike any we’ve hosted before. While most groups we host tend to be outreach and service teams, the one to kick us off this year was a conference and vision trip for a group of pastors and leaders from all over the USA.

The gathering was titled the Stepping Into the River Conference, and what an apt name it turned out to be. Though we at Beautiful Gate played host to the group, they did not only serve on our campus. In addition to participating at BG they also experienced other ministries around Lesotho, including the Good Shepherd Centre where they interacted with teen moms and their kids; Semonkong Children’s Centre, another child care facility further out in the mountains; Baylor University’s children’s HIV/AIDS clinic; and an individual man living in Lesotho reaching out to local street children. All in all it was a very full and busy “river” that the team stepped into over the course of a few short days.

In regard to their time at Beautiful Gate, some of the most meaningful times were those spent hearing (or re-hearing for some of us) the stories of how God brought BG about in the first place. We were blessed to also host Beautiful Gate Lesotho’s founders and “grandparents,” Ray and Sue Haakonsen. We were all encouraged as they shared the stories behind how God led them to start BG and how He provided for their every need. It was incredible to hear those stories and then look around us to see how God has continued to be the source of a “river” of blessing that has brought forth life, blessing, and growth.

As we reflected on that river image, we were drawn in Scripture to Ezekiel 47. The chapter reveals the vision of a river flowing from the temple, bringing forth and encouraging restoration and new life wherever its waters touch. Because it has been a difficult season for us here at BG (recently losing a child, losing a staff member, and enduring both a child and a staff member suffering injuries) we were so blessed when God took the image of the “river” the team was stepping into and made it a reality. Due to an incredible storm that dumped a deluge of rain on our area, the three ponds on our campus were connected by a swiftly moving channel of water - a literal river! “Where the river flows everything will live” (Ezekiel 47:9b)! It felt like a promise to us of the restoration and life to come. God is so good!

We extend our utmost gratitude to the conference participants. Thank you for your service to Beautiful Gate and to Lesotho as a whole. We invite our readers to join us in praying for the conference participants as they return home. We pray that God will give you all quality time to process your experiences in Lesotho and clarity and guidance for the next steps He has planned for you!


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Wonderful Surprises: Andy and Carlie Shults

Proverbs 16:9 tells us “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”.  This has been so true for Andy and Carlie during their time at Beautiful Gate.  This wonderful couple from Michigan, USA, came to serve at BG one month after they got married. They were so passionate about serving that they didn’t want to wait until they are settled in their marriage to start thinking about moving to a different country and a different continent. This was the first surprise.

When they arrived, the plan was that Andy will oversee our Playgroup program working with our Playgroup Coordinators to put in place a long-term curriculum for our pre-preschoolers, work with our special needs children as well as take over some Chaplain roles while Carlie would teach at the Missionary School in the morning and then come to assist at Playgroup in the afternoon, and she volunteered a full day on Fridays at Beautiful Gate. These plans didn’t work out quite the way we thought because “…the Lord directed their steps” slightly differently.

Just shortly after they arrived, we found ourselves with a shortage of volunteers to assist in the Soft Playroom that caters for our children between 6 months and 1 year. So, Andy jumped right in and did an amazing work with these young ones. He truly became their ‘wonderful surprise daddy’ and most of them were saddened to see him go. He didn’t take over the Chaplain role but he and Carlie assisted with Wednesday Chapel times telling bible stories for the kids and sharing the Word of God with staff.

He also did an amazing job helping our special needs children, doing therapy and giving them one-on-one assistance. He worked tirelessly with one special guy to try and help him to walk. Those two built such a relationship that it was a beautiful, touching sight seeing them ‘walking’ together through campus. At the end of their time, Andy trained one of our young local volunteers to take over the one-on-one sessions with the special needs children. Andy also had some surprise skills and passions that he put into very good use while he was here. He is a very good photographer and he loves it! So, he helped in taking pictures of our children and organizing them for use for scrapbooks, facebook and blogging.  He also managed to make a few promotional videos to share with supporters and donors.

Carlie, on the other hand, did an amazing work with her students at the Missionary Kids School and even helped our school-going children here at BG, especially those that were struggling with their studies. She also assisted Andy with the special needs children when she was on campus. Like Andy, Carlie has special skills that came in handy for us here.  She is the master Scrapbooker (she even managed to teach me how…a difficult feat indeed considering I am not at all artistic. Well that just shows you the extent of her teaching abilities!). She helped us tremendously to put together scrapbooks of children to be adopted, especially when Anita was not around to do it.

Halfway during their time, they shared with us wonderful news: “SURPRISE we are going to have a baby”. This was yet another wonderful surprise, not just for us but for the Shults as well. Our God is full of wonderful surprises indeed. Thank you Carlie, Andy and little Preston Rethabile for being such a blessing to Beautiful Gate. May God continue to bless and provide you with more wonderful surpises!

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