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.