Change of Plans
This past fall we had intended to send a container as usual, but the last few weeks before December as the economic situation ground down we began to be concerned about the wisdom of that decision. We had two items to get to Guatemala. One was a donated Ford F250 truck and the other was a heavy duty trailer capable of carrying drill casing and heavy equipment. Our board made a decision to try to find someone to drive the truck and trailer to Guatemala and save the cost of the container. Our quote on for shipping the 40 ft container was nearly $12,000. All we had to do was find someone to make the nearly 6,000 mile journey.
Enter Jim Bechtel and his faithful wife Vonny. Jim is in his seventies and a veteran of over 50 trips to Guatemala in support of the International Children’s Care facilities. Over the years he has brought trucks, busses, tractors, endless amounts of tools, machinery and just about anything imaginable to the ICC school and orphanage there. Over the years he has established a small shop there in one of the bays of a garage where he keeps his tools secure and where he would make special repairs for the campus. He is fluent in Spanish and over the years has developed unique skills at the delicate negotiations necessary to get loads of material into Guatemala
Jim told me that the main difficulty was often getting the load into and out of Mexico. To accomplish that, a careful inventory is made at the border of what comes in and it must match the inventory of what is leaving at the other end of the country. Sometimes Jim has simply been refused entry. His technique for these issues is simple. He will turn around at the border and drive back a few miles, find a place to stay, and he and Vonny will fast and pray until he feels the time is right. Then he will come back to the border and try again. It may take more than one try, but he will usually find a border guard that will simply wave him on into the country with out a hassle.
We hope and pray that he makes it safely through Mexico because that country is especially dangerous now.