Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fundraising info and Good-byes

Those of you on facebook may have seen my most recent fundraising update - I am currently at 80% of needed funds. This is a definite blessing, praise the Lord.  Being close to my goal has raised a question: what if one raises too much money?

The answer to this is complex. My budget is based on estimates of what I think I will spend, based on numbers I received from Tenwek and what I spent last time. The budget is not set in stone and things, like my rent, are quoted in American dollars, if the American or Canadian economy changes and the dollars no longer line up, I will need additional funds. Prices in Kenya such as lodging, food and transportation could also change while I am there or since my last visit.
 That being said, if it looks like I will have too much money I have a few options. First -  all the monies raised go to Samaritan's Purse.  They reimburse me for expenses, and must approve all of them.  They would not reimburse me just because the money is there or because I feel like taking off to Hawaii. So given their approval here are a few options for extra money in no particular order:

~Using the funds for a trip to Burundi to work with some missionary doctors who I met at Tenwek. They are restarting a hospital there and I would love to go and help them out, by offering education and support, for a week or two. Burundi is close to Kenya and going from there would be an economical decision.

~Purchasing medical equipment that will be utilized by Tenwek.

~Help the community with contributions to local orphanages, needy patient fund etc.

~Keep the money in the account for my future work at Tenwek, if I intend to return after my first 2 years.

~Transfer the funds to other work the Samaritan's Purse is doing.

So there are plenty of good reasons for you to continue giving, if you feel called, as funds will not go to waste.

I have also been asked how much Samaritan's Purse takes for administration expenses. When I proposed this question to my contact at Samaritan's Purse the answer is that they will not charge any fees or percentages for their administration costs. These are recouped through their general fundraising drives.

On a completely separate note I have started saying good-byes, I only have a little less then a week before I head south. So I am saying good bye to Edmonton, the city I will not miss, it is a city. When I say I'm saying good-bye to Edmonton I mean the people here. My friends, co-workers (most of whom are also friends), and church family. It is crazy when I think that it will be years before I see all these people again. I will miss weddings, and babies more that I will miss time together, fun laughs and conversations at the end of a long night shift, it seems the most serious and/or hilarious conversations take place at this time.

So if you live in Edmonton, good-bye, I love ya and will miss ya. Come find me in the next week for a hug. And remember e-mail works (most of the time) in Kenya too. And if you ever find yourself in Kenya, spend a day or a week with me at Tenwek.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Much to be Thankful For

It’s almost thanksgiving, wow, time flies. Back in the spring when I was accepted by Samaritan’s purse to go to Kenya I looked at the long list of things to do before my departure in January. Much of this list has been checked off, however, I keep adding to it so it does not seem to get any shorter and the time to complete my tasks keeps passing by. I am very excited for the next step and that next step will be hitting the road.
The end of October I will be resigning from my permanent position at the Misericordia. This same job that I was so excited to get upon graduation in 2008 I am walking away from. I am sad to say good-bye to my friends, a familiar work environment, knowing what to (mostly) expect when I  get to work each day and my paycheck. I am trading this in for new friends, a different work environment and day to day work full of new surprises – will there be oxygen coming out of the wall today? Will my equipment work? Will anyone show up for the lecture I prepared?
As I mentioned earlier I am hitting the road, early November my roadtrip begins. I am heading south, to visit family and friends. I start out with a visit with my brother in Iowa and then head to the Global Mission Health conference in Kentucky. This is a great place to network with medical missionaries – past, present and future. From Kenutky I have some time, 2 weeks until I must be in Colorado for a 3 week mission training course, so I will spend time with friends who I met previously in Tenwek. Here is a map of my proposed trip

you can see it in more detail here (
Between points "D" and "I", my timing is a little flexible, so if you live anywhere along here and think I should stop by send me an e-mail. If you live along one of the long stretches I may be looking for a place to spend the night so if you live there and have some couch space for me let me know. 

I am thankful for this opportunity to spend time with my family and friends. I met these friends during my time in Kenya in 2011 and we experienced a lot together and I hope this friendship will be able to withstand the test of time.

As its thanksgiving I will end this post with a list of things I am thankful for:
  • Donations received by Samaritans Purse as of Oct 1, 60% of my funds are raised
  • Family who are supportive despite the fact I am moving to another continent
  • God who has given me Salvation and guidance
  • Friends who are excited for me and listen to the same stories over and over again
  • a great job that has given me flexibility and funds over the past year
  • a place to live with a great friend 
  • the time to travel to see friends and family