Summer 2022 Updates from Ethiopia & Vietnam… and more!

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Unexpected Blessings

Desperately Hungry

Doing What Jesus Did: Feeding the Hungry

Prayers for Tilahun and Abebe

Vietnam Update

Finishing Well, Ending Well

Unexpected Blessings

Hey, friends, we love and miss you!

It’s been a tough couple of years for all of us. We know the “world” will continue to be challenging. In retrospect, worldly trials and tribulations are nothing new, though at the time they may appear overwhelming. But Gigi and I pray that all of you are prevailing and thriving in new ways as we all adapt to circumstances. Perhaps we question God during our trials, but this usually compels us to communicate more with our Creator and grow into a closer, loving relationship. Unexpected blessings often come in challenging times. Focus on your blessings. Let’s praise and celebrate together! 

Desperately Hungry

The children at our primary partner, Vision School, struggled to have sufficient food to stay healthy during the pandemic. 

The school kept their food program alive during the pandemic, even with the school officially closed. Students slipped into the school to receive one small meal a day—a piece of bread and tea. (To them, a blessing!) Previously, during pre-pandemic days, students had received breakfast, snack and a lunch, which often included a vegetable and soup. 

As you may remember, the government chose these students to be a part of this private non-profit Christian school because the children come from the poorest of the poor in an Addis Ababa slum. Most are being raised by single parents, and many face significant family illnesses.

Now that school is back in session, the school desperately needs funds to bring back the children’s health through “normal” food.

Please help feed these children.

See full newsletter with updates from Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Doing What Jesus Did: Feed the Hungry

Gigi’s Summer Mission Trip

Gigi spent a month this summer tending to our empowerment families and spending time with the students at Vision School. 

We decided our major focus had to be helping fund the student’s food program. Therefore, we provided over $7,000 of donor money saved in our mission’s budget, plus added funds of our own. We chose not to seek additional donations in advance, before Gigi did the investigations. We pray the funds help the children stay healthy. But, we realize this finite donation will not help the 350-plus students over the long term.

Jesus asks us to follow him, be like him: hence serve the poor, be humble, love others more than we love ourselves, and feed the hungry.

Please help feed these children.

We know times are challenging for all of us, but it’s devastating in Ethiopia.

  • The annual inflation rate is hovering around 35 percent.
  • The country has faced four consecutive failed rainy seasons since 2020 and currently is experiencing the of the most severe La Nina-induced droughts in the past 40 years.
  • Millions face famine because of the drought, and because of war and conflict within the country.
  • In addition, the conflict in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against Russia triggered dramatic price increases in key commodities, such as wheat and iron.
  • And of course, the pandemic caused sickness and death, as well as increased unemployment.

These factors are critical for the country, of course, but are most devastating for the children.

We’d like our friends and partners to help these children on a regular basis, with whatever your heart tells you is appropriate. With prices vacillating because of inflation, it’s impossible to give a precise figure of need. But we estimate $60 per child per month had a significant impact when prices were stabilized. That’s $2 per day. A simple cup of black coffee in the USA often costs more than that, with those delicious but extravagant specials costing as much as $5. God says where our treasures lie, so lies our heart. I know my heart is often polluted by “coffee” (substitute your own over-indulgence). But I pray I can cut back to follow Jesus.

So, we plead with you to please help feed these children. As you may recall, we haven’t taken a salary from our donations for quite some time. Friends cover the cost of my essential benefit package from our mission agency. So your donation goes strictly for food.

Please see for more information about the school. Our goal is to be a consistent contributor to the food program. Previously, Ethiopia-Empowerment—through donations from you—refurbished and equipped the school’s kitchen and supplied funds for food. 

Prayer Notes

  • Please keep Tilahun and Abeba in prayer as their health condition worsens with age. Their family is one of our original retirement families. Tilahun is a retired military man who has always had to work to supplement his meager pension. Now he cannot work, and his wife, Abeba, is bedridden after a stroke. They’ve long supported their own children, plus an orphan whose mother died of AIDs. That child, Abigail (Abby) is now an older teenager finishing her high school years. She has matured and taken the responsibility for caring for her aging “parents.”

Vietnam Update

  • Maybe it’s a minor blessing from the pandemic, but I feel God used the “trials” to guide me. My school frequently shut down at a moment’s notice—for days or weeks. Then, it closed for nearly 10 months straight. We had to learn Zoom to teach classes online, and we picked up new and exciting skills and methods for helping students. In addition, this Zoom experience opened the door to teach English to Chinese students and carefully chatting with their parents. In the future, I’m encouraged to be a global Christian counselor/online coach soon, creating a new, long-lasting ministry.

Ending Well, Transitioning Well!

We’d ask for your prayers as we “end” our full-time overseas ministry in the summer of 2023 and adapt to a stateside ministry. We haven’t been in the USA for more than two weeks for nearly 10 years! In the future, we’ll continue Empowering Ethiopia, serving Vision School and helping other Ethiopian children and families. And we’ll pay for God’s guidance on how to develop the ministry to help children throughout the world (Vietnam, or elsewhere) in other ways. Finally, both Gigi and I have a heart for counseling/coaching and will develop that ministry.

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Scott and Gigi Martell have served with New International since 2009. Scott worked with Project Mercy in Ethiopia from 2007-2009. In 2009, Scott and Gigi established a mercy ministry in Ethiopia that empowers women and children and follows James 1:27.

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