Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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The Rev. Sam Childers says he might need a lawyer.

The Pennsylvania missionary operates an orphanage for victims of the war in Sudan’s Darfur region and he’s in a fight with federal aviation officials over a $28,000 fine for some supplies he tried to send to his children in Africa.

For more than a decade, he has transported needed supplies to operate its power-generator in a clearly marked Rubbermaid container. That is until April, when three quarts of motor oil, two bottles of diesel treatment and a can of WD-40 spray lubricant in the crate were confiscated by airline screeners.

Mr. Childers, president of World Missions Shekinah Fellowship, apologized in a later letter to U.S. government officials, saying he was not aware the supplies were classified as “hazardous materials” and illegal to ship by commercial plane.

The minister thought the matter was resolved. But now, six months later, Mr. Childers has been notified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) he will be fined $28,000 for the transgression.

“We don’t have that kind of money to start with, I just don’t know what to do,” said Mr. Childers, who operates the shelter for 200 children whose parents have been killed in the bloody civil war in Sudan.

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