Sunday, October 28, 2012

The strike is over

I do not know if there has been any real peace or agreements between the hospital staff and their "union," but the strike is done for now. We have 3 children who need to see the doctor tomorrow and so we are praying that they will be able to be seen despite the backup of many others who will be trying to get in. They do not have appointments, instead it is more like the DMV where you get a number when you walk in and wait to be called! It can take 1 hour or it can take several, every time is different.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hospital Strike

Our nurse went to the hospital on Tuesday morning and found the parking lot barricaded and was unable to get through. Thankfully she only needed to get a medication refill and was able to get one at a pharmacy in town. Currently it has been 2 days and the nurses, doctors and cleaning staff at the hospital are still on strike. T'sepang Hospital is the newest and the only public hospital that most families can afford and we at Beautiful Gate take the children there when we need medical care because the government pays for it. Please pray for a peaceful resolution very soon as it is a huge inconvenience for those who are in need of medical help.

I looked up an article in the Lesotho times:

Hospital workers down tools

MASERU — Workers at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital downed tools on Tuesday demanding a three percent salary increment. The strike at the hospital comes six months after management bowed to pressure and awarded the workers a 3.5 percent wage increase in April following another strike action.
The protest however nearly degenerated into violence as nurses who were accompanying patients from other districts in ambulances were barred from entering the hospital premises.
Patients were also turned away as doctors said they were only attending to emergency cases.
The workers were holding placards with messages such as, “We work like slaves but are not appreciated with the cent that you pay us, expect too much . . . We want the money.”
Motsopa said they were aware that the strike was illegal but had no option but to embark on protest action to force management to deal with their grievances.
“It is not fair for the police to come here and threaten us yet we are fighting for our rights. This is the only way for management to address our grievances,” he said.
He said the police had warned the workers to stay away from the hospital yesterday if they were not prepared to go back to work.

. . . police say strike is illegal, issue ominous warning

MASERU — Police yesterday warned workers at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital that their strike which began on Tuesday was illegal because they did not follow proper procedures. Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo said the employees who picketed outside the country’s biggest hospital had not given a notice of their intention to strike.
“We never threatened the employees even though their strike is illegal. We have warned them that since their strike was illegal we will do whatever it takes, good or bad, if they continue to threaten other employees who were on duty,” he said.
“It was reported that they were blocking ambulances that brought patients from other hospitals and they even threatened other employees who were still on duty. What they were doing was illegal and we will take action against it.”

October is the time of year for pay increases and unfortunately employers and employees do not see eye to eye. Please pray for peace and understanding and for unity within the country of Lesotho.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Team from Michigan

Today Bryan got up extra early so he could drive to Bloem and pick up a team of volunteers from his hometown, Holland, Michigan! We have a team of 7 and 2 of them, Mary and Rachel, were here last October to help us with our 10th anniversary celebration. They enjoyed Beautiful Gate so much that they went back to their home church, Graafschap CRC and put together a team.

They stayed overnight in Jo-burg so they were not as jet lagged as most teams coming from America. I gave them a tour of the campus and then went straight into the houses to play with the kids. One of the little boys that Rachel and Mary had spent a lot of time with last October went running right up to them which made them feel really special. We have 10 days ahead of us and I look forward to seeing how God will use them and bless them during that time!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Long Overdue Celebration!

Wow, I have been waiting a VERY long time to write this post. I believe it was one or two days before we packed up and moved our family to Lesotho that I received a phone call from a mother who told me she was matched with a child at Beautiful Gate. It was really cool to hear from a future adoptive mother (especially because she does not live far from our hometown) before I even came to Beautiful Gate. Oh, but it has been a long and painful journey for this mother and her son. There have been about 25 children who have been adopted into new families since I have been here (December 2010) and finally, after all this time of watching his friends be adopted before him, my precious "Honey" (our silly nickname for each other) has gone with his mother and new sister, for bonding!

Sometimes children come into their first meeting with their family a little shy and apprehensive and many take a long time to smile. Not this boy, he was grinning from ear to ear. All he has wanted for years is to have his mommy. Whenever one of his friends was adopted, he would cry and ask his house mother or our social worker when he would get to be with his mother. When would he finally get to go to America? It broke our hearts to see his pain month after month.

I did not ask for permission to post a picture or ask to use her name but you know who you are, new mother of my little "Honey." You are such a blessing to him and I know that the road was long and hard, but thank you for not giving up. Thank you for trusting God and loving him even when it would have been easier to give up. I knew you would love him and I knew he was more than worth the wait. So thank you for making his greatest hope and desire come true today, he has a mommy and will never ever cry again because of his desire to be a part of a family. He is a son and a brother to many and I thank God that I won't have to wipe away any more tears and I also am happy because I know I will see him again next summer!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

All in a day's work

Well, after a week of cleaning up some pretty gross things, mostly in the middle of the night, I will write the post I was going to write last Thursday. Yep, 2 of my kids had the flu and it was a yucky week!

So Thursday morning started in the "usual" way. I began teaching my kids their school lessons and half way through, Bryan came and told me that an adoptive family was here to meet their child. I had to be strong( I absolutely love watching new families meet for the first time) and tell him that I needed to finish the kids lessons and then I would come (boy am I glad I followed through with that as the day was just going to get more packed). I went in later and met the parents of one of our little baby girls and it was very special. It is rare to have a family from overseas adopting a child under the age of 1 and it was sweet to see them interacting with her.

After they left, Bryan called me into the office for an unexpected visitor and we needed to sort out how to handle the situation. At the same time we were dealing with this issue, someone came to drop off a child into our care. Before we could finish with the child intake a doctor and his wife came to see Bryan about a proposal we have put into the Ministry of Social Development (formerly DSW). We had no news to share with him on the proposal. After we saw them off, I went home to make lunch and Bryan stayed in the office. I think he made it home for lunch at 2.

Later around 3:45 we had yet another unexpected visitor, the grandmother of one of our children and she wanted to visit her grandson for a bit. I was asked to supervise the visit as all the office staff get finished with work at 4pm. It was really sweet watching him with his grandmother and it was obvious that they love each other. I do not know the story and wonder if it is just that his grandmother cannot afford to raise him??

Needless to say, after our very busy day, I decided we needed to get off campus so we could all relax together as a family so we went out for pizza. Yes, they do have some nice pizza in Lesotho. The only thing we thought we had to do that day was meet the new adoptive family, but it turned into a non stop day of visitors! All in a day's work! I think this day makes a fine example of why I sometimes do not find the time to reply to emails in a timely manner as often by the end of the night I just want to go to sleep ;)

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Water is such a simple thing, such a basic necessity for our survival, and usually so easy to get. Even I, who live in a 3rd world country, have the luxury of turning on a faucet and getting water when I want or need it. Granted, it would not be wise for me to drink it as I might be sick for a week afterward, but it is readily available.

I can not seem to get water out of my head (that sounds strange doesn't it). From the time I wake up at 6am until about 8pm, all I hear are squeaky wheelbarrows passing by my house as people head to the community water spigot and fill their buckets for the day. It is not easy and many stop and rest several times as they walk back home as the burden of the wheelbarrow is more than they can handle. Some are younger than Elijah and Faith and it amazes me how strong they are.

But that is not what has me pondering water today, instead it is a simple picture of a young boy bending over a water hose that has a hole in it. He was so young and yesterday was a hot, dry and windy day and my heart just tightened to see him struggling so hard to get his mouth in the right spot where he could get some fresh "clean" water.
It is my prayer that one day he will have a sink with clean water where he can easily get a drink when he is thirsty. I cannot imagine how hard life can be for some of these kids when even something as simple and basic as water (also necessary for life) is hard to get.

Monday, October 1, 2012

New beginnings

Well last Friday was a day of new beginnings for 2 of our Beautiful Gate boys. We had the adoption ceremony for the boys and then on Saturday, they were flying to their new homes in the Netherlands. This ceremony was full of joy and tears, but they were mostly happy tears. Faith did a great job saying good-bye to her "son" and she was so happy for him to be with his new family. After the ceremony, we took the families on a tour to see where their boys grew up. They took it all in and video taped the rooms and the places their children spent so much time so they would always have memories. They want their children to remember Lesotho and Beautiful Gate and the mothers who cared for them. So many families want their children to have memories of their time here and it is encouraging. So here are a few pictures of these new, beautiful families...

On a side note, today was our first official day of school for the 2012-2013 school year. The Safari class now consists of Elijah -4th grade, Faith- 2nd grade, and Mercy- Kindergarten. The kids decided that this year we are in need of a class pet, so Faith's outdoor cat, Gatsby was chosen. We took a few fun pictures to start the day ...

 The kids got excited about showing their grades so they used their hands to show their grade. I did not remember the sign for a k in sign language so Mercy stuck with a 0 so she is grade 0 since next year she will be in grade 1 ;) I think I am the luckiest teacher in the world!!!!!