July 2022: Serving Breakfast in Atucucho

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. To read previous updates about SIFAT Doctor in your House/The Golden Bread, click here.

Written by Marie Lanier Narváez, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

Slowly, our car creeps up a steep mountain, scraping speed breakers while we reminisce about our first visits to Atucucho, a neighborhood in Quito, Ecuador, where SIFAT has been serving for more than 20 years. As we arrive at our destination, a nondescript concrete building among a row of buildings in various stages of construction, we see a line of people winding down the next hill. Dr. Roberto Contreras, Tom Corson, Peggy Walker and I climb out of the car to choruses of Buenos Dias! as we make our way to the door. We are quickly wrapped up in the arms of Ledy Sanchez, a SIFAT graduate and the driving force behind SIFAT’s work in this area.

Ledy guides us into a bustling kitchen, full of ladies cutting vegetables and stirring gigantic, steaming pots. Smiles are abundant, and the smells are vibrant with a breakfast drink in one pot with cinnamon and anise and the beginnings of chicken soup in another. These women prepare meals for about 400 children and 80 elderly every day. Ledy tells us she starts baking fresh bread every morning at 4 a.m. But we do not have time to keep exploring this kitchen, lifting lids and chatting with the ladies, because that line of people needs their breakfast.

Ledy is a SIFAT graduate, who has led our projects in Atucucho, Quito, Ecuador for many years. She is an driving force in her community.


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June 2022: Rebuilding in Bolivia

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 Tom Corson, Executive Director

In our Easter letter, we shared the sad news of a terrible flash flood that destroyed the school in the isolated village of Huiri Lanza in mountains of Bolivia. The parents of the children in this village are working hard to make adobe bricks to rebuild a two-room school for the children.  In Bolivia, the government will send a teacher if the community constructs a school building. This village had a teacher that was respected and loved by the village.  On the day of this disaster, he sent the children home when he saw the rainstorm approaching. He was straightening the classroom and getting ready to go home himself,  when without warning, there was a flash flood in the mountain above them, which sent a huge amount of water cascading down onto the school and surrounding community.  It completely washed away the school building, taking the teacher, too. The villagers spent days searching for the body of their teacher, but he was never found, as this village is in a very steep part of the Andes Mountains.

 

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February 2022: Working Together During a Pandemic

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 Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

 

More than two years have passed since COVID-19 turned our daily lives and our work into a different world. Each day that passes makes us more thankful for the network of SIFAT graduates. For more than 40 years, we have been training community leaders in integrated development— spiritually and physically. One of our basic principles is help people to help themselves. Often, handouts take away people’s dignity and make them feel like beggars.  Now that COVID-19 keeps us from traveling to countries where many of our projects are, we are more thankful than ever that we taught the principle of self-help. Graduates have returned home to teach their neighbors all that they learned. They have already been developing their own communities. So, it was easy for them to work together to help their neighbors during this pandemic. COVID-19 also produced another pandemic—a pandemic of hunger throughout the world. Food security is a great need everywhere. Our graduates are prepared and have stepped up to direct projects in their home areas. By helping our graduates get seed money, SIFAT has empowered them to direct their own development.

In Haiti, SIFAT graduate Samuel is working with groups of women on agricultural projects.


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In Memoriam: John Carr, the SIFAT Gardener

It is with heavy hearts and our deepest sorrow that we announce that our beloved gardener, John Carr, passed away unexpectedly on March 26, 2021. John made an impact on every person’s life who came on our campus from the beautiful landscaping he created to the delicious vegetables he grew. He will be greatly missed, and we join his family in our grief.

Thank you for your outpouring of love and support. We received so many social media comments, emails and phone calls from around the world as the news spread among friends, former staff and SIFAT graduates. We will never know how many were touched by the wealth of knowledge John passionately shared during the classes he taught in our trainings, the tours he gave to visitors and the countless conversations held all over campus.

We hope you will join our SIFAT family and the Carr family as we celebrate John’s life on July 31 at SIFAT. Time to be announced.

John Andrew Carr May 20, 1960 – March 26, 2021


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40 Years: Celebrating our 40th with New Books!

We convinced two men who had been very active in SIFAT to write their autobiographies for SIFAT to publish. On September 20, 2019,  these authors gave their testimonies, and we held a book signing as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations. The two are as different as two people can be. But, they both are a tremendous example of what God can do with anyone’s life if we give ourselves to Christ.

Two new books were published to celebrate SIFAT’s 40th anniversary!


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