What’s behind the Gatehouse name?
The “Gatehouse” name was chosen because of the purpose and importance of a gate to an ancient City. There are several significant correlations between the purpose of a city gate and the transitional challenges facing college-age children of missionaries (MKs) as they enter American Culture. Many of the felt needs of college age MKs can be identified in the acrostic: G.A.T.E.
A city gate was a place of Guardianship. A city was carefully guarded. It represented protection. As MKs leave the protection of their parents’ home and return to the U.S., they are spiritually vulnerable. They may be emotionally vulnerable as they process the grief of farewells and separation from family and life-long friends. MKs may also have a need for physical care. Gatehouse Ministries serves as a place of spiritual protection, emotional refuge, and becomes a home away from home for MKs.
A city gate was a point of Access. The networks of human relationships and physical resources of an ancient city were found inside its city gate. As MKs transition into American culture, they often lack the relationships and resources that are to be found, not only in the broader culture of America, but more specifically within a local church community. Gatehouse Ministries serves as an entrance point to these relationships.
A city gate was a place of Teaching. In ancient times city elders sat and taught at the gates of the city. Much of an MK’s life is spent learning about another culture, yet as college-students they are expected to function well in American culture. As MKs pass through Gatehouse they learn leadership and life skills needed for effective living as an adult in North America.
A city gate was an Entrance. A city gate was a passage from outside, to life within the city. Likewise, Gatehouse Ministries is a place of entrance, from one culture to another, and from childhood to adulthood. It is a place of refuge where MKs can gain perspective on their young adult life in America. It is a place of challenge from which they are launched into the world as adults. Both of theses concepts of nurture and challenge are reflected in the purpose statement of Gatehouse Ministries. The purpose of Gatehouse Ministries is to create a nurturing environment of challenge, growth and potential for college-age missionary kids.