A New Direction
Reverse Culture Shock
When we first went to Belize we experienced “culture shock.” There was such a difference in the way they lived there and things were very slowed down. Now we were excited to be back in America but it is amazing that at this point we are experiencing “reverse culture shock”. Things are fast pace here and everyone has things to do…..busy life! But we are loving being back. The hard part is when you have to find places to stay, alone time together and rely on others because of not having a car. When those things are in place, America will be easier to readjust in. But it’s good to be back!
So after visiting Bethel, our funds finally arrived and we were able to make the move to visit our daughter in Southern California. It was so good to see them after so long and we had a great time! From there we flew to NY to see my mom and Nelson’s brother. We spent time there getting together our plans to return to Belize.
God was Closing the Door to Belize!
We had been in contact with those in Belize and learned that the administrators of the children’s home where we stayed wanted to take over our place that we lived in for these 7 years. They asked us if we would become a part of the home and then perhaps we could continue to stay in our place. We knew that this was not God’s direction for us. But we also learned that they would rather use our place for mission teams coming over who would pay to stay there. While we were visiting the US, we had given them permission to remodel our place, something that was so needed for a long time. So now we had a decision to make.
We were preparing to go back to Belize and we knew we still had a desire to work with the youth. We also knew the Lord had spoken the words “completion” to us and also “rest”. We didn’t quite know what that meant, but could it be that God was closing the door in Belize. While wondering about all of this, our supporter told us that he believed that we were finished in Belize and that our last support check from him would be in March! This would mean we would have no money to live in Belize anymore. We would need the yearly immigration fee, food and gas….and he had also separately paid for our place at the home. Wow! Now we knew the doors were closing! We began to believe that the Lord brought us back because He was closing the door there and opening another one.
In our hearts we were dreaming of being able to attend the School of the Supernatural at Bethel Church, yet we wondered how that was possible if we were still doing the mission in Belize. Was the Lord making the way for this?
We returned to Belize, and as previously mentioned, someone had anonymously paid our way back! Praise God! Our plan was to stay there for a month so that we could explain to the 2 churches we were working with that the Lord was closing the door there for us. This was very hard for us, and most certainly for them. We also still felt unfinished with the youth, and we had become close like family to so many. There were many tears, and some did not fully understand, but ultimately this was God’s will.
We parted leaving the 2 churches armed with the projectors and ministry tools for worship. They had a celebration for us and spoke many wonderful words to us.
We were saddened to leave them, as they were that we had to leave.
Nelson and I left with heavy hearts, yet we were also excited for the journey ahead. What lied ahead for us? Our desire was Bethel Church!
At the home, only one of the ladies from the original children’s home staff was still working there. But hearing we were leaving Belize, after so many years of being there, the other 2 ladies came to visit us at the home and to bid us farewell.
This was so nice. And more sadness! We had been at the home for over 5 years. After all of the goodbye’s…from the church, the children at the children’s home, everyone who served there, and a host of other friends in Belize,
we packed up our things, turning our place over to the home. They had done a wonderful job of renovating our place, it was beautiful, but it was not for us. God had something else in mind.
Leaving Belize – Our Last Flight
So we left Belize in a month’s time and are back in the states. Here we are at the Border Protection and later arrived at the Harvest Aviation airport in Wachula, Florida with all of our things from Belize, in a small plane like the one we first took to Belize.
Harvest Aviation agreed to hold our things until we were able to get a U-haul to pick them up. Upon arriving, we were also told what we owed them for the flight. Normally, in the past, missionaries flew free from the time this ministry began. That was how it was set up when we first came to Belize. …Now recently they started charging the missionaries and one of the original pilots, Don, was no longer working there. He was the one who set it all up in the beginning. Anyway, we were previously informed that we had to pay. When we arrived though, we found out that they were also charging us for the weight which brought our total to about $1000. Wow! We didn’t have that and told them that we would have to pay them later. They were fine with that.
So, we obtained a small U-haul truck, picked up our things from the airport and took them to our supporter Andy’s warehouse. Andy lived in Englewood, Florida. He had been paying for a small storage unit for us that we had in Florida for years. If you remember, while we were at the home, he volunteered to pay this for us so it would not be a concern while we were in mission. He was so amazing to do this! But about a year earlier he decided to move our things from the storage unit to his business warehouse and save the storage money. So this is where we also placed our things from Belize. We planned to take it with us after we got settled.
Visiting Don – The First Pilot
So at this point, our plan was to stay at Nelson’s sister’s home in Orlando for a while until we got settled. The first week we stayed at a hotel for a few days to have sometime to ourselves. We took some time to revisit Andy and see our storage that we would be picking up soon. We also went to visit Don and Suzy. Don was one of the original pilots of Harvest Aviation. He was the one who began this miraculous journey with us! He was the first pilot to originally take us to Belize, the one who started it all! He and his wife invited us to come for dinner. While we were there we got into the conversation of Harvest…..the plane that brought the missionaries and supplies to Belize. We told him about the money they told us we owed. He was shocked! He said “They are charging now? This was suppose to help missionaries.” Then he added, “This is Nelson and Darnella!!”……..this meaning…. “the original ones who began this whole Harvest/Belize Mission.” Wow! This was an eye opener to him. Anyway, we continued to talk and share, and enjoyed a wonderful evening with them.
Before we left, Don handed Nelson an envelope, and told us not to open it until we left. We thanked them, saying our goodbyes. In the car after we left, we opened the envelope, so thankful, thinking it was probably a nice blessing for us. But we were shocked when we saw it was check for $4000! We double checked the zeros!
Nelson immediately called Don and thanked him, inquiring why so much? Don explained to him. When Don first took us to Belize, he stayed in touch with Nelson and I. Knowing some of the difficulties we encountered at the home, Don told him “Whenever you are ready to return to the states, we will come and get you. No questions asked.” Unknown to us, from that time, Don had been putting money aside for us so that he could do just that. And this was the money he saved up from those now almost 6 years! He also informed Nelson that he had just called Jim, the “other first and head pilot” who knew us, regarding the money Harvest said we owed for our flight. Jim at this time was still flying and teaching at the airport. He told Don to tell us that he would take care of it and he also informed us not to pay. Don also added “Please do not use the money I gave you to pay them.” That money was ours! Wow! Praise God for His Love, and His intervention! He is amazing! He had us covered from beginning to end. The 2 pilots that began with us and had our backs when we began this journey, ….God had them cover our backs when we returned even though they were not the ones who brought us back. God took care of everything. And this was money we really needed because now our support had ended. I remember years ago when we were in the beginning of this journey a dream where the Lord showed us….”He had our backs!”
A New Direction
So after our week stay at the hotel, we moved in with Nelson’s sister. Another thing that was amazing was that at this time, and appropriately, Nelson’s 401k was now available for him to access. Taking into account God’s timing, this happened to be the first year he could even touch it. So we planned to use some of that to help us re-establish ourselves back in the US after so many years away. So while staying at his sister’s, we took care of all these affairs. We also wanted to go to the Bethel School of the Supernatural, BSSM. Therefore, when we received the money, we made the down payment for the school. After a few months with his sister, we were ready to go. We finally picked up our things from Andy’s warehouse and visited with my mom in NY. (also picking up a few personal things that she was holding for me ) Then we made the trip from NY to Redding, California in a U-haul truck.
It was a beautiful and interesting journey. Driving through the Rocky Mountains, and the Salt Lake….listening to Bethel Worship Music in the great outdoors…..on another Amazing Journey with God! Something we never experienced before! We were on our way back to Bethel!!