Karina and I live on our little 32’ sailboat in the protective shelter of the inland waters of San Fransisco Bay. We both have experience and skill in the readiness of setting sails, charting a course, and navigation. We can bring ourselves through waves and wind, past hidden shallows, submerged danger or sudden squalls to safely dropping anchor at our destination. We’ve also overcome mechanical failures and medical emergencies while far from land. We haven’t yet crossed oceans, but we have been hundreds of miles offshore, and know the feeling through experience of challenging ourselves to reach for the unknown by merely harnessing the wind.
One of the greatest obstacles for many sailors is what to do when there is no wind. The term is called “ becalmed”. When the mighty storehouse doors of the ocean’s wind vault slams shut with barely a whisper of air seeping out under the seam. The waves become nauseating swells, and the thrill of forward motion gives way to the stillness and flapping sails, as they search in vain for a fresh breeze to alight on the horizon.
So in the midst of a global pandemic, this is where we find ourselves on this quest to arrive and set up the mission of the Nest in Costa Rica. When we returned from our trip in February 2020 we felt the excitement of a fresh breeze of Holy purpose filling our sails. The strength of capable hands in our partners grasping the lines and standing at the bulwarks of this ministry. Figuratively shinning the brass, bringing aboard provisions and gathering the supporters needed to safely set sail on this grand adventure of building the Nest. Seeing the miracles of God's grace transform the lives of the BriBri which God has laid on our hearts to love.
And then the becalming storm of COVID-19 came along.
The entire world caught up in the unity of grief, and shock. A cloud of uncertainty and bewilderment grips whole nations, and everyone’s plans are set aside as we collectively wait and watch for what will become of us. Like a revelation in real-time, we hang on the decisions of government and pray for wisdom not only from the halls of power but in each passerby we meet in the grocery aisle.
When a ship at sea is faced with the unwelcome weather of vacant winds, her crew must turn to tasks of a different nature. We take the diligence of sorting the lines, scrubbing the deck, mending sails. We also prepare meals and take time to rest, always watching over the bow however for the hint of a breeze that would take us once again on our way. I think of that verse in Psalms 23 where God says He leads us to still waters and restful pastures. It’s in those places we get to plum the endless fathoms of the depth of who He is.
It is He who causes all things to transpire, and His ultimate goal is for us to “be still and know I am God”.
The rush and thrilling pursuit of ministry for us as been replaced with the profound necessity of resting and waiting on Him. In prayer, in faith, in the richness of utter dependence on that which we cannot control. In the promises that God is in charge and His love for all of us directs the intention of His will.
I’d like to imagine what the future holds and my heart certainly moves in the direction of God’s calling to Costa Rica. I believe in the mark that’s placed on the chart of my life, and that the Holy Spirit quickened in my soul, and that of Karina for the ministry of The Nest. We’re grateful to be in daily communication with our friends and allies in Talamanca, and to know they are safe at the moment. The Costa Rica government has taken the wise decision to limit movement in and out of the reservation to protect a fragile population and minimize the impact of this Coronavirus.
We’ve continued to be supportive in counseling and walking alongside of our extended family on the ground, praying and sharing through this crisis, and speaking of the time when we can once again travel down and advance the ministry into a place of permanence.
Out of respect and understanding, we have put a pause on our plans to engage and ask for new financial partners. We are grateful for those that are choosing to be consistent in their commitment to the Nest’s vision, and we are finding in this pause an opportunity to develop and fine-tune our delivery of the mission for future donors. Sort of like polishing the brass and scrubbing the decks if you like.
Mostly we are praying for the world as it endures this pandemic. For the safety of frontline healthcare, and the prudence of government.
Our little ship that carries the vision of the Nest, and the hope for women and children of the BriBri Indians, is “becalmed” on God’s great sea, but we are Holy confident that He has a purpose in all this, and that a wonderful breeze will once again fill our sails to march us on to the shoreline of His calling. That His love which has stolen our hearts for the BriBri will be fruitful in their lives, in our adventure, and in each of your lives of which we are abundantly grateful. Thank you for reading, and praying with us.
Be safe, and God bless each of you and your families.
Author: James Beach, Co-founder