How To Afford a Mission Trip to Africa

I’ve been blessed to travel on mission trips to Africa, and I’m planning my fourth trip in August. You may wonder how a small-town librarian affords such a venture. And so, I’ve put pencil to paper to demonstrate how small behavior changes grew my mission fund.

businesswoman with a note-book

I stopped grabbing breakfast at my favorite drive-through restaurant. The average cost was $3.27 per day. Multiply that figure times five days per week = $10.60 and you’ll discover that I save $850.00 annually by eating breakfast at home.

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I decided to pack my lunch. If I buy lunch at a cheap fast-food restaurant, the expense is about $6.00 per day. The lunch I prepare from home is estimated to cost about $2.00. There are many days, I eat left-overs, so $20 savings per week is a conservative estimate that yields and annual saving of $1040.

A school lunch with a deviled ham sandwich, apple, granola bar and textbooks

I gave up sodas in 2013. I did this for health reasons, but at three sodas per day at a cost of .58 cents each. ($1.74 x 7 days per week) $12.18 x 52 weeks = $633.36. Today, I drink water that costs next to nothing.

fresh water pouring into glass

I used to replenish my skin care products about once per quarter at my favorite department store.  The minimum cost was about $100.00 for a moisturizer and a bottle of makeup. I won’t include the extras such as eye-shadow, blush, and mascara. I decided to switch to drugstore brands and cut the cost in half. Instead of $400 per year. I spend $200 and save $200.00.

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I’ve had my hair highlighted for years every other month at the local hair salon. The cost was $80. To color my hair at home, it costs $9.00, saving me $71.00 six times a year which total to $426.00

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To summarize:

  • Breakfast & coffee at home: $850
  • Brown bagging lunch $1040
  • Giving up sodas: $633.36
  • Using drugstore brand skin care products $200.00
  • Home hair-color products $426

Grand Total: $3149.36 which is enough to pay for a mission trip to Africa.

I don’t consider any of the choices listed above to be a sacrifice. Today, I eat healthier and save money.

If you want to go on a mission trip, but don’t have the funds, I challenge you to look at your spending habits and open a saving account. The money will add up, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way.

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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

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