Sometime later in 2002 a feeling started to grow inside of me that told me I was leaving soon and should get ready. But leaving to where? Get ready how? I didn’t really know. My decision at that time was to throw away and sell any junk that I was hording and I thought this would be sufficient. Little did I know how much more I would have to do.
Around the time of late September where I was about to move finally became clear. I was heading for South America. I still did not know where or how long or any other details but I now at least had a continent to aim for. Just after finding this out, I also found out that my good friend Jacqueline knew too. These two separate occurences of “knowing” acted as confirmation that my destination was correct.
The way I found out about South America was during a time of praying. As I was praying and pondering on whether Japan was where I might be going my thoughts turned to South America, a place I had never given much thought to over the years. As I thought about South America it seemed clear to me that this was where I should go. I kept this information quiet at first because I wanted to be sure about it before telling everyone even though it was something that I felt really excited about.
A week or two after this, Jacqueline told me of the time when she was reading through some information on the desperate plight of children in Lima, Peru. She said that as she looked at the desperate faces of these children something told her that I would be working with these kids very soon. As I heard this I was encouraged by Jacqueline’s words which confirmed to me that South America was indeed the place I would be going.
My next question was where in South America would I go? After all, it was a very large country and I knew very little about any of it. This was going to take a while to discover.
In addition to my awareness of God moving me on, I also started to get a feeling about March. I didn’t know exactly what this was, but began to think that it may be the time I would leave New Zealand. Over the last few weeks I was pretty sure that God was telling me I would be leaving for South America before the end of the year, so it seemed logical that this could be possible. Later I discover that it was indeed significant, but not the time of leaving.
Around November my folks arrived to take all of their remaining belongings to Australia where they had been living now for almost a year. I was looking forward to this time with them, but there were other feelings stirring too.
As my parents filled their container with goods I felt an unusual amount of pressure to send a lot of my essential goods with them. Every time I entered my house I was almost overwhelmed by this feeling of urgency to prepare and send my stuff. This feeling was so strong I would stop at times and fall to the ground crying because I could not understand what was happening. In myself I felt no urgency, nor even during the day. But every time I returned home this urgency seemed to increase. It was so strong I felt compelled to pack and prepare.
After I had packed up much of my belongings, the thought of “are you willing to leave everything in this room behind?” would enter my head every time I walked into a room. A similar thought of “is there anything here that you can’t leave behind?” also plagued me during these days. As I walked from room to room I looked at what was there and declared that I was ready. Anything left I could now leave behind. After saying that, there were still some things that I would rather not leave behind but if needed I could.
During their last few days in New Zealand my folks stayed at my place. One night my mum had a dream about me leaving. It told her that when I leave it will be quick, affirming my own thoughts on this matter. She also mentioned that March was not the time I would leave, but felt it to be significant none-the-less. These words turned out to be ever so true.
Over the last few months I had come to know some local Brazilians. Their English skills were not great and my Portuguese skills did not exist so I started to learn Portuguese. My self-taught method was slow but fired by a passion to be able to communicate and an expectation that perhaps Brazil would be the place in South America that I would live.
My destination was in fact Argentina and the language I needed to learn was actually Spanish. This was something I was yet to discover.