Letters from the


When the Facts of Life Don’t Make Sense

“We would get to the dump at 4:00 in the morning to get food to eat.”  We hear this frequently when talking to families in the garbage dump communities.  Invariably, they say this as a simple matter of fact, much like we might say, “I leave the house at 7:00 in the morning to get to work before rush hour.”   

Such a thing should never be a fact of life. To get a sense of how grievous this fact is, please take a few moments to watch even a little of this three-minute BBC documentary on recycled food from a garbage dump in the Philippines.  Be forewarned, it is disturbing to take in.

If what you saw in this video moves your conscience, I ask you to join me in our Fast2Change tomorrow, Friday, February 28th.  Our team here and in other nations, students who have travelled with us, and others like you will be limiting what we eat on Friday to $2 for the day–the amount that one out of ten people live on in the world. 

I did this last year and was challenged by it. Fasting for spiritual reasons is ultimately edifying, but not eating because you don’t have the money to is aggravating. I experienced both in the Fast2Change last year.

If you can’t fast, please support us by donating the cost of a meal, which you can do through my personal fundraising page.  Know that you are not giving to International Samaritan, you are giving through us: 100% of your gift goes directly to people living and working in garbage dump communities.

There is one encouraging fact about the families telling us that  “they would go to the dump at 4:00 in the morning,” It’s past tense.  The work you have done and the investments you have made are making a difference.  People who picked garbage are now raising chickens and goats. Kids who used to help their parents in the dump are now hard at work in school and nutritional support is being provided to their families.  Please help them continue to grow and thrive by giving the cost of one meal today.

Walk in Wonder with us Next Wednesday Night

In a letter we sent out to our supporters this week, I wrote about the “awe” that our scholarship students show in approaching their studies as a way out of a life of working in the garbage dump that lies waiting outside their door.  I have found that that same sense...

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When I interviewed for this position last year, I was intrigued by the fifth bullet point in the job description: Articulate the spiritual values and policies to execute the mission of International Samaritan and develop an internal culture that supports those values....

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Your Role in Winning the Nobel Prize

This past Friday morning, I was with Dan Weingartz, one of our board members at International Samaritan, on a tour of a medical clinic we helped to renovate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.  Just as we were finishing our tour, Selam Terefe, our inspirational...

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What’s the Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

I’ve written before about the best job I ever had, but the worst job is a whole different story.   The worst job I’ve ever had has been the work of finding a job.  Twice in my life, I’ve lost a job. Both times came as a complete surprise, not only to me but also to my...

About Us

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


(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed