Learn & Serve: New Retreat Programs Now Offered!

Learn & Serve is excited to announce two new programming options for retreats! To continue to provide a diverse range of experiences connecting our participants to our brothers and sisters around the world, Learn & Serve has begun offering participants the opportunity to participate in a Refugee Camp Overnight and an Urban Slum Prayer Experience.
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Learn & Serve: Summer 2012 Worship, from Abstract to Concrete

Learn & Serve Summer 2013 Worship Leader Becca Griffin tells her perspective on how worship at Learn & Serve this past summer provided a bridge for students between concrete and abstract expressions of faith:

Many of the words that are used in singing/teaching/talking about faith tend to be abstract and make it difficult for youth to connect. There is no more lack of desire or devotion for them than anyone else, but a lack of concrete example when it comes to living out the faith that they sing about/learn about/profess. Perhaps connecting the ideas of faith with reality is not a struggle for youth alone, but abstract concepts like love, justice, and following Christ, when only spoken about and not experienced or lived out, make it hard for youth to really learn, practice, or live out those things that they affirm, or have been taught in word to do as Christians.

Learn & Serve students singing in worship at SIFAT’s Quonset Hut.

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The CARES (Creative Academic Resources for Educational Success) Program is a practical way for students young and old to experience and learn about Asian, African, and Latin American countries and cultures through hands-on activities.

This spring was a wonderful time to host our CARES Around the World programs! We hosted 737 participants over a span of 7 events throughout March, April, and May. We had a variety of ages ranging from 2nd graders to seniors in high school. The CARES volunteers and staff enjoyed having 9 public school groups, 3 home school groups, and 3 church groups experience our program in the SIFAT Global Village.

Petting a goat in Uganda.

All of our participants were exposed to Asian, African and Latin American countries while experiencing different traditions, languages and cultures of each of these places. Students this spring learned how to make an adobe brick, tasted a handmade corn tortilla, and crossed over our Andean rope bridge.

Making an Adobe Brick.

Many of the groups that we hosted at SIFAT this spring were able to experience the Hunger Banquet that we offer during lunch on the day of their field trip. This “banquet” gives the students and chaperons an opportunity to view world hunger in a very different way. This serves as a great lesson for students and chaperons alike to better understand the hunger that majority of our world lives with every day.

Andean Rope Bridge

This was a wonderful spring of CARES events, full of learning and lots of fun! We are definitely looking forward to the events that are set for Fall Season 2010! Dates for this fall are listed on our website at www.sifat.org/cares. If you are interested in registering for this experience, please email cares@sifat.org for further information!

The dates for our 2009-2010 CARES events are now posted on our website. Visit www.sifat.org/cares to find out more information. Space is limited, so make your field trip plans now! The CARES program is an educational field trip for all age students, including public, private and home school groups (and scouts and church groups, too).

This fall’s CARES program is Around the World. Students have the opportunity to visit homes in our Global Village, where they learn about the country represented and participate in hands-on activities. From folk dancing in the Philippines to making tortillas in Guatemala, students (and their chaperones!) tour the world in just a few hours.

Quick Facts:

  • Cost: $15 (which includes the Hunger Banquet, a special lunch that brings the statistics of world hunger to life).
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Group size: maximum of 150 (multiple groups are scheduled each day)
  • Ages: 3rd-12th (recommended)

To book a CARES event, please contact cares@sifat.org.