Taxi Update

About a month ago all the taxi drivers in the country went on strike to protest low rate ceilings and unequal government enforcement of taxi permitting. The government responded buy canceling all taxi permits, and requiring everyone who wanted to drive a taxi to repaint their cars with a new paint scheme and to apply for a new permit.

For several weeks there were no legal taxis in the entire country. Kids couldn’t get to school, adults couldn’t get to work, and it was near impossible to buy food or pay bills. Private citizens saw a chance to make money by offering rides in private vehicles at elevated prices. The government responded by stationing lots of additional military on the streets to inspect cars with passengers. Many people were arrested operating a taxi without a permit. We refused to use the private vehicles, because it was so unpredictable.

Slowly, the new taxis have been rolling out onto the streets. The government raised the fare from 60 cents per person to $1 per person. This is a big hit on the citizens, as 70% of the people make less than $2/day. The legitimate taxi drivers are happier.

For us, it is a good thing. Some taxi drivers were driving in unlicensed and unsafe taxis. This meant anyone could drive a cab, and robberies in taxis were becoming too common. Now, only serious business owners are driving taxis. Only people who could afford to re-register and re-paint their cars. Taxi drivers, as a whole, are more professional and courteous than they were two months ago. There are currently much fewer cabs on the streets, meaning longer waits, but the experience is much less intimidating than it used to be.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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