October: A New Purpose for Don Jose’s Land 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 Kathy Bryson, International Training Director

Note: Three SIFAT donors purchased land in Costa Rica this year for our SIFAT Central American Training Center’s permanent home. We are excited to share more news in the next issue of the SIFAT Journal.

In this article, the title of Don is given to a gentleman to show respect and honor.

Don Jose grew up in rural Costa Rica with six siblings. They were poor, but proud, and worked hard to survive on their small farm. When Don Jose was 10, his father gave him a small plot of land to work. He said, “Son, it is your job to make it produce.”  He showed Don Jose how to prepare the land and gave him seeds to grow cilantro. “You are in charge. We are counting on you to help us survive.”

Don Jose finished primary school. no one went to high school; there was not one nearby. The next step was to work to make a living, supporting the family.

This year, SIFAT bought property in Costa Rica for a permanent Central American Training Center. Don Jose (above) sold us the land and is excited to be part of SIFAT’s new center. He shares his testimony in this article.


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July 2020: Graduates in Action Around the Globe

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

SIFAT has been training community leaders in development for 41 years. As community needs change, our graduates’ ministries often shift their focus. A global pandemic? That is definitely a call for adaptation to meet immediate needs. Around the world, governments are enacting strict lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, which has led to economic hardships and job loss, inflation and food shortage. We reached out to a few of our graduates  for updates, so we can better understand the challenges they face, but also to see the ways they are thriving, despite unexpected circumstances.

Awon (center) leads a Bible study with a group of college students quarantining together in India.


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May 2020: A Humble Reminder from my Neighbor

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 Kathy Bryson, International Training Director

I recently visited Lisabet, our neighbor, as she was preparing a fire to cook traditional beans. Lisabet’s mother suffers from a long-term hacking cough that is exacerbated by smoke. They are a Nicaraguan family who immigrated to Costa Rica years ago in search of a better life. Lisabet’s father takes care of another neighbor’s cows. She is a 36-year-old mentally challenged adult. She is very precious — always telling me how she tried so hard to learn to read, but never could. The first question that she asks people she meets is if they believe in God.

Lizabet prepares a meal for her family.


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Happy Easter from SIFAT

Download a PDF copy of this Easter 2020 mailing from SIFAT

Written by Kathy Bryson, SIFAT’s training director

I have met many incredible people who have overcome adversity and are determined to make a difference in the lives of others. I want to share Anner Sagustame’s story with you. Anner is from rural Honduras and has been doing an agricultural internship with us in Costa Rica, helping to set up demonstration models for family gardens and conserving soil and water. He will return soon to graduate at his agriculture college in Honduras. He wants to learn more at SIFAT about appropriate technologies in water purification, solar energy, simple water pumps for irrigation, preventing malnutrition in children and community development.

Anner and his grandmother


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Training: Environmental Monitoring Training in June

SIFAT is excited about an upcoming training opportunity to be held  June 28-30, 2016, on our campus. The following press release is from the 4-H Alabama Water Watch Program, with whom we are partners for this conference.

The 4-H Alabama Water Watch Program is partnering with five environmental centers around the state, including SIFAT, to provide teachers and volunteer educators with the opportunity to learn to use the Exploring Our Living Streams: Stream Biomonitoring and Water Chemistry Monitoring Curriculum.

During this two-day workshop, participants will learn to use the EOLS curriculum, which is correlated to the Alabama Course of Study and is endorsed by the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative. Participants will also be certified as water monitors and will learn how they can certify youth as 4-H AWW Water Monitors.

Participants who complete this training will receive Continuing Education Units from Auburn University. Food and lodging is provided. This opportunity is funded in part by a grant from the EPA Office of Environmental Education.

*There is a $25 application fee due with registration.

Workshop Locations and Dates:

  • Troy University in Phenix City, Riverfront Campus – June 7-9
  • Weeks Bay National Estuary and Research Reserve in Fairhope – June 14-16
  • SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) in Lineville – June 28-30
  • Black Belt Conservation and Research Institute at the University of West Alabama in Livingston – July 12-14
  • McDowell Environmental Center in Nauvoo, AL – July 26-28

Click here to download a flyer. For more info and to register, click here or call  he AWW Office at 334.844.4785.