John and Bethany Arndt

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faq’s

GENERAL QUESTIONS | FINANCIAL QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

General Questions

Why not serve in the US (there is poverty and big needs here too)?

This is quite true, there are needs everywhere. But for us God has lead us here, to South Africa, where there are many less resources than our own country. For instance, the foster care system in America is pretty lousy with a great number of kids in it, but at least there is a working foster care system where children can be integrated into families and homes. Most orphans in South Africa grow up in children’s homes (a better sounding term for an orphanage), on the streets, or mostly fend for themselves in their home villages.

How long have we been here and how long to we plan stay?

Bethany moved here in 2008 with the intention of investing long term. John moved here at the end of 2010 with the same intention. We feel very planted where we live and work, just south of Cape Town. We can imagine our lives unfolding here indefinitely, but we will remain open to follow whatever directions the Lord gives us in the future. For now we have long term ministry goals that will likely take several years to come to pass.

What is All Nations?

All Nations is an interdenominational Christian, non-profit (501C3) organization that offers leadership  & ministry training. They are involved in church planting, mentoring, caring for the poor, community development, education, AIDS awareness, and various bases and projects through out Asia, the middle east, and Africa. Today, All Nations workers are serving full-time in over 25 different countries.

For us, All Nations here in Cape Town is also our church. We all function in various ministry teams but we also “do” church together… worshiping God, loving each other, serving the poor, and making disciples of Jesus together.

Is South Africa Safe?

It is rated as one of the highest crime rates in the world, to be honest. But we feel much safer in our region than in more populated places like Johannesburg or large townships. We have some personal rules for our own safety, but mostly we try to always be assertive and careful, as we trust God to protect us. Going in and out of the townships and spending large amount of time there has its risks, but it also ensures that many people in the communities respect us and want to protect us.

Do we have running water and electricity?

Yes we do! We live in a “suburban” like neighborhood. Society here is unfortunately very segregated among the races. It would be unsafe to live inside the township with Africans due to crime, where most people live in tin shacks, although some have graduated to concrete homes with proper electricity and toilets. We live only a couple blocks from the local township, but our flat has a lot of modern amenities (minus a dishwasher, washing machine or clothes dryer).

How can we contact you in South Africa?

There are 5 great ways to stay in touch & we would LOVE to hear from you.

You can send us letters or small packages in the mail. Large boxes are at risk for being stolen at customs, or heavily taxed but sending anything small or medium is such a joy to receive.  Our postal address is:

John & Bethany Arndt, PO Box 1606, Sun Valley, South Africa 7985

We can receive international calls  & texts on our cell phones .

To call John from the US, dial (011) 27-71-258-8689 

To call Bethany from the US, dial (011) 27 76 449 5926

We are also able to check emails daily at bethany@thebabysafe.org and john.arndt81@gmail.com

We both have Blackberries at the moment and may be reached via BBM with the PIN #’s. John: 20913977  Bethany: 22DC2046 (this is for other blackberry users).

How can we pray for you?

We absolutely love (& NEED!) prayer support; we send regular prayer requests via emails to those on our prayer team. If you would like to join our prayer team please email us at bethany@thebabysafe.org!

What else do you need besides money?

Talking on the phone is pretty expensive here, as we pay per minute, both a home phone and a cell phone. We have discovered that we can save greatly by using Blackberries, because a Blackberry can text another Blackberry completely free. Therefore we are always on the look out for used Blackberries, especially for the Baby Safe team. Because we collect used ones, they regularly break and there is usually someone who needs one. So if you know of one sitting around, contact us and we may be able to connect you with someone stateside who is on their way here.

As mentioned above we need prayer support. We can describe the significance of prayer in what we do. Often when situations arise, we know that if we can just get an email out to our team, that the Lord will respond and grant us favor.

The Baby Safe team often has a need for a specific type of volunteer. For instance, someone who could come serve short or long term in the area of finances, building, graphics, web development, marketing, PR, child care, etc. If you are interested in coming for a season, please contact us! We are limited on how many short term volunteers & teams we can facilitate being hosted, but we would love to dialogue with you about your interests.

How will you treat me as a partner…. really?

Unfortunately aid workers/missionaries are notorious for under-appreciating their partners. We have supported missionaries ourselves and have always been baffled by this pattern.

You work hard for your money – every penny – and your time is precious. No one has resources to frivolously throw around. When you give, you want to feel it actually matters. We get this. It is among our highest priorities to show our gratitude and vividly illustrate how your partnership with us is changing lives and making a difference.

Financial Questions

How do you support yourselves?

Due to strict South African immigration laws we are here on “volunteer visas”, therefore we are unable to work or be paid to work here. Our support comes from the donations of others, which are tax deductible through Trek Mission Fellowship or Baby Safe International. Non tax deductible donations may be made right here using the Paypal button on this website.

What does your support go towards?

All donations designated to us go towards our living expenses. This includes rent, gas, health insurance, utilities, food, travel expenses, etc.

Baby Safe does separate fundraising for ministry expenses.

If I choose to support you monthly – how long does my committment last?

You can begin and end monthly support at any time, solely at your discretion.

We understand with changing jobs and family situations, it’s difficult to know how long you may be able to continue monthly support.

We would encourage you to evaluate your monthly support every 6 months and feel free to discontinue at any time, for any reason.

Your monthly commitment will continue until you indicate you would like it to end. Of course, if we decide to come back to live in the United States, your monthly support would end automatically.

Why does my check need to include a note that says “Preferred for John and Bethany” in the memo? How do I know it will really go to you?

Although your donation will certainly go directly to us – it’s best to include a seperate note that says “preferred for John and Bethany Arndt” for IRS purposes. Your gift is still tax-deductible, and you will get a statement at the end of the year reflecting your contributions.

With some organizations the money donated to a certain volunteer is thrown into a “pool” of other volunteers. Is this the case with Baby Safe or Trek?

No, any money donated to us will go directly to us.

Will an administrative fee or any amount be taken out of my donation towards you?

At this time we are thankful that a volunteer processes all donations in the United States, therefore the exact amount that you give, we receive.

How are you notified that I have made a financial commitment?

We receive a list once a month about who has given to us. Although it is also very helpful for you to contact us about your intention to give. We will want to be sure to include you in all of our updates to hear how your partnership is making a difference. You will also receive an end of the year statement of how much you gave, for tax purposes.

What methods can I use to give?

If you do not care about a tax deduction please feel free to easily use a debit/credit card securely on the Paypal option on this website. We plan to provide a tax deductable Paypal option soon!

Otherwise you can send a check to Baby Safe:

Baby Safe International
4676 Commercial St. S.E. #1
Salem, OR 97302

Some monthly givers have opted to arrange with their bank to automatically send a check each month, this proves very convenient for them and we suggest inquiring with you bank about it. If you would like to make a donation from another location, such as South Africa or Europe please contact us for other options.

Was your question not answered here? Do not hesitate to contact us to ask it!

bethany@thebabysafe.org