Mike at his old favorite job, taken in 1999.

For me, that answer has always been easy.  For a couple of seasons before law school, and two glorious seasons after it, I sold ice cream at the Joe Louis Arena for the Detroit Red Wings.

I made about a hundred bucks a night and got to watch all of the action I wanted from whatever step I wanted in the arena.  It was like getting paid to have season tickets and (kind-of) free ice cream.  I saw the Wings lift their first Stanley Cup in 42 years, and I was also the only fan out of 20,000 who got to carry a broom in the arena the night we swept the Flyers in 1997.  I had to retire in the spring of 1999 when our first child was born—but I always planned on coming out of retirement after our youngest child goes off to college.

I’m starting to rethink that plan now, because my first few months at International Samaritan have convinced me that our work here is even better than selling ice cream at the Joe.  We get to help some of the most resilient people in the world, and in ways that fundamentally improve the quality and trajectory of their lives and of the generations to follow.  One of the ways we do this is through scholarships to the colleges and trade schools that will give children who grew up working in the dumps the education and skills they need to thrive.  Seeing them do this, and feeling their sense of pride for surviving the dumps and making it out, fills me with awe every time.  They are working the best job of their lives so far.

We have lots of opportunities for you to share in this journey with them. Check out the “serve” section of our website to learn more.

Mike with Selam Terafe and a group of our Ethiopian scholars, taken in December, 2018.

Why We Run

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...

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...

A Fight for Water and Life

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...