I arrived in Maseru, the capital city in the Kingdom of Lesotho this weekend to begin my work at a place called Beautiful Gate. I was warmly welcomed by an Australian couple named Donna and Allan who work as a builder and nurse for the organization. They fed me and gave me somewhere warm to sleep so I would not be all alone until the center opened on Monday morning. After my first day here, I can already tell that I am going to have a difficult time leaving.

The organization’s name was chosen from Acts 3:2 which tells the story of a lame beggar who was healed (“There at the Beautiful Gate, as it was called, was a man who had been lame all his life”). BG is a care center for children who have been orphaned or abandoned. Many come to the center malnourished, abused and struggling to survive, but after they’re healed (God-willing), well-fed and loved, they are placed in a home with an adopted family.

Not long after my arrival this morning, I got news of my Aunt Ceil’s death. I was quite upset to hear the news initially, and hurt that I could not be home to be with my family during the difficult time (again). I tried to put it aside for the time being as I felt pressure to put on a happy face for my first day working at BG. After I finished up in the office, I walked over to the care center to see the children and was greeted by 10 excited two-year olds who screamed and jumped on top of me. They laughed and rolled around and intimidated my words. “High five, ousi!” (Ousi means Miss in Sesotho) It was just what I needed. We bathed them, dressed them and tucked them into bed. As I was leaving the room, one of the little boys poked his head up and smiled “I love you, ousi,” he said.

God always seems to know just what we need, even when we don’t. Even though I cannot be at home with my family to remember my Aunt Ceil, I am going to go to bed tonight with thoughts of Aunt Ceil as I knew her growing up—laughing and loving, and I am going to thank God for welcoming her into the Beautiful Gate of His Kingdom in heaven.

Celebrating life