Friday, November 30, 2012

Lost in Translation

OK, I had a funny American moment last night and had a good laugh at myself so naturally, I thought I would share it with my blog readers. Last night I took a visitor into one of the baby houses. We were playing with the kids, holding babies, tickling the kids and reading books. One of the girls who is around 4 began to tell me that tomorrow is the last day of preschool and she was so excited because they were going to eat biscuits, cake and ice cream. She was so thrilled and I was sitting there amazed at how great her English is getting!
A little later in the evening, I was holding a baby and this girl came up to me and told me to put the baby down and come with her into her bedroom. She grabbed my hand and started pulling me into her room and then told me that she was going to show me her privates. Well, my thoughts were no longer about how good her English was, my thoughts were, oh no, that is something I do not want to see as in America "privates" are body parts we should not be showing other people. I was trying to figure out what I would say to her when she dragged me over to a bed that had a bunch of clothes on it and showed me her "private" clothes that she would be wearing to school for the last day of school. Well you can imagine my relief, hahaha. I totally forgot that everyday clothes are called private clothes in Lesotho because the kids have to wear uniforms to school everyday and can only wear "private" clothes on special occasions. I thought I would share this lighthearted story as it made me laugh ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feeling Better

Thank you so much for your prayers everyone. Faith is feeling so much better today. Her fever stayed low yesterday and this morning she woke up with a smile on her face and she has some energy. We are praying that this fever is done circulating through our family so that we do not have anymore scary moments with our kids or the BG kids.

While I was busy taking care of Faith on Tuesday, we had 2 couples come and get their children for bonding. One little girl is going to a local family and a set of brothers is heading to Canada. I did not get to say good-bye to the little girl but I was able to give a quick hug to the boys (they are a bit older and one of them was my daily hug giver) before they left with their parents. We will see them again next week and it will be great to see how they are fitting in with their parents!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Prayers for Faith

Today was a bit of a scary day so I thought I should just put a prayer request out there for my daughter Faith. A little over a week ago, Mercy came down with a mysterious fever that lasted for a few days and got pretty high. Well on Saturday night, Faith came down with the high fever. It was in the mid 103 range for 2 days and then today it went over 104 (sorry I don't know the Celsius reading). She also had a very random and scary allergic reaction to something. She was complaining about her back hurting for about an hour and then suddenly she said that her chest hurt and that she couldn't get a deep breath of air. I held her for a few minutes and tried to calm her down ( she was freaking out a bit), and then I looked at her chest and I could see her veins and her color looked strange so I carried her to the clinic to find one of our nurses (Donna is our lovely Australian volunteer and Patty is our wonderful full-time nurse). I got Donna on the phone and then found Patty and they were able to get her the right medicine to help her. She looked like she was about to pass out after that and then fell asleep for awhile. In the afternoon her fever went over 104 and she was a bit delirious, but after getting her back on some medication, and an antibiotic (thanks to Donna who is always saving the day for us when we have any medical worries!!!!), she has been doing much better. All that to say, please pray for Faith to feel better soon and that this fever will not affect anyone else in our family and especially that it will not pass to any of the BG kids. I do my best to keep my kids "quarantined" when they are ill, but it is always a fear of sickness being spread among children.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blessings beyond the sacrifice

On Thursday, I took some time and reflected about the things I am thankful for and one of the thoughts that kept coming to mind was the sacrifice to adopt. It is financially costly, the wait is long and uncertain, there is a lot of fear of the unknown, and there are so many other things which is unique to each person/couple who goes through the process. It is a sacrifice, there is no doubt in my mind, but I hear over and over again as a new parent holds their child with tears streaming down their faces, "It was worth the wait." "I would do it all over again." "This is the best day of my life." And then there are those who cannot even utter a word. It is a sacrifice, but the blessings of adoption far outweighs the cost, fear, uncertainty, etc! It is a priceless gift not only for the child but also for the family. I am so thankful for adoption and families who choose to adopt.

I was reading my Facebook "recent stories" and I hope it is okay to post this as it is now official, but I am so excited because Bryan's sister and brother-in-law are starting their journey on this wonderful road of adoption. I realized something new. I have seen the joy of parents and grandparents as they come to Beautiful Gate and meet their children, but now I am beginning to feel the joy as a future aunt! Adoption blesses so many and now my kids are going to be blessed with a new African cousin :) Here is Amy's post:

It's official! Andy and I are joining the 8% - one less orphan in Ethiopia :)

“The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.”
― Katie J. Davis, Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

We love you Amy and Andy and we will be praying for you as you start this amazing jouney!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

As I reflect on the past year and what I am thankful for, it is hard to find words. I am so thankful for so many reasons, for so many people and for the way God has blessed us this past year. But I will highlight a few of the things on my heart...

I am thankful for mothers/couples who have given up a lot of the things they want in order to save money to add a child to their family through adoption. By giving up their wants, they are giving a child what they need. A loving home and a family.

I am thankful for the workers at Beautiful Gate. Sometimes children come here with little hope of a good future due to the devastating start they have had in life, yet these workers love on them, stay up long hours caring for them, give them good nutrition and smile and sing to them about God. Wow, my heart overflows with gratitude when I think of this unbelievable love.

I am thankful that God has chosen to save each of the children here at Beautiful Gate. He knows them by name and He has a future and a hope for each one. He may have allowed them to be in a tough place, but He rescued them and brought them to a place of safety.

I am thankful for the many people around the world who have shared their hearts, time and resources with Beautiful Gate. Many teams and individuals have come through our gates this past year and it has been wonderful to make new friends. There are many people who love and support BG whom I have never and may never meet. Thank you for sharing your resources with the kids and staff at BG because without your help, we could never have had such a blessed year. I am thankful for the many individuals and churches who have been praying for BG. God has been good and He has heard your prayers!

I am thankful that God has brought our family to BG. It is not always easy to be in Lesotho, but God is faithful and He has blessed us with everything we need and more.

May God bless you all as you take time to give Him thanks for the blessings in your life!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Bryan surprised me and took me away on Friday to a hotel that was pretty much in the middle of nowhere in South Africa. It was a very nice place and was surrounded by mountains, grasslands and a dam. We actually sat outside before dinner and saw a few rhinos on the other side of the dam. It was such a relaxing place and we had a very nice time. The best part was that we only had to drive an hour to get there and our 2 American volunteers watched our kids for us so we had plenty of time to relax.
Today was my birthday so we drove into Bloem and did a little Christmas shopping for the kids since they were not with us. When we arrived home, the living room was decorated with some welcome home and happy birthday signs from the kids. It was a nice way to feel appreciated by my husband and my kids.
While we were away yesterday, a set of twins was brought to Beautiful Gate. They have been in the hospital for a few weeks and are still under weight. One is about 4 pounds and the other is about 3 1/2 pounds. Please pray for them to remain in good health and to gain weight so they do not need to be brought back to the hospital. We hear that there are problems again at the hospital that was striking last month so we ask for your prayers.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

God's Mercy

Well, I am going to try to recount for you a...hmmmm...merciful day we experienced last Friday. I have been working on a Ladie's Retreat committee for the past year and I left early Friday morning to Wyndford Farm so we could arrive early, set up and pray for all the ladies who would be driving from many parts of Maseru to join this retreat. The two nights before the retreat, Mercy was ill with a high temperature, but with no other symptoms. I was a little concerned because she was quite warm when I took her temperature on Friday morning, but I needed to be at the retreat and knew Bryan would be able to get her the medication she needed to keep her temperature from getting too high.

While I was away, a new baby boy was brought to Beautiful Gate. He is only a month old and was found abandoned in the forest just outside of town. This is very significant based on the events that followed on Friday evening. This boy's name means Mercy and once again I am utterly blown away by God allowing the perfect name to be chosen for a child's circumstances.

Friday evening Mercy's (our daughter as now it could get confusing) temperature shot up to 103.7 and she was feeling miserable. Poor Bryan was trying to comfort her and cook dinner for them all when suddenly there was a freak hail storm. 7 minutes of hail beating down on Maseru. Damaging windows, causing leaks in roofs and covering the ground and causing mild flooding in a few areas. Marble sized hail drumming down to earth in the exact spot that baby boy had been laying only a few hours before. Bryan had water coming through the kitchen door and then coming through the kitchen ceiling and was busy mopping it all up with towels. He did manage to sneak in a few pictures.
Thank you God for your mercy. That you saved your little boy just in time and also that you brought Mercy's temperature back down again on Saturday so she can feel better.

I also just want to say that my weekend away was absolutely amazing. The team from Florida who came to help were real servants and treated us women like we were precious treasures. I was very blessed and my spirit renewed by my time away and I know many other missionary women felt the same way this weekend. I would like to give a very special thank you to Antje Dew, Julie Wildschut, Tammy Vandoeselar and Chris Rosencrans for what you did on your end to make the weekend possible for a few very special and wonderful missionary women!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our final good-bye

So as not to stick my foot in my mouth again, I have waited a few days to post this on the blog. I have written before about "our orphan," Lucky having to move away and then circumstances proved that he did not in fact have to leave, but this time he has really left.

His sister left him with her 2 children a few months ago and his brother-in-law is not working. He did not know what to do as he still wanted to finish school, but was trying to look after his sister's children. I suggested he talk with his village chief to seek some advice. They determined the best thing was for Lucky to take his niece and nephew and move to his Uncle's house in Mafateng (where he was going to move last April). After getting behind on the rent for 3 months, Lucky realized that he would in fact need to move to Mafateng.

He took his niece and nephew last Friday, came back on Monday to try to work on his secondary school enrollment and then left on Wednesday to live with his uncle. My kids and I were sad to see him go, but at the same time, we are trusting that with other family members around, he will have the chance to finish school and at least get a good education.

I think I will really notice he is gone in a week or two when I no longer here him whistling or "knock knocking" at my kitchen window. He is a good boy, with a good heart and so we will continue to pray that God will provide for him and help him to be a very successful man who loves the Lord. Go with God Lucky, and we thank God for the time that we were able to walk this journey of life together.

Friday, November 2, 2012


On Tuesday, our team from Graafschap church left to return to Michigan. We had such a lovely time with this group. Lots of laughs and a few tears. Some good heart to hearts and some adventures which included Bryan almost losing a hand!!!!Literally!!!! We shared some unforgettable moments, like CRAZY boarder crossings, sunset over the city, play group, blessing the staff and lots of dinner conversations. I am glad God chose to bring them here when He did because having some friends, old and new, from home made us feel really refreshed and encouraged. We look forward to having a reunion next summer with all those from West MI who have made it out to Beautiful Gate.

We also welcomed a new team today. A group of 8 women from Gainsville, Florida have come to help with the ladies retreat I have been on the committee of. They were surprisingly alert for their tour of Beautiful Gate, but I am sure they are all sound asleep right now :) It is a very busy spring time here at Beautiful Gate with teams and volunteers, but God is always good and His timing is perfect.