By Mike Tenbusch | March 25, 2022

Over the last year, I have seen a profound difference get made in the world when somebody says four simple words in earnest.  I shouldn’t be surprised by the impact, because these four words gave rise to International Samaritan 27 years ago.

What do you think those four words are?

Here are some things they are not:

  • Coffee and donuts, please.
  • What’s on TV tonight?
  • I should exercise more.
  • Want fries with that?
  • Let’s go roller skating.
  • How’s your bracket doing?

Those are all good options, but they are not world changing.  The four words that I have seen change the world are…

How can I help?

A friend of International Samaritan named Kathleen wrote those four words to me in response to a blog last year about the challenges that girls face working in the dumps in Ethiopia.  Her question forced us to ask those girls what would help the most, and their answer was self-defense training.  Thirty girls are now becoming Taekwondo experts, which Kathleen made possible by asking the question and then providing the support to pay for their uniforms and a trainer. 

Sarah, one of the students from U of M who traveled with us to Ethiopia right before the pandemic, asked that same question about a month ago.  She had some extra time in school and wanted to support our mission.  Now she’s leading a group of women locally who are helping to find ways for the mothers of our scholars to bring the jewelry they make in Ethiopia to the market here in the U.S.

In quite the same way, a group of students from St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo were so appalled by the conditions they experienced at a garbage dump in Guatemala in 1994 that they wrote the mayor of Guatemala City and asked, “How can we help?”   His answer was that the community needs housing, and a gift from Karen and Bill Pulte enabled a group of students to return to that dump the following summer.  They not only built that housing; they gave life to what we now call International Samaritan.
 
If you’re looking to enhance your journey on earth, ask one or two people you love the most what their purpose or passion is—and then say those four beautiful words to them after you hear their response.
 
How can I help? 
 
Your support of their efforts will change the world.  I know, because I keep seeing it happen here.

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