Monday, October 14, 2013

Africa 2013 Presentation

We made it home! We arrived back in Grand Rapids last week Monday around 2 pm. We are so grateful for this experience and all of the love, support, and prayers we received over the past several months! We have tons of stories and pictures that we can't wait to share with all of you. This coming Sunday, the 20th we will be talking about our experience at Beautiful Gate and the memories we have made there. Please join us at Graafschap CRC in the sanctuary at 7:30pm (after the evening service) for our presentation and cake to follow. We would love to see you there! Thanks again for all you have done for us!

Graafschap CRC address: 5973 Church St Holland, MI 49423

Jesse and Shelby

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Last Week/Prayer Requests

It is hard to believe that in a week from today we will be packing up our things here in Africa and heading back home. It is amazing how fast time goes. Everyday for the last two months have been packed full of countless blessings and unforgettable memories. It is amazing to see God at work when you intentionally watch for him and in a sense "see these children through his eyes." We have fallen in love with all of the children at Beautiful Gate. Each child is so perfect in their own way as they seek love, attention, hugs and someone to share stories with and climb on. It will be hard to say goodbye as we have been together just about everyday we have been here. It is tough knowing how much they have impacted us already knowing we will realize it even more after we are gone. We pray that this will not be goodbye forever but simply goodbye until we get to see them again one day.

Our Prayer Requests-  

-For health this last week so that we can spend as much time with the kids as possible.

-For the children who have been matched and will be leaving Beautiful Gate within the next few months.

-For the children who have not been matched and are waiting for a forever family to come along.

-Prayers for rain in Lesotho as water supply is becoming an issue.

-For us when it comes time to say goodbye to the children and staff.

-To help it be a smooth transition back home after everything we have experienced here.

-Safety for our travels back home.

-For guidance in terms of where God is leading us in the future.

Our House Moms/New Sesotho Names

Shelb's House Mom

My house mom is Mme Mamatela! I have been helping her out in Khosto 2 for the past two months. She is such a joy to work with and so full of love! I have learned so much from her about Lesotho and her culture. My favorite memory with her is the night we got all the kids tucked into bed, sat down to talk, and prayed together. It was an amazing experience and so good to know that the women taking care of these precious children seek wisdom from our incredible Lord and Savior. She has been such an encouragement to me! Mme Mamatela is out of town for a week, so once we have permission we will be sure to post a picture.

In Lesotho it is considered a privilege to receive a Sesotho name from a native. The name is only given after the native Basotho gets to know you well enough and notices a special God given characteristic that they notice in you daily. We were both blessed with that privilege over the last 2 months. The house moms and children now call us by our Sesotho names on a regular basis.  

Shelby's Sesotho Name: Ausi Lerato
Meaning: Love
Given by: Mme Mamatela
Date Given: August 20, 2013

Jesse's Sesotho Name: Abuti Thabang 
Meaning: Happy
Given by: Mme Maryam
Date Given: August 28, 2013

This is my house mom Mme Maryam

I have been helping Mme Maryam for the last two months in Khotso 1. Mme spends 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, caring for 15 incredible little children who she loves unconditionally and considers each one her own. After spending time with her and getting to know her, I have taken away so much about life and the things that are most important. I have seen patience beyond belief, dedication beyond compare and love that knows no end. She has a great sense of humor and is such a blessing to Beautiful Gate and more specifically to the 15 little ones who call her Mom in Khotso 1.      

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trip To Malealea

Our weekend trip to Malealea- At the Gates of Paradise

Jesse's Hut for the weekend

Jesse and Chester our new Donkey friend

Shelb and Heavy-her fuzzier than normal Horse

Saturday evening a group of us went pony trekking through the mountains exploring what Lesotho really looks like outside the city.

It was a great weekend away full of new sights, sounds and experiences!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Hey everyone! Just want to let you all know that things are going great here! Sorry for the lack of updates the last week or so we have been out of town and then under the weather but we are doing much better and will be updating the blog with multiple posts tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support and prayers! Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beautiful Gardens

Beautiful Gardens is a rental house project that will help sustain the everyday funds of Beautiful Gate. There will be nine houses on the property available for rent.

The first unfurnished house that has been built.

Each house will be complete with plumbing and running water. Even the guardhouse ;)

As funds are raised the rest of the houses will be built.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Black Rhino Safari

After spending some time at Beautiful Gate with Dad and Ken we headed North to Pilanesberg, South Africa. We stayed at Black Rhino lodge for two days and went on a sunset and sunrise safari.

Sunset Safari

Jesse's favorite find!

Shelby's favorite!!

Coffee/Hot Chocolate break on the Sunrise Safari