Thursday, April 29, 2010


hello readers,

I am writing to you seeking out your prayers today. I have a big decision to make and I am really stuck. I have been praying and believe I have gotten my answer from God, but people that I love and trust are firmly telling me the opposite thing. I am trying to discern, if what I thought was God's answer was or if it was Satan's way of being a stupid snake.

I feel like I have been run over by a truck. I have been sick all week with a bad cold that plus the weight of the decision I need to make has taken its toll on my body. I was able to send 1 email out today regarding the project I am working on at Beautiful Gate, but other than that I have been in bed. My body and spirit are both weak.

Please pray God would make HIS plan clear and that HIS voice is the only one I hear. Please pray that I can rest and take in all that God wants me to see and experience. Days here are very draining, but there is no doubt that God is here and He is working. Please also pray that no matter what decision has been made, everyone who has been given me advise can surrender it.

When I come home, I want to have no regrets. I want to know that my time here in Lesotho had meaning. Right now I am trying so hard to seek out the still, small voice of God and focus on Him.

I am learning that my time here is less about me serving at BG and more about God stripping everything away, even relationships, so I can focus on Him ALONE!!!! I love my time spent with my God. Worshiping Him is what has brought me so much joy here. May I keep my focus on that.

I have a meeting with the director of the orphanage on Monday, after that I will be able to give you all more details.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the dream come true

Yesterday I saw two couple's dream come true, as they met their children for the first time. Everywhere I went yesterday you could feel God smiling down on Beautiful Gate, because not only did these parent's dream come true, but the dream and purpose of BG was also being fulfilled.

It was a joy to me to see a mom's face light up when I walked out of the house with her son. It was so much fun to see them play and laugh together. I could only think that this is what God must do every time someone enters into the family of God. He must smile with His whole body as He adopts up into the family that will never leave us abandoned.

BG has MANY adoptions happening in the next month. It is such a blessing to be here at this time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Thursday night, I realized how blessed we are in Michigan. I went to the dirtiest place I have seen in Lesotho yet. As I walked along, I watched every step I took and hoped not to step in something that I didn't want to. The place was the hospital in Maseru.

I had to take 6 month old baby boy there because he was very sick. The nurse from BG went with and did all the talking. When we walked into the waiting room, I saw every one's eye look me up and down. They thoughts were not silent because every time I walked past another person I heard the Lesotho word for "white woman". When we were waited on right away, they all got made. I just wanted to disappear. My lap became the exam table. I sat their holding the baby as they drew blood, check his vitals and went over his symptoms. The same eyes that look at me everyday as I feed him his bottle turned from love to fear. They gave him an IV, bandaged his whole hand so he won't pull it out, wrapped him up and told us to go to the children's ward. As I walked across 2 parking lots holding a baby that was partially treated on I prayed for his safety. When we walked in to the children's ward, I felt like I walked in to an old movie. The children there were VERY skinny with IV coming out of their heads. Most beds had 2 or 3 children in them and the loud cries echoed through the big room. We were brought to a room about 7 feet by 10 feet and given a tiny bed. I was glad to see he would have his own bed, but then I looked around the room. There were 6 other children in the same room and no place for me to sit down. The other children were peeing in pop bottles and most had witchcraft beads around their waist. Right away they put him on oxygen and gave him some meds. He just laid there and cried and all I could do was rub his head and pray. Then the news came, he has pneumonia.

The BG nurse left to go pick someone up who could stay the night with the child. I sat there all alone with this baby and began to wish I was with him in Michigan. My niece has had pneumonia many times and is fine, but the sad thing is pneumonia in Africa isn't good, in fact it is really bad. At one point in time I just looked up at the wall and counted 40 cockroaches climbing all over. When it came time that I had to go I really didn't want to leave him, but I knew that the language barrier would be too much and I couldn't do anything.

When I got to BG and laid in bed the tears began to follow, because things got personal. What if my nephew Jake was born in Africa and not in Michigan, would he be the amazing 5 year old boy that he is today without the work of the DeVos Children's Hospital? I thought of a friend's daughter who has had a kidney issue her whole life, would she be here?

Please pray for the baby. He is still in the hospital and when I asked about him on Friday, he was getting worse.

We are so blessed in America with great health care!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stripping Away

The past week has been hard, but I am rejoicing that God has done some great things!!! Everyday I feel God is stripping away more of me and revealing more of who He created me to be. It is a very hard process. I have learned that I really don't like the person I made myself to be. My heart was full of selfish desires, power and pride. I tried so hard to be a very good planner, and realized that doing that I was trying to control God.

I have learned that you can't plan anything in Africa and you don't even try to control something. I have been so homesick this week , but I believe God wanted me to get to that spot to realize how blessed I am. He even decided that I didn't need to have the Internet, so I wouldn't be distracted by Facebook, emails and blogging. I have come to a place where I have acknowledge Him above all. I know that He is in charge and nothing I plan will ever bring Him as much praise as if I just let go and allow Him to move.

The things I see and hear in Lesotho are heartaching, yet there are many joyful celebrations as well. It is all very draining, but I know this is exactly where God has placed me and I am trying to be faithful to His calling.

I have been assigned a special job at BG. I am so excited about this project. I am working on changing the Sponsor a Cot program that BG currently has in place. This program is great, but it is hard to update sponsors about their children, because BG has such a high turn over due to the opening of adoptions. I am still working in one of the baby houses during the mornings, and then I head to the office by 10a to work on the new program. It makes for a great day. I get to start out by taking care of 13 children, getting them ready for school or play group. Then I make about 18 bottles and get to feed the newest BG baby that I blogged about last post. After that I go the office and work on the new program.

Ray and I sat down and went over a timeline for the new program and I am happy to say I will be back in Michigan at the beginning of August. I will not be done with BG though. Part of starting this program is getting the word out to potential sponsors. So even though I will be in Michigan, I will still be very much involved at BG trying to speak to as many churches, small groups, and/or sponsors I can.

I can't thank you all enough for your prayers and encouragement. I have started writing down, every Bible verse or quote people have sent me and I read them often. Thank you all so much for being a huge part of this Leap of Faith.

Monday, April 12, 2010

abandon and alone

My prayer for this trip was that God would break my heart for the things that break His. Everyday it seems He is stripping away more and more layers of Christina and I am feeling abandoned and alone. I know this is a process and one day it will all make sense, but right now it is very tough.

A 5 day old baby was just brought to BG. She was found in a garbage bag next to the dumpsters in town. How can someone just throw away a precious child? How can a person be trash? But then I am reminded of how many times I have ignored someone or pushed away one need because I didn't think it was worth my time. Through those acts, I put someone in a trash bag and treated them like garbage.

There are people all around us right now that need to be loved. The cashier at the grocery store, a student in your class, a family member and even that person in church that you always see. The list could go on and on. People are not garbage. Babies are not orphans. We are all children of the King of kings and Lord of lords. I personally have had to remind myself of that many times already on this trip. The transition time I have been told is the hardest and I hope so, because this doesn't feel so well.

I have seen glimpses of Heaven through conversations with people at BG. I have seen Jesus in the eyes of these kids. Today I was on the playground and 1 year old boy came and melted into my lap. He just held on to me with all his might as we sat. I was so hard to put him down when I had to leave and hear his cries as I walked away.

There is so much in Africa that is abandoned and alone. I pray each day I can feel more and more like the child on my lap. I pray I can sit in my Abba, Father's lap and trust him FULLY. I pray I can take all my fears and anxieties and melt them into my Daddy's nail scared hands.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the trip

I made it!

I am in Africa!!

It is so hard to believe. The trip was LONG and not so much fun, but I am here. Unlike October, all but one of my flights were on time. The issue this time was sleep, health and turbulence. When I left Wednesday morning my stomach was in knots. I know Africa is where I need to be, but saying goodbye to my family and friends was hard and getting on a plane by myself was even harder. All of the flights were full of turbulence due to some thunderstorms that I seemed to be flying into, that added with the fact that hotel I stayed in in New York was having problems with their alarm system (since the fire alarm went off 3 times in the night), I only had about 5 hours of sleep from Wednesday to Friday night when I got to Beautiful Gate. Just so you all know, riding on a plane for 18 hours with stomach issues is not fun. PRAISE THE LORD, I was in the row right in front of the bathrooms and on the aisle. You don't need to know the details.

Last night Brian from Beautiful Gate picked me up and we were able to get my 30 day visa right away. This means I have 30 days to extend the visa, which shouldn't be an issue. We then stopped by the hotel my friend was staying at and I was greeted with a big "Pastor Tim" hug. It was great to see someone I knew right away. Brain then brought me to BG and I meet my roommates and went to bed. It was nice to just lay down, rather than sit up for a change. My roommates left for the weekend, so I had the house to myself.

Enough of the boring details...

I was out playing with some of the children this afternoon, when "my boy" came outside. He didn't see me at first, but with one call of his name, his face lite up and he ran to me. It was an amazing feeling. For about an hour he and I (and 8 other kids) just walked around the playground. It felt so good to be with him again.

One of the boys here has some special physical needs. When the Krolls were here 3 years ago, he was barely walking. In October when we were here he was walking with a severe limp. Now you can hardly tell. He is running around with the other children and having fun. He does have a little limp, but it doesn't stop him.

Tyler, your little buddy is still here and I showed him a picture of you and him in October and you could tell he remembers you.

Keith Lori, Tyler, Anita, Rog, Mary and Sara, you guys should see the wall it looks great and the sandboxes are in as well.

Lindsey and Lindsay, when you get here, it will be just the 3 of us in the house. I can't wait to see you guys.

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers. It was so hard to walk down the terminal alone on Wednesday, but God is in control of this trip and I am trusting Him. Sunday I am going to a brai (BBQ) with Pastor Tim and his team as well as Natate Edward and his family. I can't wait for some African BBQ!!!

love to you all from Lesotho.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Psalm 37:4

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
I used to think this verse meant if you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you what you want. A few weeks ago, Haven's high school youth group had a speaker who spoke on this verse and it became new to me. If you truly delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart and that is HIM.
Here I sit in the hotel in New York. I am truly trying to delight myself in MY Lord. People have asked me why I am moving to Africa for 6 months. Why would I quit my job and leave behind my family and friends? The answer is two fold.
First, I am going to serve God. I am going to be a "mommy" to kids who don't know what a mommy is. I am going to do whatever is needed at Beautiful Gate. Second, I am going to "delight myself in the Lord." I am looking at these 6 months as a time for me to get away from all the distractions and comfortable things of home and gaze upon my Lord and Savior. I don't know what God is going to show me during this time, but I am opening myself to Him and whatever He has planned.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. This journey isn't just for me, but for you as well.
Sala Hantle.
(Stay Well)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last Post from Michigan

Here it is, the night before I leave and I am so ready to go. I know it is because of all your prayers that I am so calm and excited. I really have no nerves, I just can't wait to get back to Beautiful Gate.

Dusty would like to apologize to all of you. A lot of people have been feeding me well over the past few weeks and also giving me yummy treats to take home. I realized though, that the treats were disappearing. Well, Dusty ate so many of the goodies that he weights too much to go to Africa. He is so bummed about this, but He knows it is best this way. Dusty will be taken care of by 3 kids who already love him and fight over who gets to have them in their bed. He will be loved a lot.

Sorry I have nothing profound to say I am sure I will post something from New York tomorrow might, since I will be spending some time in the hotel.

Good night Michigan. See you in October.