Archive for the ‘Dominican Republic – Las Palmas’ Category

Help Moo-ve the Las Palmas Dairy Forward!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

In recent editions of the Qué Pasa you’ve read about special initiatives to help the children’s projects become more self-sustaining. The jalapeno project in Mexico and the greenhouse project in El Salvador are two examples.

Aiding the projects to help themselves, stretches your support which helps more children.

In August, at the 2018 ASI convention, another of ICC’s industries received special attention.

It’s an expansion of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The dairy is blessing the children, but more “cows for the kids” are needed and you can help. Here are the details on what we’re calling “Milky’s Challenge.”

The goal of “Milky’s Challenge” is to increase the size of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The sale of milk from the herd helps to offset child-care expenses at Las Palmas helping your donation go further. Please join ”Milky’s Challenge!”

The goal of “Milky’s Challenge” is to increase the size of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The sale of milk from the herd helps to offset child-care expenses at Las Palmas helping your donation go further. Click on this picture join ”Milky’s Challenge!”

Demand is high for milk in the region around Las Palmas. Each day (excepting Sabbath), trucks pick up milk produced at the Las Palmas dairy.

Currently, there are 13 cows producing at the Las Palmas dairy. The goal is to increase that number to 80.

A cow is usually purchased pregnant or with a calf. The initial cost for an adult cow is about $1,500. If the calf is a heifer, it can be added to the herd. If it is a bull, it can be sold for around $750.

So, the net cost of one cow is about $750. That’s a bargain when you consider that in 9 months of production the initial investment has been returned through the sale of milk.

Did you know a single quality milk cow can produce enough milk for sale each month to cover the monthly expense of feeding one of “His Kids?”

Headshot of Milky the CowWon’t you consider participating in “Milky’s Challenge” to grow the herd?! Share this project with your Sabbath School class, your school, or a group of friends or family. If everyone gives a little — it will help a lot!

And now, it’s even easier to contribute. Along with the traditional ways of giving (website, phone call to 800.422.7729), you can also use your mobile phone right now to give a gift.

In your message app type the phone number 41444. In the message line type the word — Milky. You’ll receive a return message. Click the link and you’ll be taken to a secure donation page. It’s that easy!

There’s more information online at forhiskids.org/milky. We’ll be sharing the progress of “Milky’s Challenge” in the weeks ahead. Thanks for your support!

Thanks to You — Orphaned Siblings Stay Together!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

For many years, generous ICC family members like you have made it possible for orphan siblings to stay together. This is very important for the children. And whenever children are referred to an ICC children’s village, if there are siblings involved, attempts are made to include all the children, so they can continue growing up together.

This year, we’ve featured several sibling groups that have been rescued together and who have been able to remain together as part of the larger ICC family.

Thanks to You, Sibling Orphans Able To Stay Together!

Thanks to You these four orphaned siblings were able to stay together as part of their new family at the Las Palmas Children’s Village!

A little while ago, the four siblings in the above photos arrived at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. The children’s father was no longer a part of the family, and their mother was very poor.

She had no way to work and provide care for her young children at the same time. The children were going hungry, and eventually the family was from the house in which they were staying because they couldn’t pay the rent. No other family members stepped forward to assist.

Because she had run out of options, the mother contacted the Las Palmas administer and asked her to take the children. After investigating the situation to verify the need and that Las Palmas could provide for the children, the Las Palmas administrator welcomed the children.

Again, it is because of the faithful support of ICC family members like you that makes it possible for ICC to take in, not just one of the siblings, but all of the siblings.

What a blessing for them — and what an opportunity you have now to continue your support through monthly gifts or sponsorship so that these children’s lives will be fully restored.

Thank you for making this ministry for orphans and orphan sibling groups possible!

Your Support Is Giving Back — Abel’s Story

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By Rick Fleck

After more than 35 years, the Las Palmas Children’s Village has been needing many repairs, especially with the things made of wood, such as kitchen cabinets, closets, doors, window valences, tables and chairs.

We have a small carpentry and cabinet shop in our big shop on campus which Tem Suarez and others helped to set up in the 1980’s. Tem would come and work with the older boys building closets and drawers other things.

Other workers carried on that work for a few years, but lately the carpentry shop has not been kept up because we couldn’t find someone to do that work.

During a visit last year, Samilin, our administrator of Las Palmas, told me about Abel Pérez, who grew up in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, worked a lot with Tem Suarez in carpentry and now has a cabinet shop business on the side (he is a math teacher in a local school). Maybe he would be willing to come and help us.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is now a math teacher and also owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel will be producing carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is a math teacher and owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel produces carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel did come, and we became great friends. He is a wonderful young man with a family of three children of his own now. He is a successful teacher and runs a prosperous cabinet business on the side.

He was thrilled by the idea of coming back “home” to work where he spent so much of his childhood. And he wanted to make sure to inspire others who are growing up there now by teaching them some skills.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

He fondly remembers Tem Suarez, who with his wife, Judy, gave so much of themselves to the children of ICC. He told me, “I would like to be the new ‘Tem Suarez!’”

Here is a message he sent to me when I asked if he would be willing to share a little with our ICC family:

“For me it is a real pleasure to be able to tell my story so it may serve to help and be an example for many. I was born in Meches in 1975, a son of Christian parents — Seventh-day Adventists.

My parents were extremely poor but they wanted for me and my sister Miguelina (5 years younger than me) to have a chance in life and a Christian education. So they managed to take us to the Las Palmas Children’s Village. That great event was a reality in our lives on Wednesday, September 11, 1985.

“At the age of 10 and in fourth grade, I continued my studies. Mrs. Gladys Williams was the director, and Pastor Jose Ramon Bourget was the administrator. There was one teacher for all the kids in several grades. After a few months they brought in several more teachers. So we continued to study there for three years in the Las Palmas school.

After sixth grade, we studied at the nearby Dominican Adventist School for two years as external students, and I was in the dorm for two more years. After that time I went to Santo Domingo where I finished high school in 1994.

“During the time I spent in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, I learned various skills such as growing a garden, taking care of cows, pastry making, baking, working with iron, among other things.

But the thing that I loved most was cabinet making. I liked that from when I was a little boy watching my father work with wood. So I enjoyed working with Brother Francisco Vargas, then Josué Casilla (in the children’s village) and later Bartolomé Acosta at the Dominican Adventist School. I was able to progress a lot in learning this marvelous craft.

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

“After starting a lovely relationship with the young lady Yoselin Alcala, we married and had three children — Angel, now 20, Yonsi, 14 and Jasbel, 12. My wife has her degree in marketing with a masters degree in administration of education centers. I finished my bachelors degree in education with physics and math, and now I’m working as a math teacher at a school in Nuevo Orden.

“In March of 2017, Mrs. Samilin Williams, the current administrator of the children’s village, contacted me to help her prepare some budgets for some projects, and she invited me to talk with Mr. Rick and let him know the quotes. We came to an agreement that I would go to Las Palmas to do a few new projects and some repairs.”

Abel goes on to describe his work over the next several months, when he repaired closets, made drawers, window valences, kitchen cabinets and other carpentry projects. He basically remodeled all the wood items, such as closets and cabinets, in eight homes on campus. He concludes his story by reflecting as follows:

“For me is it a pleasure to help out, not only in the cabinets and wood working, but in all the projects that I can in the Children’s Village, since I really feel like I am part of it. This has been one of the happiest summers of my life, although I have spent it away from my beautiful and loved family. I was spending my time contributing to a very good cause. But I also want to say thank you to each one who gave funds so that these projects could be accomplished.

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

“There are still many projects to do, and we continue to pray that the resources continue to come so we can keep doing the projects that need to be finished. Among those are the church pews that are very deteriorated from the termites. We need them so that our adoration to God can be done in a calm and nice place. I am very willing to continue helping in every way that I can so that the Children’s Village is a PLACE OF HAPPY KIDS. God bless you, with love, from your son,”

Abel Pérez Vilorio

Able also has plans to help Las Palmas repair or rebuild their church’s pews. The church pews are made of wood and they’ve seen much use. The pews are in real need of repairs with a number needing to be replaced.

Your help with repairing and replacing Las Palmas’s church pews would be most appreciated. Abel plans to repair 5 pews and create new pews for those that need to be replaced. He can repair the 5 pews for $110 apiece and make 15 new pews for only $400 apiece.

Faithfully Serving the Children

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
A photo of Samalin and Mario Lora of the ICC Las Palmas Children's Village.

Samalin & Mario

For most of the past 35 years, Mario and Samilin Lora have faithfully served the children of Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic. In 1983 Samilin came to Las Palmas when her parents joined the staff. She was only 17 at the time.

With a chuckle, Samilin vividly remembers the first children who arrived on campus. Everyone was thrilled. These children came from the nearby village and looked so pitiful — with distended bellies and full of parasites. This was the start of the program, or so everyone thought at the time!

The children were cleaned up, given fresh clothes and some nourishing food. Everyone was happy — until the next day when family members of these children came to the campus all concerned about their well-being.

Yes, the children were in poor shape. They appeared to be orphans living on the streets. But they had distant relatives and neighbors who heard that the Americans had taken their children to use their organs and eyeballs.

Sheepishly, the staff watched as these children left with community members. However, these “first children” left behind a good lesson and principle that sticks with our project administrators to this day — be sure to follow ICC protocols so they are legally taken into care.

Despite this early setback, it wasn’t long after this experience that Las Palmas did start receiving children who legitimately needed the help for which ICC is known.

Eventually, Samilin met and married Mario Lora. Together they spent some time in Puerto Rico and also working at the Adventist University in the Dominican Republic.

A photo of Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Then in 1991, Samilin’s mother called her and Mario to come and join the staff of Las Palmas. Samilin became the children’s services director and Mario became the chaplain and accountant.

Samilin recalls how difficult it was for her at first to take on the challenges of overseeing the parents. Since she is somewhat small, the parents joked that they would “put this little auntie in a sack” so they would not have to obey her.

This was a trial by fire for Samilin, and one that she won through God’s help and her determination. She recalls that once the parents understood ICC’s model and implemented it consistently, things went much better.

Samilin grew in experience and capacity as the children’s services director and also obtained her master’s degree in Educational Administration. Then, in 1998 when her mother retired, ICC asked Samilin to take on the responsibilities as project administer — a position she continues to hold today.

When asked what her biggest challenge is now as the project administrator, Samilin says that it’s finding good house parents. It’s a challenge to find parents with a passion for taking care of the children and not just to have money.

According to Rick Fleck, ICC president, Samilin has turned this into a strength. They have a proven record of success in finding, training and keeping good house parents. They use an effective interviewing and screening process, and this has helped a lot.

Over the past few years a new generation of children have come to Las Palmas. Many of the older children have completed their education and have moved on to live independently. There has be in influx of younger children.

Logo representing the 40th Anniversary of International Children's CareMario and Samilin understand very well how important it is to teach the new children core values that will serve them well in this life and prepare them for eternal life.

Each of the past three years, the Las Palmas staff have focused on teaching the kids values. The staff are united in this. According to Samilin, “the most important thing is to have the children saved in Jesus. That is my passion. We’re working on the area of values with that end in mind.”

This year’s motto is “United with our Eyes on Eternal Values.” The entire staff are united in keeping their eyes on eternal values they can teach the children.

There was a time several years ago when there were not many children being referred to Las Palmas. That has changed. We have received so many requests that there is not capacity to accept them all. Sadly, some children are being turned away.

Samilin recently hired a couple to serve as house parents in a home that was re-opened. Their home is now nearly filled with children. Samilin will soon try to open another home because there are so many requests for assistance. The government is cooperating well and are bringing children at an early age. This is when ICC’s model of care can have the greatest positive impact.

One of the factors causing an increase in the number of at-risk children is the increase in the number of men killing women in the Dominican Republic the last couple of years. Government authorities are worried about this trend which may be caused by the increase in the cost of living, high unemployment and drug use.

In a country like the Dominican Republic, it is unusual for a woman to oversee an organization, especially if her husband is also working at the same place. However, Mario and Samilin have found a comfortable working relationship for each has a unique role.

Also, Mario is the head of their home while Samilin serves as the administrator of the project. They have learned to separate the roles within their work and personal lives and respect each other within those roles.

Mario and Samilin are well-aware of the critical part that ICC Donors play in the sustaining this ministry on behalf of children at Las Palmas. “Tell the donors,” says Samilin, “if it weren’t for those donors, this [program for children] would not exist. Only in heaven will you be rewarded.”

The children of ICC have been blessed by the tireless, sacrificial and dedicated service this faithful couple has given to them through the years. We value them as cherished members of the ICC family.

“Stepping Out In Faith” Matching Fund

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Just in Time to Bless the Children this Christmas!

’Tis better to give than to receive” is a truth that we all recognize. What is even better is when you give and that gift is doubled to make twice the impact! This Christmas, you have a wonderful opportunity to double your gift in support of a child like Eduardo who desperately wants and needs a home.

Please read on for more details

Dear Friend of the Children,

Eduardo’s father died without ever recognizing him as his son. His mother left Eduardo in the care of his sick grandmother who was also trying to care for her 18-year-old daughter who has special needs.

Eduardo’s living environment was unsafe, and he suffered several attempts of violation. The child protection authorities rescued Eduardo and needed a safe place for him, so they contacted the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

I’m reminded of the story of Jesus who was born in a stable because there was “no room in the inn.” Currently, several of our children’s villages DO HAVE ROOM for more children. You can help us welcome more children like Eduardo who need the safety and security of a loving home. This Christmas please consider giving the gift of family to an orphan child!

I have some terrific news to share. From now until December 31, 2017, your gift will be doubled, up to a total of $125,000. What a double blessing and impact your gift will be for the children!

In the past several weeks, 12 different children have experienced life-threatening events. These suffering children have been referred to us from authorities in Congo and the Dominican Republic.

Some of these 12 kids were already dying, and we were told that they would soon lose their lives if we did not accept them into our care. Horrible events took place leaving these children devastated without families. What were our administrators to do when these kids were placed at their door? Should they have turned their backs on these children, leaving them to die?

The thought of signing a child’s death warrant is something I cannot agree with, nor do I believe that God wants our ICC family to do that. I believe that God put ICC here to be the last harbor of refuge from these kinds of storms in the lives of the children — the storms that take their very lives. There must be another answer, and I believe the answer is the ICC family!

Recently, caring individuals provided for a special “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

Donations received (up to $125,000) will be matched and used to support the children of ICC, especially those who recently joined the ICC family or those on the outside just waiting to come in.

Your support for the children within the ICC family has meant a life-change for them. In some cases the saving of their lives.

Today, many children are brought to us by the local government, first responders, or relief workers who told us that if we did not take these kids, there was no one else who would, and they could perish.

Hearing this sends chills down my spine. That there is no other answer, and children may perish, is real and something we can’t tolerate.

With this in mind, I’m writing to you at the end of this year. There are children like Eduardo who need your help and protection. They need the life-saving and life-giving support that you offer. And since your gift will be doubled, it’s an especially good time to give!

Again, from now until December 31, you can have your donation matched up to a total of $125,000. A gift of $50 becomes $100. A gift of $250 becomes $500.

Should all the money be matched, it will be $250,000 bringing hope and healing to the lives of orphan children. What a blessing this will be for them!

Will you help me with this urgent need for these children who’ve been placed on our doorstep, which I believe was providential?

If you want your donation matched, please mark it “Stepping out in Faith.”

God bless you for stepping out in faith and saving the lives of the fatherless.

 

 

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

P.S. Thank you for your wonderful support to the children. And now through December 31st your support can be doubled through the “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

P.P.S. And since the overhead for this year has been covered, 100% of your donation plus the matched amount will go to support the program for children. Thank you for being a double blessing to the children here at the end of the year!

You’ve Saved Lives & Other News

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

News of your powerful impact across the world

Patmos Children’s Village, Idjwi Island — DR Congo

Thanks to your support, the seven children who came to us having lost their families in a devastating mud slide, have been welcomed into the ICC family in Congo.

There is much patient and caring effort that will be required to help them learn the dialect spoken at the children’s village. When more information is gathered, these children will need sponsors to help provide for their care.

Please share this need with others. Maybe you or someone you know would like to sponsor one of these children. Thank you for your support of these children who have lost so much and who stand to gain so much through your generosity.

Las Palmas Children’s Village — Dominican Republic

A photo of the solar panels installed at the Las Palmas children's villageIf you have visited the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic you may have experience one of the frequent power outages that plague the campus.

Not only do these blackouts create annoying inconveniences for both the children and staff, they also create security risks.

However, thanks to the wonderful support of the Versacare Foundation, Las Palmas will soon have a reliable source of power through solar energy. Solar panels have been recently installed on various campus buildings.

When fully operational, the solar energy project will provide enough electricity to power the entire campus. It will also create surplus energy to sell to the power grid. What a huge blessing this is to the children and staff of Las Palmas! A BIG thank you to Versacare for this tremendous support for the children!

Myitta Gaye Har (Village of Love) — Myanmar

Sheets of fresh rubber hung on rack to dry at the ICC Myanmar children's villageSeveral years ago, the ICC children’s village in Myanmar developed a rubber plantation with the intent that one day the funds generated would help the project to become more self-sustaining.

It takes a while for the rubber trees to produce. We’re happy to report that this micro-industry is doing well. In the picture you can see the first stage of the rubber processing business. The first sale of the rubber brought in about $2,400. What a blessing this is for the project!

Our Older ICC Children Need Your Help — Please Sponsor Today

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Sadly, there are young people in our projects that have no sponsors at all due to their age.

A photo of one of the older ICC children who needs a sponsor

Marienne — Congo

That’s why I am asking you today if you will be willing to make a difference for these older children in the children’s villages.

You can make such a tremendous difference if you will just make the decision to be that rock of strength and support that these older kids need right now. They need your prayers, your support and your love in their lives.

These young adults that were devastated by the choices of others at some point in their lives, now have the chance to really make something of their lives, and they almost always choose to help “pay back” for what they have received by helping our smaller children as well as others.

These kids are, and will be, the fruits of YOUR labor as sponsors and donors. Please, pray about this decision to open your life to these wonderful older kids who need you today. I know from my own experience just how much of a blessing I have received by sponsoring an older child, and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

Photos of older ICC children who need sponsors

These kids need your sponsorhsip!

Jesus tells us to “Love one another.” I cannot think of anything in this world that can have a greater impact of love than sponsoring one of these older kids and providing that hope that they cling to as they make their own choices for their futures.

Photos of older ICC kids who need sponsors

These kids need your support. Please, sponsor one of them today.

What a wonderful blessing it is to be a part of what Jesus wants for His kids. Please join me today!

In faithful service for His kids,

Doug Congleton
Executive Director, ICC

P.S. There are several older children just waiting to hear from you that you love and care for them. Please contact Alanna at our ICC office (800-422-7729) to find out more about a child who needs you right now! Thank you.

Container Of Love

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

You’ll be happy to know that a 40-foot shipping container has been loaded with precious gifts and supplies and is now on its way to the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic! Without your support, this shipment would not have been possible. Thank you so much for your partnership and generosity!

This “container of love” has many unique and practical items that will bless the children. Packed carefully and safely inside are — kitchen appliances, cookware and utensils, furniture, clothing, washers, and dryers, tools, and equipment for a dental clinic.

We are able get much more for your money when we obtain lightly-used items here in the United States. Often their quality is far superior to new items that could be purchased locally in the Dominican Republic.

Acquiring items second-hand also provides a blessing to those who are selling. When they find out about this ministry for children and where the item will be going, they often drastically reduce the price. One seller became a donor on the spot when she gave us the sofa she was selling. When she found out that the sofa was going to the children’s village she said, “I can’t take any money.” She then started looking around her house for other things she could donate! She was blessed to be a blessing!

We trust that you also feel this way — Blessed to be a Blessing! You certainly are blessing the children with your support. Thank you for your kindness!

The fully loaded container leaves ICC HQ in Vancouver, WA, for the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The fully loaded container leaves ICC HQ in Vancouver, WA, for the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

Momentarily empty — the container that has shipped to Las Palmas waiting to be loaded with your donations.

Momentarily empty — the container that has shipped to Las Palmas waiting to be loaded with your donations.

By the end of the first day of loading, the formally-empty container is more than three-quarters filled.

By the end of the first day of loading, the formally-empty container is more than three-quarters filled.

Loading complete. Twelve hours of concerted effort by staff and volunteers has seen your donations packed to ship.

Loading complete. Twelve hours of concerted effort by staff and volunteers has seen your donations packed to ship.

This ‘sign,’ with a special message for the children and families of Las Palmas, was attached to your gifts before we closed the doors of the container.

This ‘sign,’ with a special message for the children and families of Las Palmas, was attached to your gifts before we closed the doors of the container. We want the kids and their families to know how much you value them and desire to bless their lives.

The sign reads; “May you enjoy these blessings from your ICC family.” A communiqué similar to this one is sent with each container as a special message to those who are blessed by your donations. Please accept our heart-felt thank you on behalf of the children of Las Palmas for your loving generosity in providing these much-need supplies.

The sign reads; “May you enjoy these blessings from your ICC family.” A communiqué similar to this one is sent with each container as a special message to those who are blessed by your donations. Please accept our heart-felt thank you on behalf of the children of Las Palmas for your loving generosity in providing these much-need supplies.

— Second Container Needed! —

The outpouring of your support for this “container of love” was so great that when the doors were shut, many valuable items were left behind. In fact, we have nearly enough to send another container to Las Palmas! What a blessing — and what a challenge as we don’t have sufficient funds on hand to ship the second container. If you’d like to help send up to $4 worth of supplies for every $1 you donate, please send in your gift today and mark it, “Las Palmas Container 2.” Thank you!

Opportunity! Double Your EXTRA Gift Today!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
Special Matching Grant For Las Palmas Fish Industry!

When you support the Las Palmas fish industry with an extra donation, you’ll provide more than a double blessing! First, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000. Second, by helping to develop the fish farm now, you’ll make the campus more and more self-sustaining. You’ll be helping today’s kids AND the next generation of children!

“More Fish = Help for MORE CHILDREN!”

Here’s how your extra gift today will increase the Las Palmas fish industry. By expanding the fish industry to a nearby lake, you will increase the number of fish raised and increase the income to Las Palmas. And it’s all in support of the kids!

This photo shows an example of how the fish farm proposed for Las Palmas would look. Fish are raised in the individual pens. Mature fish are sold to market. A ‘batch’ of fish takes six to nine months to mature. Your donation to this Las Palmas industry will be doubled though a matching grant.

This photo shows an example of how the fish farm proposed for Las Palmas would look. Fish are raised in the individual pens. Mature fish are sold to market. A ‘batch’ of fish takes six to nine months to mature. Your donation to this industry will be doubled though a matching grant.

It’s an incredible, forward-thinking way you can have your extra gift immediately doubled, and you’ll multiply your impact even further by providing income for Las Palmas!

Thank you for supporting the ongoing needs of the children with your regular gifts and for sending an extra gift for the fish industry that will be DOUBLED!

Christmas Matching Challenge Doubles Your Gift

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Dear Friend,

As the son of an Adventist pastor couple, I grew to love and appreciate the special traditions and activities of Christmas.

The candles.

The carols.

The lights on the tree.

The nativity complete with shepherds, wise men, animals, Mary, Joseph and the Babe laying in a manger.

As lovely as the nativity scene is in portraying the “reason for the season,” it also is a haunting reminder to us all that the Babe lying in a manager was in the manger because there was no room for Him anywhere else!

Today, “no room” is a harsh reality that orphan children continue to face.

But not if you help today.

In the Adventist faith, we are told to “make room” for children. James 1:27 even goes so far as to say that pure and genuine religion requires us to care for orphans in their distress. That’s God’s call to action — for me, and for you!

And now, especially at Christmas, you can make even more room for an orphan child by responding to a special matching grant that will double your gift.

That’s right. Because “making room” for orphans is a top priority, two of our loyal donors have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $60,00 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we’re experiencing a shortfall for the year. That means it’s almost impossible to think of “making room” for any more children. Budgets are strained to the breaking point taking care of kids who already have found room within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope! Your doubled gift will help provide…

Food for Deka, whose mother was killed by lightning and who suffered from malnutrition before she came desperately needing you to help “make room” for her.

Shelter for orphaned Ramon, whose cousin brought him to ICC to get him away from drug trafficking gangs. Ramon needed you to help “make room” for him.

Nurturing care for Sofia, from an orphanage in Guatemala that was closing its doors. Sofia also needed you to help “make room” for her.

‘Room’ for children like Oria and her three sisters. Oria, the oldest sister, wrote a letter pleading, “Please give us your help. I promise that we are going to behave well… We are not lazy. Even my little sister knows how to do dishes and clean. If the four of us can’t stay and be together, which is our desire, at least I want you to help our little sisters.”

The world tells orphans, “There’s no room for you!” But I’m calling on you to tell a waiting child something far different — You’ll say, “I believe in you! I know you long for a home and family, and I want to help you!”

You’ve done it before. Each and every time you’ve sent a gift to help a child.

I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience the love of our Heavenly Father. It was because of God’s great love that He gave the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus, to the world. And now, God calls us to prepare room and receive Him by helping to “make room” for His little ones who are in need.

“Let every heart, prepare Him room…”

Please, having read this post, send your gift for the children — which will immediately be doubled.

On behalf of the children, thank you for blessing them this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

 

Rick Fleck, President ICC

P.S. Remember to give by December 31 to take advantage of year-end tax benefits and to have your gift matched, helping twice as many children in need!