Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In every end, there is also a beginning.” ― Libba Bray

The car we've been driving is gone, so we came to an end with it, but it is just beginning to be of service by carrying a doctor out to the villages.  The car we just bought has ended its life with the SIL missionaries and is beginning to expand our mission.  This new (1995) car is back from the paint and repair shop and looks rather good, I think.  This is the nicest car we have had going back quite a long way, but the main thing is that it will get us where we want to go--and we want to go to our churches and schools out in the bush that our other car just wasn't able to do.  Yesterday, the doctor came and picked up our old car and paid cash for it--the exact amount I paid for it when I bought it six years ago, so a good deal for us and for the doctor.  The only cars that are for sale around here are ones that missionaries sell because they are leaving the mission field.  Our first car was used by Rev. Kim Crutchfield, a UMC missionary, and then by Bill and Jimmye Whitfield, also UMC missionaries.  Unfortunately, it was in a wreck and had to be sold for parts.  We purchased the car we just sold yesterday from Martin Fannon, an Anglican missionary who was returning to England, and now we have purchased this one from an SIL (Bible translators) missionary who is returning to the United States.  We borrowed money from a relative to buy our new one, but will be able to pay it off in less than a year.  We had borrowed money from a good friend to buy the one we just sold and took five years to pay that off.  Still, it looks pretty good, as you can see from the picture at right.  That's my son, John, sticking up through the sunroof (not good for us melanoma sufferers--it will stay closed when I'm in the car).  Shaban is standing on the driver's side (we drive on the left here as in England) holding on to the new snorkel (for the dust--not deep water).  The fancy spot lights were added by Shaban (with his own money) just to make it look really cool.  The main thing is that it should last (with proper maintenance) for at least another ten years, and I doubt that I will last that long.  Tanzania has a 100% VAT or value added tax that doubles the cost of cars imported into the country which is why it is much better to buy a used one for which someone else has already paid the high taxes.  We are excited to have it and hope to make it continue to serve God as it serves us.
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