Ecuador: SIFAT Doctor in Your House
Dear friend of SIFAT,
As I sit at my computer to write with so many thoughts about all we are missing this year, I see the faces of the children in our projects in Ecuador. I can almost feel their hugs and hear their laughter. Many of you would be preparing for your long awaited trip to serve alongside these people we have come to think of as family. Some of you have gone to Ecuador with SIFAT many times, letting this mission trip replace your relaxing summer vacations. For others, this would have been your first opportunity to serve in this beautiful country. For all who were planning to go and those who were supporting your efforts, I know you are wondering how are they living through these difficult times, and thinking what can we do now? From e-mails with our staff and pastors with whom we serve, I want to share the reality of their situation and also give you a way we can still make a difference and provide hope.
I understand people are suffering here at home, and many do not know how they will rebuild their lives. But most of us have food to eat, and we can go to the hospital, even if we do not have insurance. We have stimulus checks, food banks and churches eager to help those in need. In Aida Leon, Villaflora and other poor areas in which we serve in Ecuador, they do not. Pastor Wilson and Anita and Pastor Rafael wrote that the families in their churches have no jobs, no food and certainly no medical care. These poor families depend upon sporadic work during the best of times, and many must take buses across town each day to find that work.
Quito is now under a complete lockdown and has been since March. There are no taxis or buses, and even private vehicles are only allowed on the street from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. one day a week. In the communities where we work, there are no grocery deliveries or drive through pharmacies, and often no clean water to wash hands. They have no money, no food, no government help, and to most, it must seem as if they have no future.
Through generous donations, SIFAT has just sent $1,000 to each of our five main projects to help feed the children and their families. We hope to be able to send the same next week. But this reaches only a few. Anita tells me there are an average of six in most of their church families in Villaflora. For her to assemble a basket of food and sanitation products to last one week, it costs $40. She knows how and where to get the most for the money she is given. We hope to continue helping in this way, but they also are saying so many are getting sick, and even dying in their homes, because of a lack of medical care.
SIFAT teams have provided medical care for these very poor areas for many years. Our medical teams have brought much needed medication for the adults, Pap smears and exams for the women and children’s vitamins to prevent malnutrition. It is a blessing for our teams to serve in all our projects, plus several other locations. Unfortunately, all 2020 teams have been canceled.
Dr. Roberto Contreras, our SIFAT Ecuador director, and his wife, Monica, have seen the despair and have envisioned a project to bring hope to these communities. They call it SIFAT Doctor in Your House.
We are fortunate that Dr. Roberto is a medical doctor. He has been watching what we are doing in the USA with teleconferencing our medical professionals and wants to do the same in Ecuador using WhatsApp. Our teams care for about 3,000 people every year. Dr. Roberto knows that these people are hurting and that he can diagnose most problems through video calls. SIFAT will provide whatever medicines are needed. He will begin right away with our five projects: Aida Leon, Villaflora, Calderon, Puengasi and Atucucho. But, we can only make this plan work with your support.
Dr. Roberto has negotiated with a large pharmacy chain in Quito to give a discount on medications. All will not need prescriptions, but for many of our patients, the cost will average about $30. I hoped we could send medicines from the USA through Blessings International, but the taxes charged on any shipment would be prohibitive, plus it could be held up for weeks in customs. Buying in Ecuador is the only solution. This will mean many hours on the phone for Dr. Roberto every day. There will be costs, but it is the only way these people in great need will have access to medical care.
SIFAT teaches the ministry of presence, but how can we show this when we cannot be in Ecuador? Through Dr. Roberto and Monica, we have found a way! Our teams might not physically be in Ecuador, but the people we serve will know we have not forgotten about them. They will know they are in our prayers and in our hearts, and through this program, they will feel our love and, once again, have hope.
Please help SIFAT make this program a reality for so many with whom we serve in Ecuador. At a time like this with so many needs in so many places, each of us may wonder which need is best for me to support as I am able? SIFAT knows first-hand the people we will be helping in this case.
Please consider giving generously. A gift of $30 will be gratefully received. If you can give more, please give more. This is a time to go the extra mile for our friends in Ecuador who have no way to help themselves and are suffering without any help from their government. Please designate your gift SIFAT Doctor in Your House. From one who has worked in these communities for many years, I know they will be praying for you, and the greatest blessing will be ours. Please do not hesitate. Send your donation today.
God bless you and our friends in Ecuador,
International Team Coordinator
Ways to Donate
1. Donate Online. Use the button below or go to www.sifat.org/donate. Please designate your gift SIFAT Doctor in Your House.
(Remember, SIFAT’s legal name is Southern Institute for Appropriate Technology, so you will see that name on our PayPal page)
2. Mail a Check. Your gift can be mailed to our SIFAT office. Please make checks payable to SIFAT and designate SIFAT Doctor in Your House on the memo line. Send your check to the address below:
2944 County Road 113
Lineville, AL 36266