Mi dulce hogar

Over the past month or so we’ve been working on getting the house ready for us to move in.  It’s been a slow process for many reasons, but the biggest issue has been deciding what needs to be taken care of before we moved in.  On top of that, we’re working on the house in our “spare” time…meaning that we’re still doing multiple meetings a week, having our Bible studies and small groups with the kids, meeting as houseparents for prayer and encouragement, parenting Tate and Theo, prepping for teams, etc.  Our motto during this time has been, “we’re here to share Jesus’ love, not fix houses.”  It’s been great seeing the two things combine, though!

We’ve taken the opportunity to have about 8ish kids work for us.  We’re teaching them how to do the work, and working along side of them.  We talk, laugh, make mistakes, get hurt (mostly Jenni), get a little frustrated, work through it and move on.  The boys have really improved in their skills since we started the work, and now that we’re moving into the house it’s rewarding to have them come over and hang out, look around and say, “This is a really beautiful house!” 

It is a beautiful house, and it’s beautiful because they worked to make it that way.  There is fruit for their labor, and not just the money that is in their pockets.  They have learned about hanging and mudding drywall, paint prep, hanging moulding, repairing holes in drywall, painting, installing light fixtures, repairing closets, etc (when they drywalled the ceiling I had them each write their names on a piece of the drywall so a part of them will forever be in the house with us-so fun!).  For their work many of them have a bit heftier of a bank account, but more importantly, maybe a higher self worth and a realization that they are capable of doing really good work. 

All this said, the house is not yet finished.  There are still several holes that the rats take advantage of to come in and play.  We have one light fixture in the house, and a few light bulbs (I literally unscrew the hallway light and put it in my room when I’m going to bed or working in our room).  We have a couch, chairs and kitchen appliances but no beds yet.  We’re still waiting for our stuff to get here. The stairs are very narrow and uneven so we’ll have to address that eventually.  Oh, and the boys room still has to be painted, so they are sleeping in a guest room.  But that’s fine. 

But, we’re home.  We’re sleeping in mattresses on the floor in our home.  I bought shower curtains for our bathrooms so we can use them.  We have dishes and silverware.  I am slowly getting clothes put into the right rooms. 

Being home is such a wonderful feeling.  Knowing that this is our place until God provides another is surreal.  Seeing our pictures on the walls is incredible.  The first time I ever saw the inside of this house was a little over a year ago, and other people were living in it.  I never thought we would be living here, but it feels so right.  

Since coming here, the boys have slept soundly every night, praise Jesus.  I haven’t slept as well because Mark is away at a class for the Navy, but I do feel so privileged to be living here, in a beautiful house that the boys worked hard to repair.  

My sweet, sweet home. 


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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