When you move from one of the most developed countries in the world to one of the least, there is a wide variety of items that you will either have to import or live without. And when you run major projects like a surgical hospital and national conferences, importation is often the more practical option. Thankfully for us, our southern neighbor is much more technologically advanced than the nation we live in, so we’re able to bring most of what we need overland instead of having it shipped across the ocean.
My director and his wife customarily travel south each year to make purchases. Then she flies home while he navigates the formalities at the border, often camping out there in the truck for several days. Once he finally clears everything through customs, he flies home while our drivers make the arduous overland trek in the truck to our city in the north of the country.
Our usual importation schedule was seriously interrupted by pandemic-related border closures, and delayed even further by truck breakdowns, bureaucratic headaches, and events necessitating my director’s presence here and in the US. As a result, a practical mountain of goods to be imported accumulated in our source country for a full two years. Our host there graciously allowed our three vehicles and a container full of supplies to be stored at his rural property, awaiting importation.
By God’s grace, that importation finally occurred this past week! My director and our two drivers brought our two new vehicles, a large truck and a pick-up, across the border and safely overland to our base, loaded to the hilt with the most urgently-needed materials. He left behind one other truck and half a container filled with supplies, so he plans to send the new truck back soon to complete the importation in a caravan with the left-behind truck.
In the meantime, as you can imagine with the arrival of so many goods we’ve expected for so long: it’s like Christmas! Our projects of fencing, moving electrical wiring underground, and guesthouse construction can finally proceed. My director and his wife jubilantly received their chocolates, canned fruits and vegetables, CD player, and kitchen appliances. For my part, I was delighted with the arrival of spare harp strings, my newly rehaired viola bow, my new iPhone, and even art custom-painted for me by my 96-year-old Grammie, given to my director when he was recently in the US.
Living in a developing country presents many challenges to those of us who grew up in the West. As you pray for God’s grace to enable us to endure and overcome them, please thank Him with us for the simple but meaningful comforts we now enjoy thanks to a successful importation. We are very grateful for your prayers.