Archive for the ‘General Messages’ Category

Matching Grant Opportunity!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Double your gift to Help Educate ICC Children!

We have some exciting news to share with you! One of ICC’s dedicated supporters is offering an opportunity to double your gift and help provide education for the children of ICC. Any donation you give toward the “ICC Education Fund,” until October 15, will be matched up to $30,000!

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You can help ensure children in India, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Romania and the DR Congo have the schooling, teachers, books, and supplies they need. What a wonderful opportunity this is, and on behalf of the children, we hope that you’ll take advantage of it by sending a gift today.

Photo of a young boy writing on a slate at the Patmos Children's Village school.

Education is vital to our children!

Education is critical for a child who has been orphaned. Education provides a pathway out of poverty. In most cases, the children are provided an Adventist education where they learn not only about the world around them, but also about Jesus, their Savior!

Even in developing countries it’s costly providing an Adventist education. However, in light of eternity, the impact can be priceless! And now that your gift will be matched, any gift you give until October 15 will become a DOUBLE BLESSING!

Your gift will be a huge blessing in the DR Congo, one of the countries where we struggle to find enough money to send all of the children to school. You may recall that several years ago we took in over 170 children — all at once!

Photo of Sara from the Patmos Children's Village

Sara needs your help!

One child who will benefit from your doubled gift is Sara who was orphaned by war. Before she came to ICC she ate just once a day or a few times a week. Sara was often hungry and wandered in search of something to eat. No one bothered to wash Sara or wash her clothes. She was insecure and had a lot of physical and psychological pain. Recounting her experience, Sara said that she kept wondering, “Where is my mother?” But she never found any answer.

Sara was eventually brought to the Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi Island where — thanks to the generosity of donors like you — she was given a new family who loved and provided for her. She was also given the opportunity to attend school. She is learning about Jesus and many other things.

Sara is making progress toward becoming a successful young woman but she still needs your help to experience the “finishing touch.” You can do so much with a gift today, especially since your gift will be doubled! It’s a great time to support Sara.

Thank-you for all you do for these children. May God bless you!

In Memorium : Alcyon Fleck

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

ICC lost its founder, Alcyon Fleck, on May 25, 2015. After a short illness, Alcyon passed to her rest. We still mourn her passing, but we also celebrate her life, for she leaves behind a lasting legacy of love.

A young girl from ICC’s children’s village in Mexico, sleeps in Alcyon’s lap while Alcyon was visiting the project.

Alcyon Fleck and one of the orphans for whom she provided a home.

From her early childhood, Alcyon had an interest in helping orphan children. She eagerly followed the antics of the little cartoon character, Orphan Annie, and this made a deep impression on her. Even at a young age she felt drawn to help orphan children.

In later years, when she and her husband, Ken, served as missionaries in Central America, she was keenly aware of the conditions of many orphaned and at-risk children. Her compassion for these children often lead her to provide temporary care for the most neediest cases. Little did she realize at that time that the Lord was preparing her to create the ministry of International Children’s Care.

Through the years, Alcyon was a driving force for this ministry. Her foresight and vision helped her create a model of care for orphans that closely resembles a natural family. Her love and compassion for children ran deep, and she was affectionately known as “Mommy Fleck” to hundreds of children. Her care and concern for the children’s well-being motivated her to reach out to caring individuals like you.

Alcyon was always amazed at the way you came to the rescue of the ICC children, especially when they needed it most. Actually, you have been a driving force for ICC. Your support, your prayers, your interest encouraged Alcyon, and she never took for granted the important role you have in rescuing and restoring the lives of orphan children.

Alcyon loved the children. And they loved her in return. When news spread around the internet that Alcyon had died, many of the children posted comments on Facebook about what Alcyon meant to them. One boy wrote that he had lost his “angel.” It’s symbolic, for sure, but it tells of the deep love and respect he had for Alcyon. In a sense, you give ICC children the love of angels when you give a gift to the Alcyon Angel Fund.

Even though Alcyon has passed away, her legacy of love lives on through this fund that bears her name. Alcyon’s Angel Fund helps us provide care to children who desperately needed a loving home and have no other place to go. Help to rescue and restore a child’s life in her memory by sending a gift today.

It was in May, 2014, that Alcyon wrote what would be her final personal message for the Que Pasa. It was a fitting final message as you can see from this excerpt:

Dear ICC Family,
It has been a long time since I have written a letter to you… Most of you know that I lost Ken, the love of my life, [to] bone cancer. It has been a challenge to learn how to run my own life without his valuable help. But he fell asleep in Jesus and I know I will see him again on the resurrection morning. I can hardly wait for that day to come.

International Children’s Care is still a priority in my life, and all of these needy children are the objects of my prayers. I thank the Lord every day for our ICC family and your faithful support for our children…

These little children who have come to us to find a home have also learned to know the Jesus who loves them.

We are looking forward to the day when that same Jesus will welcome them into their Heavenly home, and that will be a permanent home.

In closing I just want to thank each of you for your loyal cooperation in helping us care for so many of these precious children whom I know are precious to Jesus too.

With my love to each of you,
Alcyon

While all of us at ICC were saddened by Alcyon’s passing, we are encouraged by the blessed hope we have in Jesus, which she believed in with all her heart—that one day we will be together with our Lord and reunited with all our loved ones in an earth made new.

Please know that you are leaving a lasting legacy of love through your support.

We have included a few of the messages received through posts and messages on Facebook that came in response to the news of Alcyon’s passing:

“We are sure she will inherit the kingdom of God, as she had lived for Jesus and done the best for His precious children. In honor of her, we will try to do our best to carry on the task she started that we may meet her in the new earth to come.” — David, ICC administrator

“How sad to learn of the loss of my mother, my Mommy Fleck. Oh how much I loved her, and she knew it! Thank God for that Angel who gave us life… What we are today we owe to that beautiful family which forged values and principles within us for eternity.” — From one of “His Kids”

“I love you Mommy, you who are everything, and thanks for helping all of us from the children’s village. You and you alone are our heroine most loved in this world.” — From one of “His Kids”

“A person filled with love, generosity and service. Mommy Fleck always gave love in our lives. We carry her in our heart, but we realize that we will see her in Heaven together—the family that we are.” — From one of “His Kids”

“The feeling of all of us who were impacted by the unconditional service of Mommy Fleck is the same, sadness. But we know she rests in peace. I wish I would have been able to tell her personally, ‘Thanks for changing my life.’” — From one of “His Kids”

You may view a video of Alcyon’s memorial service at this link: http://vimeo.com/140318853

Volunteers Making A Difference At ICC

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Laughter cascades down the stairwell at the ICC home office in Vancouver, Washington. Is there a staff party in full swing? Not at all. Today is mailing day and eleven enthusiastic volunteers have gathered in the upstairs conference room to stuff and prepare the monthly Qué Pasa newsletter. Even though there is light-hearted conversation, this task is critical to the ministry of ICC, and the volunteers seated around the tables take it seriously.

Dorothy Larson ICC volunteer

Dorothy Larson — ICC Volunteer. Dorothy coordiantes the volunteers who stuff the envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter. Dorothy has been a volunteer at ICC for thirty-three years. Volunteers are a vital component of the ICC ministry.

Dorothy Larson has been an ICC volunteer for almost as long as ICC has been in existence. She reckons that it was a couple of years after the start of ICC that she became involved with the mailings. That would be about 33 years ago. Dorothy coordinates the volunteer involvement in the mailings and ensures that everything is done correctly and efficiently. It usually takes from 8:00-10:30 on mailing mornings to stuff three to four items into each envelope. According to Dorothy, the volunteers prepare about 6,000 envelopes for each mailing. That includes the Spanish version of the Que Pasa which she processes herself.

Things are a bit different now. “When we first started,” Dorothy states; “we had to put the stamps on the envelopes and write the addresses.” Now, that process is automated. However, stuffing the envelopes is still done by hand and ICC is indebted to our faithful group of volunteers who willingly, and happily, do this task. When asked why she keeps coming back Dorothy replies with a big smile; “I love children.”

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

ICC children, staff, donors and volunteers comprise what we warmly refer to as the “ICC family.” Our mailing volunteers are part of the ICC family, and sometimes they involve their own family members. On this particular day, there are two married couples. One of the volunteers, Eileen, is the mother to Alanna Jones who is ICC’s sponsorship coordinator. Jean and Sandy are mother and daughter. Sandy says; “Mom and Dad used to come [to help with the mailings]. Dad used to invite me, and when he died, I used to bring mom because she couldn’t drive.”

The volunteers really seem to enjoy themselves and feel good about their contribution to the work of ICC. Bonnie B. has been volunteering for about six years. She states that “It’s a wonderful social time of Christian men and women. It’s fulfilling to now we’re helping orphans. It’s a blessing to be able to do that.”

Judy has been volunteering for about a year. When describing what’s going on she says; “It’s a Christian fellowship. It’s fun to get together and do something worthwhile.”

Eileen adds; “It’s very healthy because we laugh a lot.”

It’s not possible for all the volunteers to participate every month. According to those seated at the table more volunteers are needed. Bonnie says; “This room used to be so full that we ran out of places for people to sit. We’re always in need of more volunteers.”

We appreciate the work of our faithful volunteers. They truly make a difference in the lives of ICC children by helping us communicate with you, our extended ICC family. If you’d like to join this important group of volunteers on mailing mornings, please contact the ICC office (800-422-7729) for further details.

Sarahʼs Story

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The following is a personal account from Sarah Johnston. Her story was featured by Alcyon Fleck in the July 2012 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter.

This is my story about how the Lord has been with me through the years. I was born in 1980 in a Mayan village in Guatemala. There was a civil war going on in Guatemala at that time. I was still a baby when a battle took place in my village in which many people were killed. I was on my mother’s back when a bullet took her life and wounded my feet.

This is all I know about the family I was born into, and the people of my village. In spite of the tragedy God was looking out for me, even though I did not know Him at that time. God sent a nice man who loved children to find me and a little boy. He took us to the military hospital in Guatemala City.

At the hospital they gave me the name “Mercedes Lopez.” The little boy and I did not stay at the hospital for long because the general that found us knew of a lady that loved children and had an orphanage in Guatemala called Los Pinos. The general called Mrs. Fleck and told her to come and see the two children he found. She did come to the military hospital to see us. I was about ten months old and stood in my crib when Mrs. Fleck saw me. The boy’s name was Lazaro, and he was even years old. He had a wound on his head and his hand.

In the limousine on the way to Mrs. Fleck’s home I sat on her lap and Lazaro sat close beside her. Not knowing where I was going I began to scream in terror and clung to Mrs. Fleck’s neck so hard that she could barely breathe. Mrs. Fleck was so nice to me and the boy. She rocked and held me until I went to sleep. In the morning Mrs. Fleck took us to the “Los Pinos” [children’s village] in Guatemala.

Sarah's First Days at Los Pinos

Sarah (in the yellow dress) not long after she came to live at Los Pinos

Juana, one of the ladies that worked at “Los Pinos,” took me to a house where the house mother could handle another little one. I do not know how long I was at “Los Pinos,’ but I do know that God was still looking out for me. Little did I know that God already had a good Christian family for me. This family lived in Vermont on a farm. They had two older children and a little baby boy, but the mother was praying that God would give her a little Indian girl. So when she found a little picture with a story of me in the Adventist Review it touched her heart, and she knew I would fit in the family if it was God’s will.

But it took nine months until they got me, even though they thought I would come at Christmas. It was a good thing I did not come at Christmas because Christine, the mother, had an operation in January and it took her a long time to heal after the operation. When she tried to do so she had a terrible headache which made it impossible for her to stay up or eat sitting erect. After much prayer the Lord urged her to exercise in the snow crawling around crying out for God’s help to be fit for her children and Sarah.

Sarah Lisa was the name they chose after they were told of Mercedes. In God’s time, exactly nine months later, the three year old came and “mommy” was well enough to receive her girl. Roger, the father, had almost traveled to Guatemala to pick me up since they were told to do so by the orphanage, but as it turned out he did not need to since Mrs. Fleck had another girl to bring and brought me up with her. Christine bought a pretty pink and white dress and shoes and mailed it away to Guatemala for me. And then they waited at the Boston airport until the plane I was on arrived. They found me with the pretty dress. I looked like a doll. Christine ran and picked me up. I looked surprised and they were surprised at how small I was.

Sarah After Joining Her New Family

Sarah after she was adopted into her new family

My new family was prepared for crying and a sleepless night as we all slept in a hotel. But I slept and their one and a half year old baby boy slept also. On the long trip home we stopped to get some food, and that is when they found out that I had the biggest appetite a tiny girl could have. I ate until all of the food was gone, and Christine wondered if maybe she gave me too much. Eating was something that I knew how to do. The next day my mom was shocked at how my little tummy got so big. Then she discovered that I had eaten five big pancakes. All night my mom worried that I may be sick, and yet I lived through it. I clung to my mother’s neck as she carried me up into the bedrooms, and I would not let go until she put me into my crib.

My mom was a good mother. She loved me and taught me about Jesus, but sad to say, I wasn’t always a nice little girl or have Jesus in my heart. I used to get so angry at my mom and brother, and I also stole. What made it worse was that I lied to my mom. It made her sad and Jesus, too, but thank God my mom did not give up on me. She did a lot of praying for me, and God answered her prayers. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was sixteen and was baptized.

I used to wonder why God spared my life and not my mom’s, but now I know why, because He wanted to use me to tell others of Him. I really do like children and they like me. My mom did some babysitting, and I helped her with the children. When I was twenty-eight, I helped take care of three foster children. I enjoyed it a lot. I sang Jesus songs with them and read stories to them. They enjoyed it, too. I become an aunt when I was seven and a half year old. I do not mind being an aunt, because I love my nieces and nephews. The only thing is that they all grew big and tall and I stayed short. But that’s OK.

I left home when I was twenty-nine and went to work up at Laurelbrook Academy. I worked at the nursing home doing different things. I also worked in the garden with some of the students. I also worked at the day care. I enjoyed doing that. I also helped out in Sabbath School with the little children.

Sarah Today

Sarah as she is today

Now I am thirty-one and married, and I know God will still use me as long as I am willing to be used. It does not make any difference how big or small or how old you are or what your background is or was. He can and wants to use you to help others to be ready when Jesus comes. May my story be an encouragement that God does work things out in our lives for His good. One of my favorite Bible verses is “All things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

May God bless you,
Sarah Johnston

News of Renewed Militia Action in DR Congo

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Some of you may have heard reports about an outbreak of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to ICC’s director in the DRC, Desire Murhima, “the fighting is 430 km (267 miles) from Patmos Village… Up to now our project is not affected by this fighting.”

ICC’s children are blessed to live on the Island of Idjwi which is not of any strategic significance in the wars that have ravaged this country. Desire also said that while the fighting is going on “the price of food, construction materials and other things increases.” In your prayers, please remember ICC’s children and staff in this war-torn country.

Dear Friends and Family

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Here is an excerpt from a letter recently received from Lilly Kaligithi, director of ICC’s Sweet Home Children’s Village in India.

Dear Friends and Family;

We have come to the end of the year 2011. We look back with gratitude and praise in our hearts to God for the wonderful way He led us. We are also very grateful to all the ICC leaders and our sponsors for their generous gifts and love. Just look at the Sweet Home Family in the picture and see how happy and healthy the Sweet Home family is. Thank-you again for all your support.

We experienced many happy moments of pride when our children received awards for their high scholastic and winning in speech and Bible contests. We just had graduation for the class of 2012. [One of our boys] who has been standing first in his class for the past ten years was the president of the class. My eyes and heart were filled with tears of joy and pride as he delivered his presidential speech. Wish you were here with me to share this joy. Soon tenth and twelfth class students will be writing their board examinations. Please remember them in your prayers…

We wish you a blessed and prosperous New Year. May you enjoy good health and peace throughout the year to come.

With sincere thanks,

Lilly

A photo of Lilly and the kids from ICC's Sweet Home Children's Village in India

Lilly, the kids and the staff from ICC's Sweet Home Children's Village in India wish you a wonderful new year.

Sad News From The Congo

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Our ICC project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is located on Idjwi Island which is located in the middle of Lake Kivu. This lake holds a certain natural beauty and is very much a part of our Patmos Children’s Village. Some of the ICC Children at The Patmos Children’s Village have actually ended up being part of our project in Congo due to tragedies that have occurred on this particular lake.

The last week of December, 2011, our Congo family felt such a tragedy. Our partner organization in Congo, Prolasa, owns a boat that is used for transporting food, construction materials and passengers on this lake. On December 28, their boat was crossing the lake with passengers and cargo when a severe storm struck. It was during this storm that the boat and all supplies sank, and all passengers were in the water for about 10 hours during the night.

While all the passengers had life jackets, sadly, only 10 of the 17 passengers were able to be rescued. Seven are still unaccounted for, including a woman, a 12-year-old boy and five children between the ages of two and three. None of those lost are from the ICC Patmos Children’s Village, none-the-less, it is a tragedy felt by the entire village.

Our hearts go out to the families of the lost, and we pray for our Congo family as they deal with this tragedy.

Food Is A Luxury In The DR Congo

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Some days it feels as though we are not all living on the same planet. Or as Paul Harvey used to say; “It is not one world.”

A story in the January 3 New York Times, “For Congo Children, Food Today Means None Tomorrow” by Adam Nossiter, caught our attention. It told how parents in the DR Congo can only afford to feed their children just one meal every other day.

This is what Joel Reyes, our public relations director, posted to his Facebook page about how ICC’s children have been effected.

“I hope some of you are able to read this article. It is a reality most of us ignore and some may even think is a myth. We had heard that our children in our ICC Congo project were only eating two meals per day because they didn’t have the budget to provide three [meals per day]. We were horrified when we heard that, however the kids were not complaining. They thought they had it good, and they did considering the rest. They are eating three meals [per day] now.”

Please take a few minutes to read this story. The events in this article are the daily life for millions of people in the DR Congo.

We would also like thank you for supporting “His Kids.” As you can see by this story your support of ICC truly does make a difference.

Here’s the link to the story–
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/world/africa/in-congolese-capital-power-cut-applies-to-food.html

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

A photo illustration of party favors and ribbons

We would like to take this time to wish all of our readers and supporters a wonderful, joyous and blessed New Year.

Thanks to all of you for what you do for “His Kids!”