Monday, September 30, 2013

On the Road Again

Tuesday morning I will be heading to Florida for 8 days.  I am humbled that God will be using me to introduce people to Beautiful Gate.  Everyone I will be talking to (with the exception of the contact people) have no idea what Beautiful Gate is and the great things God is doing there.  I pray that God's plan of love, hope and future for His children shines through the presentations.

May He be glorified.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Taste and See

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8
The Lord is so good!!!  Over the last week, I have tasted and saw His goodness.  I have seen the heart of God as it radiates out of His people.  I have seen ways in which the fatherless are being cared for and!!! 
Last week Saturday, I went to the Grand Rapids airport and welcomed home a family that just picked up their new son from Ethiopia.  As they walked down the terminal, tears ran down my face.  Their journey is so real to me.  It didn't matter that the child was not from Beautiful Gate.  I didn't matter that I had never physically met this child before.  What did matter, was that a child has a family to love and care for them.  The family's journey is all about the truth and grace of God.  They are boldly stepping out and surrendering their abilities and plans to God, so that He can use them to do His KINGDOM work.  They have tasted and seen the goodness of our Lord.
Last week Sunday, I attended a church in Grand Rapids, to celebrate the baptism of a former daughter of Beautiful Gate.  She is now a daughter of a family that is caring, loving and guiding her through life.  She has parents, siblings and many other family members who are daily giving God control, so that they can all do His KINGDOM work.  They have tasted and seen the goodness of our Lord.
Yesterday at my home church, a charge was given to the congregation.  We are celebrating 50 years of God's faithfulness.  The congregation was challenged to raise $50,000 to donate to 2 of the ministries they support, one of them being Beautiful Gate.  God has blessed Haven and they are striving to do His KINGDOM work.  They have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord.
This week is a special week at Holland Christian High School.  For their "HOME"coming, they are not going to just to the normal home coming routine of spirit days, football games and a dance.  The student body is raising money through the activities of the week, to furnish the Maroon House at Beautiful Gate.  This house is currently being built by funds that were raised through the Holland Christian family and will serve as a dormitory for short term mission teams.  Today I went to sit in on chapel and hear Mike Verkaik, a teacher at HC, share his personal journey with Beautiful Gate.  God planted a seed in him, that is taking root and spreading to through the HC campus.  They are striving to be bold and do God's KINGDOM work.  They have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord.
People of God, stop, hit the pause button of life and take refuge in God, for He is GOOD!!  His love will NEVER end.  His journey for you is prepared.  Don't just fly through it.  Take time to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The next few weeks for me will be full of opportunities to share God's goodness through His story of grace at Beautiful Gate.  Please pray for health, for God's words and for the people He wants to be at the presentations.
Wednesday September 25 - Holland Christian High School Chapel, Holland MI
Tuesday October 1 to October 3 - Multiple Presentations in Sarasota, FL
Thursday October 3 to October 9 - Multiple Presenations in Gainesville, FL
Wednesday October 16 - Drenthe CRC, Zeeland MI

Friday, September 13, 2013

1 Year

It has been one year since I said goodbye to my dear friend Lindy.  One year and I still miss her so much.  Lindy and I had a fun relationship, that was full of encouragement, support and a lot of laughter.  There were many times throughout this year that I would pick up my phone and desire to call or text her, many times that I opened my email and longed to see her name bolded in the inbox, many times in which I wanted to her voice saying "Hey Terparoni!" 

She was one of my biggest cheerleaders when it came to working for Beautiful Gate.  In 2010, she emailed me at least once every week.  While I was home, she always challenged me to stay focused and live boldly.  During our last conversation together, she grabbed my face, looked into my eyes and said, "No matter where you go, my friend, I have your back."  God gave me many glimpses of Lindy throughout this year and I rejoice for those.  On my way to BG, from the airport in January, I saw a sign and smiled.  The sign said, "Lindy's B&B."  Before she passed away she asked me to play the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  In February, when we lost 3 babies in 4 days, Bryan and Anita approached me and asked if I had heard Redman's new song, 10,000 Reasons and would I be willing to play it for the staff.  All I could do was smile and say, "I hear you friend.  Take care of my babies."  This past week I stayed at a friend's cottage to be still.  While driving up, I had a feeling my turn was coming, so I started being intentional about looking at the road signs.  The first sign I saw, "Lindy Rd."  Once again I just smiled.  No matter what side of the world I am on, she has got my back.  When I got home in July, her dad wrapped his arms around me and said, "Lindy isn't hear to say this, so I will.  She loved you very much Terp.  She, her mom and I are so proud of you."  Needless to say we both had a good cry in the back of church.

Lindy, my friend, I miss you so much but I know that you are right where you need to be, so I can't be jealous that you are not here.  You have lived a full year cancer free, healthy and whole, sitting at the feet of your maker worshipping Him.  Your life on earth is still a testimony to your faith in God.  Thank you for being in my corner and always making me smile.  Thank you for "showing up" along the road this past year.  Thank you for teaching me what it means to be bold with my faith.  You knew the urgency that we all need to have about spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  I will not stop, my friend.  I will not stop sharing the joy, the grace and the hope that only comes through a relationship with Him.  I love you friend.  Thanks for having my back.

I want to encourage all of you to celebrate Lindy this weekend the way she would want you to.  Serve others, live life to the full and worship God with everything you have.