Friday, March 29, 2013

Time Out

I feel like it is Christmas morning today.  There is a team from Cross Point Church in California that are on their way here.  Yesterday, some of us got their rooms ready, while others did the shopping.  At one point I wondered if the pure excitement is what a camp counselor feels the night before the campers come.  The team consists of 16 people, 11 of which are students.  Do you understand my excitement now?!?!?! This week will bring me back to my youth ministry days at Haven CRC where a lot of fun, laughter and growing occurred.

I do know, that with a team comes longer work days and by the end of the week, excitement might not be the feeling I have, but I am so ready for this team.  With this team brings the opportunity to introduce 16 hearts to the ministry of BG.  With this team brings the opportunity to possibly planting seeds in the hearts of future world changers.  You never know who may be on this team and what this trip could do for the team members.  Since I do know what a 2 week trip did for me, I am excited to possibly be a part of someone else's journey to answering God's call. 

A team brings new energy to BG and I can tell you first hand, I need some new energy.  It has been a long week in which I have felt a spiritual battle going on inside my heart.  If fact, Wednesday I was in the office for about an hour, before I packed everything up and told people I was going to be working from home.  That day I just needed to turn on some worship music, pray and be alone.  I ended up getting a lot of stuff done, while resting in God's arms for me.  One thing that I learned this week, is that it is very hard to do this job without taking time to rest in our Daddy's arms.  Everyone does this differently, but it needs to be done.  Everyone needs  a "time out" sometimes.  Thursday morning I got up and was ready for the journey. 

I pray that as I serve God here at BG, I can remember to take time to personally sit at God's feet and feel his AMAZING love.  As Christians we rejoice that Easter is a few days away.  With Easter brings our hope for eternity.  With Easter brings new energy and new perspective, just like the team that will be here soon.  The great thing is, because of the work of the cross, EASTER IS EVERYDAY!!! We serve a RISEN Savior, who loves when we take a "time out" with Him.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To God be the Glory!!

To God be the Glory!!!  I am completely humbled by how popular the 12 Hands video has become.  I can't thank my friends enough for sharing it on Facebook, through email and to your churches and organizations.  Your kinds words touched my heart as you described the need for followers of Christ to truly care for the Fatherless around the world.  The words "thank you" just don't seem adequate for your help.  When making the video, we decided to make a few different versions for our friends around the world.  I was so excited as other BG supporters and adoptive families asked if we could change the details, so they could use it in their countries as well.  I never imagined making a video in Swedish or Dutch, but with God there are no boundaries to His mission!!!

Before I left a friend of mine told me to keep making videos, because she saw that as a tool God was going to use.  Thank you Deb for speaking truth!!!! I know God has used my story to touch people's hearts, but I have to say that as I saw the video being posted and reposted all over Facebook, I felt like I was giving something tangible back to BG.  It felt great use the tool God has given me to provide for my BG family.  May HE ALONE BE PRAISED for the gifts He has given me.  I pray I am obedient and use them for HIS Kingdom mission.

Here are the links to all the versions of the video.  Feel free to share them with anyone who breathes!!

United States:


United Kingdom:



Friday, March 22, 2013

Lost and Found

Have you ever lost something that meant a lot to you?  I am not talking about piece of paper or a note, but something that you couldn't live without.  This week, we experienced a lost and found story that touched my heart.

I have to admit, that from time to time, I judge the people who abandoned the children of BG.  How could they do just a harmful thing to an innocent person?  Everyday, I have to surrender this sin and move on to helping the children be children. This week I saw a different side of child abandonment.

Two years ago a husband and a wife got into a fight.  The husband took the couples child from South Africa and fled, not telling his wife where they went.  He never returned.  For two years, the wife searched all over South Africa for her child. She documented everywhere she went, the date she was there and the answer she received.  For two years she went to bed at night wondering where her child was and if they were okay.  For two years she dreaded the worst, but never gave up, she searched and searched for her child.  On a limb, she contacted Lesotho to see if by any chance her child was there.  The government did some searching and found her child at BG.  Because of her detailed notes about her journey, the government knew that this lady did not abandon her child.  This week, her search was over and I watched her meet her child again after two years of empty searching.  She never gave up and tonight she doesn't have to worry, because she knows where her child is.

This story reminds me of the parable of the Lost Sheep.  Jesus said, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.  Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'" (Luke 15:4-6). Just as the shepherd searches for his lost sheep and this mother searched for her child, God searches for those that have walked away from the flock.  Just like this mother, He will not give up no matter how far he has to go to find them.  He will do everything in His power to make sure the people He loves are near to Him.

May we all learn from the love of a mother, who wouldn't give up, and continue searching for the people that God has placed in our lives that need to return back to the flock.

Monday, March 18, 2013

12 New Children Update

A number of people have been contacting Beautiful Gate, inquiring how they can help with the needs of the new children we received on March 10.  Because of this I made a few different videos showing the specific needs and ways you can donate to them.

Here is the link for the Untied States version.

Here is the link for the Canada version.

(The Europe and England versions will be uploaded this week.)

If you have any questions feel free to email me ( ) or Bryan Geurink, Director of Beautiful Gate Lesotho (


When you look up into a tree in Lesotho, you are likely to see a nest that is shaped like an inflated balloon, hanging down from the branches.  They are the nests of the weaver birds.  The nest looks like a highly crafted house that only can come from an engineer wired brain.  The creation of the nest is a story of love.  The male weaver bird spends days constructing a nest that would be perfect for his partner.  He searches for the right branch to build it on, the right twigs to create the balloon like structure and he makes countless trips flying from the ground to the nest constructing the intricate piece of art.  When he is finished he goes out to find his female counter part.  She then flys to the nest and looks it over.  If the nest is not up to her standards, she rips it apart in seconds, right in from of the male weaver bird.  Why would she do that knowing all the care and time that went into constructing the perfect house for her?  Why would she take a home of love and destroy it, because it didn't fit her style?  I am a female weaver bird.  God spent countless hours constructing the perfect place for me to live.  He knew exactly what I needed and put it all in one place, but every time I sin, I take his beautiful creation and I destroy it in front of Him.  But because of His deep love, he takes another stick and starts rebuilding again.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the love of God.  It is an amazing thing.  God loves me 100% and no matter how good I am or how much I strive to become better, He already loves 100%.  God's love is so big, so deep and so real that I could spend every second of the rest of my life studying it, and I would not know everything about it.  Ephesians 3:17-19 says, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Our brains are not big enough or complex enough to understand it.  That is the amazing thing about God's love, it will never end.  God's love will never run out or stop, no matter what I am facing in my life.  Every second of everyday God picks me up and places me on His big lap and wraps His almighty arms around me.  With ever breath I take, He gives me another one, just because He loves me.  Every night I enjoy His beautiful sunset with the magnificent colors stretching as far as my eye can see, all because He loves me.  And in the morning He proves His faithfulness, by bringing the same colors back again through His sun rise, only because He loves me.  

There is something beautiful about Lesotho that allows me to see the amazing love of God.  Whenever I am here, I am reminded that God's love will never leave me or run out.  One of my favorite hymns says,

"Could we with ink the ocean fill?
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky." 

Take a second right now and think about that...REALLY, JUST STOP AND THINK.  If all the water in all the oceans was ink and someone used it to write about the love of God, they would empty the ocean before they were done.  That, my friends, is love!!!

Today I walked out into the play yard and a six year old girl came walking up to me.  I put my hands out and her tiny little body glued itself to mine.  She literally was choking me with her hug and she wouldn't let go.  I sat down with her for 30 minutes.  There was no exchange of words.  There was no silly BG hand shake.  There was only one very tight hug.  At times in my life, I want walk up to God and I wrap my arms around His big neck and I just hug Him.  I don't have any words to impress Him with or explain how I am feeling.  I don't want to boast my achievements for the day, I want to hug Him.  

A few months ago my friend and I wrote a song about love.  (I should really say my friend wrote 98% of the song, and I wrote 2%, but none the less it was a joint effort).  The chorus first verse says, 

"This is a different kind of love song.
About a love no man can comprehend.
A love that can't be sown in roses,
but instead was shown by thrones upon a head."

For many years, God's people have been a female weaver bird.  They take what he has created for them and destroy it, because of pride and selfishness.  But God over looks all of that an sent someone else to pick up the broken pieces and put it all back together.  Why did God send Jesus?  Was it to prove His power over us?  Was it to prove to us that we made a big mistake? No, it was because He loved us (John 3:16).

I want to encourage you all to take a 9 minutes and watch this youtube video.  I have used it many times in ministry, but this weekend I spent A LOT of time having it on repeat.  Quiet your life for 9 minutes and allow God's love to overflow in you.


Thursday, March 14, 2013


I think I experienced every emotion possible today.

I woke up focused and ready to be productive.  Since coming to BG, I have been making lots of videos to help thank donors and promote events and the care center itself.  Yesterday, Bryan asked me to put a video together to explain the needs we currently have a BG.  I told him I would be able to do it by Tuesday, but this morning I woke up with the focus to just nail it out, and that is what I did.  Because of this I felt accomplished and productive.

Today is my dad's 70th birthday.  I thought about all the lessens he has taught me and the service to others he has showed me.  Because of this I felt blessed.

Today also makes the 6 month anniversary of my friend Lindy's eternal homecoming.  This was a hard aspect of my day.  I miss her so much.  We had a special relationship that involved encouragement, support and lots of laughter.  A few weeks before Lindy died, we were hanging out and she grabbed my face and said, "Terp, you are special.  No matter where God takes you, I will always be in your corner.  Find your strength in only Him, Terparoni."  When I was at BG in 2010, Lindy sent me at least one email a week.  There are days when I open up my inbox and hope to see her name there.  But has she said I know she is in my corner and cheering me on through this crazy journey.  Because of this I felt grief again, but tried to focus on the times of laughter we had.

This morning one of my buddies and his sister were reunited with his grandmother.  This little guy knew my soft spot and everyday would yell my name, run to me and start singing.  It was an awesome feeling.  I pray today that he continues to grow in to the person God has created him to be and that he continues to sing with all his heart.  Because of this I rejoiced in the future he has.

Tonight as I was making dinner  and was listening to some music.  The song "It is Well" came on and the tears started falling down my face.  There are moments in my life when things are "well" and I find joy in the moments of the day.  There are also moments when things are not "well" and I search for hope.  In the moments when things don't seem well, I need to remember that God has this journey already planed out.  He knows what is around the corner.  I need to trust in Him and claim the grace, truth and love He has for me. 

Today was a good day.  Even though there were tears, God was shining!!!! I liked to say it was just a typical day in Africa.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Trust...12 New Children

I am not even sure how to write this blog post, but I want you all to know what reality is for us at BG right now.  Yesterday the government deemed 2 care centers unfit to take care of their children.  The children were sent all over the country based upon need or care, age and who had room.  In the morning we received a call and told them we could take 4 children.  It would be very tight, but we could make it work.  By 2pm the government called and said they had 9 children and were hoping we could take them.  A little while later, 9 became 12.

The house mothers sat down with the management staff and talked about what this would mean.  If we took the 12 children, we would be at 71 kids.  Way more than we like to hold, but how do you turn away children?  The house mothers amaze me! They never discussed if we should take the children or not, they only discussed how to make it work.

At 10pm, the government van drove up.  The house mothers and volunteers quickly started taking children and bringing them to their house.  I grabbed a small child and kept telling her, this place was safe and she didn't have to be afraid.  I am not sure if she understand or not, but I hope she did.  After baths and some food, the children went to bed.  At this point in time we still didn't know their names or situations.  For me, it was scary.  I tried to put myself in the child's spot.  It was dark and way past the bed time for a 2 to 4 year old.  They road in the van for a while, so they were tired and hungry.  What were they feeling and thinking as they pulled up to BG and here was a group of people taking them, cleaning them and giving them new clothes and food.  I was scared for them.

After all the children were checked in and tucked in for the night, I sat down and literally my heart hurt.  What just happened?  How do 12 scared, tired children live through a night like this?  The scary thing is what have they lived through before?  Not only was I scared for them, but I questioned if I could do this job.  I love this job and know this is where God has me, but I wasn't sure how much more my heart could take.  How do I care for these children when my heart hurts so much, I couldn't even describe it?

In 2009, I came to Lesotho very naive.  I prayed that God would "Break my heart for the things that break His."  That was a dangerous thing to do.  My heart is broken and hurting.  I am not even sure how to process what I went through, and I wasn't a child that was brought in.  My friend Anita, came out to where I was and we talked.  We talked, we cried, we prayed and we trusted.  We trusted that God has a way and we need to be obedient to it.  I thought I had experienced the broken heart before, but it seems everyday I am here, God continues to break it a little bit more.  I trust and know that when I get to Heaven, it will be whole again and life will make sense.  Until then, I am going to trust that through my broken heart, I can bring love, hope and trust to not only the 12 new children at BG, but the 71 children who we care for and the many more that will come through our doors.  Not only will I care for them, but I will strive to raise the funds needed for their care.  I pray that I can shine God's love to them and the staff here at BG.  I have decided to help out more, to work longer days and to keep encouraging the amazing staff of people I work with to continue to love these children like their own.  I have decided that while I am here, I will trust God, no matter what comes my way.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hellos and Goodbyes

Sometimes I feel like life is a series of "hellos and goodbyes."  At times they overlap each other and you don't think of it and other times you get hit with one of them multiple times in a row.  Hellos and goodbyes are draining, but they bring life as well.

In September I said goodbye to a dear friend.  She taught me how to fight for life.  She was a sweet sister who demonstrated indescribable humor and hope in the midst of a horrible disease.  I still miss her text messages that would make me laugh and encourage me to keep fighting for the children of this world as well as her contagious laughter.  It was a goodbye that still makes me hurt.

From December to January 21, I felt like I said goodbye to more times than I can count.  Coming to Africa is a process of surrender and part of the surrender is leaving behind the people you love and care for.

On January 23, I said hello to BG, to its staff, and its children.  I said hello to my housemates Paige and Kristen. I said hello to my brother and sister, Bryan and Anita and their children.  Saying hello is easier than saying goodbye.  Bryan, Anita and I have a relationship that is more than just friends or co-workers.  Getting off the plane and seeing them brought so much excitement and peace.  Together we strive to bring hope to those around us through JOY and love.  It definitely is something that takes a team to do.  God knew the exact time I needed to be here serving together with them.  Anita and I journeyed together in 2009 for the first time.  During that trip, our hearts broke for the things that break God's heart.  Now that we are back together serving, our hearts continue to break, but they break with joy knowing we are where we are suppose to be.

My first week at BG I said goodbye to three children through reunifications with their family.  My second week I said goodbye to three children who are now in Jesus' arms.

In the weeks following those events I said hello and goodbye to the founders of BG South Africa and the BG Ambassador to England.  Relationships that brought encouragement and empowerment.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my roommate Paige.  Paige grew so much in her 8 months at BG.  She was a great roommate and who showed me Jesus through our silly times, our times in deep conversation about faith and eternity and of course through our "roommate snuggle" time.

The great thing about Christianity is that even though the goodbyes are very hard and at times the pain can resurface without any warning, the hope we have is knowing the goodbye is really a "see you later."  As we crave Heaven and life without goodbyes, may we embrace every hello and not think about the goodbye that it may bring.  May we live life without the fear of the end, but craving and desiring to introduce more people to a "hello" with Christ.  In Heaven, words like "fatherless," "abandoned," "orphan," "disease," and "cancer" won't have any meaning.  We will forget about the goodbyes, when we sit at the feet of our Abba Daddy, where the only thing that matters is the eternal hello we have with Him.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Last week Friday I was asked to take a child to the clinic, because they were sick.  I was told it should be a quick visit, because Fridays are open days at the clinic, so not a lot of people go and we only had one child.  In the morning I grabbed my water bottle and an apple and I was ready to go.  BG's nurse, the child and myself got to the clinic right at is opened and we were third in line.  We both figured we would be back at BG by 10am.  Things didn't go that way.  Some of the doctors showed up late and then they disappeared.  Literally no one knew where they went.  We finally got seen around 10:30 and from the appointment, the child needed to be admitted to the hospital, because they were very sick.  It was a hard thing to see.  The child was so sick that it took 24 attempts to get an IV started.  Every time they tried, it was my job to pin the child down and try to talk to them.  He screamed and looked at me with fear in his eyes.  I felt horrible and almost started crying myself, but didn't want the others to see how much this affected me.  I kept thinking about my friends and family members who have children with chronic health issues.  How they get through each appointment and treatment I am unaware, but I know that it must be through God's strength that they can see their child so sick.  I told the nurse that I could stay with the child until a BG worker came to take my place at the hospital.  I didn't think it would take long.  I WAS WRONG!!! I got back to BG after 4pm.  I was a long draining day.  I was tired, hungry and out of water.

When I got to BG, the nurse came up to me apologizing for how long it took.  My friend's Anita and Paige told me all about how they had a plan to come and bring me food and sit with me, but there was no car available for them to take.  Being back at BG reminding me of the family that is here.  Everyone knew I was at the hospital caring for this child and they wanted to help in some way, but couldn't.

I went back the hospital a few times to visit and check up on the child.  It was great to see him improve and selfishly I was concerned he would hate me for pinning him down for the IV process that I wanted him to see the good in me too.  Friday afternoon he was ready to come back to BG.  Paige and I went to go pick him up and were excited to take him back to his house.  After 2 hours of waiting (I think God is working on my patience here) we were ready to go.  When we brought him back into his house at BG, all the kids jumped up and down and were so excited.  They hugged him and kissed him and welcomed him back into their family. 

The family of God is a beautiful thing.  Members of the family of God are blood related, because of Christ death on the cross.  We all care for each other and want to help each other grow and become healthy Kingdom shakers.  We celebrate when someone joins our family and we grieve when we have to say "see you later" when someone reaches Heaven before us.  As the family of God, may we reach out to those around us with the everlasting love of Christ.  May we find ways to bring joy and peace to others lives, because that is a family is all about.