June 2021: Summer at SIFAT

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version. This month, we share about summer at SIFAT in Alabama this year – Worship on the Water and Learn & Serve Retreats!

Written by Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

Worship on the Water 2021

The summer season has kicked off in Alabama! From Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, SIFAT sponsors Worship on the Water (WOW) for our local community and visitors to Lake Wedowee. A guest speaker and musician/musical group lead the service, which starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about an hour. We meet under the pine trees on the shore of the lake at Lakeside Marina, just north of downtown Wedowee on US Highway 431. After postponing and eventually making the difficult decision to cancel last summer, it has been a breath of normalcy to return to our Sunday morning tradition.

While our opening weekend was unseasonably cool and a rainstorm threatened our second service, we have already made great memories this year. On Memorial Day Weekend, we invited Asbel Arenas, a SIFAT graduate and former staff member, to sing. If you have been around SIFAT for a while, you may remember his family and the El Renuevo training center in Venezuela, where mission teams served in the 90s. To celebrate the holiday, Asbel led the attendees in singing God Bless America to close the service. As the chorus rang through the trees, we glanced up and were surprised to see a bald eagles soaring majestically overhead. What a kickoff to WOW 2021!

Asbel Arenas leads music during the first service of 2021.

By sponsoring WOW, our SIFAT staff provides a casual, nondenominational worship service that many attend before enjoying an afternoon on the lake or packing up to return to their homes. This simple way we give back to our local community that continues to support SIFAT also allows us to meet people from other cities and states to share about SIFAT’s ministry and offer opportunities to get involved. Come by boat, come by car, come as you are!

Jimmy Yates preaches at our Memorial Day Weekend service.

Book your L&S Summer Retreat Today!

Spaces are available for one day, overnight or multi-night retreats for any age group.

July 5-15

July 26-30

August 2-12

August 16-31

Our customizable retreats are for any age group. Our staff will work with you to create a schedule to get the most out of your time on campus and your budget. Contact learnandserve@sifat.org for more information or visit www.sifat.org/learn-serve for retreat package details.

Campus program manager Josiah Corson leads Jehovah Jireh Bible Institute through our Global Village, which has simulated houses from nine countries and an urban slum. JJBI participated in an online training session earlier this spring and then came for an overnight experience.

We are thankful for old friends returning after our campus was closed for a full year, and we are excited to build relationships with first time groups. Our staff has added new modules to our programming options, so there is something for every group, even if you have been to SIFAT previously.

Learn & Serve Intern Bryson Frost shares with a group in the Nepal House in our Global Village, which has simulated houses from nine countries and an urban slum.

From children to retirees, groups of all ages have been participating in tours, work days and Learn & Serve retreats lately. In May and June, Spring Road Christian Church (Lanett, Ala.), Jehovah Jireh Bible Institute (Alexander City, Ala.), Fullness Christian Fellowship (Birmingham, Ala.), Oxford FUMC (Oxford, Ala.), Central Heights Baptist Church (Florence, Ala.), Franklin UMC (Franklin, Texas), Fellowship UMC (Plano, Texas), Cookeville FUMC (Cookeville, Tenn.) and Slocomb First Baptist (Slocomb, Ala.) came to SIFAT to explore how they can begin sharing God’s love in practical ways.  Samford University’s School of Nursing took part in a Global Health Day, while Wedowee FUMC brought a volunteer work team to help us spruce up our campus.

A group learns how to make adobe bricks.

Thank you for supporting SIFAT!