I decided to take a week of prayer and fasting to make sure we were heading in the right direction. The thought never materialized. Faster than quick I got a phone call from one of the editors in Miami.
“They are in a meeting talking about your case,” he said. “The company is having a distributer’s seminar in Venezuela in a few weeks. They want you to come.”
Later it was confirmed that, yes, I would go to Venezuela for an interview with the company President. All expenses paid! Wow! It was unbelievable!
My parents had a Bible Institute in Huancayo, Peru. For some time they had been asking me to go there and have a training seminar for the students and the people of the church. This was perfect. I made a stop-over on my way to Venezuela and directed the seminar.
We had an evening get-together with the Bible school students and I told them of the vision I had carried in my heart for thirty plus years.
I was standing on the sea shore and saw Jesus in the distance, surrounded by dark-skinned children whose bright and longing eyes captivated me. As a backdrop I saw beautiful palm trees. “Would you like to come and tell these children about me?” the Lord asked me. Despite the distance I heard his voice very clearly. My reply was a resounding “yes.”
I grew up in the Andes Mountains where there are no palm trees. I worked there as a missionary since I was 18 years old. Time and again I would ask myself about the palm trees. I knew that someday I would be ministering to children in a place with palm trees.
Before even having the interview, I told the students that as a family we were headed for Miami. And I knew there were lots of palm trees in South Florida. I was sure it was going to be the fulfillment of the vision I had as a ten-year-old.
I arrived in Caracas, Venezuela for the “interview” of my life. I stayed in a suite together with the President’s assistant and a lady who had been working on a plan to update the curriculum. They gave me lots of good information. It was such a different world I was stepping into.
The biggest question was how we were going to get visas to the United States. I had visited the US Consulate in La Paz, Bolivia to acquire information. I had the forms to fill out. Oh what a daunting task it seemed! We had to have a sponsor, and we thought that maybe my American brother could do it. That’s a story all of its own!
One important part of all the paperwork had to do with how much I would make, so I had to ask how much the publishing company would pay me. I had inquired about costs in Miami, especially how much it would cost to rent someplace to live. The figures were staggering for me, after living all my life on a missionary salary. And it was not a big one!
I was given an amount, to be exact, around $400. “Lord Jesus,” I cried, “how in the world are we going to survive on four hundred dollars a month?” I talked with my new lady friends. Talked and cried! Mostly because I wondered what my dear husband would say. I had been so sure that we were going to Miami. And I was sure! But that meant that I was taking my family there to starve.
After an hour of praying and crying, I said to the Lord, “Jesus, I know you have called me to go to Miami. I am sure I’m supposed to work with this company, but they pay so little. How are we going to survive?”
Abraham of old was instructed by God to leave his country and go to the land the Lord would show him. He “obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” This was a big unknown for my family, and with the conviction that I had to obey, I said, “Lord, you have called me and I will go. But you will have to find another way for us to pay our rent and buy food. I trust you. I will go without considering the dire circumstances.”
I had said “yes” to this new adventure. I would have to call my husband and tell him about it. The task felt humiliating and the great question in my mind was:
How are we going to survive? (To be continued)
Seminar for Sunday School teachers held in Huancayo, Peru in 1988,
when I was on my way to Venezuela