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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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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August 2021: Ecuador’s Children – the Hidden Pandemic

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 Roberto and Monica Contreras, SIFAT Ecuador directors

School closures have affected 4.6 million children in Ecuador. There are children and adolescents who are in vulnerable conditions in their homes and face threats such as maltreatment and sexual abuse.

According to official statistics, 1 in 10 women in Ecuador was a victim of sexual abuse as a child or adolescent. More than half of the 17 million Ecuadorians are women.

The actual level of child abuse is more serious than official statistics reveal, as 1 in 4 victims in Ecuador “never” reported it. The victims remained silent out of fear of the consequences, out of shame, out of helplessness or out of fear of threats.

At several of our project sites in Quito, including Velasco pictured above, workshops for children and youth were held recently to combat sexual abuse. Please pray for these Ecuadorian children—the hidden victims of the pandemic.


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July 2021: An Update from Isaiah in the DRC

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

SIFAT’s graduate Isaiah Chot has worked for years rescuing children who were kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because they have been brainwashed to kill and experienced unimaginable trauma, it is hard to rehabilitate them. Their own families are afraid of them and often do not want them to return. Isaiah started a rehabilitation ministry for these former child soldiers and other abandoned, hopeless children. Dedicated volunteers joined his effort, showing the children God’s love as they taught job training and life skills.

Beginning in 2017, SIFAT helped Isaiah finish his vocational school buildings, so they could accept homeless youth who had no other hope of finding a better life. SIFAT Graduates’ Projects (GPC) also worked with Isaiah to buy a cement block making machine both as  a teaching tool for the students and as a business they could use to help make the school sustainable. Now, they are able to accept 50 students each session. These youth work together learning and practicing farming/gardening, so that there is food for all of them, as well as some to sell for their other needs. Isaiah says they are taught the principles of gardening that he learned from SIFAT’s expert gardener, John Carr. This knowledge is constantly being passed on to others and has brought hope and freedom from hunger to hundreds in Isaiah’s programs. The school is staffed with dedicated professional teachers, as well as community volunteers, who help the students one-on-one. They have added courses in business, construction/masonry, tailoring/sewing, welding, food preservation and other classes teaching skills that their communities need.

Young students visit the garden.


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Uganda: Agape Needs Our Help!

Agape Total Childcare Center, the orphanage and school SIFAT mission teams built in Uganda, has been hit hard in recent weeks by COVID-19. Although Uganda had been spared during much of last year, it has now been declared a Level 4 country by the U.S. State Department and CDC because the disease is spreading rapidly. The Ugandan government has declared a lockdown, and most students in boarding schools have been unable to return home to their families. At Agape, three of our original children (now young adults) are currently in the hospital, and several more have tested positive with COVID. In the close dormitory conditions in which they live, it is very hard to isolate and quarantine those with symptoms. Although WHO safety protocol is being adhered to as much as possible, the virus continues to spread. Funds are desperately needed for food, medicines, hospital care and to replenish sanitizers and masks.

Prior to this outbreak, Agape implemented COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone healthy. Here early in the pandemic, the students in the secondary school have the temperature taken by the school nurse (an Agape graduate) before entering the classrooms.


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