Merry Christmas 2020!

Dear friends of SIFAT,

When we sat down to write a Christmas letter last year, we were filled with excitement to start our 41st year of ministry. Plans were coming together for our international training events, teams were preparing for trips to Bolivia and Ecuador and our campus staff was scheduling groups throughout the year. Who would have imagined what transpired just a few months later! Our world completely changed in a few weeks.

But, we’ve seen good things come from these trying times. In our local communities, we see neighbors helping neighbors through food drives and shopping local. We have seen a push for “good news” stories that highlight caring for one another. You may have even started following new social media outlets that share these stories or forwarded an email to send someone a smile.

A young girl receives food for her family from outreach in one of our project sites in Ecuador. Our SIFAT Doctor in your House program provides medical care and food to the most vulnerable who are suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At SIFAT, this year brought challenges, but we were able to find joy, too. In Costa Rica, an unexpected opportunity to purchase land brought a permanent home for our Central American Training Center. In Ecuador, our director, Dr. Roberto, quickly developed Doctor in your House to work with our graduates there to meet immediate needs of food and medical care in the communities in which we have served for the past 20 years. Your support empowered outreach projects to bring hope and encouragement to those experiencing the devastating effects of the pandemic in Quito and beyond. In Bolivia, our teams sent life-saving medical equipment that uses appropriate technology – turning a CPAP into a ventilator! On our campus in Alabama, our staff worked together to perform overdue maintenance and refresh our campus facilities. Reports came in from across the globe from our SIFAT graduates who are using skills they learned during SIFAT trainings to minister in new ways in their communities.

During a crisis, families come together. You are part of our SIFAT family, and you have been behind SIFAT in 2020! Each time we began to worry about the future, we would open the mail to find a note of encouragement or an unexpected donation, often from a new or infrequent donor. Our faithful donors continued to support us each month. During times when we would understand donors having to tighten their budgets or spreading their donations among more organizations in need, you continue to choose to support our ministry. It has been a difficult year with all of our revenue-generating activities put on an indefinite pause, but your prayers and financial support have kept SIFAT going.

Our SIFAT Bolivia staff were happy to get the machines that will turn a CPAP into a ventilator through customs without problems. This technology will give hospitals in the remotest parts of the Andes Mountains where SIFAT teams serve needed medical equipment to fight COVID-19 and other life-threatening conditions.

Good news can be found when we look for it. Thank you for being part of our good news. Let us never forget the true Good News that Jesus came into our world! He is alive and with us today! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas, we keep remembering that He said, “As you do it unto the least of these…you do it unto me.” It takes both SIFAT and our supporters working together to reach the thousands of suffering people among whom SIFAT works. Regardless of our struggles during this pandemic, it brings us great joy to know that we are giving gifts to Jesus when we work together this way. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity to SIFAT!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Tom Corson
Executive Director