So, once again I spent the day yesterday traveling to St. Marc to continue to try to get my vehicle out of customs. One thing I am quickly learning about this country is that nothing ever happens quickly. Everything just has such a long drawn out process…it is unbelievable. So, even though I had already twice been told by the guy that we hired to help us, “Today we should be able to get your vehicle”, this time I really believed him and really thought that I’d finally be driving my own car back from St. Marc. Not the case.
It was a rough day from the start. I woke up feeling very sick. I had a “stomach thing” brewing and I had a pounding headache…not the best combination for taking a 2 hour insane bumpy ride and then having to wait around all day out side the customs office while the broker haggles out a price. But it is what it is, and I had to be there, so there was no option of staying home and lying in bed.
So, while I was outside feeling like I was about to pass out, my broker was inside fighting for a decent price on my vehicle. He came to me the first time and said that the first price that the customs agent gave was $4,000. I told him that I wanted him to negotiate for a lower price. Then he came back and said that he got it down to $3,500. I asked him to continue trying to negotiate. He came back a third time and said that the final price this guy was willing to offer was $3,250. This actually was considered a pretty good price since we had been told that our custom taxes for our vehicle very well may be near $5,000. So, to have it down to $3,250 was pretty good. But I had so many people praying for us about this issue specifically, and as Maria and I had been in constant prayer about it, I wanted to see if we could get it even lower. The whole time while I was praying outside, I was praying that the rate would be under $3,000. $3,250 was a good price, but my God is not just good…He’s great
Therefore, I asked to make my own appeal to “Ceasar”. I believed that if this was all being lifted up in prayer, that I should take the opportunity to go before this custom director myself and tell him that I worship the Lord, that we are missionaries in Haiti trying to give orphaned and poor children better opportunities, and that I would like for him to bring his price even lower. I was nervous, but also excited. I was reminded of the scriptures that say that God will bring us before kings and government leaders and that the Sprit will give us the words to speak. So, that is what I did, which is definitely not the norm. I wish I could tell you that he responded favorably and brought the price way down and that the power of God shook the place, but that was not the case. He did not want to budge at all on the price. He said that he could not go any lower because his director would not allow it. I asked him if I could speak to his director (the absolute big chief). He laughed and said that I could, but that he would not advise it because what will probably happen if I go in the director’s office is that rather than bringing the price down, he will most likely increase the price. I did not want that to happen so I left it at that. I asked this guy one last time if he could even lower the price just a little. At the last minute, he finally agreed to take it down by about $300. I was very happy because by taking it down, the final price came out to be less than $3,000, which is exactly what I had been praying for. We are thankful that God has given us favor and that we ended up getting a very very good deal. Unfortunately, by the time I went to the bank to get the money (an hour long process because you know…it’s Haiti), the guy said it was too late for him to get the vehicle to me and that I would have to come back…again. So, tomorrow, I will make the trip to St. Marc yet again. I really want to believe that I will definitely drive home with my vehicle…but nothing is ever definite in Haiti.
By the time I had gotten home that evening, I was really sick. I had a fever and a really bad stomach. I had this all day today as well, but now the fever finally broke and I am feeling better, thank the Lord.
We spent the day today visiting an orphanage nearby that is asking us to pray about taking it over as Directors. We had a really good time with the children, but I was still not feeling the greatest, therefore I felt that I wasn’t able to engage with them as much as I really wanted to. But, we still had a great time. I asked Maria to post the pics that we took since I am clueless when it comes to the technical aspect of this blog.