16 years! God has blessed us with everything we stand in need of in order for us to have been able to serve His precious children for 16 years! Every year has had its ups and downs, but Beautiful Gate has testimony after testimony of God’s great faithfulness. He has been walking beside us and holding our hands through our trials, carrying us when we were too weak to take another step, rejoicing with us as we watch a second chance at family whether through adoption or through a reunification. God has wiped our tears as we have placed tiny caskets into the ground, visited with us as we went to the hospital with sick children, and smiled proudly as we have taught His little ones to sing and praise His name. Through it all, He has been with us and He has been faithful.
In 16 years, there have been 504 children who have come through our gates. 70 of them remain here with us as the wait for their turn to have a family of their own. Sadly, 42 of our precious children have passed away while under our care. Those have been the saddest and most difficult days for those of us who have been here. I know it was especially hard for the founders as many of the children passed away before HIV medication began being distributed to the children of Lesotho.
12 of our children have gone into foster care. It is not a very developed program and is not used very much in Lesotho, but it has worked in a few cases. 19 of our children have been transferred to other care facility either because of their age or because they had siblings or family living at or near other centers. We always do everything we can to help children to return to their family if there is someone within their family who can provide them with love and care. We have had 145 children who have returned to their families here in Lesotho.
When children are abandoned or do not have any family members who are able to care for them, we then look into placing them into adoptive families. It is so amazing to see the way God brings just the right family for each of our children. We have had 216 children who have been adopted both locally and internationally.
While all of those statistics are great for helping you see the way that God has worked, it does not even begin to tell our story. There are just not enough words to describe this ministry and the way that it is changing hearts and lives. I know that I will never be the same after serving here in different capacities for 6 ½ years. I have heard countless testimonies of God’s great faithfulness so at this standing stone of celebrating 16 years of ministry. I think everything points to the fact that this ministry belongs to the Lord! He has equipped us all to play our role, and to do our part within His story, but without Him, those 504 children would not have the hope that they now have whether they are already with Him in heaven, with a family somewhere, or still waiting to see their story unfold within our gates. To God be the Glory!