Group with new van
Nzunga and Kihomi with van
Dear Loved Ones,
Greetings. This Tuesday, January 19, 2016, was a big day for us in Haiti. For almost a month, we have been working in getting the ministry van out of customs. It was a long and tiring process, but God sustained us through all the ups and downs of the administrative offices in Cap-Haitian.
The van can be described as a 2015 gift to the Haitian women ministries. Around 5 PM this Tuesday, Dr. Steve James; his wife, Mama Nancy James; Dr. Herb Rogers; Dr. Jules Casseus, the president of the Christian University of Northern Haiti; Mama Kihomi Ngwemi and Nzunga Mabudiga proceeded in a dedication prayer before taking a short ride on the campus.
Dr. Herb Roger used this prayer for the new van:
“Bless this Van, oh Lord, we pray, keep it safe by night and day. Bless these bumpers firm and stout. Keep all safe and trouble out.
Bless the tires and the roof so tall. Let thy peace be over all. Bless the doors that they may prove ever open to joy and love.
Bless these windows shining bright letting in God’s heavenly light. Bless the ministry that shines so bright meeting people’s needs with ascending prayers.
Bless the people who ride here in. Keep them pure and free from sin. Bless us all that we may fit, oh Lord, to dwell through thee.
Bless us all that we one day may dwell, oh Lord, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen”.
We want to add to this well thought and well expressed prayer our heartfelt thanks to those in our IM office, to our MPT leader and to all those who give, without hoping to meet those who use their gifts.
Nzunga & Kihomi
Buying a vehicle in Haiti is quite a process with few good options. A long time of looking for a used multi-passenger van turned up nothing we would want. The best we found was a 7 passenger van with 120000 Haitian miles on it for $20000. A Haitian mile is like dog years. Add seven miles to each one for what it has been through on Haitian roads. It must be a Toyota or Nissan in order to get service and parts in Haiti. I searched the USA and could get a used one at dealer cost through some friends of mine but also had many miles for what we wanted to pay and then we had to get it to Haiti. Herb Rogers suggested I check out Missionary Autos and Trucks Service (MATS) which has relationships with manufactures to get good deals for those in the mission field. They offered us a BRAND NEW 15-PASSENGER TOYOTA VAN DELIVERED TO CAP-HAITIAN FOR $27,000! We could not pass up this deal!
This has been a great need for some time for many reasons, but primarily for the women’s ministry. Kihomi has to rent vehicles that are prone to breaking down and can never hold as many ladies as she would like to take to her training sessions. Sometimes they ride in the back of a pickup, which is dangerous. It is also dangerous when they break down and the ladies are stranded along the road.
This vehicle is not sold in the U.S. and is called a commuter bus. I understand that retail without the delivery charges is over $40000. Now they have a reliable vehicle that can hold twice the passengers of a normal van; can be used to transport visiting mission team, hold many goats and pigs for the children’s ministry, deliver equipment for the clean water ministry, and bring relief supplies during disasters; and will certainly be put to many more uses as well. It is an answer to prayer!
In order to take advantage of this deal, IM had to get creative with the finances. There was some money in a vehicle replacement account, but not enough. Also, we had quite a learning curve on getting it off the docks in Haiti. It took Nzunga over a month of negotiating to get it released. Many steps are required, with payment for each one. I will let you use your imagination on how creative they can get to extract funds such as dock fees, container fees, storage fees, and of course duty. The officials claimed it was the first time a new vehicle ever came in at Cap-Haitian. Bottom line is it cost over $10,000 and many headaches for Nzunga. He thought several times that he was done and then they would find a reason to start over. But it could have been worse. Another agency I volunteer for sent down a tractor and it took them a year to get it released.
We need to secure the funds for this as soon as possible. If you, your church, or your group would like to help, it would be greatly appreciated. Please write Van / Haitian Ministry on the memo line of your check or in the comments section if donating online.
Mission Partnership Team Communications Advocate and Convener
Nzunga and Kihomi Ministry
Other team Members: