Second Chances to Thrive

There have been so many kids at Casa Bernabe that we are blessed to have great relationships with.

There are a few that were more difficult to get to know, but after nearly three years (this month!) we can honestly say that we have relationships with all of them.  We not only know about them, but we know them.  We have heard their stories first hand.  We know what they want to be when they grow up, we know about their families and we know their birthdays.  Because we know them, when they leave the orphanage we are concerned about them.  We do our best to keep tabs on them and pray for them regularly.

Even so, there are some that fall through the cracks.  For a variety of reasons on both of our sides, it’s not possible to help in the way they may want.  We can’t just send money, we don’t want an ATM kind of relationship and money doesn’t solve all problems.  Even though we wish it didn’t happen, some kids have to leave and their life gets very difficult quickly.  They don’t have family to live with.  They have no job skills; no diploma.  Realization dawns that freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and soon their hope of a bright future filled with opportunities is gone.

Larry* is one of those kids.  He had to leave the orphanage because of some of his choices.  He got into another orphanage and chose to leave that one as well.  He’s been living with random friends and family for a year and a half now.  We’ve tried to help him find a school but due to failures on both of our parts (possibly a more accurate explanation would be miscommunication) we didn’t make it work.  I won’t get into all the details here but I will say that it’s been an incredibly difficult situation, and discerning the right thing to do has kept me awake at night.

I just learned this week that he has returned to the orphanage.  I don’t know all of the details behind his return, but I have such hope and peace about it.

I hope he will finish school.

I hope he can learn skills that allow him to find a job he loves.

I hope we can build a relationship with him, even though it might be difficult.

Mostly though, I hope that he can get to know Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the only one who can give his life meaning.

*Name changed.

**REMEMBER, all donations this month are DOUBLED!  May a double portion be heaped upon you and yours.  Thank you for your generosity!**

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About mjstearns

We are Mark, Jenni, Tate and Theo Stearns. We currently live in Beaverton, Oregon, but are planning to move to Nicaragua within the next six months. We'll be serving as missionaries to Verbo Church, a non denominational church with several Nicaraguan locations. Specifically we'll be working at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage run by the church, assisting in vocational training and transition programs for the older boys.
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