June 2020: SIFAT Doctor in Your House provides food and medical care

SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras uses video conferences to provide virtual home visits to patients in our projects who currently do not have access to medical care. SIFAT Doctor in your House provides free medications for these patients.

 

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.

Written by Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

Because of COVID-19, our international mission teams were forced to cancel all trips for 2020. SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras approached us with a plan that would let our team members and supporters still serve the people with whom we work, even during this time when we cannot physically be there. This idea became SIFAT Doctor in your House, a two-part approach to provide basic needs—food and medicine. (Click here to learn more about SIFAT Doctor in your House or to donate to this program)

When they can find work, most people in these communities have part-time jobs that are considered informal by the government, which means they have no access to benefits or unemployment. In the best of times, they are just scraping by. When the government began taking extreme measures to protect its citizens from spreading coronavirus, these jobs were immediately lost. Until early June, a curfew started at 2 p.m., public transportation was shut down and those with cars were only allowed to drive one day each week. The only time anyone was allowed in public was to go to pharmacies or grocery stores. Hunger became very real in
the neighborhoods where our projects are located.


View More →

Ecuador: SIFAT Doctor in Your House

Download a PDF version to print and/or share.

Click here for the June Update that includes stories about some of the people who are benefiting from this project.

Dear friend of SIFAT,

As I sit at my computer to write with so many thoughts about all we are missing this year, I see the faces of the children in our projects in Ecuador. I can almost feel their hugs and hear their laughter. Many of you would be preparing for your long awaited trip to serve alongside these people we have come to think of as family. Some of you have gone to Ecuador with SIFAT many times, letting this mission trip replace your relaxing summer vacations. For others, this would have been your first opportunity to serve in this beautiful country. For all who were planning to go and those who were supporting your efforts, I know you are wondering how are they living through these difficult times, and thinking what can we do now? From e-mails with our staff and pastors with whom we serve, I want to share the reality of their situation and also give you a way we can still make a difference and provide hope.

I understand people are suffering here at home, and many do not know how they will rebuild their lives. But most of us have food to eat, and we can go to the hospital, even if we do not have insurance. We have stimulus checks, food banks and churches eager to help those in need. In Aida Leon, Villaflora and other poor areas in which we serve in Ecuador, they do not. Pastor Wilson and Anita and Pastor Rafael wrote that the families in their churches have no jobs, no food and certainly no medical care. These poor families depend upon sporadic work during the best of times, and many must take buses across town each day to find that work.

SIFAT’s director in Ecuador, Dr. Roberto Contreras reports of desperate conditions in Ecuador. The churches in our projects are trying to provide much needed food to the children and their families with whom we have served alongside for years.


View More →

May 2020: A Humble Reminder from my Neighbor

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.

Written by Kathy Bryson, International Training Director

I recently visited Lisabet, our neighbor, as she was preparing a fire to cook traditional beans. Lisabet’s mother suffers from a long-term hacking cough that is exacerbated by smoke. They are a Nicaraguan family who immigrated to Costa Rica years ago in search of a better life. Lisabet’s father takes care of another neighbor’s cows. She is a 36-year-old mentally challenged adult. She is very precious — always telling me how she tried so hard to learn to read, but never could. The first question that she asks people she meets is if they believe in God.

Lizabet prepares a meal for her family.


View More →

Worship on the Water 2020

June 17 Update: Postponed through the end of July

After much prayer and discussion, we have decided that it is best to continue to postpone Worship on the Water (WOW). As you have probably seen in the national news, cases of coronavirus in Alabama are rising rapidly and breaking state records daily. We have reviewed guidelines for holding outdoor events and church services. But with people attending and leading the services from different counties and states, we do not feel comfortable having a large gathering and possibly spreading this virus. Our space is limited to effectively social distance, and we are not able to have a registration system like some churches are implementing. We hope to see you later this summer — we miss our special Sunday mornings on Lake Wedowee with our WOW family.

We will reevaluate at the end of July for our August services. Please continue to follow our social media posts (Facebook or Twitter) and visit this post for updates and the latest news about WOW.

Please help us spread the word of our postponement and new safety practices with your friends and family who make WOW part of their weekends on Lake Wedowee. Come by boat, come by car, come as you are … later this summer!

June 1 Update: Still postponed.

We are continuing to postpone Worship on the Water (WOW) this summer. We know many churches are beginning the transition process to in-person gatherings, but we feel it is best for WOW to not meet yet. We are planning to start WOW tentatively on June 21. But, we will continue to monitor conditions in our county and state. We will send out another email to confirm this date and let everyone know to join us on the shore of Lake Wedowee!


View More →

#GivingTuesdayNow is May 5

(Click here to see the e-mail version of this post.)

SIFAT needs your support more than ever. Tomorrow, through #GivingTuesdayNow, your donations can help SIFAT continue our ministry to those in need throughout the world during this COVID-19 pandemic.

#GivingTuesdayNow is an additional day of global giving and unity, when our supporters can show their generosity in a number of ways.

Two generous donors have pledged $25,000 in matching funds to double your gift. Please join them in helping SIFAT during this crucial time — no gift is too small.

In Liberia, SIFAT graduates John and Martha Partor provided food for 250 families living in a slum community. Because of a partnership with SIFAT and FUMC Clanton, the 5-15 people living in each home will eat this week.


View More →