Wow, just got back across the border from an amazing meeting in Tijuana, with the new Mexican customs supervisor. As you know, we have been having a myriad of issues since the first of the year. The problems have ebbed and flowed, each causing various hoops for us to jump through almost daily, as we crossed. I can’t tell you how challenging it really had become, with spending, literally, hours in customs, trying to push through some food, and basic aid to those who really need it. We’ve been faced with diversion upon diversion, rejection upon rejection. UNTIL NOW. Last week, during one of my 2 hour waits, I was passed from agent to agent in an attempt to turn me around, or charge me 4 times the price we normally paid in the past (and twice the
price we had been paying most recently). As I pressed in and refused to pay the higher price, I eventually summoned the attention of a lady who I would later realize was in charge of the entire port entry of Tijuana (the busiest and most crossed international border in the world!).
We have been praying for months, that the 1st and 2nd officials in charge, would move on, and it finally happened. There are now 2 brand new people in charge, and I had one of them in front of me! She was very kind, calm and helpful. She also spoke english, which made a huge difference to me. She also went on to explain that there had been some reporting in the local Tijuana news media, that that Mexican customs had not been cooperating with organizations attempting to bring donations in (this would be thanks to our whistle blowing colleagues). She stated that the border officials want to work with us, and make things more smooth. I couldn’t believe my ears. She even gave me her work email, and encouraged me to email her at any time, if I needed help.
Fast forward to our meeting today, and, in fact, she really is making moves to help us! She agreed to extend the time that donations could be brought in each day. They had recently implemented a time limit requirement, which was impossible for us to meet. She also agreed to set the price for each truck load to the reduced price we had paid in the past. And finally, she was going to see what she could do to get approval for us to bring more nutritional food in, as we had years before. For several years, we have been unable to bring fruits or vegetables in, due to a ban implemented by Mexican Agriculture inspectors. As of now, many of these special courtesies have been extended only to us.
As we finished our meeting, my partner Greg asked if we could pray together. There we were, my ministry partner, and our Tijuana ministry associates, hand in hand around that conference room table (overlooking the border traffic), praying with the 2nd in command of the busiest International border in the world! Truly amazing! God is good!
Could we ask you to pray for a couple of things?:
1) Please pray that the process of all these new privileges will implement smoothly.
2) Also as you read this, Carol and team will be ministering at the Torres Martinez reservation, in the desert area, near Thermal, CA. The team will be partnering with Desert Cahuilla and other Native American Christian leaders, on Torres Martinez reservation, in worship & in prayer.