When We Get Discouraged

The past couple of weeks have been tough.  I could probably write about 12 long posts about the reasons why but there’s not really any point in dwelling on it.  The point is, we have had more moments of questioning what we’re doing here than in the entire 5 months prior put together.  We know that God brought us down here but various circumstances have made it difficult to stay positive at times.

Basically, without getting into many details (because we don’t know many) the government wants to shut down Casa Bernabe.  We’re working to find solutions to this, while making sure that we are honoring the government’s requests.  Times like this make us question just what we’re supposed to be doing.  We’re concerned about the kids here and how we can ensure their safety.  We wonder what the future is going to look like.  We think about our boys who have endured so many changes in the past year, and wonder what more changes could mean for them.  But mostly, we think, wonder, talk and pray about what God wants for us, this place, and these children we all love.

On top of that, we found out that Mark is on the prospective deployment list for 2013 with the Navy Reserve.  While we knew this was a possibility, we were hoping to be able to put it off until next year as this year we’ll be working really hard to start all of our programs.  Mark’s command has been very understanding and supportive but they don’t have a say in what happens. After praying about it we decided to wait it out on the list and see what happens.  It sounds like there is between a 20 and 40% chance that he will deploy for anywhere between 6 months and a year.

Both of these are situations without immediate resolution, and require patience, steadfastness and faith.

Each of those things is a personal weaknesses of mine.

In all of this, however, I am seeking out peace.  I’d by lying if I said we didn’t want immediate solutions that were easy and required little sacrifice.  But we’re committed to the process of refinement [even if it is by another deployment…].  Even so, we still sometimes question, did we misread the signs?  Did we jump the gun?  Are we really here where God wants us?  We have an overarching conviction that we are, but sometimes we’d just like a neon sign, ya know?

This morning, I was woken up suddenly by Mark running up the stairs.  “You’ve got to see this!” he whisper-shouted.  I stumbled downstairs, and was greeted by an amazing sight.


That, my friends, is the Guardabarranco.  The National Bird of Nicaragua.  And it flew into our house this morning.


Isn’t she beautiful?

This morning, in the midst of all of the uncertainty, I’m looking at this like our neon sign.  The bird flew into our house and stayed for a while, about 6 minutes.  She was beautiful and didn’t break a thing.  Didn’t create [too much] chaos.  It was awe inspiring.

If it was any other bird it would be a great story.  But God allowed (or even ordained, who knows?) that it was the National Bird.  I just feel like this was confirmation to my soul that we are right here where we are supposed to be.

Then again, it could just be a bird flying into our house 🙂

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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