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 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.
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.
Arrangements for David Bryson
It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of one of our close SIFAT family members with you. David Bryson, husband of international training director Kathy Corson Bryson, died this past Friday. A second memorial service is being held Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m. at Auburn UMC Founders Chapel. Visitation time will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to SIFAT may be made in David’s memory.
Please join us in remembering David’s work with SIFAT through the years and in praying for Kathy and their four daughters: Brianna, Jennessa, Luci and Evie.
To read David’s obituary: http://www.sprywilliams.com/…/OurObituaries/tabid/80/id/173
Ecuador: Safe in Quito after Saturday’s Earthquake
As you have probably heard, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the northern coast of Ecuador Saturday afternoon. The epicenter was more than 100 miles from Quito. Thankfully, we have talked to Dr. Roberto, our director in Ecuador, and he assures us that our project sites in Quito are safe. They felt the earthquake, but because tremors are not uncommon, they did not realize the severity of this earthquake until much later.He said there was some minor damage in the southern part of Quito, but nothing as devastating as we have seen in the news from the areas on the coast. We are still planning to take all of our medical and construction teams this summer, but we are asking them to be flexible, in case there are opportunities to serve in areas affected by the earthquake.
Thank you for all of the emails, calls and prayers for our staff and project sites in Quito. We will continue to update you as we learn of specific ways we can help and as we receive news from our graduates that live closer to the devastated areas. Continue to pray for Ecuador and those who lost homes, friends and family in this disaster!