By Mike Tenbusch | March 11, 2022

Every week, our team members in each nation have one-on-one meetings with our scholarship students or their parents to discuss their lives and their progress meeting their goals.  They record highlights from these conversations (that we call “Connections”) and make about 70 of them each week.  

Reading these Connections each week has challenged our board, team and me to more flexibly respond to some of the most Urgent Needs our scholars face.  Let me share with you a handful of examples from the first week of March alone:

Selam K. in Ethiopia wrote:

“I want to donate my kidney to my mother,” Y told me.  I explained to him that since he was 17, he can’t just make such a decision without his parents’ consent. I vowed I would follow up and Y’s mother would not ever be stuck home suffering from lacking dialysis because of financial reasons.  Sadly, she passed away before we could do that.  I can’t imagine what Y must be going through.  He thought he was going to get to save his mother’s life by donating his kidney, but time ran out.  God’s perfect will gets done no matter how hard we fight to change it.  Y will need some counseling intervention to help him cope with his loss.  We will go to see him and his family tomorrow as a team. 

Jacqueline in Nicaragua wrote:

R’s mom came and told us that they are changing his school because he is suffering bullying by his classmates.  He is bullied because he loses his hair from the chemotherapy for his leukemia.  He does not want to attend school because he is ashamed to go and he is afraid that his classmates will continue to bully him.

Erika in San Pedro Sula, Honduras wrote:

Yesterday we accompanied M to their appointment with the psychologist.  M’s mother had to be sent urgently to another office for intensive help since she has attempted suicide and has alcohol problems, depression, and other problems that are affecting M directly.   The food support has been very essential to the family because, little by little, they are overcoming all the problems that happen on a daily basis.

Kevin in Tegucigalpa, Honduras wrote:

J has always looked sad.  She did not like to talk to anyone and even tried to end her life.  Last year, after having appointments with the psychologist, she had the courage to tell Ronia that the main reason for her depression is that she was attacked and badly harmed by a family member. That is why she felt that her life no longer had meaning.  Ronia has made J a priority, taking her to see the psychologist. She was always very attentive to her. Thanks to God and to the donors, her self-esteem has improved. She currently is very stable and understands that what happened was not her fault. Now she is more focused than ever on her studies and dreams of being a doctor. 

These are merely four of the fifty-three Connections made last week.  I’m sharing them with you to give you a sense of the challenges our scholars face—and the impact you are making through your prayers and your financial support to help them overcome them.  I also remain in awe of the talented and selfless people on our teams in each nation walking hand-in-hand with them and wanted you to have a sense of how amazing they are too.

We have created an Urgent Needs Fund to give people an opportunity to contribute directly to some of the most pressing challenges.  In just the last few weeks, people have stepped in to buy glasses so a scholar could read, to get medical support for another scholar to overcome the effects of malnutrition, and to purchase tools so that two of our graduates could start a refrigeration repair business together.

If you would like to know more about some of these Urgent Needs and how you can help, please simply reply to this email to let me know.  A gift that may be relatively small for you can literally change the life of another.  I’d love to give you the chance to do that.

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