Friday, January 29, 2016

Somebody must not like this book work!

On our way back from Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, we stopped into our location in Mafinga town.   I was tired and wasn't even trying very hard to keep up with the Swahili conversation.  I did hear very clearly in English that it would be the end of our current stock of Bible Commentaries.  I should have asked questions, but I guess I was more tired than normal.  I didn't.
Thursday I got a message that I didn't quite understand about money to be received before they could go.
LATE in the afternoon, almost evening I got a call from my director.  There was a little concern in his voice.  The phone connection wasn't very good, but I got that our person in town needed the bank account info to receive a payment.
I sent it immediately.  I also was asked why only a few books went to town.  Books?  Went to town?
Well, I think I understand the mystery now as this.
That conversation which I did not catch was referring to an order of books that they wanted to ship out the next day (yesterday). 
We were to send in a LOT of books to town Thursday morning.  I didn't know, and only a few went in (which I didn't know about either).
When they were received, the people didn't know why they only got a few.
In the late afternoon, I find out that a message was sent to me to send the bank info at 7:32 AM!  I didn't get it or didn't see it until 4:53 (banks close around 4 PM).
We made arrangements for the books to go in today (Friday morning) as some other important things needed to go to government offices before the end of the month and a payment needed made at the bank.
About 6 pm I got another message to send the bank info AGAIN because it got deleted!
I quickly sent it again.
Then I responded "This order seems doomed!"
In the dark and rain, we loaded the remaining books into the cruiser.  Joshua answered Doug's phone and talked to the person in town (Ezekiel).  Later he said Ezekiel needs to books to arrive before 8 AM.  That means leaving by 7 AM here.
It was decided I would take them in with the other items.
Well this morning about 6:20 AM, Joshua says that the bus arrives at 8 AM.  Doug and I both explained that there is a big difference between that and what he said the night before.  I quickly rushed out and drove quickly to town.
When I arrived at Ezekiel's at 7:30 AM he was waiting OUTSIDE for me.  I think we should have reported to the bus stand at that time, not his house!
We quickly (13 minutes) added another 57 boxes of books to the cruiser and headed to the stand.  Then we quickly unloaded all 105 boxes of books.  We were sweating!  The bus arrived before we even had all the books out of the vehicle (before 8 AM).
Now to convince the bus people to take them to Morogoro.  The man did not look enthusiastic at all.  I stayed out of the way.  The color of my skin complicates things like this, so I tried to stay in the cruiser.  The bus guy walked away and I heard another person ask Ezekiel if he had refused.  He said something about he was still thinking about it.
Not too long later, Ezekiel and the man started quickly loading the books into the three compartments under the bus. 
Two other guys came to help move the boxes from the curb across the bus traffic to the correct bus.  I was to guard the pile as they worked.  I tried to have the books in good stacks each time they came to speed up the process and to make it easier to pick them up (not from ground level but from about waist level).
We all worked fast.  The bus driver was honking his horn impatiently wanting to GO.
There was even a guy up in the cargo area trying to organize all the boxes.  The Bible Commentaries are about 25 lbs each.  The other books weigh much less. 
Whew.  They were finally all on the bus, and the bus pulled out!  Just as they closed two of the three compartments I remember to take a picture.

I wanted to remember this day.
Books loaded and getting ready to leave!
Ezekiel and I got in the car.  I said in Swahili, "I'm sweating, and you?"  He was too.
I am AMAZED at how many mistakes and challenges we had with this shipment!
I think the devil was trying very had to keep these books from going where they needed to go.  I would imagine that they are intended to be a great blessing to many.
We should have waited for the payment before shipping, but there was no time.  I sure hope that works out also.  I guess it isn't over until it is over.  The group that needs the books leaves Sunday, so we had to ship today or never.
Now that I am home, I am exhausted and think I may lay down for a nap.
I guess it is just another day in the mission field!
It sure did start out hectic. 
I am glad that God made a way for us!
He is faithful.