One of our Samaritan Scholars in Ethiopia, Baye, grew up with an abusive father. His father’s harsh and unbearable presence inflicted deep wounds on Baye and his mother. Despite summoning the courage to leave and forge their own path, the pain would resurface, especially when Baye visited his father on holidays. 

Baye, now 17, discovered solace through the arts, harnessing the power of painting as an outlet for his pent-up emotions and anguish. He immersed himself wholeheartedly in creative expression, finding refuge and release within each stroke of a brush.

While these coping mechanisms provided some relief, it was the extraordinary power of forgiveness that ultimately set Baye on a path to true freedom. 


Baye with two of his recent paintings.

Baye and 104 other scholars embarked on a journey of letting go during a transformative three-day emotional trauma healing workshop held at the Weingartz Family Life Center in Ethiopia.

The emotional trauma healing workshop covered a range of topics, but it was the profound impact of healing through forgiveness that resonated most deeply. Each scholar wrote down the pain and hurt they had carried toward others and themselves. Then, they burned these papers in front of a cross as a symbolic gesture of transformation.

Kenya scholars

Samaritan Scholars in Ethiopia attended a three-day emotional trauma healing workshop. During the workshop, they wrote down their pain and hurt and then burned those papers.

I know the power of what forgiveness can do for our scholars because of what it has done for my grandmother, Emamaye. When I was a small child, I remember her being kicked out of the house she had bought 20 years earlier because someone close to her fraudulently stole the legal title from her. It was a horrible act of betrayal that could have stolen so much more from her than the home itself. But she possesses a truly remarkable ability to forgive.

When I asked recently how she feels about the people who took her home from her, she smiled and said, “I forgave them a long time ago.” 

My grandmother, Emamaye, has led a life of peace and fulfillment thanks to her decision to forgive.

This struck me so powerfully because I still get upset for her when I think about it. But instead of bitterness and resentment, my grandmother made an unwavering choice to forgive that has allowed her to lead a life of peace and fulfillment.
This is the life we want for Baye and his fellow scholars. They have been through heart-breaking trials. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to heal their hearts and comfort and strengthen them.

Watch as some of the Samaritan Scholars in Ethiopia explain why they’re running in the IntSam Global 5K. This year’s race is raising money to fund holistic scholarships, which help children rise out of poverty. There’s still time to help. You can sign up to run or donate to a team at:

Selam Kahsay, Health & Wellness Specialist

Selam is a public health expert who is passionate about working with vulnerable communities, especially adolescents and their families. She has many years of experience working closely with neglected patients from the poorest sections of the city, which consequently set the tone for her professional decision to always work in close proximity with overlooked communities. Selam holds a Master’s in Public Health from Addis Ababa University.

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