December was very busy this year. Usually loaner cars for missionaries are at a low over the winter. I guess a lot of missionaries where visiting family and we ended up with most of our fleet out.
The building project is moving but not very fast. Are permit was denied because of incomplete information. Over the last six or so weeks the contractors helping us with the project, have been busy helping us gather and resubmit the information. Late December we had a meeting with the township and builder to clear up all the issues. During that meeting the township representative was very positive about all our work and he is suppose to issue our permit any day. The township has also given us an extension on the work till late summer 2016. God has sent a supporter our way that has pledged $10,000 towards the CMTS warehouse building project. We are very thankful for his generosity and God leading him our way to help. Please continue to pray that God provides the good weather, people, supplies, and money needed to finish this project.
Belize trip 2016 is underway. With the help of a couple work teams we were able to get the containers packed and ready before Christmas. Please pray for safety and community on the trip down. This year a convoy of 4 tractor-trailers, a school bus, and a service van, are heading south January 17th. Check the CMTS Facebook for on the road updates during the trip.
Ministry Spotlight: Loaner Cars
As already mentioned this fall has been abnormally high for fleet car requests. So we figured this would be a good time to talk about this very unique and important part of CMTS. When missionaries come home on furlough they often have problems finding transportation. So before leaving their perspective field, they contact us and reserve a vehicle inline with their needs.
The fleet consists of three main categories. First is Small cars, this includes cars like Ford focuses and Chevy cavilers. These cars are great for singles and couples with minimum luggage. Second, is normal cars, they include cars like, Ford Tauruses and Buick la sabres. This category is good for small families with moderate luggage. The last category is minivans. Almost all of our minivans are MOPAR, Chrysler Town and Country, or Dodge Grande caravans. These vans are good for moderate size families with a lot of luggage. We do have other style cars like station wagons and crossovers, but just lump them in with other categories. On occasion we get requests from a very large family, and in those cases we send them out with one of our full size vans. At the moment we have two full size 15 passenger Ford Club wagons, and a 12 Passenger Mercedes Sprinter.
Besides missionary use of fleet cars and vans, we have a fleet van and bus program for domestic churches. If a church work team or youth group have a program or missions trip, they can borrow one of our vehicles. For this program we have the three for-mentioned vans, a 36 passenger charter bus, and three full size school buses.
A lot of man power goes into keeping all these vehicles going. Our full time fleet coordinator, Joseph Ciasulli, is constantly taking requests from missionaries and churches. He is also in charge of making sure that all of our vehicles have registration, insurance, inspections, scheduled service in the shop, and are clean and ready to go for day of pick up. Joseph works directly besides Nick VanWert. Nick is the shop manager. As the shop manager Nick is responsible for the overseeing of the repair and maintenance of the forty plus cars in our fleet. Besides the fleet cars, Nick is also responsible for the repair and maintenance of all the buses and vans, purchase cars for missionaries, maintenance vehicles, like our rollback, dump trucks, and box trucks. He maintains all landscaping equipment and yearly Belize Trip convoy. We have three full time mechanics serving under Nick. They are Irvin, Tom, and Buzz.
These vehicles have been a huge blessings to both missionaries from around the world and domestic congregations. If anyone knows of a missionary in need of a car for furlough or a church looking for transportation to an event, contact Joseph to discuss options and scheduling.