Wow! It took a long time. I mean, a loooong time, but our vehicle has been found, and purchased! Whoooop!!!
Burundi Youth for Christ is the proud owner of a 2011 Toyota Hilux!!! This truck will be a great blessing to this organization for MANY years to come!
The past 5 weeks have had Nadine and I living in Bujumbura in an effort to locate and purchase the vehicle that we will be using for our time here in Burundi. We have actually stayed in Bujumbura longer than we have lived in Gitega, our home! Yikes!
This is Africa. Things take a little bit longer to do here. Things are a little more confusing here. Certain things make sense, and others do not. It took a lot of flexibility, openness and learning on our part.
When we had found this truck, it was WAY out of our price range. First of all, it was owned by an International NGO, which had received a government tax break for the vehicle purchase. As a Local NGO, BYFC would not be eligible for such a break. By the way, taxes here on a new vehicle are upwards of 50% of the total cost!
We were told that applying for a similar tax exemption was impossible. So naturally, we started researching how to apply for a tax exemption.
It was a miracle, I tell you! After weeks of letter writing, phone calls, meetings, blahblahblah, we sat down with the government agency responsible for granting an exemption for BYFC. We were told (again) that it was impossible, and we needed to go home. We asked them to reconsider, perhaps view the situation from a different angle, and while they debated amongst themselves, we prayed.
Impossible, we were told. Against the law. Go home.
We again asked them to reconsider, and again they debated. All the while we prayed a little bit more. We did this whole cycle 4 times over. We refused to give up.
“If you provide [blahblahblah] to prove [blahblahblah] we will grant you over a 50% exemption.”
God is good. And while we must respect authority, and submit to those in power, He is bigger than any law, and has no jurisdiction. He wanted us to have this truck.
The next big hurdle was getting the owner to agree to our price. With the partial tax exemption, we needed to give an offer much lower than what he was asking for, in order to come in on budget. We met, he said he would think about it, and we prayed. We got the call that same evening telling us that he had agreed to our offer.
God is good.
We have had many other difficulties associated with the vehicle purchase, many hurdles to overcome, but with the help of some amazing staff members at BYFC, with God guiding the process, it got done! We drove our truck from Bujumbura to Gitega last Friday.
You can see our truck has a friend! We got a dirt bike for our personal use, that will be far more economical on gas for errands, shopping, and facetime dates! Now all I need to do, is figure out how to drive it.
Again, even though there’s a group of us over here that had to put a lot of hard work into this purchase, it would not be possible without people like you.
Your support means everything to us, and everything to Burundi Youth for Christ.
This truck will be used in the coming years for mobile medical clinics, for staff and patient transport, and for the shipping of medical supplies. YOU have enabled us to reach the people of Burundi in new and profound ways. Thank God for this truck, but more importantly, thank God for each one of you.
May He bless you beyond measure.
Remember to share, and keep checking back for more updates soon!