From Searching to Serving

By Mike Tenbusch | November 26, 2021

Three years ago, Ronia Romero led the expansion of our Paso a Paso (Step by Step) scholarship program in Honduras from San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa.  In a very short time, she has seen young people like Josue go from a daily battle to survive working the city’s sprawling dump to flourishing in school. Josue even ran in the great IntSam Global 5K with his friends to bring food to his community.

Pictured left is Josue with his family shortly after his admittance to the Paso a Paso program three years ago. Pictured right is Josue again with his friends, celebrating after completing their races.

As she drove home after the race a few weeks ago, Ronia was struck by a sense of awe.  It wasn’t just the miraculous growth in scholars like Josue.  It was also the fact that complete strangers from around the world were running with them to help their families.  She wanted to do something to celebrate her gratitude, and the idea came to her to ask our scholars if they would like to make breakfast and bring it to the people working in the dumpsite the next Saturday morning.  They loved the idea!
 
Two weeks ago, Ronia, our scholars, and their mothers woke up early to make 150 breakfast meals for families working in the dump that day.  They mixed eggs with beans, cheese and ham and rolled them into tortillas. “We have a saying here in Honduras,” Ronia told me, “If a breakfast doesn’t have beans, it’s not a good breakfast.”    
 
They arrived at the dump just as the sun filled the sky and served the meals to surprised but weary workers.

Just over 500 families are still making a living in that dump each day, and our scholars were shocked to see how many more children were working there—far more than before the pandemic hit.

”It was good to see people smile when they received the breakfast,” Ronia said, “but so sad to see the hunger that remains.”
 
Wanting to do more, our scholars and their mothers made a commitment to return in December with hot coffee and tamales—a traditional Christmas meal in Honduras.  In just three years, they have gone from working in the dump to serving those working there now.  Like you, they are answering the call of Jesus to love their neighbor in thoughtful and consistent ways.
 
As we pause to give thanks for the blessings of God in our life this weekend, I thank Him for you, and for this transformation celebrated in a Thanksgiving breakfast you helped to make possible.

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By Mike Tenbusch | August 13, 2021 In our most recent book club meeting, I was floored by the memories of Ron Salcer about his parents, Kati and Willi Salcer, two survivors of the Holocaust. Ron's parents never discussed their experiences until he was a young man and...

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By Mike Tenbusch | July 09, 2021 Please accept my apology for not writing you in over a month.  I’ve missed you!  As much as I enjoy sharing these reflections every couple of weeks, I had to step away for a bit to meet with supporters of our mission around the nation...

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By Mike Tenbusch | May 28, 2021 Just before the pandemic was declared last year in March, a team of students from University of Michigan’s campus chapter of International Samaritan served on our organization’s first service immersion trip to the garbage dump community...

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By Mike Tenbusch | May 18, 2021 This week, I’d like to share with you a little bit of what our mission feels like when we say we are walking hand-in-hand with people in garbage dump communities, along with those with a calling to help, to break the chains of poverty...

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By Mike Tenbusch | April 30, 2021 The story you are about to read is true.  The names have not been changed to protect the innocent… With a few minutes to go in the 1986 high school district semi-finals at Redford Thurston High School, just west of Detroit, U of D...

A Tale of Two Sons

By Mike Tenbusch | April 13, 2021 Last week I received an email from Kevin Lopez, our team leader in Nicaragua, about Mateo, one of our scholarship students in Managua.  One picture he sent of Mateo instantly reminded me of a picture taken years ago of my own...

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About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.

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