Monday, September 26, 2016

Welcome to This World

Welcome to this World

You probably have no idea
how special you are.
For years and years you
will carry a scar.
Unwanted, unloved, abandoned
at birth,
People will tell your story with
careless mirth.
Was it a pit toilet, a garbage bag,
or buried alive?
Unwanted, unloved, until at our gate
you arrived.
Our eyes well with tears as we
hear your story,
Knowing you will be safe now-
we give God the glory.
It breaks our hearts that you came
to us this way,
Unwanted, unloved, and abandoned
until today.
Welcome to this world, my sweet
little child,
This day of your birth has been
anything but mild.
We will give you love, care, and even
your first meal,
As you wait for your new family,
we hope you will heal.
                     Anita Geurink

I wrote this in honor of the many babies who have been brought to BG these past 4 months. Some are even brought to us the day they are born. It is incredibly heart breaking to hold a tiny newborn baby who was just found in the trash. It is horrible to walk away from a child who screams because the last person who left the room never came back. We welcome them into our family in hopes that someday, they will have the hope that comes through adoption. Until that day, we will show them that they are not unwanted or unloved and they will never be abandoned again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I have been waiting to come out of a kinda dark spot, but it really hasn't happened yet. It is strange the things that are bothering me and making me cry. One of the strangest things about it is, that these things were the things that bothered me 5 years ago and shouldn't be the things that bother me now...but they do. It is rather unfortunate really. I thought I had built a more steady wall around my heart in the years I have watched hard things happening.
There are people begging me to help them EVERY time I go to town. Pleading their cases, desperate for a job, and unwilling to accept a no for an answer. I have people coming to my gate, and they look desperate. Again begging for a job, a little money for food, transport to the hospital for ARV medication..... It is constant and it has gotten worse, and I am only one person. I can't help them all and still pay my rent and feed my 5 kids. What is my responsibility? What does God want me to do? I HATE being the rich white person who is supposed to solve everyone's problems. I am already providing jobs to 45 people at BG. I am caring for 65-75 kids, plus my own family. I have hired a widow to clean my home, paying the school fees for an orphan, and trying to help a family eat as they are one step away from homelessness. Yet, I am not even scratching the surface. The need to far greater than I could even dream of.
I am just tired. I don't want to go to town because I know what is coming. I don't want to look at my gate because I know what is coming. I turn people away and I just cry because I really felt horrible for their situation, but I couldn't help. I am stretched as far as I can go emotionally. Then other things come up, so many things that I can't even begin to describe; death, sickness, loss of friends, unexpected situations, uncertainty, abandonment, apathy, inexcusable medical "mistakes,"  fighting among Christians, and so much more. I used to give Bryan such a hard time for being a pessimistic person, but I can understand how it all adds up over time.
Lesotho is my home and I have always loved it here, but there are seasons where it weighs very heavily. One of the things that Bryan and I have discussed is how hard it must be for wealthy people. Always being asked to donate to this cause or that cause, they must get exhausted and feel like no one even sees them anymore, they only see a pocketbook. I hope that in all our fundraising efforts, we have never made anyone feel that way, but if we have, we are deeply sorry.
All these feelings are just a small part of what has been going through my head for the last 6 weeks, and while I thought it might not be best to blog about it, I just feel like I need to get it out. I apologize for a venting post, and ask that you would pray for the thousands of Basotho who lack work, food, and proper health care. Also, if you could pray that I could hear clearly from God in who I help verses who I am just meant to pray for, that would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Amazing Art Prize Exhibit - you don't want to miss it!!!!

"I first became intrigued with the children of Beautiful Gate through their images. I fell in love with their innocence and their incredible stories through my friends who moved to Lesotho in early 2015 from Holland, MI to serve at Beautiful Gate for 2 years. Beautiful Gate is a haven for orphaned, abandoned and neglected children in Lesotho, a country in southern Africa. Some of these children have been found in garbage dumps or roaming the streets with no place to go and no one to care for them. Thankfully Beautiful Gate exists today to give these precious children a Christian home to nurture and guide them through their early years. The ultimate goal is to unite these children with a forever family that will love them as their own. It has been my privilege to paint the faces and images of these children where they can play and be happy in a safe environment. It is my hope that others may join me in celebrating this wonderful place called Beautiful Gate Lesotho."
Mary Westrate

This link is for Art Prize in Grand Rapids, MI  September 21 - October 9, 2016.
I am super excited about this exhibit and really want to encourage all of you who live in West MI to please, go out of your way to visit this exhibit. This amazing woman is showing such support, and she has not even been able to come and visit the kids at BG yet. Bring your friends and please, come and show your support for BG at Art Prize this year. I am so bummed that I will not be able to go, so feel free to post a picture on my (Facebook) wall so I can feel like I was a part of it too ;)