Merry Christmas! The SIFAT office will be closed Dec. 24 and 25 in celebration of Christmas. We hope you enjoy this holiday season with your friends and family. We will reopen on Dec. 28.
Reminder: If you are planning to make an end-of-year contribution to SIFAT, your gift must be dated and postmarked by Dec. 31, 2009, to be eligible for 2009 tax deductions. If the dates are Jan. 1 or after, you will get a jump start on your 2010 giving! Remember, you can also donate online on our website using PaypalÂ or throughÂ Causes on Facebook – SIFAT’s cause.
Happy New Year! The SIFAT office will close Jan. 1 to observe New Year’s.
Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. During Practicum, Becky shared her experience on our blog. Now that she is in an intern in Bolivia, she will post updates as our interns in 2008 did. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas.
Leaving the Internado and the kids was very difficult because many will return after their summer vacation, but some will not. I donâ€™t know if I will ever see them again. I am thankful for having the opportunity to get to know each of them and pray that their time at the Internado will have a positive effect on their lives.
The last month has been very busy. The kids all had projects to work on for school, and we were trying to finish up our classes in English and computers. I gave a final exam in English with 100 questions. Almost all of them passed and received a certificate for completing the course. In computer classes, their final assignment was to write a letter to the interns that were at the Internado this past July. It was interesting to watch them select various colors and fonts to make the letters more fun. They learned a lot about using Word writing these letters. We could really use a few more laptop computers for classes next year if anyone is planning to upgrade to a new one this Christmas please consider donating your old one that is still in good condition to the Internado. You can contact me by email if interested.Â Blforrest2008@gmail.com.
We had a big celebration the night before we left. One of the pigs was slaughtered, and our cook Mercedes prepared a wonderful meal of roasted pork, potatoes, yucca and plantains all cooked in our big wood-fired oven that we use to bake bread.
Today (Dec. 6 – Sunday) is Election Day in Bolivia, and the entire city of LaPaz is shut down. It is very strange to not hear horns blaring from my hotel room, but a good quiet day for reflection. I was thinking of the biggest message God has sent me during this year living in Bolivia. I have definitely learned to trust Him more for ever part of my life. When we are living in our comfortable houses and communities we really are not aware of how much we really have in common with peoples living on the other side of the world – or in my case the other side of equator. One of the first things that really impressed me was that everyone here calls each other Hermana/o when greeting one another. That is Spanish for brother or sister. We really are all brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of where we live, and that is the biggest message I have received. We may speak different languages and live different life styles. There are cultural differences also, but we want the same basic things in life. We all have the connection of being sons of God. Galatians 3:26 â€œFor you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesusâ€ tells us we are all one big family regardless of where we live. When you become involved in mission work this really comes into reality.
I thank everyone for the prayers and support you have given me over the past year and hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures on the blog. I look forward to coming back and making new brothers and sisters next year at the Internado. My posts will return in February when I return to Ixiamas for another year. Please keep the staff and kids in your prayers during our break as we make plans for the New Year.
Another DecembeRadio concert is being held in Mississippi. The proceeds are going to missions, and SIFAT is one of the organizations that will benefit. Other bands performing include God Speed 3, Seven Glory and Sarah Reeves.
Where: Forrest County Multi Purpose Center Hwy 49 S, Hattiesburg, MS
More information: Click the flier on the left or visit www.forrestcountycenter.com