Members fleeing to Belize will not leave immediately

By Bill Stough

LONEDELL, Mo.--Several hundred people including five Church of God families still plan to leave for Belize but have delayed their departure because Iran and Iraq did not attack Israel on May 11. (See "Church of God Members, Others, Preparing to Flee," April 30).

Tom Van Asperen of Paradise, Calif., had told The Journal he discovered the May 11 date using various "Bible codes." May 11 marks the beginning of the last seven years of man's rule on earth, he said, and noted that the codes reveal the month and day but not the year.

Husband's comments

The Journal on May 13 interviewed the husband of a family that intends to go to Belize. The man prefers to remain anonymous.

"We are making our own decisions about when to go and are not being told what to do by Tom Van Asperen," he said. "Any former British Commonwealth country is okay to go to, but we prefer Belize, and so does Mr. Van Asperen.

"Also, remember that Belize is not the place of safety. Egypt is the place of safety. America will fall first, so it's not good to stay here.

"We intend to do some touring before going to Belize, but we plan to be there before the Feast of Tabernacles."

First-century Christians who waited until the last minute to flee Jerusalem left with almost nothing, he said.

"Had they known and fled earlier, they could have sold things or taken possessions. It is better to leave early than late. Had an attack on Israel by the Muslim world occurred on May 11, we would be leaving in great haste. So now we are able to be more in control."

Feels betrayed

This man, who has sold his family's house, repeatedly stressed that he is not under "the control" of Mr. Van Asperen.

"We are making individual decisions and do not check anything with him for approval."

He said he feels betrayed by the Church of God ministry everywhere. He feels the various Churches of God want to control people by lulling them to sleep and do not want their members to study prophecy.

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