When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
If you've followed along over the last fifteen months you are likely aware of the drama that has played out surrounding the BKB vehicle. It began early last summer when a critter of some kind got inside our trusty Toyota Land Cruiser VX and decided to munch on its wiring - scrambling its sophisticated computers and electronic control systems in the process. It continued this past January when 'Car Watch - 2016' found a colleague and I camped out in Dar es Salaam monitoring its repairs. That story culminated in the Iringa Committee's decision in February to purchase a new car and sell the old one.
(While we received the VX back in good working order, the incident gave us an important lesson in sustainability - namely the need to have a 'contextually appropriate' mode of transportation that can be maintained and repaired locally.)
Working through the Iringa Diocese, the Christian Council of Tanzania's Motor Vehicle Division, and their exporter in Germany we ordered a new Toyota Land Cruiser Hardtop to carry us into the future. Similar to the vehicles that the Diocese and other organizations in town use, the hardtop is rugged enough to handle the dirt roads found throughout the Iringa region and mechanically simple enough to be repaired almost anywhere. Manufactured in Japan this spring and carried across the Indian Ocean aboard the cargo ship 'Lord Vishnu,' the new BKB vehicle arrived in port in June and was cleared for us to claim in August.
Last week, BKB volunteers Julia Hubbard and Russ Hilliard took the bus to Dar es Salaam and picked the vehicle up on our behalf. The long road to Iringa gave them a chance to try it out and break it in. Meanwhile, a conveniently placed nail on the train tracks just past Mikumi National Park gave them the opportunity to see just how easy it is to change a flat...
With the tire repaired and everything running safi (good/clean/fine), the new BKB vehicle is in Iringa and ready to provide years of service toward the work that we share - delivering ambassadors and guest preachers to remote congregations, ferrying visiting delegations to meet their companions, and hauling building supplies and other goods for projects across the region.
On behalf of the BKB Team, thank you for your role in making this happen.
Special thanks go to the Iringa Committee and the Iringa Taskforce that preceded it for their careful budgeting and fiscal diligence. Their actions ensured that we had reserve funds on hand when they were needed. Even more thanks go to the congregations and organizations that form this network of relationships. These are, in short, your Administrative Fees at work. The percentage points paid on scholarships, projects, and other transactions have enabled us to plan for operational contingencies (like a new vehicle) and to respond in a timely manner. Through your cooperation and support, by working together, the mission of BKB rolls along on a new set of wheels - and for that we are ever so grateful.
Asante sana na Mungu awabariki (Many thanks and God Bless you all),
The Rev Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega & Assistant to the Bishop