New Truck Update

By: Paul Young

This is the story of our Fond Blanc truck and it may be more than you ever wanted to know about getting things done for the Foundation.

When our previous truck was wrecked last summer, we discovered that someone had used rope to secure two steel rods that connected our steering mechanism. Rope!? Really? Our first reaction was gratitude that this “solution” hadn’t failed on the mountain roads where people could have been hurt. But after the shock wore off, not all our reactions were nearly so noble-minded.

My own reaction was disbelief and frustration because we had about $40,000 invested in that truck. Feeling discouraged and deflated, I went before the Lord in prayer and told Him flat out that the ministry didn’t have money for a new truck, and that He was going to have to figure this one out because it was beyond me. Which, of course, is exactly what He did!

A friend soon surprised me with a completely unexpected offer to help us buy a replacement. I didn’t realize he was even aware of the situation, and people don’t make $10k offers out of the blue very often. Looking back, I think I needed to be reminded of God’s caring provision for those who serve. My friend’s offer empowered me to bounce back: to re-acquire my grace, to re-engage both spiritually and mentally, and then to go find what would be needed to complete the deal. In the most important ways, that encouragement part of his gift was been far more powerful than any money.

We completed the fundraising, including funds to pay for the transport, tariffs and registration in Haiti. The import costs, in particular, can be hard to pin down in advance (best guess $5,000 to $8,000). And we plan to send some key spare parts in with the vehicle. Clearly, all of this was adding up to a much more expensive proposition than we had originally envisioned.

It took a while to determine our best path forward equipment-wise. After being burned by our last purchase in Haiti, we opted to buy the equipment here, where we could properly vet everything beforehand. Even so, there is not a lot of suitable used inventory of vehicles that fit our needs and our budget.

We have a “soft” date of April 28 for the scheduled delivery to the Port of Miami for shipment. I will drive the vehicle down to Miami myself. We are still thinking through the ground rules for using the truck – we sure don’t plan on replacing this one anytime soon! We rely on Haitian drivers for safety and legal reasons, but we hope to put at least one driver through driving school before the truck goes into service.

This will be a heavier truck. If you haven’t spent much time on those Haiti mountain roads we drive every day, you almost can’t believe how quickly a “lightweight” 1/2 ton pickup can get rattled to pieces. We don’t necessarily have big loads to pull, but the weight and sturdy build on a heavier full ton pickup will help extend the usable life of the investment.

We will post pictures and updates along the way. And we want to thank a gracious God and those wonderful donors who made all this possible.

 

Bondye beni ou,

 
Paul
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