June 2020: SIFAT Doctor in Your House provides food and medical care
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
Ecuador: SIFAT Doctor in Your House
Dear friend of SIFAT,
As I sit at my computer to write with so many thoughts about all we are missing this year, I see the faces of the children in our projects in Ecuador. I can almost feel their hugs and hear their laughter. Many of you would be preparing for your long awaited trip to serve alongside these people we have come to think of as family. Some of you have gone to Ecuador with SIFAT many times, letting this mission trip replace your relaxing summer vacations. For others, this would have been your first opportunity to serve in this beautiful country. For all who were planning to go and those who were supporting your efforts, I know you are wondering how are they living through these difficult times, and thinking what can we do now? From e-mails with our staff and pastors with whom we serve, I want to share the reality of their situation and also give you a way we can still make a difference and provide hope.
I understand people are suffering here at home, and many do not know how they will rebuild their lives. But most of us have food to eat, and we can go to the hospital, even if we do not have insurance. We have stimulus checks, food banks and churches eager to help those in need. In Aida Leon, Villaflora and other poor areas in which we serve in Ecuador, they do not. Pastor Wilson and Anita and Pastor Rafael wrote that the families in their churches have no jobs, no food and certainly no medical care. These poor families depend upon sporadic work during the best of times, and many must take buses across town each day to find that work.
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.
Ecuador: Intern Luci’s Last Post
Editor’s Note: High school junior Luci Bryson, daughter of SIFAT training director Kathy Bryson, is spending six weeks this summer as an intern with SIFAT Ecuador. Having already been part of Learn & Serve programming and training events both on our Galilee Campus and internationally, Luci is helping our teams in Ecuador and improving her Spanish translating skills. You can read her first entry and second entry.
It’s been one week since I’ve returned to Sweet Home Alabama. I’ve never felt more exhausted in my life, but I’m warm and content. Today is my second day at home as we went to Brasher Springs Camp Meeting and the Flippen-Shaw-Barkley family reunion. Wednesday, Jennessa, Evie and I are traveling to visit Brianna in Chicago. It’s been seven months since we’ve last all been together, so it will be nice to use this little window of time before Jennessa goes back to school in Boston, and Evie and I start our new life in Costa Rica with Mom. If it’s one thing from this summer that I’ve learned, it’s how much of an importance family has.
But family is a broad term.
Ecuador: Intern Luci Checks In
Editor’s Note: High school junior Luci Bryson, daughter of SIFAT training director Kathy Bryson, is spending six weeks this summer as an intern with SIFAT Ecuador. Having already been part of Learn & Serve programming and training events both on our Galilee Campus and internationally, Luci is helping our teams in Ecuador and improving her Spanish translating skills. You can read her first entry here.
Greetings to all! You’ll have to forgive me for not writing to you all these past two weeks–to tell you the truth, there really never was a free moment to sit down and write! Since I last wrote, we have had three different teams of which I’ve had the pleasure to work with two of the three–Faith United Methodist Church and Guntersville FUMC . Aldersgate UMC was the third team, and I only had a chance to visit with them at night in the hotel.