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HEAR FROM OUR SCHOLARS
Scholarship Students Worldwide
4 schools of medical care provided on medical missions
Service trips conducted
Wealth increase for scholarship graduates
Patients served on Medical Missions
3 service groups can complete a home
FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS
I’m so happy that I went on this trip. The joy that people have in Guatemala is incredible. It’s bittersweet: When I went to Guatemala and I was serving people, it was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be that happy again.
Medical Missions like this allow you to come home and look at your own patients a different way. I think it’s very rewarding, both personally and professionally.
We did this exercise where we had to buy a week’s worth of groceries on $7, and it was absolutely eye-opening. It was really hard, and what I came up with wasn’t food that I wanted to eat. But that’s the reality for them. I get a Starbucks every morning that costs as much as their food for their whole family for the whole week.
Note: We are committed to respecting and uplifting our scholars. Due to some stories containing sensitive information, we redact or change the names of the scholars, their parents, their schools, and other details that could compromise their anonymity.
This story is from and written from the perspective of Selam Terefe, our program director in Ethiopia.
The first thing we noticed when we walked into Ebo’s one room house are the drawings posted on the clay walls: Some were drawn with pencil, others with pen, but they were all so good! There were more drawings in the notebook we found in his notebook, wedged between the family’s couch and his bed.
There was very little in the home: Besides the bed and the couch, there was just one small, beatdown cupboard. That was it – the one room could not hold anything else. Ebo’s mom, Dani, led us into the room and we sat on the small couch while she sat on the bed and faced us, ready to answer all our questions.
Dani told us that she has worked in the garbage dump for 11 years, picking up plastics and selling them. However, both the recent landslide and the new management coming into the garbage dump have made her work very challenging. She told us she’s even resorted to begging to raise her son, though she has found a way to make a little bit of money through weaving: Dani can make handmade scarves from scratch even though she lost her two fingers on her right hand as a kid due to a fire.
“I came to Addis Ababa from [REDACTED] when she was 15 seeking a better life,” she told us, “And I met Ebo’s father in Addis Ababa after he came from [REDACTED] for the same reason. We met while I worked as a maid in the house he was living in and we soon had Ebo. Ebo was my first child, but he was his father’s sixth. Ebo’s father and I separated when Ebo was only four. Ebo was… challenging as a child, so he was held back in the first grade, but he’s doing so well now.”
Dani is very supportive of her son’s education. The way she talks about him, it is evident how much she loves him. She sadly told us that she had a lot of people telling her to get rid of Ebo when he was younger and more difficult, but that never stopped her from trying to provide for her only son. She almost did lose him three years ago in a car accident, and she is so grateful he is with her and well.
At this point in our conversation with Dani, Ebo walked into the room. He politely greeted us with a smile, and we started talking. We asked him about his drawings first, of course – he told us that he drew all of them and we were so impressed. We took time going through the entire notebook and Ebo explained to us the meaning behind each drawing. My favorite was a drawing with the face of a man facing a woman with a heart in between them and flame from below, captioned “True love has lots of enemies”. He told us it was based on a story he wants to write one day. The notebook was filled with art, some bits of writing, and even song lyrics he’d written, so it was not surprising when Ebo told us he wants to be an artist when he grows up. Dani told us that, while she’s supportive, she would prefer if he focused on his studies because there isn’t money in art. She said she regrets not going to school herself and wants her son to be successful.
Ebo is heeding his mother’s wishes and focusing on academics – his report cards were clear indications. He scored 17th from 48 kids his first semester, and he’s found other classes to take outside of school. He even started going to church to take lessons recently and even participates in art and acting competitions he can find. He goes with kids in his neighborhood once a month to participate in poetry presentations, too.
When Ebo talks about his passion for the arts, this shy boy he becomes louder, more confident, and he has this fire in his eyes. He really loves it! We were so moved by this fifteen-year-old boy who wants nothing more than to follow his dreams and explore his talent, and his mother who has done so much to support him.
This story is from and written from the perspective of Selam Terefe, our program director in Ethiopia.The first thing we noticed when we walked into Ebo’s one room house are the drawings posted on the clay walls: Some were drawn with pencil, others with pen, but they...
Hello, I am Emanuel. I am 20 years old. When I was in my mother's womb, she did not want me to be born, so she hit her belly and took medication to cause a miscarriage, but I was born anyway. However, I was so badly damaged that when I was born I had to be...
My name is Selene. I was born and raised in the countryside by my mother and stepfather. I was sexually abused by my stepfather. I was sleeping in my bed and in the middle of the night I found my stepfather next to me in the bed. I was shouting when he tried to...
My name is Terry. I am 13 years old and an 8th grader at [REDACTED] School. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer and get a well-paying job. My mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer a couple of years ago. Before she got ill, she used to work as a washer, hand...
Note: Since this letter was written, Nora has graduated from high school and started studying at University. Everything started when my parents got together. They lived in Zone 18 [of Guatemala City] with my grandmother and my uncles, who lived lives full of luxury...
Greetings. I am Zoe. I am 10 years old and am a fourth grader in [REDACTED] Primary School. I live with 7 of my family members. Our house is always full of laughter and happiness. To an outsider, it would seem like we have everything in the world. I don’t think even...
By Mike Tenbusch | September 29, 2020
For over 12 years now, Angelica Cancinos has been the conscience of our work through her leadership of our Paso a Paso scholarship program in Guatemala. I met with her in Guatemala before taking this position, and the power of her faith in action confirmed for me that this is the mission I want to wake up and serve every day. Like thousands of students from the United States who have traveled with us to work in Guatemala, I was inspired and challenged by Angelica’s conviction that Christ calls us to do more and be more.
When we launched the IntSam Global 5K to raise money for tablets for our scholarship students, it shouldn’t have surprised me at all that Angelica would throw herself into running it, despite not having run in years. She walks the walk, and she is going to run this race.
Angelica is running because she believes we should allow ourselves to be stretched.
In the past few weeks, over 300 people across the world have committed to run this race with her, including teams of students from every one of our scholarship nations.
Will you please support one of their teams financially? Quite honestly, they could use a financial boost. Of course, we’d love for you to run with us too. You can do either by clicking here.
Please keep in mind that 100% of all donations made will go directly toward purchasing tablets for 465 students in developing nations to be able to stay in school and learn remotely from home including 64 young people in technical school in Guatemala whom Angelica has been mentoring and challenging to do more and be more for years. Please help her run this race.
By Mike Tenbusch | September 29, 2020 For over 12 years now, Angelica Cancinos has been the conscience of our work through her leadership of our Paso a Paso scholarship program in Guatemala. I met with her in Guatemala before taking this position, and the power of...
By Mike Tenbusch | September 24, 2020 Last week I shared a reflection on life from one of our scholars to give you inspiration for why we are running the IntSamGlobal5k. You may have been thinking, “That’s great for them, but there’s no way I’m going to be able...
By Mike Tenbusch | September 2, 2020 I was stunned last week when Selam Terefe sent me the winning entry of the essay contest she organized for our scholars in Ethiopia. Azeb (pictured above), one of our 9th grade scholarship students, wrote: What is the Perfect...
By Mike Tenbusch | August 26, 2020 Ever since the pandemic hit in March, our board has committed to ensuring that no family in any one of the nine communities in which we work in five nations will go hungry. The International Samaritan community worldwide has helped...
By Mike Tenbusch | July 24, 2020 Ethiopia has been in a battle of biblical proportions over the last few weeks. I’m writing you about it to ask that you keep our team, scholarship students and families close in your prayers.Hachalu Hundessa, a much loved singer and...
By Mike Tenbusch | July 09, 2020 On a frigid, November morning in 1984, butterflies swarmed through my stomach as I lined up with 80 other boys in nylon shorts and tank tops waiting for the gun to sound and the Cross Country State Championship race to begin. I was...
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