August: Learn & Serve Impacts Lives

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 Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

This year has been unlike anything we   expected at SIFAT. When 2020 began, our Learn & Serve staff members were talking to schools, universities and churches to schedule spring retreats and summer experiences.

Learn & Serve provides opportunities to people living in the United States to gain a holistic view of the developing world through simulated experiences. Visiting the SIFAT Global Village may be someone’s first time seeing how the majority of the world lives and understanding some of the daily struggles. Our programming highlights the appropriate technologies that community leaders in SIFAT training study. Participants in Learn & Serve events see how these technologies can truly make a difference in the lives of the poor and learn how our training alumni are implementing these things in their ministries throughout the world.

Worship in the outdoor chapel last summer


View More →

July 2020: Graduates in Action Around the Globe

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 Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

SIFAT has been training community leaders in development for 41 years. As community needs change, our graduates’ ministries often shift their focus. A global pandemic? That is definitely a call for adaptation to meet immediate needs. Around the world, governments are enacting strict lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, which has led to economic hardships and job loss, inflation and food shortage. We reached out to a few of our graduates  for updates, so we can better understand the challenges they face, but also to see the ways they are thriving, despite unexpected circumstances.

Awon (center) leads a Bible study with a group of college students quarantining together in India.


View More →

#GivingTuesdayNow is May 5

(Click here to see the e-mail version of this post.)

SIFAT needs your support more than ever. Tomorrow, through #GivingTuesdayNow, your donations can help SIFAT continue our ministry to those in need throughout the world during this COVID-19 pandemic.

#GivingTuesdayNow is an additional day of global giving and unity, when our supporters can show their generosity in a number of ways.

Two generous donors have pledged $25,000 in matching funds to double your gift. Please join them in helping SIFAT during this crucial time — no gift is too small.

In Liberia, SIFAT graduates John and Martha Partor provided food for 250 families living in a slum community. Because of a partnership with SIFAT and FUMC Clanton, the 5-15 people living in each home will eat this week.


View More →

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. 

SIFAT teams have been helping the people of Quesimpuco for almost two decades. Within this beautiful landscape, daily life is a struggle with harsh obstacles. But, the people are improving their lives with education and opportunity! We are seeing a generation of young adults returning to serve their own people.

Saturday Update

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!

International Mission Teams: 2014 Team Members Needed in Ecuador!

Please join us in helping the children of Ecuador. SIFAT offers you that opportunity now! We need team members on several of our scheduled teams to Ecuador this year. Below, you will find dates for teams that need additional members and a summary of the project. We also have weeks available if you are interested in leading a new team from your church, school or community. Please contact Peggy Walker, SIFAT team coordinator, at walkerp@sifat.org or 256.396.2015 if you are interested in joining or leading a team in 2014.

This year, SIFAT teams will return to Villa Flora to begin work on the third floor of Pastor Rafael and Anita’s church. Teams built the first two floors in 2009 and 2010.

Current 2014 teams needing members:

  • 5/10 – 5/17 – University of Southern Mississippi Wesley Foundation – 4 spots for college students
  • 6/28 – 7/6 – Multi-church team led by Bill Etheridge, Aldersgate UMC, Huntsville – 6-7 spots for any age
  • 7/26-8/2 – Calera UMC, Calera, Ala.- 8-9 spots for any age
  • Doctors and nurse practitioners are also needed on several medical teams this year.

More 2014 teams still needed:

We still need an additional five (5) construction/VBS teams or medical teams between August and November of this year.


View More →