I asked Danell Czarnecki, a Board Member of Oceans Ministries, to share this post and invitation to Africa.
As we celebrated Mother’s Day this past weekend it was such a blessing to have all three of my children and their families together. My son has recently moved his family to another state, so having his family here was an unexpected gift. As I enjoyed the love, noise and a bit of chaos, I thanked God for the privilege of being called mom and grandma. Being a mom has brought me such joy; and if I am honest some pain along the way; but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My reflections on Mother’s Day also brought about precious memories of my recent visit to Lesotho, Africa. I had the honor of spending time at Beautiful Gate, a childcare center for orphaned and abandoned babies ages birth to 5; as well as visiting The Good Shepherd Centre for Teenage Mothers, and Semonkong Children’s Centre, a care center for orphaned and poverty-stricken children located in a one of the mountain villages.
While I was at Beautiful Gate I was overwhelmed with emotions as I watched the House Mom’s (BoMme) of Beautiful Gate care for the 12-15 children in their care, (there are 5 baby houses, so about 75 children are housed at BG) they sang over them with joy, tended to each child, one after the other without rest, without complaint and loved them unconditionally. And because I know some of the stories of the children and the BoMme, I know there is pain, tears and loss and yes, even a joyful loss as they send one of their children to a forever family. I couldn’t help but think of Jesus and how overwhelmed with love he is for us; the joy our Abba takes in us, and yes, the pain and tears He sheds for us too. The time at Beautiful Gate was such a beautiful reminder of the joy, care, and patience our Abba has for us and I am so grateful to not be left orphaned but to have been adopted by the Perfect Father.
Our team also had the chance to spend some time at The Good Shepherd Centre. They house teenage girls who find themselves pregnant, often as a result of incest or rape. Many have been rejected from their homes due to poverty and/or shame. The Good Shepherd Centre takes in these young moms-to-be and offers them hope. They receive love, pre and post-natal care, education, skill training and learn how to care for their newborns. I again found myself overwhelmed by the goodness of the “mothers” that cared for them and the Abba who loves them so much. And us “moms” on the team had the pleasure of holding these beautiful new mother’s babies with joy while listening to their moms stories; knowing these babies will not likely be found abandoned in a field, by a dumpster or worse; all because someone took the time to share the Father’s love with them.
My last few days in Lesotho I kept thinking about my own daughters and how I want them to know they too are loved and rejoiced over; and I thanked their Abba for calling them into His family so they can experience the unspeakable joy of knowing they will never be orphaned or abandoned. And I couldn’t think of a better way to help them understand just how deep that love goes other than taking them to Lesotho to experience it for themselves.
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17
Those words in Scripture are some of my favorite, and it is exactly what you feel in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. After returning home God made it very clear that I was to plan a Mother/Daughter trip to Lesotho in late September of 2018. I’ve been praying God would bring a few more moms and daughters to join me and mine on this life-changing journey. If you are interested in more information regarding the Lesotho Mission trip in September of 2018 or scheduling a trip of your own contact email@example.com, tim.spykstra@oceansministries or firstname.lastname@example.org.