Final South African Update – Homeward Bound

It’s Official!

Less than one month until my feet will walk upon Miami’s beaches.

I miss you all so much, and I can’t wait to spend some quality “in person” time with you when I get back!

This is going to be my last email to you all before I fly home, so here’s the final update:

  • I will be home from December 8th until January 10th.  It’s going to be a quick trip back, but I am really looking forward to visiting family and friends while I am home.  My main two goals will be to spend as much quality time with my family as possible, and to debrief and vision plan with my church for the upcoming year.  Also, fundraising… which brings me to my next point.
  • As always, I hate this part, but I’ve learned that it’s a horribly wonderful necessity to working on the mission field.  It’s also a huge blessing that won’t be received by both the giver and the receiver (if I don’t woman up and ask for it).  So here it goes:

Because I only have a month home, and because that month just so happens to  be the month of “Christmas presents and holiday vacations”—I have to start my fundraising for next year as soon as possible (AKA: now).  I am returning to South Africa in January to continue all of the awesome work that the Lord has started, and I will need about $1600 a month to do that.  Because of the wonderful monthly donors I already have (thank you!), I will only need to raise about $7,500 to get me to my goal budget for the next 12 months.  The South African rand is at about 12.6 to 1 dollar right now, so God is really “multiplying the loaves” so to speak.  I will need to raise as much money as possible so that I can purchase a plane ticket back to South Africa before January.  If you do not have the means to donate, then please consider adding me to your prayer list.  Prayer is incredibly appreciated and incredibly valuable to me, so thank you in advance for that!  Being on the mission field is a daily battle full of adventure, last minute obstacles, and steps of faith.  Your prayers and support have kept me going for two years so far, and I am beyond blessed.

I want to quickly take the time to thank you all for the continuous support and encouragement and love that I’ve received over the past two years.  I have never once felt alone or abandoned, and that is a very special gift considering that I am over 7,000 miles away.  Thank you for being a part of my successes and my failures—and my accomplishments and my mistakes.  Thank you for the ongoing financial support to help me put food on the table and petrol in my car—and thank you for the emotional and spiritual support that has helped me to sleep soundly on airplane trips and mosquito infested evenings in Uganda.  Thank you for believing in the mission that God has laid upon my heart, and thank you for trusting me to live out my faith in a foreign land.  It’s been a difficult but rewarding journey, and every single second of it has been absolutely worth it.  Lastly, I don’t know what the future has in store; I have learned that anything and everything is possible with God.  This next year could may or may not be my last year in South Africa because of my visa expiring in December of 2017, so it is going to be a big year of prayer and seeking direction from the Lord on what my next steps will need to be.  And as I take those steps forward in this great adventure, I will continue to fill you in along the way.  Love you all so much.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Missionary,

Sam

P.S.  Here is the info for my mission fund:

– online: http://ssmfi.org/missionary/samantha-stokesberry/

by mail: mail a check with my account number #6020 in the memo section to:

Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators

6739 Academy Road NE, Suite 320

Albuquerque, NM, 87109

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