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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



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.

Anonymous, Marian High School

GUATEMALA, February 2019

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.

Dr. Harry Carr, M.D.

GUATEMALA, Summer 2017

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.

Anonymous, Saint Michael's Catholic Academy

GUATEMALA, January 2019

Full Financial Transparency

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International Samaritan in the News

Learn more about International Samaritan’s press coverage, campaigns, and community involvement.

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.

A Letter from Emanuel

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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president’s blog

A Race for Karen and You

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 to answer this call.  

As we struggle here in the U.S. to figure out the safest options for our children to return to school this year, IntSam’s scholarship students in other nations are struggling to attend school on-line without the tools to get on-line.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve created the IntSam Global 5K to help them get the tablets they need to stay in school.

Karen is one of the students I visited in Honduras last year, and she wrote us recently asking for our help. 

I am 16 years old. I live with my mom and my two younger siblings in the El Ocotillo community of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

My life has been difficult from the beginning. I had to work at the age of 6, washing other people’s clothes. My mother cannot read or write. She works at the municipal garbage dump, recycling materials such as cans and iron. With what little money she makes, she buys water and other family necessities. Thanks to International Samaritan’s food support since last March, she doesn’t have to worry about buying food.  It has been a great blessing to our home.

Throughout this pandemic, the area in which I am struggling most is in my studies. When our schools closed in March, I was nervous because I had never had this experience of learning online. I struggled with getting connected because I don’t have a cellphone. At first, my older brother lent me his phone so that I could connect to my classes. But this was a challenge because if he wasn’t home, neither was his phone.  This really set me back in my coursework, and I had to talk to my teachers to give me a chance to get caught up.

Now I’m using my sister-in-law’s phone to catch up on my overdue work and my current assignment. However, it’s still tough because the phone doesn’t have much space on it and it’s starting to break.

They haven’t said anything yet about us returning to school.  On Thursdays, our class receives lectures, and during the week we have homework assignments, research, video presentations, and hand-made projects to do. All of my assignments require technology.

For Internet, my neighbor actually has WiFi, and I pay them 100 Lempiras ($4.00) a month to use it.  I’m able to make these payments through the support of the Paso a Paso program.  Without this support it would have been even more difficult.

With Covid, my mother has not returned to the garbage dump.  She did this so that she could offer me more support by staying home and also taking care of my younger siblings.  Her staying home really helps me focus on my studies, because before, I would be the one responsible for the household chores and caring for my siblings when she wasn’t home.  With her being home, I can dedicate my time to my studies.

I thank GOD for the opportunity that the International Samaritan’s Paso a Paso program gave me for the scholarship over the past years.  I was able to enter eighth grade with the scholarship, and I am taking advantage of this opportunity that they gave me to continue studying.  I am currently in 9th grade; I know I can have a better future.


~ Karen

Karen, standing in front of her home.

Karen with Andrew Pawuk and me at her home during our visit last year.

Karen’s broken phone.

Please help Karen and 464 other scholarship students like her by Joining the Race to get every student a tablet who needs one.  Together with our team leaders in each nation, we have determined that a tablet will give our students better options than a phone at less than the cost of a laptop.  The average cost of a tablet across five nations is $300, so we created the race as a fun way to raise the $140,000 needed for 465 of them.  

Please know that we are continuing to make sure all of our families have enough food and water to survive.  Our board members and long-time donors continue to step up and step in to make sure their needs are met.  As a community, we will have covered almost a million dollars in unexpected costs this year because of the pandemic.  And these scholarship students need your help now on this vital need to access their school work.

Please run or walk in solidarity with them.
Please give or raise $300 to cover the cost of one tablet.
Please lead a team or join a team to cover at least five tablets with friends, family members or co-workers.

We will get through this together.

Some Jamaica Sunshine

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...

Wow, Did You Show Up!

Just over a month ago, we asked you and 2,900 other people like you in the International Samaritan community across the world to give money during a time of economic uncertainty.   The dual threat of COVID-19 and of starvation hovered over 621 families of our...

63 Families Still Need You!

Just over a month ago, our team leaders in five nations began telling 621 families who have children in our scholarship program: Stop going to work. Stay home and stay safe.  You have friends around the world who will pitch in to make sure you have the food and water...

How’s Honduras?

Last week I wrote to you about the pressing need for food and water for all 621 families we support around the world.  Eighty-eight people have responded so far with a total of almost $30,000 in donations. This is amazing and beautiful to me, but it covers the cost of...

How a Little Help can go a Long Way

Over the past year, I’ve written this reflection 22 times, and I’ve never written with as heavy of a heart as I do now.  The Coronavirus has spread across the world and through entire cities like New York and Detroit so quickly and so devastatingly, I shudder to think...

Updates from Around the World

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...

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