2012, SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) - Lineville, Alabama
During spring break, 26 people from the Reinhardt community traveled to Lineville, Alabama to learn about the complex global issue of poverty. SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) was our host organization. For four days we imagined what it would be like to live in an urban slum or in rural poverty around the world. We subsisted on rice and beans and worked hard to meet our most basic needs of food, water, and shelter. No one starved to death, but we did go hungry. For four days, we put our toe in someone elses shoe and through that experience we gained a new perspective of the world and our role in it.
At one point, we were all feeling sad and guilty about the privileged lives that we lead. After all, we were born into privilege. None of us had to ever walk miles to get clean water. We didnt have to drop out of school as children in order to help meet our familys most basic needs. Although we might not always feel like it, we all realized that we are very privileged. We acknowledged that we were born into it and did nothing to earn it. Likewise, many in this world are born into poverty and did nothing to deserve it. They are malnourished and dying from preventable diseases, while we bemoan the fact that we havent yet upgraded to a smart phone. All of us felt convicted and guilty for living privileged lives while so many suffer through life.
Our SIFAT host reminded us that our time at SIFAT was not to make us feel guilty, but instead, responsible. He warned us that responsibility demands more from us than guilt. Guilt is merely the indicator that things arent as they should be; while responsibility is actively doing something about the injustice. Responsibility means that we dont see borders or nationality. We see people in our own community and around the world of equal value as children of God. They are our brothers and sisters. Even though they arent monetarily rich; they are people of inherent worth. Just like our own brothers and sisters, we didnt choose them. We were all born into the family of God.
SIFATs motto is Sharing the Love of God in Practical Ways. Its purpose is to join faith and technology together as a demonstration of Gods love and blessing. SIFAT employs appropriate technologies to facilitate the meeting of essential human needs to improve the quality of life around the world. Likewise, we are called to find our own ways to share the love of God to the poor all over the world.
The Alternative Spring Break participants were: Aaron Avera, Jessica Brown, Sam Bryant, Phoebe Budd, Trenn Carnes, Elizabeth Coe, Donna Coffey, Alesa Constien, Thai Cromer, Laura Grove, Courtney Holcombe, Stephen Karafa, Courtney Leal, Luke Leightner, Rachael Mack, Leigh Martin, Jillian Matthews, Zach McElveen, Claire Moore, Susan Scrivner, Jasmine Simmons, Stephanie Summers, Phil Unger, Heather Watson, Alex Wilson and Andy Worsham.
We would be happy to share our experience with you in person.
Past Spring Break Service Opportunities
- World Poverty and Hunger- Hands-on seminar, Lineville AL (March 2012)
- Inner-city Mission in Miami, FL (March 2010)
- The U.K. in May- Trip to visit Reinhardt Alum serving as TFG volunteers (May 2010)
- Christmas in the City- Various service outreach in Atlanta, GA (December 2009)
- Home repair in Appalachia, Red Bird Mission, Kentucky (March 2009)
- Hurricane Katrina Clean-up, New Orleans LA (May 2008)
- Wesley Community Center, Savannah GA (March 2008)
- Immigration Seminar, Washington D.C. (December 2007)
- Inner-city Mission in Chicago IL (March 2007)
- Hurricane Katrina Clean-up, Biloxi MS (December 2006)
- Hurricane Katrina Clean-up, Gulfport MS (March 2006)
- Habitat for Humanity Build following Katrina, Theodore AL (December 2005)
- Hurricane Clean-up, Arcadia FL (March 2005)