July 2020: Graduates in Action Around the Globe

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

SIFAT has been training community leaders in development for 41 years. As community needs change, our graduates’ ministries often shift their focus. A global pandemic? That is definitely a call for adaptation to meet immediate needs. Around the world, governments are enacting strict lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, which has led to economic hardships and job loss, inflation and food shortage. We reached out to a few of our graduates  for updates, so we can better understand the challenges they face, but also to see the ways they are thriving, despite unexpected circumstances.

Awon (center) leads a Bible study with a group of college students quarantining together in India.


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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.


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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.


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Medical Team Supplies Help Dr. Ruth Noemi

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to that month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson

An urgent call came to Benjo from Dr. Ruth Noemi Mamani in Quesimpuco, Bolivia. Because this is an isolated area, we had hope that the coronavirus would not reach this place, which Tom still calls “the end of the world.” But, a group of youth from Quesimpuco had gone to Chile and Argentina to find work. As the outbreak started, they rushed to get home, crossing the border illegally. They made it home, but brought the virus with them. Dr. Ruth Noemi did not have gloves, masks or protective gear for the health workers helping her.

Dr. Ruth Noemi leads a public health initiative in the Quesimpuco area.


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Quesimpuco: A Renewed Motivation in Bolivia

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail articles with our contribution statements. You can download a copy of the article to share with your church or civic organization.

March 2020, Written by SIFAT Co-founder Sarah Corson

Benjo Paredes and Ken Corson started CENATEC, a Christian nonprofit, more than 42 years ago. He has led the way to take the Gospel to thousands of Bolivians, taught seminars, helped 85 villages get clean water and helped thousands of people have more food to eat. But, the years have taken their toll.

Benjo is 80 years old now. His son Isaac had taken Benjo’s place as director of CENATEC,  because Benjo was getting older and had back trouble. Some days, he could hardly walk. Dimmed eyesight. Joints swollen with arthritis. His whole body was just worn out from more than 40 years traveling a 500-mile circuit over the rugged Andes Mountains. He had given most of his life to help his people. He could do no more.

Benjo leads misison team members on a project in Quesimpuco, Bolivia.


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