This week, we found out that our per diem would not cover the cost of someone driving us from Bamako to Koutiala. Usually, with a team of 8, the per diem for 8 people covers the transportation. The option given to us was to ride the bus. While riding the bus would be weird, not knowing the language and all, we were ok with it. The part that we weren't comfortable with was the fact that we will have all the phone equipment with us. The way I've seen stuff stored on buses over there, I was really nervous about the equipment safety.
Here's where God comes in! One of the missionaries and their children will be on our final flight into Bamako. This means they will already have a car there that can take us to Koutiala. We will still ride the bus back to Bamako at the end of our trip, but without all the phones, we'll feel much better about that. To be honest, I think it'll be a fun way to experience a bit of the culture there.
I've been a bit discouraged about the amount that has come in to cover my trip costs, but I think this is just another reminder for me that God is in control of everything, especially our trip plans! There is one more thing we're concerned about. We're going to have a lot of phone equipment packed in our suitcases for the work we're doing there. Please pray that we will be able to get all this through airport security without any issues!
Thank you for your continued prayers as we move closer to the March 18, 2011 departure to Mali.