By Mike Tenbusch | December 31, 2020

Have you ever lain in bed at night trying to figure out how to pay a bill?  Only to fall asleep and keep waking up with that bill on your mind as the peace of sleep gets overtaken by the anger of insufficiency.  

It’s a horrible, horrible feeling, and I can’t even imagine what it would feel like going to bed hungry and not knowing if we would have enough food to eat, or even some water for our most basic needs.

I think this is how Birzu felt when I visited with him in Ethiopia during our last visit in March, just before all travel stopped.

Birzu, a father of one of International Samaritan’s scholarship recipients in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, about the state of water in his area.

You don’t have to speak Amharic to understand his point, but his words are just as powerful in English:

“We pay (25 cents) per jar. The water we buy, we only use it for ourselves.  These animals, these animals you see here: we don’t share the water with them.  They will die of thirst.  It’s summer time and it’s hot and warm.  We have a water tanker.  An organization bought it for us, but it’s empty.  What shall we do with it?  It has been long since we got water.  Water is life!  Look at me I am weak.  Both my toes and fingers are deformed.  My toes are wounded.  I need water to wash.  We all desperately need water!”

Birzu’s exhortation was not in vain.  Thanks to two families who made significant, life-changing investments, we were able to build water wells this year for the first time in our organization’s history—bringing fresh, safe water to the surface for 100,000 people living in the garbage dump community called Kore in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  

And the prayers of parents across all five nations were answered positively as well.  Thanks to 1,000 more families who also made life-changing gifts to International Samaritan last year, we similarly made sure that none of our scholarship students’ families went hungry, giving them not just food and water but peace of mind in some of the most dangerous of times.

It has been an exceptionally difficult year, and exceptional people like you have made all the difference.   

If you have a moment, please see the video below to feel the impact in the life of just one family.