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The Most Poignant Moment.... and Sammy's Story

For me, the most poignant moment came when my daughter Matthea & I journeyed through the crumbled, broken streets, entering into the homes and lives of those living in Korah… We stooped through a dark, dingy doorway to the far corner of blackness to find Balenish, destitute & disfigured by a leprosy that could not hide her mother’s heart. Tenderly in the darkness, she reached for her children & eagerly introduced them to us.  This was her world, somehow surviving & for those few moments, it also became ours. In the darkness, I couldn’t see that there was only, a blanket-less, old strip of vinyl overlapping a piece of cardboard for a bed & I couldn’t see that under a pile of rags lay a young child, burning with fever. I could only see that this grieved my Lord & that this was so far,  

from what He intended when He created her inmost being, when He knit her together in her mother’s womb, because SHE was fearfully & wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13,14)  To read more on her story: go to the ‘Beylanesh - A Family Sponsorship Story’ Page

Samuel Liben "Sammy"
Balenish’s story is heart wrenching, as are many other stories of those who live in Korah. We met those who grip God’s heart & live under circumstances that grieve His spirit. BUT God reminded us that He is there in the darkness & He has NOT forgotten. In fact we met a thriving group of believers called “Great Hope Church” and they’ve been praying for many years, that God would intervene in the desperate lives of their people.  One young man named Sammy grew up living at the dump.  His father fled to this community, after family members beat him up, threw him over a cliff and left him for dead. He was considered to be cursed.  He had contracted leprosy! Growing up at the dump and tired of fighting for food, at 12 years old Sammy and his friends were on their way to enlist and join the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.   At least then he would be assured of getting one meal a day.  However as he was walking down the road, a missionary worker from Young Life spotted him and waved.  Shocked that someone would pay attention to him, Sammy waved back.  He had only known poverty, pain and deep rejection by outsiders of Korah… but this man told him something he had never heard, something completely unimaginable; that Jesus loved the leper!  This revolutionized Sammy’s life and now, in his twenties he continues to share the hope and love of God with those living in Korah.
I believe that is why we ended up in Korah and why I am sharing with you today.  It’s no accident our team was brought here. This moment, right now – you reading this, is an answer to their prayers, that they would not be forgotten and unknown… 
Working together for Hope - Our team with Great Hope Church leaders
Please pray for the work God is doing in Korah. Prayer is so powerful!  It very well may be that thousands of miles away, the prayers of a few impoverished Christians in Korah brought us through a volcano, prevented us from having an extended stay in a German airport, sabotaged 10 months worth of planning at a medical clinic and brought us unwittingly into their lives. If you would like some direction for your prayers, go to the ‘Prayer for Korah’ Page.

As we pray, I believe He will guide us & His light will continue to break through this darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29).  


  1. It is really important to highlight what you have shared here - thank you for bringing this to my attention and all the best for the future.


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