March 2021: Easter in the Andes

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. We have shared this story in the past, and it is a good reminder that we can have an Easter celebration no matter where we are.

Written by Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

The truck climbed slowly up the narrow ledge of the Andean road, cutting sharply to make the hairpin curves in Bolivia. At least two dozen hitchhikers joined us in the back, crowded with the produce, furniture, chickens and other cargo. It was the Saturday before Easter in 1985. We were hoping to get to the capital in time to go to the Easter service the following morning.

This had been the longest, hardest trip ever coming up the Andes Mountains. It took us 46 hours to drive 200 miles. Every time we got stuck, everyone helped dig the truck out, although we only had one shovel. The rest of us used our hands to dig out the mud in the tracks. Five times, a tire blew out along the way. It rained, and our sleeping bags and clothes were wet. Finally, at 3 a.m., we reached a pass in the Andes some 16,000 feet high. The cold was bone-chilling. Suddenly, the truck stopped. A wheel had lost some bolts and was about to fall off. We could go no farther. One of the church leaders walked down the road in the snowstorm and found a small hut where a sheep herder lived. The man got out of bed and welcomed us. We crowded in and, grateful for a roof, lay down on the dirt floor littered with sheep dung. As usual in the area, the sheep herder had no heat for his house.  In the freezing cold, we huddled together on the floor. The sheep herder’s daughter slept with a lamb, and when he jumped up and walked among us with his warm coat of wool, he was welcomed. For a few minutes. he lay at my head, and I buried my face in his wool, thankful for the warmth.

Happy Easter!


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February 2021: SIFAT Doctor in your House 2020 Report

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. This month’s article is the report submitted by Dr. Roberto and Monica Contreras about our programs in Quito, Ecuador, in 2020. To see all of the updates from SIFAT Doctor in your House/The Golden Bread, click here.

Written by Dr. Roberto and Monica Contreras, SIFAT Ecuador Directors

Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?”

And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

Matthew 25:37-40

A family receives a food donation that will help them survive the effects of the pandemic in Quito, Ecuador.

 

Isaiah was born on May 5, 2020, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. He was completely malnourished at birth because his mother did not have the resources for a good diet during her pregnancy. His first cry would not be his only cry.  He continually was crying from his birth until August, because he was hungry.

In Ecuador, 1 of 4 children less than 5 years old is chronically malnourished. Isaiah was that child. Malnutrition limits a child’s full development and leaves traces for a lifetime. Children with malnutrition are more likely to become adults with low stature, fewer educational achievements and lower financial incomes during adulthood. This not only impacts the individual, but also affects the social and economic development of communities and our country.

Because of donations given for SIFAT Doctor in your House, we have been able to provide nutritional reinforcement since August when Dr. Roberto learned about Isaiah’s situation. He will not become a sad statistic.


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Ecuador: SIFAT Doctor in your House – October Update

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

June update                July update                September 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 Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

During the pandemic, our SIFAT team members and donors have stepped in to support the communities in which we serve in Ecuador in two vital areas—medical care and food. Many are struggling to survive because of the effects of lockdown and COVID-19.

Recently, Ledy Sanchez, SIFAT graduate and leader of our Atucucho project, sent a letter to us on behalf of her community. She is taking care of 80 of the most vulnerable elderly by providing hot breakfasts each week.

SIFAT graduate Ledy is taking care of 80 of the most vulnerable elderly in Atucucho. On weekdays, Ledy and her team distribute hot breakfasts to those who would otherwise go hungry.


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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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Ecuador: SIFAT Doctor in your House – July Update

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

Click here to read our June update about SIFAT Doctor in your House.

Dear Doctor in your House supporters,

Because you cared, hundreds of children and the elderly in SIFAT projects in Ecuador have not gone to bed hungry. Because you cared, so many who were unable to find medical care during this pandemic are able to talk to a doctor and have much needed medicines provided. Because of your generosity, the people we serve in Ecuador know they are not alone in this critical time. Thank you!

Pastors in each of our projects have sent stories and photographs telling us about those who have no other place to turn. The coronavirus has spread quickly in Ecuador, and Quito has been on virtual lockdown for many months. There is no work, no government services and no food or medicines available for those in the communities in which we work with SIFAT teams. It really is a desperate time for most families living there.

Dr. Roberto Contreras, SIFAT’s director in Ecuador, has been having teleconference calls with patients from a different project site each week. Our SIFAT graduate pastors and community leaders make sure those with the greatest need are the first to receive care, and at least one month of medicines are given to each patient. He also provides vitamins for the children who are malnourished and makes sure those who need specialists have referrals in place as soon as it’s possible to travel again in the city. Dr. Roberto has been especially attentive to the elderly, many of whom have dementia, ongoing medical conditions and no family to care for them.

Patients in the SIFAT Doctor in your House program receive much needed medications free of charge. To keep this program going through the end of 2020, visit www.sifat.org/sifatdoctorinyourhouse


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