June 20, 2016, 12:00 AM

I Have Heard the Victory Bird

His name is great kiskadee, or Pitangus sulphuratus, if you want to get technical. But I don't want to get technical, because to me, the great kiskadee will always be known as the victory bird. Let me tell you why.

The first few weeks of getting settled in a new country can actually be rather unsettling. There are many things to be done, such as: buying a vehicle; applying for residence permits (which includes multiple pieces of paperwork at various government offices); finding a house to rent; learning to get around in a new city; learning where to acquire various needed items, from copy paper to toilet paper! And the list goes on, seemingly without end. Oh, and did I mention this all takes place in an unfamiliar setting, with unfamiliar people who sometimes speak unfamiliar languages? As you can see, the possibility of feeling overwhelmed can be rather high.

Our family arrived in Suriname in 2003 to begin our first term as missionaries here. One day, when we were going through the stresses of the settling-in process, I heard a birdcall outside our apartment. It sounded somewhat like a whip-poor-will, but instead of being slow and mournful, it was pert and sassy.  It sounded to me like the bird was saying "Vic-to-ry,"  so I quickly dubbed him the victory bird. His call reminded me that God was in control, and that He would give us victory through every situation.

Fast-forward thirteen years. One morning, soon after our return to Suriname in 2016, I heard a familiar sound. You guessed it—it was the victory bird. It seems he is still here, and still encouraging me to trust the Lord in everything. Yes, I have heard the victory bird, so I know everything is going to be alright.

Watch the clip below to see and hear a victory bird in action.