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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.
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 hospitalized for two years and I still have physical deformities. When I was young, my mother hit me a lot, and she didn’t take care of me. By the time I was three, I had to feed myself every day; by the time I was five, I was in charge of all the cooking and cleaning for the whole house.
When I was five, my mother finally left me. She changed her name and fled to the United States. Soon after my father left, too, to be with another woman that he was seeing. He left me on the doorstep of my mother’s old boss. I hoped that things would be better with her, but she also treated me badly. I remember that once she broke my head with a stone and put corn on my head so the birds and chickens would attack me. By the time I was six I wanted to die, and I began to plan how I could kill myself.
My aunt first started coming to see me on the weekends when I was seven years old. Until then, she had lived far away. Even though she couldn’t afford to keep me, she wanted me a lot. She did not hurt me and she took care of my injuries. She begged my dad’s parents to adopt me, and one day she finally convinced them to rescue me from the hell I was living. When she and my paternal grandparents arrived to bring me home, they found me all naked and dirty. That was the day that my life changed, when my grandparents legally adopted me. They were very nice to me: They took me to the doctor for my injuries, they bought me clothes and shoes, they cut my hair, and after two years of preparation they put me in school with other people my age.
We thought that I would have to stop attending school after sixth grade because it became too expensive, but when I was ready for high school, International Samaritan found me. They gave me the resources to continue schooling. Thank God for this program that has helped me, not only in study but also in moral and psychological ways. Little by little I have changed, because this program believes in the young people who benefit from it. Thanks to International Samaritan my dream to graduate has come true, and I now have the opportunity to go to university. My hope is to get a degree in auditing and form my own company. Finally, my future seems bright.
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When we began asking our families to shelter in place two months ago, we didn’t know how they would do that in such close quarters. When we told them we would get them the food and supplies they needed, we weren’t quite clear on how that would happen either.
Thank God, it’s all working out. As just one example, when our high school scholars in Jamaica learned they couldn’t play the game of soccer that they love, they created a new game. They call it Foot Volley, and it’s like soccer and volleyball put together, played by two people at a time with barrels between them to keep them six feet apart.
When strict shelter in place restrictions were lifted last weekend, our team leaders in Jamaica collected and distributed food to families. If you watch this short video of them, you can almost feel the sun in it.
This Memorial Day weekend won’t be like any other in our lifetime, but I pray that your home is like those of our friends in Jamaica–that you have enough food on your table, and that you have a fun activity to do with a friend, even if you have to make it up.
Every two weeks, I send this email to reflect on challenges and victories in our mission together. Today I thought it would be helpful to simply send updates on how each nation is doing in our shared goal of defeating the Coronavirus. Ethiopia Ethiopia, like most...
“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...
Our team gathered recently for a two-day retreat to update our strategic plan. One of the questions we were trying to answer is what we should do in Costa Rica and smaller communities in Guatemala where we have been sending student immersion teams but do not have...
The death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others last Sunday stunned me, as it did the world. As I read and watched the stories about his legacy over this past week, what struck me most is that he went to Mass at 7:00 on Sunday morning, shortly before boarding...
We have good news and great news. The good news: Over the last few months, we have asked for your support in every way that we could—emails, voicemails, and letters in the mail. The good news is that people showed up in a big way. Our base of supporters grew by 14%...
This past Tuesday night as I was doing the dishes, my daughter called. She’s a freshman living on campus at a nearby college, and she asked if I wanted to meet her for breakfast the next morning.“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned, “Did you run out of...
International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.