He’s a good good Father – Thats who He is!

The season of breakthrough
Oceans Conference Jan. 2018

Post written by Ray Haakonsen:

Just over 7 years ago, Sue I, with our 2 adopted daughters, Teka and Lineo, moved from Lesotho to Cape Town, following 24 years in ‘formal missions’. The last 10 years we had co-founded and built up Beautiful Gate Lesotho and saw how our stepping out as an ordinary couple caring for 7 abandoned and HIV/AIDS affected babies, resulted in over 350 babies coming through our Gates!

Many were found in atrocious conditions, left to die, But the heart of the good good Father motivated us to do something. The result was many babies saved, adopted and loved on, by many caring individuals locally and from around the world, who came to help with funds, material goods, their time and skills and presence. The Kingdom came to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho through them all. At the same time the Father poured out His love on those who came and they were ‘Spoilt for the ordinary”, their lives changed forever by the Love of the Father.

However the work took its toll and by the time Sue and I handed over Beautiful Gate to a wonderful couple Bryan and Anita Geurink from Zeeland, Michigan, we arrived in Cape Town, totally burnt out and in depression. The last 7 years have been a time of searching, reflecting, at times floundering, trying to pray and seeking His plan for our lives and healing. I had handed over any plans to lead or minister again, believing I was ‘done’ and sought ‘secular work’ to provide income and Sue battled with constant emotional and physical pain. Together with nurturing our adopted girls, who are now teens, it’s been tough!

But we are so grateful for the love of the Good good Father and the very evident principle of Divine Appointments, one of them being our meeting and introducing Tim Spykstra and his Step Dad, Bill Bierling to Beautiful Gate in its infancy. That relationship blossomed from day 1 and has strengthened over the years, into one of mutual encouragement, challenging, unconditional love and prayer.

Sue and I were thrilled with the launching of Oceans Ministries by Tim just over 4 years ago and have always respected and admired Tim’s passion for prayer, discipleship, Father heart of God and His Kingdom.

So when Tim and Mike Verkaik (also now with Oceans ministries) visited us last month in preparation for a team coming to Cape Town, we had no idea God was moving to orchestrate Sue’s and my being invited to join Oceans! The beginning of 2018 I had felt the Lord give me the word “Breakthrough” but we weren’t seeing it. I also felt God telling me to stop trying to knock on doors as He would send someone to us! I had begun building establishing myself as a tour guide in Cape Town, with relative success and enjoyment. However I felt incomplete in what I was doing.

Tim’s challenge to us to pray about joining Oceans and ministering to the “spiritual and physical Fatherless” in our area, as well as Mentoring/discipleship, prophetic voice and showing the love of the good good Father to the vulnerable, began to excite our hearts. Sue and I went to our closet to pray together as Tim and the Oceans board prayerfully considered our appointment.

The result was a peace in Sue’s and my hearts, that despite not having a plan before us of what He would have us be involved in exactly, and a confirmation of the Oceans board approval, we have jointly excitedly agreed to spearhead Oceans Ministries work starting in Cape Town.

This 7 years in the ‘wilderness’, whilst very tough, has taught us that the good good Father is true to his promises and never lets us go. We have learnt to draw closer to Him as He is the God of the impossible and of the ‘Breakthrough’. We rejoice at what awaits us and Oceans Ministries as he establishes His Kingdom here on earth.

Let the River flow!

Full Circle – Oceans Welcomes Ray & Sue Haakonsen

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

These words from Habakkuk 2:14 resonated within my heart. While pastoring in California I would often schedule a day to spend praying on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  As I meditated on this passage and listened to the rhythmic crashing of the waves I scribbled in my journal……one day I would be part of a ministry called Oceans and that ministry would share the love of God the Father all over the world.  That was 17 years ago in 2002.

Soon after that my stepfather Bill and I were in Lesotho Africa. What can only be described as a Divine Appointment connected us with Ray and Sue Haakonsen. Ray and Sue were just starting a care-center for abandoned babies-that care-center would later be called Beautiful Gate.

The Haakonsen’s displayed the Kingdom of God in a tangible way by demonstrating the heart of the Father by caring for abandoned babies. The tremendous faith of this couple would teach many of us in the States and through out the world what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Their faith journey would be an instrument to bring spiritual transformation to churches, schools, and countless individuals who would be forever ruined by their encounter with God at Beautiful Gate.

Seven years ago God called Ray and Sue out of Beautiful Gate and Bryan and Anita Geurink and their family faithfully carried on their heart’s mission. This season of rest in Cape Town South Africa has been one of healing and waiting upon the Lord. It has enabled Sue to focus on spending quality time with their adopted teenage daughters and Ray the opportunity to share with others his knowledge about this beautiful county as a tour guide among other things.

A year ago, January 2018, during an Oceans Leadership Event at Beautiful Gate Ray and Sue joined our group and blessed us with powerful teaching and prophetic words. Their gifts for ministry were evident to all.  The Spirit was definitely leading and preparing them for a new season.

This January 2019, Mike and I were in Cape Town preparing for a team opportunity. We were both overwhelmed by the desperate needs in the local townships.  As I lay in bed one night, the Spirit once again stirred within my heart. This time I was a few miles from where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans collide. This time I felt God say this too is where I want you to “Bring the love of the Father to spiritual and physical orphans and call them home to me!”

The next day we spent some time with Ray talking about ministry-and I was prompted to ask if he would ever consider joining Oceans Ministries.  After a few weeks of prayer by Ray and Sue and the Oceans Board a consensus was determined.  Across oceans and continents each of us was filled with an amazing peace and prompting that God was birthing this step of faith.

The Oceans Board is overjoyed to share with you that Ray and Sue Haakonsen will join the Oceans’ family in using their gifts to make the Father known in dark and difficult places in Southern Africa and Lesotho.

Our God is truly the God who brings things full circle. We ask you to join us in praying for Ray, Sue, and their family.  May our Good Father bring about divine appointments, grant the Spirit’s power, and provide heaven’s provision as we seek God’s direction to bring the Father glory in dark places.

He Sees You

Recently I was introduced to an outreach group called Ezra. This team of believers walks the streets of downtown Denver and hopes to know those in the homeless community by name.  Ezra is a ministry of presence and desires to make those on the street know that they are seen and loved by God. But isn’t this true for each of us as well. Whether we live on the streets or in suburbia don’t we have the desire in our hearts to be seen. A longing to be known at the core of our being and be loved! 

Ezra’s vision aligns beautifully with the Father’s Heart and is the essence of the Gospel.  The Father sent His only Son to seek out the lost, wandering, and exiled sheep in the darkest places and to tell them they are SEEN and KNOWN by the Father (see Ezk. 34:5-6).

The false shepherd offers an array of empty promises that lead to barren streets and dead ends.  Yet, in the midst of the deceit-the Father offers words of life, words of truth through His Son-calling us to return home.  What a comfort to live in the truth-to realize that we have been KNOWN by the Father before the creation of time (Eph. 1:4). What gift to grasp that He SEES us and KNOWS us by NAME.  You and I are cherished in His eyes and He promises to satisfy the deepest longings in our souls.  

Are you feeling alone today, forgotten and as if no one really knows you or can understands the loneliness that is digging a deep hole in your heart? When you feel that you can’t climb out, remember the Gospel message. The Father loves you so much that He sent His only Son to tell you He SEES you! He cares so much that He wants you “off the streets.”  He calls you to follow His son Jesus into His loving presence now and for all eternity (John 3:16).

Remember He searches for you at your job, in your studies, in your loneliness.

You ARE seen!

You ARE loved!

You ARE known!