Thursday, July 30, 2015

Moving Day is Coming

We are moving! Bryan and I are moving our family off campus this Saturday. We found a really nice home about 5 minutes from Beautiful Gate, and we are going to be renting it for the next 2 years. This is a big change for our family and especially for our staff and volunteers who have become quite used to us being readily available for anything they need. I think it will be a huge adjustment for us too, but one that has been a long time needed :)

We have a family and a single volunteer who have been living in out team house, and so we will be able to move them into our current house when we move off campus. Beautiful Gate has become very busy with teams and volunteers and this is a great way to open up more space.

2015 was suppose to be our last year at Beautiful Gate, but as you all know we decided to extend to 2017. Having this house open will also be a benefit as we begin the search for our replacements after our short furlough later this year. So many changes, but God is good and He has been leading and guiding us along as we make these big decisions. I am going to miss being able to walk out of my house and go to playgroup whenever I want. Or be cooking dinner and still be able to have a chat with a staff member or volunteer. However, I will enjoy a lot more uninterrupted time with my kids and Bryan. Living where you work is a tough balance that I feel we have done well for 4 1/2 years, but we are ready for a small change. We remain 100% committed to Beautiful Gate and this move is certainly not due to any burn out or anything like that. We love, love, LOVE what we are doing here at BG and look forward to the next few years with great joy and anticipation for what God is doing through this ministry.

We took our kids over to their new home today and they were ecstatic!!! Apparently, they miss having stairs and they were running up and down the stairs and sliding down on their butts (one of them will learn the hard way when they get a splinter). They will each have their own room and we will actually have more than one toilet for the 5 of us, hahaha. Not that it is needed, but it will be nice not to wait in the long line because we always have to go at the same time. There will be a room attached to the house for guests so please feel free to come and visit us sometime next year :) Yes, that was a big hint to our family especially, but friends are welcome too! Life is never dull when you are a Geurink!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Birthday wishes for my "twins"

Hello, I am Faith and I am very excited to say that today is my twin brother and sister's birthday. Actually, they are not twins. One is older and one is younger than me, but they share a birthday. They are two of the best siblings you could ever have (most of the time, ha ha). Mercy is probably the cutest thing that walks the earth, on two feet anyways. Elijah is....humorous and a fun bro to hang out with. I thank the Lord for my lovely siblings.
From Faith

I had a little guest blogger today! Thanks Faith. I am one of those really rare parents who have 3 kids who actually like each other, hahaha (oh yeah, most of the time). I still remember Elijah visiting me in the hospital and holding his brand new baby sister, and he looked at me with wonder and said I had given him the BEST birthday present ever. What can I say, it was not planned at all, but I can take some credit, right?! Elijah and Mercy are so similar that they can really drive each other crazy, yet they can also spend time playing games and enjoying each other's company. I love seeing God develop their personalities more and more each year.

My life is so full of good moments with these crazy kids in my life. It kinda stinks that my oldest gets older and my youngest gets older on the same day. I like to live in denial that they will be small and sweet forever, but I can not live there for long with my 12 year old and my 8 year old celebrating birthdays today :) I feel like this year has been a remarkable year and the 5 of us feel closer and more unified as a family than we have ever been before. It is so cool and I really look forward to what God has in store for us in the next year. I am not worthy of these 2 fantastic blessings God has trusted me with, and every year, I am more and more thankful. I am the luckiest mom in the whole world!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Prayers During Waiting

Hello my faithful readers! This is a time of waiting. We have 69 kids who are living here and waiting for their forever families, or to be reunited with their family. It has been such a slow year for adoptions, and I feel like all I can say is the waiting is excruciating for both sides. I am thankful for new regulations that prevent child trafficking, but the practical halt on adoptions is hard to see. Watching kids grow up in a care center, when I know there are better options, is a daily reminder of the sinful world we live in. It sucks. I am thankful they are in a safe and loving environment, but my mother’s heart longs for them to have more, to have what my kids have. Please pray for a huge miracle, so kids can go home and empty arms can be filled.

We also wait for peace and safety for this country. There have been a lot of killings within the Lesotho Defense Force, and it is dangerous. Many soldiers are being killed, kidnapped or tortured, and it does not seem that peace is around the corner. Thankfully, it has not touched our campus physically, but it has touched our staff emotionally. Some of their family or friends are soldiers, and some of them have been killed.  There are rumors predicting a stand-off on Friday between the two sides of the Lesotho Defense Force. We fear more useless death, how sad for soldiers to be dying when there is no war. Please pray with us, as we look to God to stop this as there is nothing any of us can do.

These are the two big things on my heart, but there is so much more going on. We trust God to work miracles. God knows all, and we give over any imagined control we have, and lay these at His feet. Thank you for praying with us!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Learning how to celebrate!

In the past 2 weeks, I have seen and heard joy like never before. One of our staff members (who was kind enough to let me write about her, so thanks Motsilisi) has had a couple occasions for celebration. The week after Terp headed back to the states, Motsilisi was kind and shared my office with me so I would not be lonely. She shared the frustrations she has been facing while attending classes to get her Accounting degree. She was awaiting her final results of her final class and had a very bad feeling about her final exam. She said that most of the students had not finished the exam as they were only given two hours, and it was a long exam. I really felt bad for her as she was worried about having wasted money her classes, but she said to me that she had been praying for God's favor on her. She knew that if she passed, it would all be because of God's favor on her.
Just a few days later, Bryan came home and told me that she passed her exam. She was jumping up and down and saying, "yes, yes, yes." Then when our social worker, Mme Makatleho went to see what she was excited about, Tsili jumped on her and wrapped her legs around her. I do not have a single friend in college who ever responded like that when they passed. Everyone's heart was so light that day as we congratulated her. God's favor was very real in her life and it was so amazing to be a part of it, and watch her fear of disappointment turn into pure gratitude to God.
Then yesterday was so cool because Tsili showed up to work in her NEW CAR!!!! Most of us had no idea that she was going to buy a car so it was a big surprise. I was so shocked to see her driving in her car. She and her office mate, Mme Connie, turned the radio up and parked the car. All of us went over to see her car and gave hugs and congrats. Then the house mothers heard the music and they came running from their houses, trilling in excitement! They danced around the car and lifted Tseli in the air and just celebrated with her. Rather than being jealous that she has a car and none of them do, they sang out about blessings from above. The authentic happiness for others that our staff displays is so inspiring. Most Basotho will go their whole lives without a car, and we had two in America and never really considered how blessed we were. Some kids in America get a new car on their 16th birthday without even having to work hard to get it, and she had to work full-time for 11 years before the day came that she could get a car. Yep, that is a reason to celebrate BIG and to thank God for His good gifts to His children. Congratulations Tsili and thanks for the reminder on how to SHOW thankfulness!!!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

This Side of Adoption

Hello, yes we are all still alive and well. We are just enjoying winter break and due to some Internet usage issues and 3 really cute kids who have hijacked my computer, I have not blogged in a bit. First world problems right!!!!

Since the kids are home, we have been going out everyday to playgroup in the mornings and the afternoons. All of the BG kids are home from school also, so it is busy. There are several older girls who have started a little girls club and I have been hanging our with them. We are pretending to be going to the store, buying groceries and bringing them back to BG. We also pretend to drive to church and sing songs. It is a lot of fun :)

On Monday, one of the older girls looked at me and said, "Mme Anita, you do not have any babies."
"I do not have any tiny babies, that is true, but I do have 3 older babies, Elijah, Faith and Mercy."
"You need more, you should have me and (she pointed to another older girl who looked up and me and smiled with a hopeful look on her face)."

Oh my, what do you say to that. Maybe it happened in our beginning time here, but I must have blocked it out if it did. In all our time here, I do not remember a child asking me to adopt them. Many have cried and said they want a family, but did not ask to be a part of my family. My heart still hurts. I wish the people who do the paperwork in the government levels could be there in moments like that. There is no lack of people who want to bring orphans into their families, there is a lack of motivation and quickness to get things done on the government levels so kids can be cleared for adoption. I understand the need to be thorough, but this is more than that. This is a good reminder for us all to pray and to know that there are kids who desperately want a family and families who desperately want kids (many of you know that from personal experience). Please pray because it is heartbreaking on this side of adoption too.