A miracle at customs

October 10, 2013

by Karen Dyck, Program Developer - Africa

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

 On my way back from Africa, I needed to make one more stop to another of our water projects. I was carrying a role of stainless steel wire screen for our project that had now made its way to Africa twice, got left behind once, and was now on its way with me on this trip 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. This is the screen that all of our water projects need in order to make BioSand Water Filters, but it is 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 to all the other four—all of which made it through customs without me having to pay any duty costs! Praise the Lord.

On this occasion, I decided that the same God who had traveled with me through all of those other customs offices in those other countries could perform the same miracle for a fifth time—even if the customs in this particular nation is more strict than any other I have encountered in Africa.

I prayed very hard on the flight that God would actually blind the eyes of the customs officials and that they wouldn't even ask me one question about the screen (which in my estimation was impossible, since they send each bag through an x-ray machine and check all of 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 in order to not 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 continued to walk through to the doors. When I reached the doors, I could breathe 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 money I was forced 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 all collectively stunned. No one ever gets through customs with such conspicuous luggage without being forced to pay a ridiculous amount of money to clear the items.

What an amazing experience!