May 2022: SIFAT Graduates Overcome Obstacles

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.

In Nigeria, our SIFAT graduates Pastor Blossom and Aina are building a fence around their mission school, an action required by the government for all schools because of the terrorists who are kidnapping schoolchildren. Through our approved graduates’ projects program, SIFAT sent a grant to help with the fence to enable this Christian school to continue operating. But an anti-Christian group did not want a Christian school in their village. They invented a false story that the land the fence was on was not the school’s property. They sued Pastor Blossom, which stopped the fence building for several weeks until the court ruled it was a falsehood. The attackers got what they wanted—construction was delayed and materials ruined. Without extra funds, Pastor Blossom and Aina could not continue.

We believe in self-sufficiency, in working and making a living by doing so. But, there are so many different problems our graduates face before they can succeed.  We are constantly amazed that these graduates, who have many obstacles to overcome, have so much determination and perseverance. They often say, “With man it is not possible, but with God all things are possible!” Though it may take longer than originally planned, still it happens! Our graduates keep trying, and with God’s help, they overcome!


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April 2022: Happy Easter!

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download our Easter 2022 letter.

Recently, students in a one-room school on the way to Quesimpuco, high in the Andes of Bolivia, listened intently as the teacher explained the lesson. The school is near a small river, so that they could have water. Their parents had made the mud bricks and built this school. Because they had a building, the government sent a teacher. What joy they had felt when the teacher walked into their village the first time to start classes! Many children in this isolated district lived too far away to walk to school, and this handful of 35 students felt blessed, indeed, to be able to have the opportunity to attend. The teacher and students were all proud of their school!

It is the rainy season in Bolivia, and flash floods are not uncommon. On this day, the students tell us that lightning struck the mountain peak nearby, and deep thunder followed. The light in the room darkened as dark clouds rolled in. The wind began to roar past. The teacher told the children, “A bad rainstorm is coming. You must go home quickly! The river could flood our school!” The children lost no time, as they ran home as fast as they could.


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March 2022: Spring Learn & Serve Retreats at SIFAT

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

During March, our SIFAT calendar is beginning to remind of us pre-COVID-19 days. We are seeing lots of green—the color designated for Learn & Serve events on our staff calendar—on the large dry erase boards in the office hallway. While working, our office staff hears shouts and cheers drifting across campus, and we see groups of students walking past our windows on their way to the cafeteria for lunch. These simple things lift our spirits and make us realize that we have been missing the hub of activity that spring brings to our campus more than we realized!

Our Learn & Serve programming can be customized for different types of groups and various ages. Already this year, we have hosted an Around the World field trip and multi-day retreat for middle school classes, Global Health Days for college nursing students, a tour for youth leaders making plans to bring a group later this year and a retreat with work projects and programming for a mission team unable to travel internationally. At the end of the month, we will have three youth groups on campus for spring break retreats. For our small campus staff, the days are long, but the rewards are great!

 

We are enjoying our spring Learn & Serve retreat groups at SIFAT!


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October 2021: Final Phase of Construction in Aida Leon

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 Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

The long-awaited dream of having a safe place for the children of Aida Leon is about to become a reality. When SIFAT could no longer travel to Ecuador in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID pandemic, Esperanza Eterna’s Pastor Wilson realized that the church community center our SIFAT teams had been building for two years would be put on hold and not completed when the children of Aida Leon needed it the most. SIFAT donors  did not allow that to happen!

In the best of times, Aida Leon is one of the poorest communities in Quito. As in most marginalized barrios, the children suffer the most when the parents have no work, the schools are closed and even two meals a day is often a luxury. During this time of shutdown, many have been displaced from their homes, and child abuse increases drastically. The promise of a day care center for children, where they could be safe and have a hot meal, seemed a long way in the future.

The final phase of construction in Aida Leon has included pouring the roof, adding stairs, laying the exterior walls on the second floor and building the interior walls. This photo shows the progress as of September 2021.


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September 2021: Interns Complete Internship at our Central American Training Center 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 Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

For the past three months, eight interns from Honduras have been working and studying with SIFAT at our Central American Training Center in Costa Rica. They had finished their classes at the National Agricultural University in Honduras, but they had to do a senior project before they received their degrees. They came to Costa Rica to build their projects on our campus, so that we could use them in future training sessions. After working during the day, they received SIFAT training at night and on rainy days. It was a win-win situation. Both the interns and SIFAT benefited greatly from this three-month session.

Our interns from Honduras participate in team building exercises at our training center in Costa Rica.


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