Graduate Project: Ministering in a Refugee Camp

February 2020, Written by SIFAT Co-founder Sarah Corson

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”          2 Cor. 1:3-5

Bullen, SIFAT’s only graduate from South Sudan, recently sent a letter to SIFAT that began with this Bible verse. He knows from the core of his being what affliction means, and just as real to him is the God of all comfort.

His people have been exploited and enslaved for centuries by the Arab Northern Sudanese fighting for ivory, slaves and later, oil, against the African Southern Sudanese. Finally, South Sudan gained its freedom and joined the United Nations as the world’s 193rd nation in 2011. But in less than a year, terrible atrocities were started again, and the population in this war-torn, impoverished nation is suffering enslavement, savage acts of torture and destruction of life and property.

Bullen, a SIFAT graduate from South Sudan, is ministering in a refugee camp in Uganda. With help from SIFAT supporters, he has built a church that has a garden around it.

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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.

Canterbury UMC students keep a tally of the amount raised each month on their prayer (chalkboard) wall in a drawing of the rocket stove.

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International Project Update: Pastor Ogbatabo’s Cookstove Training 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. 

Pastor Ogbatabo and participants from the fuel efficient cookstove training that took place in Nigeria during September 2013.

Pastor Ogbatabo, one of SIFAT’s International Practicum graduates, is currently holding trainings in Nigeria to educate community leaders on the importance of fuel efficient cookstoves and water purification.  Pastor Ogbatabo will be holding six trainings during the next year to train about 360 people in making fuel-efficient cookstoves. These stoves not only help the environment by using less firewood, but also improve air quality in the kitchen and help girls go to school—the girls are usually given the task of gathering firewood, often spending most of the day walking to collect wood and keep the fire going.
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International Project Update: September Training in Zambia

Letson Kachoronga is already leading training sessions at the United Methodist Conference Center/SIFAT Training Center in Lusaka, Zambia. Letson participated in last May’s Field Study at SIFAT and also taught some of the agricultural classes. Letson uses Foundations for Farming techniques to teach sustainable agriculture that produces significantly more than traditional farming methods, as well as uses Biblical principles and discipleship. Although the center is not completed, Letson is already training local community members.


Letson Kachoronga, SIFAT Zambia project coordinator, held a three-day training on Sept. 26-28, 2013, at the SIFAT Training Center/United Methodist Conference Center in Lusaka, Zambia. During this training, 20 participants discussed topics including health, leadership skills, community development and agricultural techniques. Letson led classes, as well as hands-on demonstrations.

We had a wonderful three-day training at SIFAT’s Zambia Training Center from Thursday, Sept. 26th to Saturday, Sept. 28th. We had 20 participants from two churches, Matero and Kanyama UMCs. I was really encouraged by the level of willingness of learning that was shown by the participants. We discussed health, leadership skills, community development and agricultural techniques. Pastor Kenneth Kalichi, the new pastor of the Abundant Life UMC that is located on the Center’s property, talked about community development; Patricia and Mavis from Matero, who are part of the Lusaka District leadership taught on health matters and leadership skills respectively; and I spoke about agriculture.

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Uganda: Firing the Stove (Jackson Update)

Glen Jackson, a member of the SIFAT board of directors, and his wife Marie are currently in Uganda for a month visiting Agape Total Childcare Center. Glen and Marie have gone on short-term mission trips to serve at SIFAT graduate William Nsubuga’s project for the past two years and are leading a team this summer. They will be sharing their experiences with us as they experience life in Mukono! Click here to read more about SIFAT’s work in Uganda.

Editor’s Note: Glen and Marie arrived back in the USA last week. This will be their final Jackson Update post for this trip!

We’re sorry this final post is so late! It’s taken us a while to get back into the swing of things! Here are our last pictures — firing the new stove on Tuesday before we left for the airport!

Glen and Marie fire the new stove at Agape for the first time!

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