Archive for the ‘Project Updates’ Category

Tragedy Strikes Again in the DR Congo

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Newly Orphaned Children Need Immediate Help!

Overnight. In a moment. In an instant. Life can be forever altered. There are seven orphan children whose lives have been forever changed and who need your help right away! Please read on.

Several weeks ago, heavy rains fell in a province of the DR Congo. No one knew at the time that a tragedy was brewing. However, the heavy rains, combined with deforestation, were just too much for the saturated ground to hold.

Early one morning the earth trembled as a torrent of water, mud and debris gathered momentum and stormed down the hillside. Sleeping villagers had little time to react as the wall of mud crashed through their homes burying entire families and leaving behind a path of death and destruction. In just a few moments, scores of people died and over a hundred children were left orphaned.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

As is often the case in poor countries, humanitarian aid and assistance was slow to arrive to this remote area. The survivors suffered, and this was especially true for the children.

Nearly a month went by before the government assessed what to do with the orphans. That’s when our Patmos Children’s Village was asked to help. Désiré, project director, sent an urgent appeal to my wife, Sharon, ICC’s director for children services. Here is an edited excerpt from that message:

Yesterday we received unexpected visitors — a team of five persons from North-Kivu Province. They had been sent to us by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

This team brought seven children with them. The children had severe malnutrition. They were from Mabolio where a landslide had covered 129 houses. 329 persons were unaccounted for. 97 dead bodies were found along the river. 111 surviving children were without assistance and were half-dead.

The province reported the case to the Ministry of Social Affairs. A meeting was held by the National and International Non-Governmental Organizations to study together a permanent solution to save these children.

At the end of the meeting, the children were spread to 6 children’s villages. That’s how we have received 7 children who need urgent assistance. They need quality food, medical care, clothes, accommodation, psycho-social follow-up, protection, schooling, etc.

We tried to explain to the delegation that we do not have enough financial means to take care of the children. They did not believe us because they had heard about our children we helped to become independent last year.

They also heard that Patmos village has a tremendous reputation all over the country and provides appropriate care to children.

In favor of these children, we beseech you Mother Sharon to introduce this case to the ICC Board so that the children may receive help for their salvation.

For ICC–Congo Project
Désiré MURHIMA
M.Sc Administrator

Désiré is aware of the financial implications of having seven new children to feed, clothe and educate. He has been trying to stretch the resources he has to provide for over 100 children who are currently part of the Patmos family. He has turned to us for help.

And now, I am turning to you. Will you help these children in their time of need? In considering this request, Sharon said, “How can I say no to this very urgent need? I was just feeling like we were getting down to the right number of children in the homes we have, and the Lord is sending more. Is a crowded home better than no home? Is a little bit of food better than no food? It is a life and death situation to these children.”

Today, we are dedicated to stepping out in faith to take these helpless children into our care, a faith in Jesus who has left this responsibility to all of us, and a faith in each one of you that you will step up and support these children as you always have.

It will take some time before we have enough information in order to assign these children sponsors. In the meantime, they will need the things that Désiré mentioned, which will stretch the Patmos budget even further. Your gift of support today for $50 or $100 will be life-saving for these children.

Also, the DR Congo has 423 dialects. Each tribe has its local and/or regional language. None of those at the Patmos Children’s Village knows or understands the languages of these new children. Désiré indicated most of the children don’t know their own identities.

We must move forward to help them. To rescue and restore the lives of orphan children is our mission. We are counting on you as we always have when we face an urgent situation like this. Thank you for your prayers!

On behalf of the children, thank you very much for your generosity and loving care!

May God bless you,
Rick Fleck

P.S. These seven children, orphaned by circumstances beyond their control, desperately need your help. Please send in your gift of support today!

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!

News & Updates From The Children’s Villages

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

“Your support has helped kids and orphans all over the world be safe, be fed, and introduced to our loving Savior!”

Los Pinos, Guatemala
Because of YOU, 20 new children are at Los Pinos! Two of the homes have been remodeled for new children. They are having their own “NEW BEGINNING.”

New children provide a blessing for everyone. All the children are blessed as the family supports the new kids with love and encouragement.

Eight children graduated from ICAP’s secondary school. Griselda, one of our older girls, recently received a university degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Griselda grew up at Los Pinos. Her university degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is a first for Los Pinos.

Griselda grew up at Los Pinos. Her university degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is a first for Los Pinos.

Las Palmas, Dominican Republic
Thanks to YOUR support, 27 new children have come to Las Palmas during the past 15 months. Fabia is one of those kids who was rescued, along with her siblings, from an unsafe family situation.

Your support is securing the future of Las Palmas so it can help more children.

El Oasis, Mexico
Thanks to your support, there are over 20 children — many who are orphans or have been homeless — who now are part of the ICC El Oasis family.

Work is completed on meeting new government requirements. This will give us the possibility to help more kids!

We’re being asked to take in additional children right away. We can’t move forward without YOUR continued support.

Fuente de Vida, Nicaragua
Because of YOU, Alegria recently graduated from 6th grade. All the children enjoyed a special meal in celebration.

Government policies are making the future of this project uncertain.Please pray for the children and staff.

When you support children like Alegria, you enable them to reach important milestones in their education.

When you support children like Alegria, you enable them to reach important milestones in their education.

When you support children like Alegria, you enable them to reach important milestones in their education.

Patmos, Idjwi Island, D.R. Congo
Patmos Children’s Village is ICC’s largest project. Donors like YOU have faithfully supported needed improvements bringing hydro-electric power to the campus and constructing the secondary school.

The director of Patmos, Désiré, recently sent this message; “Insecurity lingers in the country. We face extreme difficulties to get food for the children.”

Please keep the children and staff of this project in your prayers.

DEWS Sweet Home, India
India is one of ICC’s projects where children are experiencing NEW BEGINNINGS — thanks to you. Four new children have been welcomed into the DEWS Sweet home children’s village.

Eight-year-old Mita is one of the new children. Both of Mita’s parents died and other family members were unable to care for her.

The DEWS Sweet Home celebrated its 20-year anniversary In October. The event also celebrated the life and contribution of Lilly Kaligithi who is retiring. Her daughter Susan is taking her place.

For many years, YOU have helped Lilly do amazing things for the children of SWEET HOME. Children both former and current surrounded Lilly celebrating the anniversary and the life of someone they had grown to love and cherish as a mother and a mentor.

Thanks to your support, Mita has been given a NEW BEGINNING!

Thanks to your support, Mita has been given a NEW BEGINNING!

ICC Romania
YOUR support enables six kids to attend the Adventist boarding high school in Bucharest. Attending this school is a powerful opportunity the children would not have had without your support.

Government authorities are making it difficult for us to continue this project. While the future of this project is uncertain, the children are much better off because of the support you’ve given!

Sharon is Blessing Students in India

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

“I wish they [the donors] could see the transformation their support brought in the lives of the children in Sweet Home.” — Lilly Kalagithi

Editor’s Note: Here is another update on what is happening in the life of Sharon Vakkanthula, one of ICC’s grown children from the ICC DEWS Sweet Home in India. It was written by Lilly Kalagithi, founder of the project. Your support blessed Sharon’s life tremendously and she is taking full advantage of her opportunity to serve others.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

Two beautiful little girls were brought to us by their father. They had lost their mother, and their father could not care for them as he needed to work to provide for them. These two little girls came to us with their bag of clothes and photos of their mother in their hands. They were still grieving for their mother and held on to these precious photos.

These two girls were a blessing to Sweet Home. They always were very special in the way they talked and behaved. They studied well and scored top grades in school. They were very decent and respectful in their behavior, and like little angels they were always willing and ready to help others. They are continuing to do the same today.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

The younger girl’s name is Sharon Vakkanthula. Sharon studied in the Flaiz Adventist Elementary School and High School. She always had a deep desire to join pastoral ministry. After completing her studies in Narsapur, she enrolled in Spicer Memorial College (now known as Spicer Adventist University). During summer holidays Sharon went out to different towns and villages to assist the gospel ministry.

From the very beginning of her time at Spicer, Sharon gained the favor and confidence of her teachers and professors. She soon became very popular in the college. The Vice Chancellor of the university took her in as his daughter and helped her finish a Master’s degree in Theology.
Sharon is now employed by the university as it’s very first chaplain. She also teaches theology students.

We are grateful to ICC for the continued support, love and care. We are also grateful to the sponsors for the sacrifice they made to give life to the helpless children. I wish they could see the transformation their support brought in the lives of the children in Sweet Home.

Sharon is very happy to work for the Lord who sustained her all these years. We are also very proud of Sharon and her accomplishments.
What a blessing it is to see Sharon use her talents in service to God by serving others! Thank you for your generous support of children like Sharon.

Pathfinder Uniforms Needed!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Your gift can help a child at Las Palmas to look and feel like a real Pathfinder!

The Pathfinders at Las Palmas need uniforms for all the members of the club.

“If you were ever a Pathfinder… please support these children at Las Palmas.”

You have the opportunity to provide a big blessing for children at the Las Palmas children’s village right now. They need uniforms! For $30 you can help purchase material so that a child can have their very own dress uniform. Here are more details:

ICC children love being a “Pathfinder.” If you also had the joy of being a Pathfinder you recall the wonderful experiences of learning skills and earning honors. You’ll recall team building activities such as marching. Best of all, you’ll remember camp outs and the big camporee where you could meet kids from other Pathfinder clubs.

Now imagine how you would feel if you were a Pathfinder and didn’t have a dress uniform! This is the situation children at the Las Palmas Children’s Village face.

We’ve had several new children join the ICC family there in recent months. The project’s finances don’t stretch enough to cover purchasing uniforms for all the kids. Without uniforms, these children have had to wear normal play clothes to Pathfinder activities.

In addition, our children and the Las Palmas club will not be able to receive certain achievement awards if they are not wearing the required dress uniforms. The Las Palmas children want to look and feel just like every other child who participates in Pathfinders —but they need your help.

The Las Palmas Pathfinder Club is trying to purchase the materials needed to make dozens of uniforms for their club. Yes, make their uniforms. Purchasing new uniforms would cost too much. If they can make the uniforms, your support and keep the cost to about $30 per child.

This is an urgent need! Your gift is needed by December 15 for the uniforms to be finished before the Pathfinder Fair and Camporee. If the materials aren’t available, the children may have to go without.

If you were ever a Pathfinder, or if you know just what a rewarding experience Pathfinder’s can be, please support these children at Las Palmas. You can call or send in your donation today for these materials. Please designate your gift as “Las Palmas Uniforms.”

God bless you for helping these children to really “look” the part of being a Pathfinder!

Because Of Your Support — New Children Have Been Accepted At Las Palmas

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Dominican Republic — Las Palmas

Because of your support new children have recently been accepted into the ICC family at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. I wish you could be on the campus of one of our children’s villages to see what it’s like when new children arrive!

You may be interested in knowing more about the special process involved in welcoming new children. First of all, they are brought to the children’s home where they meet their new mom and dad and siblings. They are greeted warmly and taken in and loved. They are given new clothes and are bathed. If they need medical attention or treatment they receive that. Many of the children are hungry when they first arrive and they receive food. This gives them assurance that their needs will be meet in their new home.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The welcoming is not complete until the entire children’s village has the opportunity to participate in a special dedication service for the children and their new parents. During the children’s first weekend, at one of the village worship services, they are called to the front along with their house parents. They are introduced to the rest of the children’s village family and greeted warmly. There is a special dedication prayer for the children and the parents. This service helps the new children realize that they are part of a larger community who also loves and cares for them.

You’ve read in the Que Pasa about the three siblings, Tomas, Diego and Renata, who recently came to live with us at Las Palmas. The last time I heard these children are all doing very well. Thanks to you, these children can now grow and develop within a safe and loving home.

In time they will be introduced to caring people like you who will come along side of them and provide financial support through monthly sponsorship. This is extremely important to them. It adds to their sense of security to know that people who live a long way from them are supporting them and praying for them. The role you play in making the children feel secure is extremely important. Thanks for all you do to make them feel loved and accepted.

Your Support Is Having A Positive Effect

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

El Salvador — Hogar Escuela Adventista (HEA)

Your support is having a positive effect on the lives of the older children in El Salvador. Because of you, kids like Abel, Miriam, and Daniel are pursuing a university education. You would be pleased to know that these kids are doing well and getting good grades. They are taking full advantage of this opportunity you are providing them. And they are grateful.

A photo of Anita at her graduation from the School of Nutrition at Linda Vista University.

Anita at her graduation from the School of Nutrition at the Linda Vista University in Mexico.

Anita is one of our older girls from El Salvador. She recently completed a degree in nutrition at Linda Vista, an Adventist University in Mexico. When she was only two years old, Anita and her three siblings were brought to HEA by the police. The children’s mother had complex problems of her own and couldn’t provide the care the children needed.

At HEA, Anita found a safe haven and flourished in the loving care she received. You can see the impact your support has had in her life especially when compared to the time when Anita first arrived. Thank you for what you’ve done for Anita and other children like her.

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, June 27th, 2014

150 children
8 University / Vocational Students
8 homes / 11 families

A photo of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Project Contact
Communication is very difficult between this project and the outside world. Even when ICC’s children’s services personnel try to call, their conversations are often cut short due to poor phone communication and internet connections. It is difficult to discuss all topics from either end.

Email communication is challenging when working through issues. There is nothing like sitting face-to-face. Rick and Sharon Fleck plan to take a trip to Congo later this year. If they can’t go into Congo for some reason, they will meet with the key personnel in Rwanda for a week.

Project Staff
The project has a new children’s service director. She seems to be doing a great job. The progress reports indicate that the children have experienced many positive changes. This could also be partially due to the presence of a psychologist who is working with the children’s services director.

Education
The children are growing up. A majority of them are in secondary school which has caused an increase in the education costs. They have a European style of education where students start specializing in the areas that they will be studying in university. This project is not able to offer all the different streams of study at the campus school, so some of the students have to go to other schools to continue their education. Funding for education is one of the greatest needs at this project.

Desire, the project administrator is encouraging the students to study for different specialties so that eventually they will be able to help our program with their education. They may also be able to help in an area that will provide funds for the project. It is a wonderful concept.

A photo of the secondary school at ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Construction and Development
Construction continues on the secondary school. An additional amount of about $22,000 (€16,176) is needed to complete this important project.

Work continues on completing house #9 so that the new children will have a home to live in.

The Patmos children’s village also is in need of staff housing. Current facilities are not adequate or appropriate to for administrative and support staff.

Doug Congleton and Joel Reyes placing the special message that was included with the container ICC shipped to the Patmos Children’s Village

Container
In February, ICC US sent a container of much needed supplies. As of the end of June, 2014, it had arrived in Rwanda is the process of getting it out of customs is underway.

Potato Harvest in Romania

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Potatoes are a staple food for our ICC children in Romania. Potatoes are prepared in different ways and the children love them. For a few years now, our ICC partner in the Netherlands has found a company to help supply seed potatoes for our project. These are shipped to Romania along with other needed items for our children and the wider community.

Harvesting Potatoes at International Children’s Care’s Romanian Children’s Village

Harvesting potatoes at ICC’s Romanian children’s village

This past March, 1,200 kg  (2,645 lbs.) of seed potatoes were included in the transport. These were planted in the ICC Romania garden and nurtured through the growing season. When the staff and children harvested the potatoes, the yield was 6,000 kg (over 13,000 lbs). This quantity is enough to feed the children until the next harvest.

Potatoes grown on the ICC Romania Farm

Some of the potatoes that were harvested at the ICC Romania children’s village

What a blessing this arrangement is for our children and staff. They received a donation that quite literally grew bigger as they nurtured and cared for it. This is symbolic of the children themselves. Many of them come to us as small children. Yet, with nurturing love and care, they also grow and develop and mature into talented and energetic young people with the capacity to make a difference in the world.

Thanks ICC Netherlands for organizing this initiative.

Heavy Flooding And Erosion Damage Patmos

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Earlier this year, heavy flooding caused damage at our children’s village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here’s an excerpt from a message received from our project director, Désiré:

“We received a heavy rain but due to God’s mercy we survived. The river behind us overflowed and the whole block was swept off and it also encroached where the cows stay as you will see on the photos. The other small house for the calves was swept off by heavy waters.

Erosion due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the  DR Congo

Damage due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo. The shelter for the calves was ruined due to the significant erosion.

“The gully may need to be built but we wanted you to see the pictures of how rain caused this heavy erosion around the cows’ premises. The cow’s shelter would be better to be constructed in a permanent material in order to be on a safe side. Thanks for your good collaborations, God bless you abundantly.”

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs from heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs necessitated by significant erosion due to heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Our Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi island is in need of financial assistance to aid with the recurring problem caused by erosion. In the past, funds have been sent to remedy other erosion issues, and these efforts have been highly successful. Please consider assisting with this additional need.