From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
Rich Coast Furnishings, God’s provision for us for 20 years.
Then it was early 2010.
We had just come through the adoption and now we were faced with an all out economic crisis, and our business with its 40 employees was suddenly on life support.
We were facing a big decision. Pull this 25-year-old business back up to a healthy place or sell it.
Or as a last resort, close it down.
It was during this hard time that one day while out on the hammock in the back yard, I was having a quiet time with the Lord…that I heard Him say…. “Crossroads”.
And immediately the memory of how I had always wanted to go with Manuel and the kids on a YWAM (youth with a mission) adventure like I had with Jared, suddenly came to my mind. It was one of those defining moments with the Lord. You know the moments of that “spark”. Plus we certainly felt like we were at crossroads in our lives.
And the fact that YWAM has what they call a Crossroads DTS (for people who want to do a Discipleship Training School, but who are either over 30 or have families), somehow I just knew that this was what God was saying to us at the time, even though it truly seemed quite impossible.
Not only did we have a business that was struggling that we were responsible for, but we didn’t have any extra money to spend on a DTS nor airfare for the whole family. Actually we didn’t have any extra money for anything. Plus we owned a house and had animals that we could not just leave here without someone taking care of them all.
So we just began to pray about it and put it before the Lord… and wait.
Meanwhile, we needed to start making plans toward something….selling the business, or renewing permits to keep it open and taking on new clients. So it was during this time that we sought the Lord about His timing, as we knew deep in our hearts that God was up to something. We really wanted to leave that same year of 2010 to go Argentina to do a DTS and spend the whole year in Argentina after the school. It would be a big change for us, after having had a business since we got married and only leaving Costa Rica to go to Louisiana to visit family for short periods of time.
One day Manuel and I went alone up the mountain to just pray and listen about the timing of leaving. We both felt like we heard God say 2011 and then later it was confirmed by another person. But that seemed sooooooo far away. It felt like an eternity at that time. And though we kept working and planning to sell, it was not the best time to sell a business.
September 2010, the DTS we were hoping to be at in Argentina came and went and at that time, we figured that we had probably heard God wrong on the place that we were to go, since the base wasn’t even sure if it would be having this type of DTS the following year or not. So we began to research and apply to other DTS’s in other parts of the world, such as New Zealand, since they had a family base there, and besides who doesn’t want to go to New Zealand?
Life continued, as we began to have to scale down our employees to finally just 13. I began to handle the office work while Manuel continued to work with our clients and employees. We began to talk and dream about a new style of life where we wouldn’t both be so busy all the time, tied down by running a business. And it was during one of those times when God did something pretty spectacular one night at the end of 2011.
It was one of those suddenly moments, where He just dropped a seed (thought) down in our hearts that created a great desire to just sell everything we had here in Costa Rica and move to Montana to buy some land …way, way up there in the great northwest.
Crazy, it seemed, but exciting.
And in all places, why Montana?
We had no idea.
Who did we know in Montana?
Not a soul.
Had we ever even considered visiting Montana?
Not one time.
But then later that night, we remembered that a couple of months earlier we had hosted a couple in our home, who happened to be living in Montana at the time. They had stayed at our house on their way back to Montana after having visited some missionary friends of ours. And then as we continued talking and processing this new idea, we also remembered that some of our best friends who live in South Carolina, had spent a summer or two in Montana working construction on a property that use to be a children’s home. And even we remembered that at Christmas time, we had met an older gentleman who was visiting Manuel’s cousin, and when I asked him where he was originally from, he said Montana.
But even just those three little previous instances combined with this new Montana desire, we knew God was saying something.
So we just kind of put that thought on the back burner, since we knew we were on our way to YWAM. We figured that maybe Montana would be for one day in the by and by when we retired or at least when we were done with our YWAM time.
And a quick fast forward to March of 2011, we truly sensed that God was saying to us that it was time to close the business and trust Him.
Stop to flow of income?
Yes, we did have an income. Things in Costa Rica were starting to get better. Our business was one of the few of this type that hadn’t closed down during this crisis. We still had some clients. And actually even some new clients were now wanting our business.
Though there were several interested parties in buying the business, there had been no concrete offers. And closing the business would be no small undertaking, since we not only had investors to pay back, but we would also have to pay all the employees who were still with us a hefty severance pay.
We didn’t know how we were going to pay out our investors or our employees if we closed. We were talking about thousands of dollars. Lots of money that we didn’t have. The only thought I had, was to sell a piece of property that we had invested in years ago, but it was in Manuel’s heart for the business to pay for the business.
The only thing the business owned at this point (since our cash reserves were all gone) was the equipment that we used to work with and that wasn’t valued at a high enough price to pay what we owed to the investors, much less the employees.
And the idea of selling each item one by one, felt overwhelming.
Yet still, one day in early March of 2011, we felt impressed by God to set a closing date. We chose April 15, based on how much time we needed to finish up with our clients that we had already started with.
How were we going to pay the employees and investors? We didn’t know. But we set the time anyway.
“No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)
One of those “suddenly” moments that only God can orchestrate…
About 2 weeks before our closing date, we got a call. It was on a Sunday morning. This former employee of ours said he wanted to buy all of our equipment and inventory and office equipment as well, …and what would we sell it to him for?
Well it didn’t take us long to come up with an amount. We told him a number that would pay off all that the business owed. He accepted and within 2 weeks, he gave us the total amount that we asked for.
We then bought tickets from Costa Rica to Louisiana to visit my family before our plan to head off to New Zealand DTS in July 2011.
Yeah, I know what you are thinking. Where did you get the money for New Zealand?
We actually left for Louisiana with only about $300.00…what we had left over after we paid our investors and employees and had bought 8 airline tickets to Louisiana.
We left Costa Rica trusting that God would work on our behalf to sell some property that we had up for sale before our DTS due date in July. And with this, we would fund our trip. We had one month before our due date.
It didn’t happen.
As a matter of fact, we basically had just about run out of money which would have happened even sooner, had we not been staying with my family in Louisiana.
The July cut off date for New Zealand DTS came and went, much to our great disappointment.
“No eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:4)
about 4 days later, we got an email from our realtor in Costa Rica saying that he had a buyer for our property, then only 2 days later the money was in the bank! Record time for a Costa Rica Sale. Nothing less than supernatural.
That same week, we got a letter from the base director of YWAM Mendoza asking us if we were still interested in DTS as they were going to run the school again that same year in September.
It didn’t take us too long to see in one quick swoop which direction our path was heading. We had heard God correctly the first time.
That alone gave us such joy.
We were suppose to go to Argentina.
It was suppose to be in 2011.
It was so good to see things a bit more clearly now.
But there was still…
that “Montana Mystery”.
What was that about?
So, as we were waiting for September DTS time to arrive, we decided to take a bit of a trip. We packed up the kids and headed to Lakeside, Montana to visit the YWAM base up there. The reason we chose Lakeside as our Montana place of destination, was because other than that property where our friends from SC had spent a summer,(and we weren’t able to connect with the owner of that place) we knew of no other places in Montana to go to. Plus it was a YWAM base. We could stay on the base for a fairly economical price and take some time and hear what God was saying to us about Montana.
And He did say something…
Somewhere in Montana
At Lakeside ywam base
Our Beloved Home that we left behind in Costa Rica
But it was not what we expected.
But that, my friends will be for another day…