by Jeremy Zuidema, High School U.S. History Teacher
For the second consecutive summer, a small team from OC will have the unique service learning opportunity of travelling to Lesotho, Africa in order to serve at Beautiful Gate. Beautiful Gate Lesotho reaches out to orphaned, abandoned and neglected children from newborn to 5 years old, and gives them the love that they need and deserve. The organization seeks to give these children their childhood while they wait for their forever family. The ultimate goal is to unite these children with a forever family that will love them as their own. Until that family is formed, Beautiful Gate Lesotho is their family, and as a part of this trip we will have the unique opportunity to become a small part of that family.
While we are there this summer, we will have the opportunity to show them a little piece of God’s love and grace as we work to build relationships with the staff and the children who have come to know Beautiful Gate as their home. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn from them by discovering how they live in contagious joy amid the daily struggles they face. The lives of all of those who have gone on this trip have been transformed through the work of God’s Spirit. Here’s some of what they have to say about their experiences!
Current senior Samantha, who went on the trip last year says, “This trip helped me realize that my calling is to go into social work, specifically the area of adoptions. It had a huge impact on me.”
Julia, another current senior, says of the trip, “ I think this trip helped me to see that service is my passion, and something I will be doing for the rest of my life. God showed so many amazing things to me while there and I think he used people there like Grace to reveal to me that service work is my calling.”
Brad, current senior, “We would walk into a room so full of kids that you could barely see the floor. Playgroup went on for about an hour and a half to two hours. My favorite part about playgroup would be when I had two younger ones on my lap and just watch all their faces of joy or absolute sadness because someone took their toy. There was never a dull moment in the playgroup.”
Andrew, current senior, “I was privileged to become great friends with Lerato, a high school boy that volunteers at Beautiful Gate from the community. He has a true heart to just worship God. We got to see his house on a neighborhood tour. He has no parents. He lives off $10 a month. He considers himself blessed. We still keep in touch.”
As we look forward to this journey, we thank you for praying for us and supporting us. Please pray that we can be given boldness and wisdom, that we might be unified, and that the logistics of this trip might go smoothly as we travel so far from home. May our hearts break for what breaks God’s heart, and may HE receive all the glory and honor!
If you are interested and want more information about Beautiful Gate Lesotho visit the Beautiful Gate Webpage. If you wish to support the team financially you may donate online by clicking on the Paypal Donate button below:
For more information contact Jeremy Zuidema at firstname.lastname@example.org.