Ecuador: Safe in Quito after Saturday’s Earthquake
As you have probably heard, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Ecuador Saturday afternoon. The epicenter was more than 100 miles from Quito. Thankfully, we have talked to Dr. Roberto, our director in Ecuador, and he assures us that our project sites in Quito are safe. They felt the earthquake, but because tremors are not uncommon, they did not realize the severity of this earthquake until much later.He said there was some minor damage in the southern part of Quito, but nothing as devastating as we have seen in the news from the areas on the coast. We are still planning to take all of our medical and construction teams this summer, but we are asking them to be flexible, in case there are opportunities to serve in areas affected by the earthquake.
Thank you for all of the emails, calls and prayers for our staff and project sites in Quito. We will continue to update you as we learn of specific ways we can help and as we receive news from our graduates that live closer to the devastated areas. Continue to pray for Ecuador and those who lost homes, friends and family in this disaster!
Village Store Christmas Sale
We are excited to offer items from the Village Store for Christmas this year. We are starting to build our online storefront, so check back often as we add new items. Currently, you can find books written by our co-founders Ken and Sarah Corson; merchandise to show your support of SIFAT – t-shirts, water bottles, stickers and sunglasses; wooden, tagua and masapan angels from Ecuador; and wooden plates and cutting boards from Bolivia.
Click here to start shopping!
Online Shopping Benefits SIFAT
Are you looking for online deals this holiday shopping season? If so, did you know many online retailers donate a percentage of each purchase to nonprofits, such as SIFAT? They do – and often have coupons, too! It gets easier with apps and coupons. From your favorite clothing merchants to office supply stores, you can help raise money for SIFAT! Choose one of the options below (free registration may be required) and designate SIFAT as your charity/nonprofit. Then, pick what store you want to visit from thousands of options. You will be redirected to the store’s website. Then, make your purchases and checkout from the merchant, as usual.
Check out these options below:
Our staff uses these options when ordering office supplies and other materials we need. Earlier this month, we received checks for almost $150 because of individuals and our staff adding an extra click to their shopping experiences. Help us spread the word on how you can shop with purpose!
Double Your Money#GivingTuesday 2015
Matching funds can double your financial gift to SIFAT when you make an online donation on December 1! Don’t get caught up in the holiday giving season, rushing from store to store, or site to site, to find the best sales to get everyone on your list the perfect present! FOR ONE DAY ONLY, on December 1, 2015, as part of UMC #GivingTuesday, gifts made to the SIFAT general fund through Advance #982812 will be matched*. On this day, 200 percent of your gift directly supports our SIFAT ministry.
On December 1 beginning at 12 a.m. CST, you can donate to the SIFAT General Fund on our Advance #982812 page. We encourage you to donate early because of the limited availability of matching funds! Our staff will gladly send you an early reminder or help you in any way we can in making your donation. Email Marie (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or with information on how you would like to be contacted for your reminder – phone, e-mail or text!
Here is the website to use to donate. Simply click the large, red GIVE NOW button on the right side of the page.
Thank you so much for your faithful support to SIFAT and for doubling your impact by making a generous gift on December 1.
Grace and peace,
*Global Ministries will allocate the “matching funds” dollar for dollar up to the first $1,000,000 in gifts to all Advance projects combined received online on December 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. CST and 11:59 p.m. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to SIFAT will be dispersed as matching funds. SIFAT may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
Bolivia: Mt. Bethel UMC Update 2
The Mt. Bethel UMC mission team is currently in Quesimpuco, Bolivia. Each year, a group of men from Marietta, Ga., look forward to spending time together serving the people in this remote Andean village and sharing during devotions. SIFAT’s executive director Tom Corson, administrator Terry Haynes and board member Art Stephenson joined this team. Bert Blanchard, a former team leader, could not go this year, but he has been sending out daily updates he receives from the team to family and former team members. Bert’s updates include photos, descriptions and stories from previous years that will help you understand the landscape and culture of the area. For more information on SIFAT’s work in Quesimpuco, download our latest update here. For the first half of the Mt. Bethel team’s week, click here.
Wednesday, October 28
The team finished the irrigation pipe work that could be completed and are planning to spend more time getting to know the families in the village. They completed the work faster than expected with the help of their new friends. He said there was one woman in particular who was carrying large stones down to support/protect the pipes that no one from the US could keep up with.
They have been enjoying time together in the small-group atmosphere: sharing devotions, cooking meals and playing cards. Wayne Hiott is leading the music and songs. Andy Rogers is leading worship, devotions and setting the tone for their spiritual nourishment.
Today, they were planning to spend more time playing with the kids, and Art Stephenson was to share a devotion with the people of Quesimpcuo about his experience with NASA.
Thanks to the past 20 years of support by SIFAT and mission teams like this one, the kids now have clean drinking water, more nutrition in their diet, a school, a medical clinic, and they get to worship and hear about Jesus Christ. Before, none of these things were possible. You can see the impact in one generation already. The kids are taller and healthier than their parents and have many more opportunities to use their gifts to support a bright future for the village.