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: Birmingham Youth Support SIFAT Training Graduate in Nigeria!

Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project. 

SIFAT’s Learn & Serve department pledged to help Pastor Ogbatabo fund his project through educating North American youth on the issue of smoke inhalation around the world and allowing them the chance to partner with SIFAT through financial contributions.  Several L&S staff members and leaders from various participating groups have contributed.  One inspiring story of a group committing to fund Pastor Ogbatabo’s project comes from Canterbury United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.

When students from Canterbury UMC met Pastor Ogbatabo while at SIFAT during Summer 2013, they decided they wanted to sponsor his project in Nigeria. After telling their friends and parents about Pastor Ogbatabo and his work, they decided to take up an offering once a month at their Sunday night youth program.

Canterbury UMC students keep a tally of the amount raised each month on their prayer (chalkboard) wall in a drawing of the rocket stove.


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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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Learn & Serve: “48: A Slum Experience” Retreat!

January 19-21, 2013, eighty participants and thirty-four staff stepped into the life of over one billion people on the planet at “48: A Slum Experience”. This intense retreat allows high school participants, adult leaders, and college-aged staff to experience life in an urban slum environment.

Participants and staff of the 2013 “48: A Slum Experience” retreat celebrate gaining a new awareness of slum life around the world.


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Learn & Serve: New Retreat Programs Now Offered!

Learn & Serve is excited to announce two new programming options for retreats! To continue to provide a diverse range of experiences connecting our participants to our brothers and sisters around the world, Learn & Serve has begun offering participants the opportunity to participate in a Refugee Camp Overnight and an Urban Slum Prayer Experience.
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