Urgent Logistical Need

12/20/2013 12:38:00 AM sendtheroths 0 Comments

 Click to view the video
We Need a Land Cruiser: click to watch the video

It has become unavoidable that we need a more capable 4x4 off-road vehicle to continue working in eastern Congo (DRC).

Roads in Congo are often nonexistent or extremely dangerous to drive. They literally swallow our seven passenger '99 Toyota 4Runner, which is often overloaded with up to ten people.

Building the Training Center in Masisi to serve the local community and facilitate the Peacemaker Program has required us to make biweekly trips. The drive takes up to six hours, because of such bad roads. Given the number of supplies and personnel that we transport on a day-to-day basis, it's becoming too much on our vehicle, which is not designed to carry how much we require it to carry. It's even more difficult to maintain an older vehicle.
Land Cruiser Executive Summary
Click to view the Land Cruiser executive summary

We hope to buy a second-hand Toyota Land Cruiser for $45,000 to meet all of the ministry demands.

When most Americans think about a Land Cruiser, they visualize a luxury vehicle. This is not the kind of Land Cruiser that we are talking about. Toyota makes a special workhorse vehicle fit for its international markets where roads are less than perfect.

This vehicle can transport 13 passengers comfortably and double as an ambulance that can help us transport the sick and dying to hospitals that the people in the villages we work in could never make it to on time.

As most of you know, we work in a war zone and being stuck in a ditch or broken down can cost us our lives, often times inebriated soldiers emerge from the bushes once the sun goes down. 

When I recall the last time we raised money for a vehicle, I am almost sick in my stomach, because it was so tough to raise money for it. It's so hard for people who have never worked with us to understand why a four-wheel drive vehicle is so important.

People want to give money for kids to go to school.
People want to give money for Bibles.
People want to give money for outreaches.

None of these things can happen if the logistical need of a competent and able vehicle is not satisfied.

Roads in Congo: click to watch the video
Day after day, Andrew and I meet people who work for non-government organizations that seemingly have an endless budget in comparison to ours. They drive $75,000 Land Cruisers on roads with no training and no respect for their vehicles. It's not uncommon for a once brand new Land Cruiser to be completely out of commission in only four years.

To speak honestly, it's been incredibly frustrating to hear about how donors seek to give funding to "well established" organizations, who can properly use their financial resources and then work side by side with many of these 'respected' organizations seeing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars go into their vehicle budget alone when it took us 3 years to raise only $10,000 for our current vehicle.

We've driven our '99 4Runner for four years and hope to keep it going for as long as we can. But our repair budget is climbing steadily and without a new vehicle, our work will be diminished.

As you finish your end of the year giving and buy gifts for your friends and family... Please consider us in Congo. Consider the fact that this vehicle can save peoples lives, that it can save our lives and consider the fact that just as you need a capable vehicle to get you to work-- we also need one here.