International Mission Teams: 2014 Team Members Needed in Ecuador!
Please join us in helping the children of Ecuador. SIFAT offers you that opportunity now! We need team members on several of our scheduled teams to Ecuador this year. Below, you will find dates for teams that need additional members and a summary of the project. We also have weeks available if you are interested in leading a new team from your church, school or community. Please contact Peggy Walker, SIFAT team coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256.396.2015 if you are interested in joining or leading a team in 2014.
Current 2014 teams needing members:
More 2014 teams still needed:
We still need an additional five (5) construction/VBS teams or medical teams between August and November of this year.
Learn & Serve: 48 A Slum Experience 2014 Retreat
Abuja, the gleaming capitol of Nigeria, is filled with neatly landscaped roads and extravagant buildings. It’s wealth, however, is matched by its poverty. The creation of the capitol city of Abuja in the 1980’s displaced many people from the area as well as created an attraction for newcomers. The majority of the new citizens cannot afford the expensive housing in the city, and urban slums have sprung up to house these families.
It is into this environment that participants stepped during Learn & Serve’s fifth-annual “48: A Slum Experience.” Seventy-five youth and adult leaders participated in the event, which was hosted on SIFAT’s campus January 18-20, 2014. During the event, youth and leaders were invited to live as the citizens of urban slums of Abuja to experience the material poverty of these communities first-hand. Participants lived in Learn & Serve’s simulated urban slum for approximately 48 hours while working to provide food, water, and shelter for themselves and their family groups.
Learn & Serve: Fall 2013 Retreats Wrap-Up!
It’s been a busy fall for Learn & Serve at SIFAT! We have had so many wonderful groups from across the southeast come to our campus in Lineville, AL for L&S programming. As we slow down for the winter season, we wanted to share a glimpse of this past season with you!
During Fall 2013, we had 1,903 participants experience a variety of Learn & Serve retreat programs. This is a 37% increase from participation in Fall 2012 Retreats! Here are a couple of highlights from our fall retreat groups:
Get Involved: UMC #GivingTuesday Dec. 3 – Matching Funds Double Your Donation!
Have you often wanted to stretch your giving to include one more orphan, one more hungry family, one more youth longing to study? When you make an online donation on December 3, your gift will double! FOR ONE DAY ONLY, on December 3, 2013, 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 3 beginning at 12 a.m. EST (remember that’s 11 p.m. Dec. 2 CST), you can donate to the SIFAT General Fund on our Advance #982812 page (see link below). We encourage you to donate early because of the limited availability of matching funds (only $500,000 total for all organizations combined)! Our staff will gladly send you an early reminder or help you in any way we can in making your donation. Email Marie (email@example.com) 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 3.
Grace and peace,
*Global Ministries will allocate the “matching funds” dollar for dollar up to the first $500,000 in gifts to all Advance projects combined received online on December 3, 2013, between 12:00 a.m. EST and 11:59 p.m. A maximum of $10,000 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $50,000 in matching funds.
Learn & Serve: Birmingham Youth Support SIFAT Training Graduate in Nigeria!
Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project.
SIFAT’s Learn & Serve department pledged to help Pastor Ogbatabo fund his project through educating North American youth on the issue of smoke inhalation around the world and allowing them the chance to partner with SIFAT through financial contributions. Several L&S staff members and leaders from various participating groups have contributed. One inspiring story of a group committing to fund Pastor Ogbatabo’s project comes from Canterbury United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.
When students from Canterbury UMC met Pastor Ogbatabo while at SIFAT during Summer 2013, they decided they wanted to sponsor his project in Nigeria. After telling their friends and parents about Pastor Ogbatabo and his work, they decided to take up an offering once a month at their Sunday night youth program.