Andrew's Vehicle Update
This past week was a bit of a scramble as I (Andrew) was getting very creative with trying to get enough funds over to Congo for a United Nations vehicle auction this weekend. Unfortunately the vehicles of interest to me went for more than what everyone expected and one slightly more than we could afford (around $28,000 considering documents, duty, taxes and repairs.) I reneged on an $18,000 bid after calculating and being somehow explained the vague import and duty taxes that I would be assessed (making it $28,000) and as a result lost the $1,000 refundable entry fee as a penalty. It was a great opportunity to get a vehicle but it wasn't to be. (This is very disappointing to me and I want to be as transparent as possible with all that has transpired.)
In our quest to be strategic, good stewards and do the most amount of good with the finances we've been given, we've come to several ideas. (UN auction not being one of them any more.)
We had an AWESOME response to our appeal for a vehicle last Christmas and since then, some other donors have made large contributions! Whether it be $20 or $2,000 or larger we are so happy that our supporters have really caught the vision for this need! Itâ€™s never easy to put out a plea like this one!
But, even with everyoneâ€™s support and generosity-- our goal of $45,000 is a large number!
â€¨â€¨So after giving it much thought and prayer, our team found another solution for transporting supplies from Goma to the village, which was one of the key MAIN reasons that we needed such a robust vehicle. After reevaluating, it seems that we can save money, by doing the following:
A. Fixing our current vehicle very well and lifting it 2.5â€ to handle the terrain betterâ€¨â€¨.
B. Buying a similar vehicle to our current one (Only getting an 8 seat, manual diesel version instead.) People in the U.S. know this vehicle as a Toyota 4Runner.â€¨â€¨
C. Buying a Yamaha dirt bike to go through the areas where the vehicle cannot make it.â€¨ â€¨
This would cut our expenditure for vehicles down from $45,000 to about $35,000 and most importantly, it would allow our team to work in multiple locations simultaneously, which is a big deal. This is a strategic move because we work in multiple sites that have vast distances in between them.
â€¨This means that we need about $10,000 more to hit our goalâ€¦â€¨
â€¨We know that many of you have given faithfully and have contributed to this vehicle fund. But if you havenâ€™t we really encourage you to contribute.â€¨ â€¨
We know itâ€™s hard for our friends abroad to comprehend our need for these vehiclesâ€¦ But if you are a doubter, please invest your money in a plane ticket and pay us a visit in Masisi. You will quickly understand the urgency!â€¨ â€¨
This month is a huge infrastructure building and logistic planning month for us as we are about to receive short-term visitors in June, July and August. In addition, we are ramping up our Womenâ€™s Program and Peacemaker Program. In having multiple vehicles that can be in multiple locations, we are able to double our work, involve more personnel, making a greater impact.