Mounting fuel costs wreak havoc with mission budgets.

By October 22, 2004

International (MNN)–Airlines around the world are forecasting bad news for profits as their expenses rise.

Contributing to that bottom line are rocketing fuel costs. Now, it appears those expenses are having an impact on mission agencies.

With crude oil topping out near $55 (USD) a barrel, the effect has been felt by Africa Inland Mission. AIM-Air’s Jim Streit says a flight to a remote hospital in Kenya brings that home. “We’ll be flying in two hospital workers and some medicines. Just the change over the last several months in the cost of our AV-gas will increase the cost of that flight by about $240 (USD). That’s almost a 10-month salary for one of their local workers there.”

He says the flights aren’t the only thing to go up. With the high cost of fuel, everything goes up–including salaries for missionaries who have to wrangle a higher cost of living.

Streit says the cost is also felt by missionaries. “A dramatic impact on their ministry is that they’re going to be able to spend so much less on the people that really need it. In these areas of the world, $200 (USD) can go a long way to feeding a family or feeding a group of families in starvation conditions, and now, that’s going to just be burned out the exhaust pipes of the airplanes.”

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