Those of you in the know...well, know that we packed a container from FAME (www.fameworld.org) back on October 14th for shipment here. To be brief, even for a blog, it had quite the variety of items on it, for all the various ministries we are involved in, for some friends, for other ministries we know, and even things we packed for ourselves. This container is a big one for the mission every year, and the help it provides is hard to put into words.
We finally unloaded this puppie on Friday December 15th.
Yes, two months later. There were a few variables as to why it took quite so long, the most interesting of which is that working through another ministry here that has just started, we were able to get the container through customs for almost 100% tax free. Praise God! If this system works for all the other containers we get, we would be saving $5,000-$10,000 per year in taxes.
Yes, at night. Customs here is quite the lovely process, and basically, the best plans you might try to make basically go out the window, and the next thing you know you are on the tile floor of the customs agent office taking a nap watching Frasier on the TV while you wait for the last in a string of signatures you need before you can get your shipment out. That means we got to the clinic at about 5:30, and it took a good two hours to get everything unloaded with the myriad of help we got as people passed by, heard, etc. Then the poor driver had many problems leaving (pointing out to me some key areas we need to fix before the next container arrives), and finally I had to get our "stuff" out of the area and back to our house. I was sitting comfortably in one of our "new" recliners at 10:30.
Notice in the picture at left the driver trying to carefully manuver his way into the entrance with the new wall, posts, and drop offs into the cement ditch with his long rig, long wheelbase trailer, and oh yeah, the pickup truck with 30 people passing him on the right at warp speed. Would you not enjoy the pleasures of being a semi driver in Honduras?
Now begins the long, difficult, time consuming, I-wouldn't-change-it-for-the-world, process of getting all those donated items where they need to be stored and subsequently distributed to all the areas of ministry where they need to be for the advancement of the kingdom.
Now, I am not sure how all that came across, but let me finish with....what fun! what a privledge! What a responsibility! What a job! What a country! (Insert your best Yakov Shmirnov imitation here)