After touring the United States at the beginning of the year, I received some very generous donations, and I also withdrew my teacher retirement. I knew that the amount would sustain me for a limited amount of time, but if I did not begin heading in the direction of my goals, I would get nowhere fast. I continue to receive approximately $200 a month in donations, and if that trend continues, my money will run out at the end of January 2014.
I have two options to remain in South Africa. One option is to get a work visa in an area of need. Teaching, thankfully, is a need area that I am qualified for and have a good chance of receiving a job and a work visa for. However, this would mean that I would not be able to volunteer for NACSA, except for a few hours on the side. I would hardly be able to help them sufficiently in the areas they need.
The other option is the preferred choice. In this option, I continue to volunteer full time and find support through a variety of ways.
I have been living, since April, on approximately $800 a month. I have converted the South African Rand to Dollars, for my American readers. The exchange rate is currently aprox R10 to 1 USD.
Other Bills $60
My friends here don’t ask me to bring anything when they invite me to social gatherings, and “the borrower” is soon becoming my unspoken nickname. Thankfully, I have VERY gracious friends, who have basically furnished my house with donated items.
While I do not mind most of the sacrifices, there are a few areas that must change in order for me to continue. I must get a car. This city is big, and the car I borrow once a week to make it across town to NACSA meetings may not be available much longer. I also need medical insurance, as I foresee a recurring surgical procedure in my future, as well as my continual problem of chronic sinus infections.
Previous Budget $800
Medical Insurance $100
Car Payment $200
Car Insurance $100
Increase in Gas/Petrol $100
Cushion for Unexpected $200
I believe that I could possibly make it on $1200, but $1500 would make me feel a lot safer, in the eventuality of unexpected life emergencies. Below are current monetary commitments.
Current Monthly Commitments: $100 a month
Donation from FCC, the church I volunteer for: $200 a month
That leaves $1200 a month that I will need to provide for, using a variety of methods.
- I have asked NACSA if they can also supply me with a monthly stipend. Currently, they have very little money in their accounts, but the online member application form and collection of dues project I’m working on should help that. They have discussed it and informed me that they will put together a proposal for me. Please pray that donations to NACSA increase so that they will be able to offer me a decent stipend.
- I have begun to sew and sell items, https://www.facebook.com/ellabellastitched, that I’m using to make some side money. I need to open an online store and find a way to market it better in order to make it successful.
- One of the key ways to sustaining my work with NACSA is to receive commitments of monthly support. No amount is too small. Even a commitment of $10 a month will go a long way, and if you e-mail me at email@example.com, we can arrange, via paypal, to withdraw money on a monthly basis without having to do it manually each time. If you would like to donate on a one-time basis, go to http://paintingzebras.com/support-me/. If you would like to make a monthly commitment, please e-mail me, and we will set up a monthly system.
Please pray about it. No matter what you decide, be blessed. I am so grateful for all of you who have donated in the past and for those who follow my journey and provide encouragement.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -James 1:27
Learn to do right, seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. -