Becoming a missionary in a foreign country comes with many questions, concerns, and unknowns. We have attempted to address many common questions below, but also know that we are happy to walk you through every step of the process.
Most popular questions
Sonlight’s Board of Directors has set an annual budget which covers personal expenses. The total budget for each missionary varies depending on marital status and number of children. Some personal costs, such as passport and vaccination fees, are a missionary’s personal responsibility.
In addition to the budgeted amount, each missionary is encouraged to raise support for ministry work at Sonlight. All income is donation-based and the staff is asked to participate in the work of funding projects and work.
Taking into consideration these variables, the minimum budget for a single missionary is $25,625 for the first year. The minimum budget for a missionary couple is $50,530 for the first year. A detailed budget can be provided upon request. As time of service on the field increases, salary and other expenses will increase, as will the support-raising expectations of missionaries to cover these increases.
A missionary’s budget pays for the following expenses:
- Airfare to/from Haiti – travel to Haiti in August and return trip to the states at the end of the ministry year.
- Travel and taxes – includes all expenses for traveling to Port-de-Paix at the beginning of the year, return expenses to Port-au-Prince, quarterly charges for renewing visas, and exit taxes.
- Approved expenses for travel in the states for fund-raising for Sonlight.
- Moving expenses and supply shipments to Haiti are approved on a case-by-case basis.
- Health coverage – through Samaritan Medical Ministries. Sonlight does not pay more than the premium nor provide coverage for missionaries who are already covered under another health plan.
- Housing and utilities –includes rent, furniture and utilities.
- Monthly salary
- Mail service
- School day lunches – provided each school day for all teachers and their families.
- Approved mission work/ministry projects
Sonlight Ministries is an independent mission organization, so all funds go directly to supporting mission work in Port-de-Paix, Haiti.
All missionaries receive a monthly salary which can be used for personal expenses, supplies, food, and personal travel.
Sonlight missionaries each raise their own support by approaching family, friends, community groups, and churches for assistance. Sonlight relies on support raised by its teacher team to be able to fund its ministry work throughout the year.
Although each missionary raises support individually, please don’t limit your support-raising efforts if your goal amount is achieved. In the same way, please take heart if you don’t achieve your goal before you leave for the field. Sonlight missionaries essentially help one another reach their budget goals by sharing support surplus and deficits. However, our hope is that you will be able to reach your own goal through prayerful, persistent support-raising efforts.
The most common way of raising support is asking churches and individuals to make monthly pledges and one-time gifts on your behalf. A sample support letter has been provided for guidance. You may change the letter to better fit your needs, but there are several specific procedures that must be followed to satisfy IRS requirements. Carmen would be happy to answer any questions and outline these specific requirements as you get started.
Missionaries will live in one of Sonlight’s apartments or a nearby home if required. Each apartment is equipped with basic furnishings, kitchen appliances, and air conditioning. Carmen can provide a list of supplies for specific housing, and additional supplies can be shipped if desired.
Sonlight missionaries typically arrive in Haiti in mid August, and stay through the end of May. Missionaries live in the States during the summer months to visit with family and friends, raise additional support, and provide church updates as needed. Missionaries can visit the States for 2-3 weeks during Christmas break at their own expense.
There are many qualities, skills, and characteristics that make for a good missionary, and our leadership and Board of Directors want to see how you can best be placed in our various ministries.
Our greatest need is for Sonlight Academy teachers, but a teaching background or license is not required. All training and materials will be provided for you.
If you have a specific skill or interest, please let us know!
Knowledge of Haitian Creole is not required for missionary service. Sonlight Academy is an English immersion school, and students are taught exclusively in English beginning in first grade.