Friday, May 1, 2009
718 Miles at 45 mph and one blown out tire...
We got the bus containing all of our personal goods and the materials for the church in St. Marc delivered to West Palm Beach this week. The trip was actually great. Bob Benfield and his kids followed me and we took turns driving the bus. His son Jonathan was a real blessing by driving the bus much of the time. God sent a diesel mechanic on the Saturday before I left to fix the bus so that it would go a little faster. I can't thank Chris Jolly and his son enough for taking the time to come over and not only work on the bus but drive it around for a while to make adjustments and make sure it would work. What a blessing! So although it would only go 45 due to the load, it was sure better than it would have been otherwise! God sent so many people to help us get everything packed and then to help with the trip. Haley and Katie Bridges helped Joy with the kids while I was gone and they had a great time to according to Joy.
Here is a picture of our one glitch. A blown out tire in Rock Hill, SC cost us a couple of hours and a few hundred dollars. Laronzo was a huge help and got us back on the road. The only other time we had trouble was on I-26 between Columbia and I-95. The sand hills were not nice to our over loaded bus-turned-cargo container. We could only muster about 33mph up the hills. But we made it without real incident.
We left at 6 am and made it to Melbourne, FL by 11 pm where we spent the night. Tuesday morning we got up and finished out the trip in about 2 hours. We got to the port around 10 am to drop off the bus and everything we own. It went really well and the people at Monarch shipping were great. The bus could ship as soon as May 12th but as late as May 29th. From then it will be 4-6 weeks to clear everything (hopefully) and then we will have it. Keep praying that it gets through customs and that it is not tampered with in the mean time. We know the Lord is in charge and that he can keep it safe and protected. Ideally, it would clear customs and about the time that we get to Haiti and that way we will have everything we need to get the apartment set up. Here is a brief - incomprehensive- inventory of what we sent on the bus and the estimated cost to get it there.
Contents: Lumber for benches at St. Marc Church ( 50- 2x12x12, 40- 8 foot decking, 80- 12 foot decking)
3 large trash cans filled with supplies for House of Bread
Wire for wiring at St. Marc Church
24 Flourescent lights for St. Marc Church with bulbs
2 outdoor chaise lounges
1 queen bed mattress and frame (no box spring...long story!)
2 twin beds with mattresses and box springs
1 set of bunk beds with mattresses
Boxes of tools
Boxes of clothes
Boxes of linens
A brand new front load high efficiency washing machine
12- 12 volt batteries for our electrical system - donated by one of our best friends
Inverter for electrical system
Bathroom vanity cabinet- also donated by a close friend- with the lavatories and faucets
A couple of ladders
A wagon for the kids
Titant's personal items
6 High efficiency ceiling fans
Kitchen table and chairs/stools
End tables for our bedroom as night stands
Rods and curtains for use as doors
Lots of other misc. stuff I used as "filler" in areas as I packed
The bus cost $15oo from NC Public Schools
The Plywood and labor to cover the windows and build the retaining wall was donated by a friend's church
1 new tire - $430 including roadside installation
Fuel for the trip - $160 ( I thought that was great)
Shipping costs - $3200 ($100 per foot)
Customs costs ????- depends on how they are feeling that day...we will know in a few weeks
So there you have it. It is a weird feeling to know that everything we will soon own is sitting on a lot in south Florida. It is such a blessing though because we thought for a while that we would only be taking our suitcases. We are very happy to have the bus and the opportunity to take more of the things we will need to live and minister. God takes care of His children so perfectly!