Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Special Friends

On Friday we said good-bye to some of the closest friends we have made as a family, the amazing Munger family. It was not easy to watch them go, and it was made harder as my 2 youngest daughters had tears rolling down their faces. Their first friends, since joining our family, were now leaving Lesotho. Then I looked at Mercy and was reminded of how lonely she was until her friends moved here. There have not been very many missionary families with girls around Mercy's age living in Lesotho. These 2 girls changed Mercy's life because she learned so much more about friendship. We have been neighbors with the Mungers for the last 16 months (they were in Lesotho for 2 1/2 years we were just living on campus for part of that time), and Mercy went to school with her friends for 2 years. It was so sad watching them go, and knowing the hole it would leave in our hearts.

There is something special about having friends who are also running a similar ministry (we also have a close friendship with the managers at MAF). There are so many obstacles and trials that come up, and it is not appropriate to share those publically. Having friends whom you can let down your guard with, and who don't work in your same organization is priceless. We were so blessed by walking through the joys and trials of running our organization with such good friends. We also enjoyed weekly dinners and game nights to help us all unwind from our demanding schedules, and our girls would play for hours during these nights. What a gift to our family this was. We are so grateful that God answered our prayers for a friend for Mercy, and prayers we did not even ask, in friends for our whole family.

We thought we were getting a bit numb with all of the good-byes that are required for this missionary lifestyle, but we were wrong. Lorna found a way into my heart, and began to feel like a sister to me. I feel like I lost a dear sister, but I am trying to be positive and thankful for the time we could all hang out together. I am also thankful for internet so we can stay in touch, but it is not the same as just dropping by your neighbors house for a cup of coffee :(

We wish you all the best with your transition, and we pray that God will provide you with wonderful friends when you get settled. You have been amazing friends, (I know you were just born that way Lorna ). Elijah and Bryan will keep up their game stats for you Matt (thanks for starting the game nights), and we look forward to a time when God will cross our paths again! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

6 Years

I stepped off a plane and entered the country of Lesotho with my husband and 3 (of my 5) children, 6 years ago today. We had no idea what we were walking into. We only knew that we were walking in obedience to the Lord who had clearly called us to this little country. We knew that He wanted us to care for His children. We walked off that plane with absolutely no idea what God is store.

Had we known He wanted us to run Beautiful Gate as directors, we never would have walked off that plane. If God had told me that I would help start up a school for my children and other missionary kids, I never would have walked off that plane. Honestly, if He had told me that I would be the mother of 5 children 5 years later, I probably would have stumbled out of the plane. Wanting to take that step, but being terrified that I could not handle what He was asking me to do (little did I know that my youngest child wasn't even born yet). He has unfolded His great plans very slowly, which gives us the right amount of courage and trust (and sometimes a small level of blindness) to take one step at a time. Looking back just fills me with wonder at the greatness of our God!

In August, we hit a pretty awesome milestone at BGL. Karen and I were just working on the newsletter when I saw that we had our 200th adoption in August. That is just too amazing. 200 adoptions in 15 years. 200 children who have found love, hope, and a second chance through adoption. Not to mention parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc, whose lives have also been changed through the blessing of adoptions. This is just one small thing I never could have fathomed the day I stepped off that plane 6 years ago.

I will be forever grateful that we took this step of faith. It has been anything but easy, but it has been rewarding. I am thankful that we will still have the opportunity to serve Him in different capacities into the next year as well and that our journey is not finished yet. There are many days it almost feels harder now than it did those first years, but we know that God is still slowly unfolding His wonderful plan for our lives. I know that the next year will fly by quickly!