Johana’s Joy

June 19th, 2018

Another example of the impact you make

What you do for the children is continuing to make a life-changing difference for them. And just like the growth of plants in your summer garden, the growth that occurs in a child is often subtle and almost imperceptible.

And then, one day you realize, “Wow, it’s time for the harvest.” 

That’s what happens in the life of a child. There are years of love and nurturing care, of education and life preparation.

And then it happens — “The Harvest.” A life event or events take place, and the child reaches sufficient maturity to care for herself and start a family of her own. Just such a harvest has recently taken place at ICC’s Hogar Escuala Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Johana came to the Hogar because of tragic circumstances in her life. Her father had died. Later her mother brought Johana and her siblings to the Hogar as she could no longer provide for the needs and safety of her children. Johana had just turned 5. Soon after, her mother also died.

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

In spite of the trauma she had experienced, Johana thrived as a member of the ICC family in El Salvador. She took full advantage of the opportunities that your support helped to provide.

She earned good grades in her studies and was an active participant in spiritual activities on the campus. As she grew older she became a deaconess and part of the women’s ministries team. 

She also served as a teacher in one of the children’s Sabbath School classes.

After graduating from ECAS (the local Adventist school), Johana worked for a year on the HEA campus. Because of her great love for young children, she decided to prepare herself to become an early childhood educator.

In January 2012, she enrolled at a university in El Salvador. Once again, Johana did well in her studies and in August 2017 graduated with her degree. 

Not only was it a wonderful accomplishment to earn her degree, Johana was also thrilled to be able to return home — to ECAS — to serve as the preschool teacher. But “the harvest” was not yet fully complete.

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

A few months later, Johana’s boyfriend, Edwin, proposed to her. This past April, Johana and Edwin were married in an emotional and lovely ceremony on the lawn outside of her home on the HEA campus.

It was a fitting culmination for Johana of years of growth and preparation, of overcoming hardships in her early life and utilizing God’s gifts and talents to bless others.

The wedding was also a new beginning — the uniting of two lives in service for children and youth. For not only is Johana the preschool teacher at ECAS, Edwin is serving as the boy’s dean.

As you can see, when the harvest comes, the returns on your investment are sweet indeed! Thank you for investing in the lives of young people like Johana through your ongoing support.

Clarifying ICC’s Relationship With ICC Australia

June 15th, 2018

Statement of Clarification

Concerning the Relationship and Distinction Between
International Children’s Care USA (ICCI)

— and —

International Children’s Care Australia (ICCA)
also doing business as Adventure Fund Global in the USA

May 24, 2018

Introduction

Recently, the board of directors of ICC Australia decided to place their organization into “Voluntary Administration.” According to Australian insolvency law, this is similar to bankruptcy. Because ICCI and ICCA share similar names and have worked together in the past, ICCI is providing this statement of clarification regarding this matter:

Summary Statement

ICCI does not have a connection to or working relationship with ICC Australia. ICCI is a separate entity and is in no way affected by, bound by or party to the voluntary administration proceedings of ICCA. ICCI continues to strive to realize its mission of supporting orphaned and abandoned children in various countries of the world. Furthermore, there are many other entities around the world that bear the ICC name (or a similar name) and/or partner with ICCI in its mission. None of these other entities are affected by the voluntary administration proceedings of ICCA. None the less, ICCI is concerned for the well-being of the children who reside in ICCA supported projects. ICCI has contacted ICCA and has offered assistance as a plan of action for the care of these children is developed.

Background and History of the Relationship between ICCI and ICCA

ICCI was founded in the United States in 1978. This ministry was created by Elder Robert Folkenberg, Elder and Mrs. Kenneth Fleck and others. ICC has enjoyed working hand-in-hand with the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a supporting ministry that provides care for orphaned and abandoned children.

Over time, ICCI established children’s villages and support chapters in other countries. ICCI helped to create what has become known as International Children’s Care Australia which has since rebranded to become Adventure Fund Global. Though ICCI and ICCA worked together for a number of years in a spirit of cooperation, each entity was set up as an independent organization in their respective countries.

In 2013, because of differences in operating philosophies and practices, the board of directors of ICCI in the USA decided to formally end its working relationship with ICC Australia.

Clothed With Love

June 12th, 2018

Story By — Makala James

All children deserve a loving family. That’s why International Children’s Care exists, and why people all over the world are finding creative ways to love and support “His Kids.”

One woman, Rebecca Loveless, decided to start sewing dresses. The idea came to her from Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

“I wanted to create a dress for the girls, the orphans, to symbolize them being clothed with love,” said Rebecca. “For them to know how special and valuable they are, how precious they are to Jesus, and how much they are loved.” 

Even though Rebecca didn’t know how to sew, she bought a sewing machine and quickly learned. Partners soon joined, and they named the ministry “Clothed with Love.”

Since starting this initiative, they’ve created over 50 beautiful dresses for the girls in our villages. Even more dresses are coming.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are,” says Rebecca. “There’s something special about a dress. It represents putting on God’s character, which includes love. It’s also to be a highlight for them to wear on God’s special day of worship and to realize the importance of Sabbath.” 

Each dress is embroidered with the words, “Made with love.” In addition, each girl is given a personalized note that explains the symbolism of the dress.

In April, eleven dresses were sent to Guatemala for the young girls. One of the recipients was Renata.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are.”

Abandoned by her mother, Renata struggled to survive with her four siblings and her poor, but humble, father. Left alone all day while her father worked, she could only wonder, “Why? How could a mother abandon her children?” Now, Renata lives at Los Pinos, in Guatemala, where she goes to school, eats full meals, and is surrounded by a loving family.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

When Renata received her new dress and read the note, happiness filled her face. She, with the other girls, tried on their dresses immediately, reaching out to touch the embroidery in the folds of the gown, “Estoy Vestida de Amor.” All the girls proudly wore their new dresses to church that weekend.

So far, dresses have been sent to ICC children’s villages in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and India. Even more are waiting to be delivered to little girls around the world.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Rebecca and friends have contributed so much to the happiness of these little girls. And week-by-week, as the girls wear their hand-crafted dresses, they do so with the knowledge that they are special and loved very much.

When you sponsor a child or provide support in other ways, you also show your love and care. This makes them feel special and provides a sense of security. Thank you for blessing the children through your ongoing support!


Makala James. ICC’s PR coordinator for the SW region of the U.S.

This is Makala James. She’s ICC’s public relations coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States. Makala wrote this story of the new dresses.

Introducing Makala James

Makala has recently joined the International Children’s Care staff as Public Relations Coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States.

Makala is available to share about the ministry of ICC with your church or civic group — especially in Texas and neighboring states. You may reach her at Makala@forhiskids.org.

“Summer Rescue” Matching Grant

May 29th, 2018

You and the children are being granted an important opportunity.

Your support of this matching grant will provide much-needed funds that will help feed the children this summer

Your support of this matching grant will provide much-needed funds that will help feed the children this summer.

Several members of our family of donors are offering you the possibility of having your donations double this summer as part of a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to support the budgets that feed the children.

The summer months can be very difficult financially, and this will provide for you the prospect to “rescue the budgets” this summer. 

The donors offering this option do want your support of this matching grant to be above and beyond your regular gifts.

Their desire is to do all they can — with your help — to meet the most urgent needs and provide food to the children in these challenging months ahead. 

Right now there are $60,000 dollars available for a dollar-for-dollar matching fund.

This “Summer Rescue” matching grant for the children’s food budgets could total $120,000 with your help.

Remember, your contribution to the children will be doubled. Please, make your gift immediately and designate it as “My Rescue Gift.”

By giving extra this month to support this grant, you will provide a blessing to the children.

The children will receive the benefit of this double gift so they have a hope and a chance in this life.

What an amazing way to not only give a blessing, but also receive one for yourself!

The children thank you from the bottom of their hearts for helping with this special gift.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director, ICC

P.S. Remember to be sure and mark your gift for this matching grant as “My Rescue Gift.”

The Eyes of a Child

May 1st, 2018

A close-up photo of the eyes of a young Cambodian girl.

Dear ICC Family,

I was looking into the darkest and deepest blackness I had ever seen in my life. I had seen this once before. These were the eyes of three little children who had just arrived at one of our children’s villages from some tragedy in their lives — a tragedy that left them not only homeless, but absolutely hopeless, which is a far worse situation.

I tried to make conversation with these children but received little response. This moment brought a deep sadness to my heart as I looked into those eyes.

So, I kept a little closer watch on these three children during my work that week. During those few days, I saw those precious children given a home, a bed to sleep in, and most important to them, a family to love them.

As these kids came to understand that they really had a place to call their own, a place that each one of you provided for them, it was amazing to watch the change that took place when I looked into those little eyes for a second time.

Those eyes that were so black just days before, now had a radiant glow and vibrancy to them. I knew from past experiences that these were now the eyes that only result from the gift of love and hope created in these children’s lives. It is a gift beyond measure that you and your gifts of love are providing to them.

Looking back over my work with ICC for over 20 years, I have seen those eyes many times over. I am always filled with amazement to see those eyes of hopelessness change to excitement!

I also know that this change can only take place because of you, the ones who truly care enough to give from your hearts in order to make sure that there are homes of hope for these children of God.

Right now, these homes of hope are being threatened as we enter the most financially challenging time of the year for the children’s food budgets. We are now entering a time when the funding for the children gets so low that we can’t keep up with their basic needs. From May through September, the children’s villages struggle tremendously to make sure that His kids have even the basics of life.

I am asking you today if you would please pray, and then respond to what you feel Jesus wants you to do in order to make sure that His kids can continue to have even the basic of needs in these next few months. Will you please consider doing this for the children today?

Your gifts of loving support will be something that I can assure you will be life-changing for the children in these most difficult times. I believe that Jesus called each one of us for such a time as this when His children need you so much.

Please mark your gifts “Sustaining Life” so that we will know that you have answered the call of Jesus in James 1:27 where He tells us to “take care of the orphans.” By doing this, you will make sure that the children will receive what they need to continue to have this hope in Jesus for their tomorrows.

God bless you all,

The signature of Doug Congleton

 

 

 

Doug Congleton

A close-up photo of the face of young Thai girl.

40th Anniversary Celebration — April 28, 2018

April 24th, 2018

40th Anniversary Celebration. April 28, 2018. 3 PM. Meadow Glade, WA, SDA Church.

Three Generations Supporting “His Kids”

April 17th, 2018

In this our 40th year, we are recognizing several of the past and present heroes of ICC. This month, we want to especially acknowledge members of the Koelsch, Shultz and Erwin families.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz (formerly Koelsch), was a dear friend of Alcyon Fleck, co-founder of ICC. They became close friends during their days attending Laurelwood Academy and remained friends throughout their lives.

When Alcyon and Ken Fleck started ICC in 1978, Alice lent her assistance.

Alice loved to visit the children of ICC. She wanted to see the children up close and personal, so on several occasions she traveled with Alcyon to ICC projects.

Alice loved the idea that ICC not only rescues orphan children, but restores them to wholeness as well.

Writing about Alice a few years ago, Alcyon had this to say,

“[Alice] loved ICC — her favorite charity — and she participated in it in an especially personal way.

“As a sponsor, she supported and followed the lives of the various children she sponsored over the years.

“As a supporter, she was always quick to respond to the needs that I wrote about every month.

“As an ICC Board member, she attended nearly every meeting, and gave us welcome and sage advice. She participated in helping us send much-needed clothing and supplies to ICC projects.”

Indeed, Alice truly did care for the children of ICC, and her caring ways and passion were passed on to her children and grandchildren. Alice’s extended family have faithfully supported ICC for many years.

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

As Alice grew older, she felt it was time to involve a younger generation. At Alice’s suggestion, her grandson, Cody Erwin, joined the ICC board in April of 2006. Alice and Cody served simultaneously until Alice could no longer attend.

On February 20, 2014, Alice passed to her rest after medical complications resulting from a fall. ICC lost a true hero of the children that day.

And yet, thanks to her foresight, she had chosen very well someone she loved and trusted to carry forward her vision and passion for the work of ICC.

In April of 2014, only a couple of months after Alice passed away, Cody was elected chairman of the ICC board.

Along with his private sector job, Cody continues to provide steady leadership to ICC as he follows in the path of his grandmother, Alice.

Speaking of his grandmother recently, Cody said this,

“My grandmother had a love and passion for this ministry for children, and she passed it on to the other members of her family. She always reminded us of our many blessings and how we needed to remember those less fortunate. She loved all of her ICC Children so very much. I’m pleased to be able to carry on the work that she helped to start so many years ago.”

The children of ICC are blessed by heroes like Cody, Alice and other family members who continue to provide their support for “His Kids!”

Help to Restore the Life of a Child Today

April 10th, 2018

Recently rescued sister and brother, Gloria and Julio, need your help!

“Where is mommy?”

“Is mommy mad at me?”

“Why did she leave me?”

“Will she ever come back for me?”

Questions like these gnaw at the minds of children who’ve been abandoned. It’s hard for them to understand what’s happening. They know deep inside something is wrong, and they don’t know how to fix it.

Gloria and Julio need your help!

Gloria and Julio need your help! Please send them a gift right away.

Gloria, age six, and Julio, age three, know too well what it is to be abandoned. One day their mother left them with a neighbor promising that she would come and visit.

After three months, she did return, but only long enough to pick them up and take them to someone else.

Occasionally, the children would see their mother. They would ask her to take them back. But it never happened. She finally admitted that she no longer wanted them.

Eventually the juvenile court intervened and brought the children to the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Gloria and Julio have been emotionally bruised by this experience. They need the comforting and unconditional love of a family — a family who wants them and will provide for them.

Because of your support one or both of these children, who desperately need you, will experience the joy of a loving family every child deserves.

These kids need someone like you!

Here’s how you can help —

Your donation of $30 helps to provide the nurturing care, food, shelter, and medicines that children like Gloria and Julio need in order to grow and develop.

Send in your gift today!

On behalf of children like Gloria and Julio, thank you for your support!

The Impact of YOUR Support!

April 3rd, 2018

Editor’s Note: Whether you sponsor an ICC child or faithfully contribute in other ways please know that you have an incredible impact on the lives of the children.

This can be seen in this letter from Alcyon Fleck that has been pulled from the ICC archives. Thank you for the support you continue to give to a new generation of children!

— January 1990

Dear ICC Family,

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

“Three little brothers were brought to us this last week,” Juana informed me when I visited The Pines.

“They had been abandoned and passed around from place to place wherever someone would keep them, but no one wanted them. The people in that village were poor and already had families of their own to care for.”

“How old are they?” I inquired.

“The oldest one, Gilberto, is ten. Oswaldo is six, and the baby is two.”

Later, as we walked toward the home where the new children were, Juana informed me, “I don’t know how long they have been without a home, but these children were really in pitiful condition. They were sick, malnourished and in rags. The little one is the most frail.”

The house-mother brought the boys to us. Their faces were pinched and pale. They still had the frightened expression of children who have suffered at the hands of strangers. Any new situation fills them with fear.

But the two older boys smiled shyly as we talked with them. The little one was emaciated, barely able to stand, and his big, dark eyes seemed to dominate his face.

Poor little children! I thought. Who knows what they have already suffered. My heart went out to them.

Gilberto as a young boy

Gilberto as a young boy

The house-mother, holding the little one, voiced her concern about their health and promised to give them the best care she could and plenty of TLC. I could see that the baby was already bonding to the mother.

That was eight years ago. The boys have grown sturdy and healthy.

I talked to Gilberto when I visited there a few weeks ago. Cruz told me, “Gilberto is growing into a fine, young man. He is studying at the secondary school and works in the carpentry shop. He is artistic, loves to draw and work with his hands.”

“Gilberto, do you know who your sponsor is?” I asked him.

“Yes, Mommy Fleck. She writes to me, and I have written to her. Her name is Ruth Budd.”

“Yes, I know. She lives near us. She is in a Rest Home now. I suppose you know she is a widow lady. She had an accident some time back and can’t get around by herself. She never had any children, but she has been sponsoring you since you first came to us.”

“You are almost like a son to her.”

“Really!” Gilberto’s eyes brightened. “I wish I could know her!”

“Well, I know she gets lonely and loves to get letters from you.”

“Could you take a letter for me? I’ll write one today.” His face was eager.

“Of course. I know that will make Mrs. Budd happy. I’ll take a picture of you to go with it.”

This last week I took the letter, which I had translated into English, along with the picture, and visited Mrs. Budd.

Her boy had included a paper on which he had printed a special greeting in beautiful scrolled calligraphy. It said. “Felicidades a mi querida madrina.” (Happiness to my dear god-mother).

Our children call their sponsors god-parents. It was a real privilege for me to bring that special letter from the hand of that boy to the dear little lady who has been faithfully supporting and praying for him all these years. Her face beamed as I read it to her.

Dear God-mother,

It is a special pleasure for me to write to you as I have done on other occasions, hope that Jesus Christ can bless you in your home.

The reason for this letter is so that I can be in contact with you. I have learned that you never had a son or daughter, but you have trusted me as a son, and for this I thank you very much.

I know that you are getting up in years but that you always remember and think of me. I also think of you a lot and appreciate the much-needed help you have given me.

Even if you never see me nor I see you, I have the confidence in God that He will help me to continue in His ways, and at last we can know each other in the heavenly mansions…

In my humble heart I feel a deep gratitude that I can’t find words to express. I think of some occasions when I have needed help through hard and tragic experiences…

I thank you and close with much GRATITUDE IN MY HEART.

Attentively, your adopted son,

Gilberto Budd Duque Lopez

The Rest Of The Story

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

After completing his primary and high school education, Gilberto attended the Adventist University in Costa Rica and then returned to Guatemala to continue his studies in architecture.

Gilberto is married now and is a devoted husband and proud father of his two children. He owns a small residential and commercial maintenance company.

According to Gilberto, “although it is not easy, I’m sure that God always has a purpose for everyone, and everything that happens in life develops us in such a way that we can face life with determination.

“And I personally thank God for people with the heart to keep this kind of work going which gives others the opportunity to help in this work and makes it possible to give the attention and care to boys and girls which, for reasons we don’t know about, can’t grow in the heart of their own family.

“But a home like these [ICC] homes can fill in and help for the wellbeing and growth of kids who then have one or many opportunities in their lives.”

Your Support Helps Dayamani Care For Orphans

March 27th, 2018

The impact of your gifts on behalf of the children is powerful. Hope for a better future springs up, and young lives are transformed. However, the impact of your gift would not be as far-reaching if it wasn’t for the care provided by loving house mothers like Mrs. Dayamani Nimmaka.

Dayamani is a mother of ICC children at the DEWS Sweet Home in India. She is responsible to feed and clothe the children and make sure they participate in school activities. She also strives to help develop their characters for this life and for the future life in heaven.

“My prayer is that someday the children will grow up strong and be faithful to the service of God.”

Recently, Dayamani was asked the following three questions. Her answers reveal some of the challenges she faces and what motivates her to serve the children as their house mother.

1. What challenges do you face in your work as a house parent?
As a house parent It is not an easy thing to have the children doing exactly what I want them to do all the time. When I come across some children with an attitude I get upset, but I experience the same with my own children. I like to be patient and take time to help the children understand that I am doing this for their own good. I like to talk and spend time with the child as their own parent would do on individual basis and be kind to them.

2. What is your motivation?
As a house parent it is my responsibility to keep every child on the right path so that they can achieve their goals. I feel very proud when they complete their studies with a good name and grades. I always pray for their success. The desire and motivation comes when the children consider me as their own parent; it helps me to continue my work with patience, and I feel rewarded.

3. What keeps you going and doing your best for the children?
As a house parent it is my goal to help the children develop their minds and talents and to do their best in their studies, work, play, and in their spiritual life. I want them to shine in their lives with great achievements and be a blessing in the community and in the homes. My prayer is that someday the children will grow up strong and be faithful to the service of God.

The generous support of ICC family members like you enables Dayamani to serve the children with love and compassion. Thank you!