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. 

Although our trainings were canceled, we were able to distribute seedlings to neighbors and friends who are now harvesting their own produce to feed their families.


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Merry Christmas 2020!

Dear friends of SIFAT,

When we sat down to write a Christmas letter last year, we were filled with excitement to start our 41st year of ministry. Plans were coming together for our international training events, teams were preparing for trips to Bolivia and Ecuador and our campus staff was scheduling groups throughout the year. Who would have imagined what transpired just a few months later! Our world completely changed in a few weeks.

But, we’ve seen good things come from these trying times. In our local communities, we see neighbors helping neighbors through food drives and shopping local. We have seen a push for “good news” stories that highlight caring for one another. You may have even started following new social media outlets that share these stories or forwarded an email to send someone a smile.


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#GivingTuesday2020 is Dec. 1!

#GivingTuesday is Dec. 1! Make plans now to participate in this global holiday that embraces generosity and kindness. #GivingTuesday starts the giving season, reminding us what this time of year is truly meant to celebrate! While we are experiencing the effects of a worldwide pandemic, generosity can bring everyone together. In this time of uncertainty, there’s a fundamental truth that gives us hope — that together we can do extraordinary things. #GivingTuesday emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and charities in safe ways that allow for social connection, while practicing physical distancing. We all have gifts to give, and we hope you choose to help our ministry at SIFAT. Together, we can unite as one, so SIFAT will continue Sharing God’s Love in Practical Ways in 2021 and beyond.

#GivingTuesday is a wonderful time to embrace the spirit of giving! This year, our matching fund is $60,000 – double your donation! When you make a donation at any time on December 1, your contribution will double because of the matching fund set up by a generous group of SIFAT donors—up to the first $60,000 that we raise!

Last year, SIFAT supporters raised a record-breaking $186,200 on #GivingTuesday. Earlier this year, our donors raised $90,670 for #GivingTuesdayNow, an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Help us reach our goal of $125,000 for #GivingTuesday 2020!

Questions? If you have questions about #GivingTuesday or would like a reminder sent to you, please contact Marie Lanier, lanierm@sifat.org.


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October: A New Purpose for Don Jose’s Land in Costa Rica

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

Note: Three SIFAT donors purchased land in Costa Rica this year for our SIFAT Central American Training Center’s permanent home. We are excited to share more news in the next issue of the SIFAT Journal.

In this article, the title of Don is given to a gentleman to show respect and honor.

Don Jose grew up in rural Costa Rica with six siblings. They were poor, but proud, and worked hard to survive on their small farm. When Don Jose was 10, his father gave him a small plot of land to work. He said, “Son, it is your job to make it produce.”  He showed Don Jose how to prepare the land and gave him seeds to grow cilantro. “You are in charge. We are counting on you to help us survive.”

Don Jose finished primary school. no one went to high school; there was not one nearby. The next step was to work to make a living, supporting the family.

This year, SIFAT bought property in Costa Rica for a permanent Central American Training Center. Don Jose (above) sold us the land and is excited to be part of SIFAT’s new center. He shares his testimony in this article.


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September: SIFAT Doctor in your House Helps in Ecuador

Click here to learn more about SIFAT Doctor in your House program.

June update                July update

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 Peggy Walker, International Team Coordinator

There are times when our SIFAT mission teams must switch from development to relief. The current pandemic, more than ever before, is that time. International travel was halted; teams were forced to postpone trips. We were all told we would be safer at home. The reality of this condition made us all feel more vulnerable than ever before. Along with this reality, the need to serve was ever present, but the question was how? SIFAT found a way in Ecuador with our SIFAT Doctor in your House program.

Because of the support of our SIFAT Doctor in your House program, a youth in the Aida Leon church receives rice for his family from Pastor Wilson in Quito, Ecuador.


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