The container with the PET machines inside made it through customs in record time. It took two days of work by Berny to secure the documents allowing the container to be loaded on a truck and moved out of the port. We had sent this container to Puerto Barrios on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. This is the main port and the importation process is more organized and efficient than on the Pacific ports.
The container was taken to Poptun and unloaded at the school for handicapped children, which would serve as the distribution point. In co-ordination with the local ministry of health, the word had circulated widely and 120 people had been identified as qualified to receive one. The machines were assembled over the next two weeks and arraignments made for a distribution program.
On the appointed day, Gary Bartholomew, Bill Murray and I went to the distribution point and were amazed at the number of people there waiting to receive one of the machines. People had come from as far as 120 miles away, by bus, truck and whatever would carry them. The local military base provided an awning and young soldiers to help put it up help out.
I gave the prayer at the beginning of the distribution program and then the local mayor and military commander said a few words of welcome and a lot I did not understand. Everybody was smiling and happy as the machines were given one by one to folks who could not walk.
It was especially touching to see these tough soldiers gently carry a handicapped older woman or man from a vehicle or bus through the crowd and put them safely into one of the machines. There were many tears of thanks and happiness for the hope and dignity the machines would provide.
PET stands for Personal Energy Transportation. The machines are made in several places in the United States by volunteers and made available to charitable organizations for distribution in third world countries. WFL shipped and imported this container and used our contacts to distribute them in the Peten region of Guatemala. Many people were blessed by this project.