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.


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Learn & Serve: Fall 2013 Retreats Wrap-Up!

It’s been a busy fall for Learn & Serve at SIFAT!  We have had so many wonderful groups from across the southeast come to our campus in Lineville, AL for L&S programming.  As we slow down for the winter season, we wanted to share a glimpse of this past season with you!

During Fall 2013, we had 1,903 participants experience a variety of Learn & Serve retreat programs.  This is a 37% increase from participation in Fall 2012 Retreats!  Here are a couple of highlights from our fall retreat groups:


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Learn & Serve: Goodbye Summer!

As summer ends and school is starting back, Learn & Serve (L&S) would like to thank all of our participants for making L&S Summer Experience 2013 such an amazing program! During our seven sessions, we had 393 participants from eight states across the southeast and midwest.

During each of the seven week-long sessions of Learn & Serve summer experience, youth and their leaders took over the SIFAT campus. When the final groups left, our staff immediately felt like something was wrong…it was too quiet!


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Training – Field Study: Water, Water Everywhere

 Our May Field Study was held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, participated this year. She has been blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.

One of the subjects covered during the Field Study was the need for clean water. Alabama Water Watch, a water quality monitoring program covering all major river basins of the state, came to educate us about water quality. We watched informative videos and learned about the need for clean water globally. We then had the chance to test the water here at SIFAT.

Clean water was one of the main topics covered during the Field Study.


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