PET MO-Columbia update 2-11-13

Goal to date: 216 Actual to date: 244

*** We are preparing to send a container of mission items to Rainbow
Network, in Nicaragua, so this is a good time to answer a question I receive
often, “What is a container?”

— A container is a large steel box with the common size of 8 feet wide, 9
feet tall, and 40 feet long. It is solid with two doors at one end. That
means it has a bit less than 3,000 cubic feet shipping capacity.

— Some containers are only 20 feet long, and shipping units are measured in
TEU’s–(twenty-foot equivalent units).

— The container is delivered to us by truck, and they wait while we load.
If it takes more than two hours to load, we pay extra. The container then
goes by truck to either St. Louis or Memphis, where it is loaded onto a
train and goes “piggy-back” to a port city. You may have seen a train load
of containers, with usually two on a flat car, and sometimes stacked two

— At the port city they are stacked in a huge parking lot to await their

— When shipping time comes the containers go aboard a ship that resembles a
huge floating car park, carrying as many as 18,000 TEU’s. The Panama Canal
is scheduled to be enlarged to enable it to handle ships of up to 13,000

— As shippers we are able to follow the path and timing of our shipment via

— At the receiving end, the containers are loaded onto a truck and carried
to their destination. When countries are land-locked, such as Zambia, that
adds to the costs.

— Our costs of shipping a container have been from around $6,000 (Central
America) to $14,000 (Cameroon), Duties and customs are added to that.

— We can put 212 boxed PETs in a 40 ft. high-rise container. The shipment
being readied now is of clothing, shoes, school supplies, toys, books, etc.


*** Several years ago a Zambian leg-handicapped woman named Jesse, who lives
about 3 miles from the United Methodist NewLife Center, heard about PET and
received one. She began to crank her way to the Center weekly for Bible
study. There she learned about the sewing project, and stayed to take
lessons. Then she received a machine and began to earn a living with it.
When I asked Delbert Groves, director of the Center about her recently, he
wrote: “Jesse is doing great! She is now in charge of the sewing/tailoring
shop. She keeps real busy. I’ll make sure she gets your greetings.” (See
attached story and pictures from 2005.)


*** Morgan Matsiga, our PET worker in Zimbabwe, recently reported visiting
the Mutemwa Leprosy Care Center, and talking with a PET recipient there
named “One Way.” Victims of leprosy can often be mobile with a PET when they
cannot make use of a standard wheelchair because of their lack of fingers,


“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is
not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that
strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them, is a dry-as-dust
religion.” – Martin Luther King


Mel West

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