Somalia (MNN) ― The United States vows to fight piracy along the Somali coastline. New strategies under discussion include more Navy gunships and the launch of a campaign to disable pirate "mother ships."
Companies using those shipping lanes are wary as pirate attacks have increased tenfold in the first three months of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.
Ransoms and delays have forced a difficult choice for many businesses. Rather than risk a run-in with pirates and lose an entire cargo, more ships are opting to go around the Cape of Good Hope instead of the Suez Canal.
The distance adds fuel costs to the bottom line, and delays can be equally costly. All of this has an impact on the price of goods. The effect is compounded by a steep drop in revenue for Egypt and has had a ripple effect on that nation's economy.
Ministries are not exempt from the situation. Africa Inland Mission ships vital supplies to their teams using these lanes.
Here's the story as it unfolded: AIM's Mark Wilson was still learning the ropes in his new ministry as Logistics Coordinator for AIM's U.S. Headquarters, when a call came offering a supply of free Band-aids. Not thinking much of it, he gladly accepted the offer. "I am always looking for ways to fill ocean containers," said Wilson. "I realized my mistake when the second UPS truck full of Band-aids arrived."
"In packing the next ocean container [full of valuable equipment], I had room left over after everything was packed -- I saw my opportunity to get rid of some Band-aids and filled the empty space in the back of the container."
Later, they got word that pirates did board a ship and break into one of AIM's containers. Upon finding the Band-aids used to fill extra space in it, they went on to the next container, leaving AIM's equipment untouched.
God had a purpose for using those many Band-aids to protect AIM's vital supplies. Keep praying for protection for ministries shipping resources.
"I stand amazed at the faithfulness of God," says Wilson, "even in what I would consider my mistakes."