Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My first time on crutches

This blog post is not about Beautiful Gate, but it is about an incident I had last week that I thought was so colorful and should share pictures :) Bryan and I took our kids and Terp to South Africa last week to spend some quality time with some new friends (Sam and Anna) we have made, but who are leaving Lesotho much sooner that we anticipated. They showed us a great place that is literally in the middle of nowhere where Bryan can hunt and the kids can run free and explore. We all love it there and had a fantastic time hanging with our friends, sharing meals and sharing our hearts. They have a daughter and son as well who our kids enjoy hanging out with too. We are going to miss them a lot!!
While we were having some down time and the men were out hunting, Mercy and I walked over to a water hole to look for some animals. We had seen a few warthogs there the day before. We sat on a rock and had a nice little chat and Mercy decided to do a little climbing up a rock fence that was behind the rock we were sitting on. A big rock was dislodged and came down on the top of my foot while my back was turned and wow, did that hurt! I pretended to be fine because Mercy was very sad that the rock fell on me, but I could see a huge bump forming on my foot, yikes! Thankfully Faith and her friend went back for Terp and our friend Anna to bring some ice and thankfully Anna brought her car. The good news is that no bones were broken in my foot and another good thing is that I have been able to provide some fun entertainment to people with my "rainbow colored foot" (that is what Mercy's Basotho friend used to describe my bruising).
I guess God just wanted me to take it easy for a few days and so I have been doing some extra reading and a lot of reflecting on my role at Beautiful Gate while Bryan and the kids have been stepping up their helpfulness. Actually, I have hired Terp as my nurse and she has been doing very well. I think she may have a future as a nurse :)
Here are a few pictures of my rainbow (and swollen) foot
Day 1

Day 3

Day 5
Sorry for anyone who hates feet pictures (like myself) but I couldn't help myself, it is my first time on crutches because the pain and swelling was pretty intense but I am doing much better today and started walking on my foot. Today is day 6 :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

4th Annual Easter Celebration

We had a very enjoyable Easter weekend here at Beautiful Gate. On Friday, I invited 5 missionary kids and we had about 10 volunteers to help us paint Easter eggs with the Beautiful Gate kids. Our volunteers from the Netherlands, Walter and Gert, brought the coolest Easter egg coloring kits I have ever seen and so we were able to have the BG kids paint eggs this year! It was such a good time :)
Since it was their first time coloring eggs, we had to give a little extra help :)

I even asked one of the play group staff to help paint eggs with the kids and she seemed to have a good time.

Faith, Elaina and Annie helped to color a lot of extra eggs for the kids under the age of 3.

The kids had a wonderful time coloring eggs and I am so thankful that we had a way of letting them help this year.

On Sunday, we had a lot of people join us for hiding candy for the kids. Before the candy finding, we all went to the kids and rear the Easter story. Terp read the story of Jesus' resurrection to the kids and staff and then they sang a few songs. We had one of our weekend staff translate the story to the kids just so that they can begin to understand why we celebrate Easter. After story time we took the kids up to the preschool lawn for the candy hunt and then they sat around eating their hard boiled eggs and a few pieces of candy. 
Terp reading all of us the Easter story.
Let the candy and toy hunt begin!!!

Waiting patiently for their egg and candy bags.

 Even the staff got some treats! They were very helpful in explaining everything to the kids and we are so blessed by our wonderful staff who go along with our crazy american ideas such as egg hunts!
Bryan holding the gate closed till all the kids arrived :)

Oh, we did actually let our kids and their friends have a little egg hunt too :)

I am so thankful that we can celebrate what Jesus has done for us with those who need to know about the love of Jesus. Those who have been forsaken by the ones who were meant to love them. Who better to understand them and love them than our Savior who was forsaken so we could all enter heaven one day. Thank you Jesus and please bless your little ones here at Beautiful Gate and please provide them with a  family to love them until you return or call them home.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Faith's Blog Post

"I like to hold babies and feed toddlers. It is fun to care for the orphans and really touches my heart. To care for the kids knowing they don't have a mom and dad is fun. Giving them their love that they should have. My family changed a lot in the 3 years we have been here. I know the real meaning of love now. Love is like giving someone what they need like a present on Christmas. That is my favorite thing to do, caring for the orphans. I am very glad that we are going to stay for 4 more years. This week is going to be Easter. I am having lots of fun in Beautiful Gate and I am going to paint the eggs and help hide them for an Easter egg hunt for the kids.
I hope more volunteers come to Beautiful Gate so they can know the true meaning of love."
Love Faith  (9 years old)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The Haven team was such a blessing to have around and we are all missing them, but we praise God for bringing them here even if the time felt too quick. Ntate Edward summed it up best today when I asked him how he was doing he said, "I think I will feel better next week. Sometimes I think it was all a dream."

We have found some ways to keep busy and the biggest way is that Bryan, Terp, Kristen and I are taking Sesotho lessons. Amazingly, I think I have already learned more in 2 days than I did when I did 6 months of tutoring once a week when we first got here :) Kea laboha  (thank you) Thato! We will be having class for 1 hour every work day for 4 to 6 weeks, unless we are unavailable such as tomorrow when we are going away with all the management and department leaders for a two day planning session (please pray for all of us as we try to hear from God about where He is leading Beautiful Gate).

Another big thing going on is a small addition to our house. We live in a beautiful 2 bedroom duplex and it is a tight squeeze at times. We were happy to just work through it for 2 more years but since we are extending our time for an extra 2 years, we have decided to add a bedroom on for Elijah. Currently, I have all 3 kids in one room which also doubles as our school room. This will allow for a bit more space for us. The kids are all looking forward to this change so I guess the time was right :) I will try to post some pics once the room is finished.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Never changing and Ever changing

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

There were many seasons today at Beautiful Gate. There was a young boy who had been thrown away (v.6) over the weekend but his mother was caught and came to pick him up today. She hid behind the police officer when she first came in and had tears (v.4) flowing freely down her face, was it shame? I really don't know. The boy is young, but I imagine that he must wonder what happened. Why did she abandon him and now she is taking him home. We prayed over them as we know that their relationship is in need of healing (v.3) which only God can bring to both of them.
Today our team went into the mountains to enjoy a beautiful view and when they came back and had eaten dinner, we talked about their trip and sang a lovely verse of How Great Thou Art (thanks Karen). Their were moments of silence as they breathed in God's amazing creation and there was singing and joy too. After dinner we played a game and laughed and laughed as some of the team members, and my son included, did some great charades. While we were busy laughing (v.4) and being joyful together, one of my kids' best friends was mourning (v.4). One of our house mothers had asked us to pray for her mother for the last 2 days and tonight we found out that her mother went to be with Jesus. My kids and I went to her house at 9:30pm to pray for her and hug her. We were all a little somber that we had been laughing so hard we almost cried only moments before when a friend was close by and hurting.
So many things all in one day and yet God was with us all in our moments. He is with the mother and son and He holds their future in His hands. He is meeting with our team and showing them His glorious creation and allowing moments of laughter among the hard emotions that being at an orphanage can bring on. He is holding a precious and beloved woman who has come home and carrying her family as they are left behind, missing her and feeling a void with her absence. He is ever faithful and never changing even though our days and emotions are ever changing.