Graduate Project: Ministering in a Refugee Camp

February 2020, Written by SIFAT Co-founder Sarah Corson

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”          2 Cor. 1:3-5

Bullen, SIFAT’s only graduate from South Sudan, recently sent a letter to SIFAT that began with this Bible verse. He knows from the core of his being what affliction means, and just as real to him is the God of all comfort.

His people have been exploited and enslaved for centuries by the Arab Northern Sudanese fighting for ivory, slaves and later, oil, against the African Southern Sudanese. Finally, South Sudan gained its freedom and joined the United Nations as the world’s 193rd nation in 2011. But in less than a year, terrible atrocities were started again, and the population in this war-torn, impoverished nation is suffering enslavement, savage acts of torture and destruction of life and property.

Bullen, a SIFAT graduate from South Sudan, is ministering in a refugee camp in Uganda. With help from SIFAT supporters, he has built a church that has a garden around it.


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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.

During her summer in Ecuador, Luci found an extended family in Aida Leon.

 


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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.

 

Add Felipe’s babysitter to the list of the many ways Luci is helping this our teams this summer! Felipe is the son of one of the ladies who cooks for the teams serving in Aida Leon.


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Ecuador: Intern Luci’s First Week in Quito

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. This is the first installment of her trip journal.

June 11 — Today marks day 11 of my internship here in Ecuador. It seems that there hasn’t been a single moment to sit down and write. This past week, I worked with a medical team from Pensacola translating, and wow, how very eye opening it truly was for me! Literally. One time, I translated for an older gentleman who had never experienced glasses. Being able to translate his words to the doctors– connecting two languages for a clearer vision really cleared my own. I’m not only here to translate, but I am here as a bridge between two cultures. This first week, I have been hit hard with how much of what I considered “common sense” to really be another word I used for past experiences. It amazed me how shocked many were, even in tears, at the poverty that is so prevalent here in Quito–especially during the home visits at Villaflora.

Luci Bryson, SIFAT Ecuador intern, translated for VBS and a medical clinic, hosted by the St. Luke UMC (Pensacola) mission team, during her first week in Ecuador.


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Ecuador: Mission Team Members Needed!

We need you to join with us this year to serve the people of Ecuador! Several of our 2018 teams need extra members now to complete their teams. In February, SIFAT broke ground on a new construction project in Aida Leon in the southern part of Quito. Teams will be working with SIFAT graduate Pastor Wilson and his church for the next three years on a project called Gotitas de Esperanza, Teardrops of Hope. When completed, this building will allow for care of an additional 200 children who might otherwise be on the streets when not in school. We need construction and VBS workers on each team. Please consider joining one of the teams listed below today while airline tickets are still available.

 

Construction has begun on the Aida Leon project in Ecuador! Team members are needed to fill spaces on several teams this year!

Available Dates

The following teams have openings and are asking for people to join their teams:

5/12 – 5/20           Clear Lake UMC, Clear Lake, Texas (all ages welcome)

6/2 – 6/9               St. Luke’s UMC, Tupelo, Miss. (youth team; great for youth, college students & young adults)

6/9 – 6/16             Faith UMC, Pinson, Ala. (all ages welcome)

6/30 – 7/7             Eufaula FUMC (youth team; great for youth, college students & young adults)

10/13 – 10/20       Bonifay FUMC, Bonifay, Fla. – medical team (doctors and nurse practitioners needed; may be serving a different SIFAT Ecuador project site)


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