Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last team of 2014

We have a team here from Holland Christian High School (and also a small family from Colorado who are with them) and tonight we sat down and took some time to share about our day. It is always interesting to see what things strike people and make an impression on them. It could be about the looks of Beautiful Gate, the fact that the kids are so happy that you forget they are orphans, the happiness and friendly attitude of our staff, the funny thing a kid said or did and so many other options. It helps me to think about my life and my attitude. Have I become so accustomed to our lives here that I forget to be in awe of those things that I used to notice?


I had the opportunity to share with them at the end of our devotional time and I read a blog post by Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie). It was a thought about how working in a third world country is like trying to empty the ocean with an eye dropper and when your glass is half full, it rains. The first time I read that post, I was so relieved that there was someone else out there who felt the way I felt, but who was able to explain it way more eloquently. There will always be poverty, abandonment, death, HIV, and many other problems in Lesotho, but it is not our job here at Beautiful Gate to fix all that (thankfully cause we would not be able to keep up). It is our job to give each kid hope for their future, to try by all means to find them a family, and to love them unconditionally the way God loves us.


I love when we get to share our passion with a new team. They can share their stories and love for BG and we can do the same. Our love for the kids and staff gives us a common bond of friendship and it is a real blessing. Even my kids were telling me that they enjoy having this team here because some of the members were very complimentary and made them feel very good about themselves. It has been a busy year, full of teams and volunteers and this is our final team for 2014. We have been blessed and we are so thankful.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Graduation Day

Today was the preschool graduation for the school where several of our BG children attend school. We have 2 boys who graduated this year and we took 8 of the preschoolers along with us to their graduation. There was much celebration in the little building we were all sitting in as the kids sang, acted out a play, danced and recited poems. One of the perks is that it is an English medium school so much was done in English.
One of my favorite parts is when each graduate does a little speech called "myself, myself." The child says their name, age, parents' name, teachers' names, school name and what they want to be when they grow up. They practice a lot during the year and for the BG kids, they say the names of all 4 of their house mothers, along with volunteers in their house and sometimes even Bryan or I. They often include the maintenance men as their fathers which is sweet, but it is also sad. They have so many people who love them and who care for them each day, but moments like today are a harsh reality that our kids do not really have a "normal" living situation.
The celebration took 4 hours (once again they really know how to celebrate in Africa and this was only preschool!!!) and then the kids came home and had a big celebration with their peers and house mothers. They ate cake, cookies, marshmallows, and chips and were super happy. Then there was dancing and balloon fun to end the celebration. I am so proud of these boys and really hope that one day they will get to celebrate their high school graduation with a family of their own. Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy of our awesome day.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Neighbor Kids

It has been months since I have had a neighborly visit from the kids in the neighborhood, but they stopped by today for some coloring. It started with 2 kids, then quickly became 4, then 4 more came and then 4 more came, so I think there were 12 kids who got coloring pages and some crayons. It has been raining a lot in the last few days so I felt bad watching the kids sitting on a dirt road behind my fence as they colored, but they were all as happy as could be (their mothers maybe less so after they see their muddy bottoms and knees).
I love when I can share a simple thing like a coloring page and see a child's face light up. After they colored their pictures they came back up to the fence to show me and I love their creativity. I have never seen so many rainbow animals in my life and I think it is because they wanted to use every single crayon color that I had available for their picture.


Just thought I'd share a little glimpse of the sweet little faces I got to see today. Anytime a camera comes out, then there is a lot of posing, but as you can see in the top picture, they were very focused on their coloring pages :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Retreat

Today is the start of the Lesotho Ladies' retreat. We will be spending the weekend at Wyndford Farm in South Africa. There is a team of 4 women from the states who will be leading us in worship and teaching us more about God's joy. Please pray for all the missionary women who will be attending this retreat as well as those who are leading it. Being in full time missions in Lesotho can be draining and hard at times and I know a lot of these women look forward to this weekend each year. Also, please pray for the husbands and kids who will be at home this weekend and for them to have good times together too. I know for me, the past 2 times I went one of my kids got very sick and it was a huge distraction. Please pray that none of the kids or husbands get sick and that satan will not use things like that to distract the women from their time away with God.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

When you Look into the Eyes of my Child - Poem


As I was sitting alone the other night, I had an overwhelming desire to write a small poem from the perspective of a mother who abandoned her child. I have heard so many different reasons for abandonment and while I still disagree with the way it is done, I also try to see things from their point of view. 

When you look into the eyes of my child,

What do you think of my choice?

Do you think that I am a monster?

Could you have walked in my shoes

And made a different choice?

 

When you look into the eyes of my child,

Do you hate me?

Do you think it was easy to walk away?

That I did not cry out in anguish as

I said good-bye to my little one.

 

When you look into the eyes of my child,

Do you know that my life is over?

That I have nothing left.

I go to bed hungry each night and

I am getting weaker everyday.


When you look into the eyes of my child,

Did you know that I was raped?

Do you know how hard my life is?

That I am an orphan who is caring for my siblings

And had to drop out of school.

 

When you look into the eyes of my child,

See that I have given them hope.

Understand that I had no other way.

Give them the love I will always

Wish I would have been given.