Red tape tangles an aviation ministry in Congo.

By August 14, 2006

Democratic Republic of Congo (MNN)–Government red tape has grounded some of Mission Aviation Fellowship’s fleet in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

MAF’s Fran Derocher says they’re working to clear up a misunderstanding over a plane tax that’s been going on for almost three years.

Each time a government official has inspected their property, the staff has been able to show paid receipts of past taxes. However, the dispute came to a head this week. “They have come and impounded a couple of our aircraft…(we have five aircraft) and one of our vehicles. So we are facing a situation right now where there is a request that we either pay or the next step will happen. We’re really not sure the next step or how we should handle this one.”

MAF still has use of two aircraft in Western Congo, but their pilots are limited by the size of the planes available that may not be able to land on the rural airstrips.

Derocher says they’re still transporting people, and supplies, as well as providing support for a teaching hospital, but the impound could produce delays for other air support requests.

The fines have been compounded into a huge sum. Derocher says they’re trying to get to the bottom of the issue because different government officials calculate it based on different needs.

Derocher says they desperately need prayer support because: “You’re dealing with different people sometimes as they come and you may have already explained or discussed this with some official, and maybe someone didn’t get the message and a new office is coming by.”

The staff says their prayer needs are crystal clear for, “…wisdom, to know how to clearly explain and show and to prove that we feel that this has been sorted out long ago, so that we can continue the ministry in that part of Congo.”

Pray for the team as they work to resolve this problem.

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