SIFAT, or Servants in Faith and Technology is the neatest place I have ever been. The District for which Frank is a pastor had their Pastor-Spouse Picnic there this past summer and my eyes were made clear. I could not believe that such a place existed. I want to share with you all just exactly what SIFAT does and why their work is important. "Servants in Faith And Technology is a Christian nonprofit organization that provides training in self-help programs for a needy world.
SIFAT offers opportunities for Christians to get involved personally, both to learn from others and to partner with them in missions. The idea of SIFAT was conceived in the jungles of the Alto Beni of Bolivia in 1976 when Ken and Sarah Corson took their four children and moved to Sapecho to be pastors of a Bolivian church. Realizing that the homesteaders there needed more than spiritual nourishment, Ken and Sarah began work in integrated development with the people of the village. The Quechuan mayor of the town, Benjo Paredes, became a Christian that year and has been a great Christian community leader. Benjo and Ken cofounded CENATEC (Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Sustenible), a nonprofit Christian organization in Bolivia. CENATEC was the mother organization out of which SIFAT was born. In 1979, the Corsons returned to Alabama and established SIFAT as a training center for meeting basic human needs. Since then, CENATEC and SIFAT have worked closely in many endeavors." In the trainging site, the missionaries in training learn about developing water treatment method, learn how to make bricks, garden...it is amazing...there in Clay County, Alabama you will find three third world countries in all their splendor/squallor and glory/grossness.
There is housing....just like you would see in that country/region, there is a water system....just like you would find in that country....there are beds....just like you would sleep on in that country....and believe me, Goldilocks would have left the Three Bears home long before she did with these beds.
They are definitely not Sleep number Mattresses. SIFAT follows a series of principles. The principles of development which SIFAT promotes:
•God is the creator of all things. All things are integrated: if a new technology is accepted into a village, it will change that village socially, physically, economically and spiritually. The Gospel of Jesus includes integrated development and affects the physical, spiritual, mental, social, economic, political and all other aspects of life.
•SIFAT works with all people, not just those who hold the same beliefs. This does not negate, but rather emphasizes, Christianity.
•SIFAT encourages long-term development, instead of short-term relief.
•SIFAT strives for every word and deed among the poor to build their self-esteem, to affirm their potential and to help them become more in themselves rather than just having more for the moment. Those things that create dependency are rejected in favor of those that develop self-sufficiency. A brother/sister relationship is cultivated, rather than a paternalistic/materialistic one. SIFAT does not do things for people, but with people.
•To receive help from SIFAT, overseas partners must develop a plan for their priority project that appears to be sustainable. They must identify their resources and communicate the resources they lack. Then SIFAT considers whether a partnership would be effective.
•Help is not doing for people what they can do for themselves, except occasionally lending a hand as a way of walking in someone's shoes and showing solidarity. Help is doing what they cannot do, after they have done or are planning to do all they can.
•SIFAT welcomes others to join with us in the exciting journey of allowing the Spirit of God to change people's vision and alleviating some of the alienation and lostness in our world today.
When we left the campus of SIFAT I was in awe of all they do. It really hit home when the earthquake hit Haiti. SIFAT was there....and was installing a water treatment facility. It means more to me today....because I have been there, seen that, and will never be the same.
Want to know more about SIFAT? Check out their website: SIFAT
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
1 year ago