Our projects sometimes require unusual items to be transported across borders. But what we see as a challenge, God uses as an opportunity to astound us.
By Karen Dyck, program developer—Africa
October, 2013—On my way back from Africa, I needed to make one last stop to another of our water projects. I was carrying a role of stainless steel wire screen for the project that had made its way to Africa twice, got left behind once and was now on its way with me once again. I was hoping this would be its last transfer!
I asked a few of my prayer supporters to pray for me for two things as I boarded the plane: first, for the screen to make its way through customs without being confiscated and second, that I would not be forced to pay an exorbitant amount of money to bring it through customs. All our water projects need this screen to make BioSand Water Filters, but it’s not available anywhere in Africa due to the pore-size of the mesh. This was the last roll of screen that I needed to bring into any of our African water projects.
To my amazement, I had successfully brought rolls of screening to the other four projects, all of which made it through customs without any duty costs! Praise the Lord.
I decided that the same God who had traveled with me through all of the customs offices in those other countries could perform the same miracle for a fifth time—even though the customs in this particular nation is more strict than any other in Africa.
I prayed very hard on the flight that God would actually blind the eyes of the customs officials so they wouldn’t even ask me about the screen (which was impossible, since they send each bag through an x-ray machine and check all your items very carefully).
As I approached the customs gate, I continued to pray in my heart and felt a sense of expectation that God was about to do something that would amaze me. I put all of my bags on the x-ray machine and walked around to pick them up, thinking that at any moment someone would stop me and pull me over because of the awkward 50 lb package I was attempting to maneuver with ease so as not to be noticed.
As I gathered my baggage, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that not a single customs official was looking my way. Their eyes seemed to be blind to me and my luggage, so I just walk through the doors and out,whereupon I breathed a sigh of relief. God had performed a miracle right before my eyes! I was in total shock.
When I brought the mesh to our partner organization, they asked me how much I had to pay to get it through customs. “I didn’t pay one cent,” I told them. “I just walked through customs and wasn’t asked a single question.”
They were collectively stunned. No one ever gets through customs with such conspicuous luggage without paying a ridiculous amount.
What an amazing experience!