What’s been going on at SIFAT? A lot! We’ve finished Learn & Serve for the summer and welcomed Practicum students. Schools and groups are coming weekly for CARES field trips, not to mention the retreats on weekends. Wow. Busy!

We have asked Practicum student Becky Forrest to let us publicly post the recaps e-mails to friends and family. Becky is an accountant who has been called to missions. Three years ago, she went on a short-term mission trip to Panama. In 2007, she traveled with an UMVIM group from South Carolina to Ixiamas, Bolivia to work with SIFAT. In 2008, she returned to Ixiamas to work with SIFAT again. Now, she has quit her job and is taking part in our training to prepare for being in full time ministry.

Through her posts, we hope you will understand a little more about what the Practicum is and what students are learning. Below is her most recent e-mail. Thanks for sharing with us, Becky, and welcome to the SIFAT blog!

Hi Everyone

It’s so hard to believe October is almost here. I have completed 4 weeks of training. Last week was not as exciting, no rabbits.  

We had TOT (Training of the Trainers) which is a training method by an organization called Life Wind. It is going to be a very useful tool regardless of where I end up going. With the course, I have access to 1800 lesson plans for almost any subject you could want to teach. The instructor is a retired missionary that spent most of her time in Albania.  This plan is used a lot in closed countries to introduce God’s word by first teaching moral values. The lessons use drama and storytelling. Friday was our turn to teach. My group was the 4 ladies I room with and our subject was physical examination of a goat. Fortunately for us right, outside our class room is a pasture containing 4 goats. We used the youngest and demonstrated how to see if we had a healthy goat, and then we had the class do it. It was so funny. Just imagine 4 women trying to hold a goat still while he was crying for him momma and our fellow students coming up looking at his ears, mouth, hoofs and checking for signs of diarrhea. I think you get the picture.

Every Tuesday one of the local churches sends a woman’s group with a covered dish lunch. I was talking to one of the ladies last week who told me she had grown up in Greenville (SC). Come to find out, her father’s brother was married to my mother’s sister. I guess that would make up cousins in law? It is truly a small world.

This week should prove to be interesting we are going to learn how to build fuel efficient cook stoves and gardening.

Please continue to pray for all the students here, we have all been away from home over a month, and everyone is missing their families.

God’s blessings to all,


On Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, Servants in Faith and Technology (SIFAT) will open its campus to the public for SIFAT’s International Festival. The night, hosted by SIFAT’s 22 international students, will give guests a taste of 12 cultural heritages through food, music, song and dance. The students are community leaders participating in Practicum, a 10-week training course teaching practical skills to meet basic human needs.

Have you ever eaten North Indian Seenshu, Venezuelan Arepas or Rwandan Isombe? Fill your plate with samples at a dinner held before the main program and try foods from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Do you speak Creole or Yoruba? Even if you do not, the sounds of these languages will come alive as you listen to songs preformed in several different languages, including a unique African native sound production. You will also have the opportunity to see traditional dances and dramas from Thailand and Cameroon, among others.

SIFAT’s International Festival will begin at 4:30 p.m. with tours of SIFAT’s Global Village. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with the program starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the evening cost $15 and may be reserved by calling SIFAT at (256) 396-2015. Because seating is limited, advanced reservations are needed. All proceeds from this evening will benefit the international student scholarship fund. Casual dress is encouraged.