Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Good morning from the Rio Grande Valley. I am in a little town not far from Brownsville and will fly out around 1 this afternoon. Plans often change and we experienced that significantly yesterday.
Lester and I left Mitchell at 12.15 on Sunday afternoon and drove the former ambulance through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and into Oklahoma, where we picked up Marc Tindall in Norman. We then kept heading south. We met Bobby Moore outside of DFW airport.
Bobby is a friend of Marc's and had some supplies to take down to Honduras for others. After meeting him, we dropped Lester at DFW so he could fly home, which he did. Marc and I continued driving through the night.
We got to the Mexican border around 10:30 local time. We entered at one place but were turned around by the Mexicans because we were not in a "tourist" vehicle. We left Mexico and went down the river a few miles and crossed over again.
After 2-3 hours of frustration, we were rejected. The issue? First they said, even though the paper work says "truck," it still looks like an ambulance. Marc successfully argued that one away. Then the issue was the weight of the vehicle. It was too heavy for a regular tourist vehicle. They actually showed us the regulation on that one.
There was/is a way to fix the problem. It was to hire an agent who, for a hefty fee, would get all the paperwork in order to give us a permit to drive a heavy vehicle through. We started the process but quickly realized it was going to be expensive, delay us one day at the start, likely delay us a day at the Guatemala border, and that we would probably have the same issue in Guatemala.
What to do? Have it shipped on the back of a flatbed truck, which is what will happen. That's not cheap either, but that's what is going to happen. The ambulance is parked now at a place where it will be picked up next week. Marc and his friends have used this flatbed driver before, and the guy knows all the tricks, evidently, for getting stuff through.
All the supplies we were taking down are locked in the back. Hopefully, and I believe this, they will arrive safely to bless the people of Honduras. The bottom line is that the ambulance will still reach its destination and will still be put to good use.
What do we learn? Here's what I wrote in another place:
I will not question what happened. We tried in good faith to do what we thought was consistent with the Lord's will. We persisted in it until it was clear that we needed to do something else. The bottom line is the ambulance will be put into good use blessing people, and that was the goal from the beginning. Plans change but the goal remains the same: serve people in the name of the Lord. Thanks again for all your prayers!
Do I wish the outcome were different? Of course but we gave it a good shot. Last night after the long, long, long day, Marc and I got a good meal. Then I fell asleep and slept for 10+ hours. That is a long, long time for me. It felt great!
Now I am getting some work done. Later this morning I will check out and fly home, arriving around 7.30. It was an adventure that didn't turn the way we planned, but most of life is like that. Right? I got to spend some nice time with Lester and Marc. Thanks, again, for your prayers.
Posted by Allen at 10/01/2013 09:02:00 AM