Thursday, June 18, 2015

6 hours

It is winter. The days are cold and more and more children are being referred to BG. In the past 2 weeks we have had six children brought to us, four of which were under a month old. This happens every year. The temperatures go down and the children come in.

Today I went along to pick up a one week old baby. My role was to sit in the back of the car and hold the child. I know what you are thinking, "I have a really hard job." Don't worry, I snuggled him as long as I could. In situations like this, I don't share well.

This child's story is one we have heard time and time again, but because it is winter it gets very serious. This child was abandon shortly after birth and found by two herd boys who brought him to people would could help. The doctor who assessed him knew that the child had to be less than 6 hours old. The reason why "6 hours" is because the child was found naked and could not have survived being outside for any more than 6 hours.

In situations like this I thank God for herd boys who act when they hear a cry. It has happened time and time again where children are found abandoned by herd boys. Even though society views them to have no skill, I see them as acting heroes who are saving the lives of many children.

As we were driving today, our social worker told us a very sad story of the reality of child abandonment. When we passed over a river, she told us that once there was a suit case found floating in it. Inside the suit case were the bodies of three small children. When I hear things like this my heart breaks more and more for the people of Lesotho. I do not know what someone is going through or thinking when they do things like this. All any of us can do is pray. Pray for people to treat their children with worth. Pray that people make good choices if they feel that abandonment is the only option. Lastly pray that more herd boys and/or people walking the roads can find children so they are not out there longer than 6 hours.

Please join me in praying.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


It is that time of year again folks. The time of year where my head does weird coping mechanisms to try and prove to my heart that I just need to put my head down, do the work and then get on the plane. It is a very hard thing to explain the process that happens every six months. Right now, other than 2 teams, 95% of the work I do is related to my time in North America. For example sending emails to answer questions regarding how to plan a 5K, planning out presentations, making a promo video, booking presentations, flights, etc. All that stuff makes me dream of being in Michigan, so that is when my head starts telling my heart I need to distant myself from everyone here, because it makes the goodbye process easier. If I just put my head down and work in the office all day or at home, then I won't get closer to people and it won't suck as much to say goodbye. I mean really how much could they miss me, most people don't understand my role at BG and think I just go and come back every 6 months. But then my heart says, "You KNOW you really love these kids. You KNOW you really care for the staff" and I remember that any amount of distancing myself never makes the process easier it only makes people upset at me.

The past two days I have been sick and it hasn't been fun. I think everything that we have been facing here finally caught up to me and my physical body said NO MORE!! It isn't fun laying in bed, when you hear the love and laughter of children out the window and you can't play with them or when you hear the other volunteers raving about how good the food is they are eating that just so happened to come from your favorite "restaurant." It is great to be a part of a team that helps each other out in situations like this. I am so grateful that Bryan, Anita and Tyler have been leading the Holland Christian team for me, but it also is tough missing out moments with the team and evening worship times. Through it all I have been reminded that once I leave BG, life still goes on. Teams still come, videos are still made, photos are taken and nothing skips a beat. It is not an easy time, so then I try and focus on Michigan and the good that happens when I see family and friends and I get to worship at my home church. But then my head fills with all the other things that happen while I am home. The amount of traveling that takes place and the new fund raising goals I have for myself that will take a lot of time and energy. Then my heart starts to race because I know that while I have been in Lesotho, life continued to go on in Michigan and when I get home it doesn't mean I will be invited to everything, because sometimes people forget I am home. So then I lay in bed and think of all the things I can do in Michigan to better serve BG and try not to connect to the people there so that in 5 months all this thinking won't occur again. It makes my heart race because it is then 2am and I can't turn my brain off.

Home is a weird term for me now. I really don't know where it is. I know that Heaven is my true home, but there are moments that my earthly body would like a place to settle and not have to live with a suit case always out. But then I remember how easily the children's hands fit right into mine and how the staff trust me with stories about their families and my heart remembers the joy in what I do in Lesotho. And I also remember how great it is to share BG with people in North America and have time with my nephews and nieces as well as be able to worship at my home church and enjoy everything that is North America. So every 5 months I have a few weeks of hard transition and then I get on a plane and try to remain obedient to God's call, even though it means I live in two different worlds at the same time. Over the past few months I have had to tell myself to be still, to not let my emotions and thoughts overtake the reason I know why I have been chosen for this job. In being still I know that God is God (Psalm 46:10) and that He is fighting for me (Exodus 14:14) but I still have moments when all I want to do is run and hide from saying goodbye even though I know there are hellos on the other side of the plane ride.

It is tough, but in the end I know that I have an army praying my through the tough transitions and that makes it a little easier. Thank you all for praying me through the next few weeks.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Kneeling in the Mud

Today was a muddy day.
It was dirty.
It wasn't as I planned it to be.

I woke up early to make sure I had everything in line for the team that is here. I enjoy the few moments I have with Jesus in the quietness of the campus. The morning was very cold, so I went to get the keys to start the cars so that the windshields could defrost and we could go to church. As Anita and I were walking across campus, two Bo Mme came running with a child in their arms that was very limp. The child had vomited and aspirated. My mine flashed to 2 years ago when the same situation happened and the at child didn't make it. Anita and I ran to the Bo Mme and grabbed the child, we quickly got in a car and drove off to the hospital the house mother jumped in the car with us and off we went. By the time we got to the hospital the child was alert, but breathing very fast. As the doctor was assessing the child her heart rate was all over the place, then the is baby's house mother sat down next to her and spoke. The child's ears heard the voice of her "mother" and her heart rate settled. In this situation, the house mother is the hero. Her first aid training came in and she saved this child's life. It didn't matter what needed to happen she did it, including sucking out the babies nose with her mouth so that the child could breath again. This house mother is my hero, her child was sick and she acted. She thought of herself last which included going to the hospital in her only overcoat and shirt. Yes friends she didn't have any pants. When her child was scared, she spoke and calmed her fears. The child is doing well and is back at Beautiful Gate tonight, because the Bo Mme acted so fast. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness.

While I was running to the Bo Mme, I stepped in a mud puddle. Because of this my shoe was full of mud and my pant leg. Sometimes you just need to get dirty so that God's plan can work. I didn't have time to change my pants, because I had a full afternoon planned with the team. Normally I don't like to walk around with mud on me, but today, it didn't matter because the situation could have been a lot worse.

This afternoon with the team, we walked through the neighborhood around Beautiful Gate. It is always an eye opener to see the differences in life from one side of the street to the next. Along the walk, a group of community children gathered and started walking with us. They loved the time spent just being with us and laughing with us. Along the walk we stopped at different points and the children stopped too, taking in any moment they could. We stopped at a BG staff member's house on the way, so she could say hi to the team. Just as we were leaving her house she told me about one of the boys that was walking with us. He is about 7 years old and his father past way that morning. His mother passed away a few years ago. This little boy was all alone and all he wanted to do was be with us. I bent down to his level to talk to him, as I did this he made eye contact and I saw confusion and hurt in his eyes. I put my knee down to the ground so that I could really speak to him. Just as my knee hit the ground, I realized it was resting in a mud puddle, it didn't matter, because this boy needed to know he was loved by someone. Tonight he is sleeping in the house of another community member. I love how this culture takes care of children when they become orphaned. I am not sure what the next step is, but I am going to continue to pray that he knows he is loved.

Kneeling in the mud made me think about life. I will be honest, right now I feel weak, because of the attacks happening, but I know I need to keep going. I can't stop the mission God has me on. His plan is great. Sometime in life you run through mud puddles and you get a little dirty, but you can keep going. Other times in life you kneel in mud puddles, because life is too hard to keep going so you stop and pause and pray. The mud is tough, but the mud is not where we remain. There will be a day when all the mud in life will be gone and we will better because we took time to kneel in the mud, pause and pray.

I may not like to walk around with mud and show the world I am hurting, but right now that doesn't matter. My knees are stained and I am okay with it, because it is in the mud that I discover my Abba Daddy and I realize how much He loves me and that His still small voice can calm my fast beating heart.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Psalm 27

I want to thank you all for the words of encouragement and prayers offered for myself and Bryan and Anita. The battle isn't over, but the great news is, we know who already won. Keep praying and sending notes, they help a lot.

Over the past few days I have cloning to Psalm 27. Read it and claim the promises for you as well.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet[b] I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire[c] in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
    in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
    he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
    above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
    be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek[d] my face.”
My heart says to you,
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”[e]
    Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
    O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
    O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
    but the Lord will take me in.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they breathe out violence.
13 I believe[f] that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Power of the Tongue

Words can be used to build up and tear down. Words are sharper than knifes at times. Recently there have been words said against the character and work of myself and my friends Bryan and Anita Geurink. We have gone on in silence praying that the truth of what was said will come out. As of late, it seems that hasn't happened and the harsh words are only getting harsher.

I ask you tonight to pray for Bryan, Anita and myself. Pray that we have the strength to face the situation we are facing. I do not want or feel the need to go into detail here, because that would only cause more gossip and hurt. I only ask that you pray for truth. Pray that we can beat the lies of the satan and continue to boldly proclaim God's love, grace and hope to those we meet.

I am very weak right. Weak to the point I am not sure how to write this blog, but I know it must be done. I leave you with 2 scriptures to pray and think about as well as the link to Anita's blog.

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." Hebrews 10:23-25