2014

In 2014, I spent time in 5 countries, the majority of it in Lesotho.  It was an amazing year, full of joy and heartbreak.  Smiles, laughter, and tears.

I rang in the year with friends in Maseru.  We went to Lancer’s Gap to watch the sunset and sing praises to our Lord.  Then we headed to a friend’s house to hang out.  His house is on Parliament Hill and overlooks part of Maseru.  At midnight, we headed outside to light roman candles and we could see fireworks all across Maseru as everyone celebrated the new year.

I saw many people come and go from my life in 2014.  We had many teams and volunteers at Beautiful Gate.  Also, the missionary community in Lesotho had a lot of changes in 2014.  Short term and long term missionaries came and went, some on furlough, some called elsewhere.

Many friends and family got engaged and/or married.  Many had children.  I got to meet so many of them when I came back to the states.

At Beautiful Gate I saw children arrive and children leave, either through reunification or adoption.  I saw children achieve milestones in development, including taking their first steps.  I experienced the joy of showing a child pictures of their new family and the sorrow of saying goodbye to them on the day of their adoption ceremony, still with the joy of their new family in my heart.

I had to say goodbye to the beautiful children, staff, and volunteers at Beautiful Gate October 2nd, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  I miss each and every one of them.  I miss being “Ausi Mpho” and receiving so many hugs.  I miss being “Aunt Kristen” and getting my daily hug from the Geurink children.  I miss life there.

I had to say goodbye to the amazing ladies in my Bible study.  The ladies who supported me through so much over my two years in Lesotho.  The ladies who I know even now I can count on to pray for me.

I had to say goodbye to the many wonderful friends I’ve made in Africa.  The friends who are from all over the world, from Australia to The Netherlands and everywhere in between.  Friends that I may or may not see again this side of Heaven.

This past year I’ve had some amazing adventures.  I’ve been to Katse Dam, gone on safari at Nambiti, went on an outreach in Katse, relaxed at Malealea and Koranna, explored Port Shepstone, cuddled lions at Tempelhof multiple times, visited a friend in Cape Town, and that’s only in Africa.  Since leaving, I’ve explored Heidelburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and visited a good friend.  Played tourist in London and Swanage, while visiting friends.  I’ve been to Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, as well as Downtown Disney, and attended a wedding in Chicago.  And I still feel like I’m missing a trip or two.

2014 was a great year.  I’m so thankful for the many blessings God has given me.  I’m thankful for all who played a part in making 2014 an amazing year.  Thank you!  And now I leave you with some pictures from the year.

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