September: SIFAT Doctor in your House Helps in Ecuador
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 Peggy Walker, International Team Coordinator
There are times when our SIFAT mission teams must switch from development to relief. The current pandemic, more than ever before, is that time. International travel was halted; teams were forced to postpone trips. We were all told we would be safer at home. The reality of this condition made us all feel more vulnerable than ever before. Along with this reality, the need to serve was ever present, but the question was how? SIFAT found a way in Ecuador with our SIFAT Doctor in your House program.
Ecuador: Mission Team Members Needed!
We need you to join with us this year to serve the people of Ecuador! Several of our 2018 teams need extra members now to complete their teams. In February, SIFAT broke ground on a new construction project in Aida Leon in the southern part of Quito. Teams will be working with SIFAT graduate Pastor Wilson and his church for the next three years on a project called Gotitas de Esperanza, Teardrops of Hope. When completed, this building will allow for care of an additional 200 children who might otherwise be on the streets when not in school. We need construction and VBS workers on each team. Please consider joining one of the teams listed below today while airline tickets are still available.
The following teams have openings and are asking for people to join their teams:
5/12 – 5/20 Clear Lake UMC, Clear Lake, Texas (all ages welcome)
6/2 – 6/9 St. Luke’s UMC, Tupelo, Miss. (youth team; great for youth, college students & young adults)
6/9 – 6/16 Faith UMC, Pinson, Ala. (all ages welcome)
6/30 – 7/7 Eufaula FUMC (youth team; great for youth, college students & young adults)
10/13 – 10/20 Bonifay FUMC, Bonifay, Fla. – medical team (doctors and nurse practitioners needed; may be serving a different SIFAT Ecuador project site)
Bolivia: Mt. Bethel UMC Update 2
The Mt. Bethel UMC mission team is currently in Quesimpuco, Bolivia. Each year, a group of men from Marietta, Ga., look forward to spending time together serving the people in this remote Andean village and sharing during devotions. SIFAT’s executive director Tom Corson, administrator Terry Haynes and board member Art Stephenson joined this team. Bert Blanchard, a former team leader, could not go this year, but he has been sending out daily updates he receives from the team to family and former team members. Bert’s updates include photos, descriptions and stories from previous years that will help you understand the landscape and culture of the area. For more information on SIFAT’s work in Quesimpuco, download our latest update here. For the first half of the Mt. Bethel team’s week, click here.
Wednesday, October 28
The team finished the irrigation pipe work that could be completed and are planning to spend more time getting to know the families in the village. They completed the work faster than expected with the help of their new friends. He said there was one woman in particular who was carrying large stones down to support/protect the pipes that no one from the US could keep up with.
They have been enjoying time together in the small-group atmosphere: sharing devotions, cooking meals and playing cards. Wayne Hiott is leading the music and songs. Andy Rogers is leading worship, devotions and setting the tone for their spiritual nourishment.
Today, they were planning to spend more time playing with the kids, and Art Stephenson was to share a devotion with the people of Quesimpcuo about his experience with NASA.
Thanks to the past 20 years of support by SIFAT and mission teams like this one, the kids now have clean drinking water, more nutrition in their diet, a school, a medical clinic, and they get to worship and hear about Jesus Christ. Before, none of these things were possible. You can see the impact in one generation already. The kids are taller and healthier than their parents and have many more opportunities to use their gifts to support a bright future for the village.
Bolivia: Mt. Bethel UMC Team Checks In!
The Mt. Bethel UMC mission team is currently in Quesimpuco, Bolivia. Each year, a group of men from Marietta, Ga., look forward to spending time together serving the people in this remote Andean village and sharing during devotions. SIFAT’s executive director Tom Corson, administrator Terry Haynes and board member Art Stephenson joined this team. Bert Blanchard, a former team leader, could not go this year, but he has been sending out daily updates he receives from the team to family and former team members. Bert’s updates include photos, descriptions and stories from previous years that will help you understand the landscape and culture of the area. For more information on SIFAT’s work in Quesimpuco, download our latest update here.
The team left Atlanta on Friday, October 23, to begin the long journey to Quesimpuco. We have combined Bert’s updates from Saturday through Monday into this first post. Tomorrow, we’ll post the next couple days of updates.
Saturday, October 24
The team made it safely to La Paz after a long overnight flight. Everyone and everything made it through customs, and the group ate breakfast before starting the long road trip. They were able to send the photo below.
Today’s devotion: Our Image is His Image
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26
Bolivia: Mt. Bethel UMC Men in Quesimpuco
Our last Bolivian team of the year is in Quesimpuco this week. Each year, Mt. Bethel UMC takes an all men’s team to this remote area high in the Andes Mountains. John Moxley, a former team member, has received a few phone calls from the team and shared with friends and family what the team has been doing. In Quesimpuco, the only communication available is through a satellite phone or one phone at the town hall. There are no current pictures to accompany this post, but John has done a great job adding details from his personal experiences to explain what the team is experiencing.
Yesterday went better than expected: a long drive, an enjoyable picnic beside a lake with flamingos, and most importantly: no problems! No flats, mechanical issues or overly bad road conditions. Given what they just drove through, this is an accomplishment. They arrived at about 9:15 p.m., and it is, indeed, a tiring drive. The last several hours are very off road, plus being in a car for 11+ hours is just no fun. However, the team had enough energy to unpack and have a devotional. While Carey did the first devo, each team member will have a turn this week. Additionally, Carey set the team up with a daily scripture to read and focus on. Our team is covered up with God’s word, fellowship among themselves, and prayer from you. Great things are bound to happen!