If you haven’t done so already, take two minutes to check out the performance of the Detroit Youth Choir on America’s Got Talent last week.  Just click on the picture below for almost instant joy:

I don’t know any of the young people in this choir, but I’ve spent most of my life working with young people in Detroit, and there’s a reason that you can feel the power of these words in their song:
 
I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakeable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion.
 
The reason is because I bet every single young person in that choir has lived those words.  And I also bet that very few of them got up on their own after getting knocked down.  They were the fortunate ones to have a parent, coach, pastor, neighbor, teacher, family member or friend who would not let them give up, even when everything in the world around them looked like trying harder would be futile.
 
The Detroit Youth Choir has only had two people as lead conductors over its 23-year-history.  Their faithfulness through all the long and difficult stretches laid the foundation for these 52 children to become an overnight success.
 
In much the same way, we have been blessed at International Samaritan to have a handful of people give generously to fund the start up and growth of scholarships to children living in garbage dump communities in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Nicaragua through the years.  Some of those students have graduated and are working as teachers and accountants, as well as mechanics and cooks.  The miracle of their success came from seeds planted and nourished faithfully by Samaritans through the years.
 
Last week we sent letters to all of our friends asking them to support a scholarship so that we can reach 260 more children next year.
 
I’m asking you now to prayerfully consider joining them.  The difference between success and failure for children growing up in poverty often comes down to having someone in their corner fighting for them.  Please help them be champions.

Heroes of Faith who Have Shaped Us

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....

Who are the Saints in Your Life?

A year ago this morning, I walked in for my first day on the job at International Samaritan.  When I mention this fact to friends, old-school Catholics are quick to tell me, “Ahh, All Saints Day, that’s a good day to start your new job.”  For those of you who are not...

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...