Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Writing Wrongs ~

Recently I learned that many of those who faithfully prayed and generously gave toward the work in South Sudan had questions and concerns about how the money was being spent, especially concerning my frequent trips to Europe. And I wanted to address those questions in hope of clarifying any confusion.

Before I start, let me explain that while I was in Sudan, I was required to leave every 3-4 months. Each time I left, I had to be gone a month (as there was only one plane in and out of Tonj a month), and during each break I was mandatorily sent to Kenya.

What a lot of people have not clearly understood is why I then chose to leave Kenya during those breaks. Please allow me to explain. Kenya is not a safe place (for a white, single woman without transportation), nor is it a restful place (with chaotic roads, overcrowded stores, and general city stress). But the main reason I did not stay was financial.

It surprises many to hear that living in Africa costs as much as living in the States, but it does. Even living as cheaply as I could, I would have to pay roughly $1500/mo to stay in Nairobi and do nothing but stare at a wall.

However, when I chose to fly to Europe to stay with my family and friends it’d cost me about $800 for a ticket and incidentals. But more than anything, going to Europe provided a much needed mental and spiritual break for me that I just couldn’t get in Kenya.

Please know that when I left for Europe, I was not using ministry funds at all. Instead, I used money I saved from my small monthly stipend. I realize it might be hard to believe that going to Europe could be cheaper than staying in Africa, but I assure you it was.
Some people have suggested that I didn’t need to address this issue since when I go to Mozambique, I won’t have to leave every few months like before. However, I don’t want to leave any misunderstandings unaddressed --especially this one.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and please know that if you have any questions about how your donated money is being spent, you can contact IDAT (www.indeedandtruth.org) or Shepherd’s Staff (www.shepsstaff.org) directly and get a full report of expenses at any time.

Before I go, please know that I am sincerely thankful and humbled by each and every one of my blog readers. Many of you have contacted me, encouraged me, and even supported me over the years. I could never have done any of this without your faithful prayers, love, and support.

Sincerely, Thank you!
~ Stephanie