Looking Back at 2020: A Year in Review
Each January, we mail contribution statements to all of our donors from the previous year. With this statement, we include a page of highlights from the year – successes that could not have happened without the support from churches and individuals that choose to partner with SIFAT in ministry. If you would like to download a copy to share with others, click here. Thank you for being part of SIFAT in 2020 through your prayers and financial support!
What a year! We began 2020 excited and full of hope about the coming opportunities to keep Sharing God’s Love in Practical Ways. We never could have imagined how quickly our world would change or how the uncertainty and challenges could end up being positive for SIFAT. When we asked for prayers, help with new projects and continued financial support, you answered our pleas! Although 2020 was difficult and required constant adaptations, SIFAT persevered and succeeded, while other nonprofits and businesses struggled or were forced to close. Thank you for being part of our SIFAT family and getting us through one of the toughest years in our history. As we look forward to 2021, we are again full of hope. Although we may be doing things differently, we are still meeting basic human needs and shining the light of Jesus’ message of love into some of the hardest places in our world.
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,” Charles Dickens wrote. Although we had to cancel our scheduled trainings, we used 1,200 seedlings and supplies to help local uprooted Nicaraguan families and a group of women farmers grow much needed food in our neighborhood in Costa Rica. Wonderful donors bought a permanent home for our Central American Training Center along a small river bordering a pristine jungle preserve. It is the perfect place to train church and community leaders. We are training Costa Rican staff, cultivating local partners and getting the campus set up to receive groups. In the most unlikely year, God used people to expand our territory, so we can reach even more hungry and suffering people with His love.
International Teams and Projects
In January, a medical team from Centerpointe Church served in Ecuador. Because of the pandemic, our remaining teams were forced to cancel. Because Ecuador shut down, needs skyrocketed. SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras began SIFAT Doctor in your House and The Golden Bread to provide virtual medical visits, medications, vitamins and food to the most vulnerable in our projects’ communities. Your support provided 1,700 children and adults medical care, while 17,000 people received rice each month. In Atucucho, 80 at-risk elderly received 12,800 hot breakfasts. In Villaflora, 500 families received a chicken and extra ingredients to prepare Christmas dinner.
Although our teams could not travel to Bolivia, they joined together to send four medical units that turn CPAP machines into ventilators for hospitals near Quesimpuco that do not have this life-saving equipment. A chicken farm was started as CENATEC works on its goal to become self sustaining to provide salaries for its employees.
Our international graduates’ projects continue to meet needs throughout the world by providing seed money to get projects off the ground, such as a security fence, vocational equipment, a tractor and facilities for schools in four countries or skill training in microenterprise, food production and water filter implementation. In 2020, five projects were fully funded. Eight new projects were approved from six countries: Bolivia, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Uganda. Supporters gave $46,507 for these projects, plus additional relief and emergency funds.
Galilee Campus and Learn & Serve
In early 2020, 186 people participated in Learn & Serve retreats before COVID-19 forced our campus to cancel upcoming events. Despite this, our campus bustled with activity as staff performed overdue maintenance, began building the SIFAT Welcome Center, relocated the SIFAT Village Store, finished the International House wheelchair accessibility project and updated our campus facilities and Global Village.
Donations and Where SIFAT Invested Our Resources in 2020
Wow! This year, 983 churches and individuals faithfully gave to SIFAT. In May, we raised $90,670 for #GivingTuesdayNow to meet immediate needs because of the pandemic. In December, you gave $163,287 for our annual #GivingTuesday fundraising event. Thank you!