Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

Violent Storm Damages Las Palmas Crops

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve received some disturbing news from Mario Lora, ICC’s business and farm manager at the Las Palmas Campus in the Dominican Republic. On Friday, May 27 an isolated and violent storm swept through the Las Palmas campus and caused extensive damage to the farm crops which had been growing in such abundance.

Weather forecasts had not predicted the storm, and it hit the campus unexpectedly and with terrific force. According to Mario, “Its radius of action was practically in our locality and towards the mountains. In fact, the nearby city of Bonao had no damage.

“We understand that it affected an area of about 10 square kilometers with us in the center. We haven’t heard anything about it on the news, and everyone who comes here is surprised when they see the destruction.

“In fact, one of the engineers in charge of the greenhouse project, when he came here was stunned because he didn’t know this had happened, and he was investigating a lot to see what happened. It was quick, only lasting about 20 to 25 minutes as a strong storm, and then the rain lasted for a long time afterward. There was no warning to prepare.”

Plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm destroyed by a focused storm.

Some of the destroyed plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm

About 2/3 of the plantain crop was damaged by the heavy winds and rain that accompanied the storm. Many of the trees were laden with plantains and according to Mario, “With a few exceptions, all trees that had stalks (bunches) of plantains fell to the ground. The stalks varied a lot, from ones that were just flowering to those that were ready to harvest.

Of the trees that didn’t have stalks, only a few fell to the ground, but a very small percentage. We think that about 2,500 plantain trees fell over. Each stalk has about 30 to 40 plantains, which at the current market price are worth between 5 and 7 pesos, so each stalk is worth about 150 pesos [$4.05]. When we multiply that by 2,500 trees, it comes out to a loss of about 375,000 pesos [$10,135]. Also, we were left with about 1,250 trees which will start flowering in the next three months.”

The loss of the trees means more than the loss of the crop. A tree can produce several crops, plus they produce other “children” – small trees that grow up to the next generation. Mario, the staff and children at Las Palmas have quickly started the process of rehabilitating trees that can be salvaged and planting new trees.

Mario states that, “when we plant a new crop it takes about 8 or 9 months to start producing.” One piece of good news is that the project already has enough seeds to do the replanting and together with rehabilitating the damaged trees, the project should be able to expand the crop. This will have to wait until the rains allow the workers to prepare the land.

Plantains are a staple crop at the children’s village. This loss will certainly impact the project. Mario continues. “Of the production that we had projected, we consume almost the entire crop. What was happening at this moment was that as the plantains would get ripe we would cut them for use in the homes. They were not all ready to cut at the same time. In fact, many times we have had to cut them before they were really ready because of the needs in the homes.”

One of the other important crops at Las Palmas is Yucca. Mario estimated that perhaps 30% to 40% was affected. Since Yucca are tubers, it’s difficult to say at this time what the effect of the storm may be. However, there was significant damage to the plants themselves and the tubers may rot or not develop normally.

Garden vegetables were also hit hard, and according to Mario, “everything we had was ruined.” The house father and children of house 4 on the Las Palmas campus had put forth dedicated effort to supply the homes with vegetables. Mario estimates that this was valued at the equivalent of $135 per week so over the next 8 weeks as they wait for new crops to mature, they’ll need to spend about $1,080 to replace what was lost.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm

There are some bright spots in all this discouraging news. All the children and staff escaped unharmed. Praise God for that! Also, the sweet potato, corn and pineapple crops were not damaged. As well, there is something telling about how Mario describes the attitude of the staff and children on campus. “What has impressed me the most in all this,” he states, “is the good spirit that exists among the employees and the kids. We can see complete unity in order to reestablish, with God’s help and our efforts, what has been damaged. We have courage to continue on as long as the Lord gives us the strength.”

We’re pleased to report that when the Versacare Foundation heard about this tragedy, they immediately provided a donation of $10,000 to help with this food emergency. What a blessing this is! Additional funds are needed, and if you would like to help, please mark your donation “Las Palmas Farm and Food Fund.” It will directly assist with this need.

Thank you for your generous support.

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

Another Shipment of Supplies for Romania

Friday, May 20th, 2011

IKN (ICC Netherlands) has sent another transport this week to Romania. Every year they send two full trucks with relief goods to the ICC Romania children’s village. This time the truck was filled with items like paint, 43 new children bicycles, adult and children’s clothing, CAT work clothing, and two big water tanks for catching rain water.

Paint for Romania

The paint recently shipped to ICC's Romanian project

Rain water collection tanks for ICC's Romanian project.

The rain water collection tanks for ICC's Romanian project.

Also included was roofing material. The ICC Romania Children’s village has a “lighthouse project” that provides assistance in the surrounding village. Around 40% of the people of this village live in extreme poverty. The roofing material will be used to put new roofs on 10 homes. This will be done this summer by a group of ADRA Netherlands volunteers.

Loading the roofing materials onto the truck hauling the shipment of supplies to ICC's project in Romania.

Loading the roofing materials onto the truck

Thanks for reading!

Lambro Triantos
Director IKN/ICC Netherlands

IKN on the Road

Friday, April 1st, 2011

On Monday, the 28th of March, Dimitri and Lambro Triantos (from IKN or ICC the Netherlands) visited some companies. There are many companies who donate products which IKN sends to the ICC Children’s Villages.

Here is an overview of their visit on that day:

At 10:00 a.m. Dimitri and Lambro Triantos visited Enza Zaden in Enkhuizen. The company donated over 350 containers for planting seeds. These containers will be distributed later this year to the ICC Children’s Villages in Romania and the Dominican Republic.

Dimitiri Triantos collects seeds trays for our Romanian children's village

The seed trays donated for ICC Romania by Enza Zaden

At 11:30 a.m. Dimitri and Lambro visited the company N.A.G. in Westknollendam. Robin Visser, director of the company, which specializes in gutter systems, decided a few weeks ago to support the bakery in Romania by supplying roof gutters for the bakery. His father, Herman Visser, and a colleague will travel to Romania this summer to install the roof gutters themselves.

Dimitri and Lambro got a tour through the company and were introduced to an ingenious system called Roof Alerts. Anyone who is interested in roofs, should go to http://www.roofalerts.com.

Robin Visser, Dimitri Triantos and Visser tour the Roof Alerts plant

Robin Visser (left) and Herman Visser (right) of N.A.G. give Dimitri Triantos (center) a tour of the N.A.G. plant where the roof gutters for ICC Romania are being made

Rehamij in Bergambacht was the final stop for the day. Dimitri and Lambro arrived there at 2:30 p.m. They were received by Jason van Rijen. The company specializes in selling work clothes. IKN received a number of boxes with CAT clothing. The clothing will be used for mission trip volunteers and the team of ICC Romania.

CAT Diesel Clothing for ICC Romania

Jason van Rijen of Rehamij shows off one piece of the CAT clothing that was donated to ICC Romania

Jason van Rijen of Rehamij and Lambro Triantos

Lambro Triantos thanks Jason van Rijen (left) of Rehamij for the CAT clothing donated by Rehamij for ICC Romania

Thanks for reading!
Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

House Parents – Difference Makers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

It should be obvious; however, it bears mentioning. Effective, loving house parents are critical in making the mission of ICC successful. ICC’s Director of Children’s Services, Sharon Fleck, recently saw this in action when she visited ICC’s project in Romania. For a variety of reasons, it has been a challenge to find and keep house parents at that particular project. When house parents have left in the past, social aunts have had to help fill the void.  Though the children receive good care from the aunts, a special bond takes place when the children have consistent care and  nurture from loving house parents.

House parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

The house parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

We are very thankful that the homes at ICC Romania all have quality house parents now.  The children are happy, and it is evident that they truly enjoy spending time with their house parents. One little boy especially finds great joy in doing sweet things for his house mom.

To all house parents in the ICC family we offer our heartfelt appreciation for all you do to care for “His Kids.”

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

First Fruits at DEWS Sweet Home

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Rick and Sharon Fleck have recently visited ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home in India. You may recall in a previous posting that extensive flooding swamped our children’s village as can be seen in this picture. There was great concern about the welfare of our campus gardens. However, God was merciful and the project recently harvested some of the produce.

Rick sent a report that included this photo of Kumari, our children’s services director. She is displaying the first fruits of the string bean crop. These beans were given as a special offering in church. This was to make a public declaration that we owe everything to God. Our ICC India family is very happy that they were able to give this special gift to God.

Kumari shows the beans from the first harvest of ICC India's garden after recent heavy flooding.

Kumari, ICC India's children's services director, shows the beans from the first harvest of ICC India's garden after recent heavy flooding.

The older boys and house fathers at Sweet Home are the ones mainly responsible for working in the gardens. Together they have put forth the effort to make the gardens productive and beautiful once again. What a blessing that the gardens have recuperated after the devastating floods.

The ICC India gardens during the recent flooding

The flooded garden.

Lily Kaligithi
Director
ICC India/DEWS Sweet Home

IKN New Year’s Reception

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

On Tuesday the 11th of January IKN organized a New Year’s Reception. Around 65 sponsors, volunteers and IKN board members were present at the Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands.

Live music was performed during the reception

Musicians played live music during IKN's New Year's reception

During the evening five new child sponsors signed up after watching a documentary which was recently made in Romania.

IKN's New Year's reception at Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands.

IKN's New Year's reception at Festino Party centre in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands

The main goals for the IKN office in 2011 are to raise funds for the food and educational programs of several ICC Children Village’s, support the bakery project in Romania, the building of a secondary school and a water project in Congo, and sent three relief transports to Romania and the Dominican Republic.


Lambro Triantos
Director IKN/ICC Netherlands

I Am Writing To You With A Very Sad Heart

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Our ICC children’s villages are true homes for our children. Most of them never had a family until they came to our children’s village. Through the love and care that they receive, they are transformed. As they grow and become independent, with time they move on to lead lives of their own.

However, for those of us who nurtured them and saw them grow, the story doesn’t end there. They continue to be part of our lives and our love for them does not fade with time. We keep in touch with them. Many times we counsel them. Sometimes, like any loving parent, we even scold them if they allow us to. We rejoice in their triumphs and hurt in their sorrows. They are our kids, members of our family.

I always enjoy sharing with you the hundreds of success stories from the children that come to the refuge that ICC offers them and then move on to lead successful lives.

Today I am writing to you with a very sad heart. Last week we were notified about the tragic death of two members of the ICC extended family in El Salvador. Oscar and Sarita grew up in our children’s village there. They had both left to lead lives of their own. The ICC family mourns their death together and we long like never before for our Lord’s return.

Photo of Oscar who was killed recently in El Salvador

Oscar

Photo of Sara who was killed recently in El Salvador

Sarita

Yes, we are sick of so much violence, death, and pain. This old world is only getting sicker and sicker by the minute, and we know it will not get any better. Please help us by praying for all the innocent children who are caught in the middle of this mess, and for our young people who, after enjoying the safety of our children’s villages, have to go into the real world and face all of Satan’s fury and arsenal of death.

Let’s cling tight to our Blessed Hope, that one day soon He will come and end all this sorrow and pain. We at ICC talk of the big picnic we will have in heaven with all the children that were saved through the work of this ministry. Please reserve the date; you are invited too.

Joel Reyes
Director of Public Relations
Project Administrator Emeritus, ICC El Salvador

A Day at the Beach

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Here is a message some of us at ICC received from Lilly Kaligithi recently. I thought you ‘d be interested in her report and some of the pictures she sent.


We had a wonderful time together. All our children were home from Spicer College, Bangalore, Rajahmundry, Vizag and Vijayawada. Our children enjoyed the Christmas and New Year special meals. I took them to Perupalem beach on the lst evening just to enjoy the inspiring sights of the sea and sunset. Today I am giving them the last picnic with special meal of the season. Thank you for the money you had sent for Christmas celebrations.

Lily Kaligithi and children from ICC India/Sweet home enjoy the beach

Lily Kaligithi and children from ICC India/Sweet Home visit Perupalem beach

Will you please pass on our grateful thanks to all those who have contributed? School is re-opening tomorrow and we are going to get busy again. Xth and XIIth Graders have Division examinations from the 10th of this month. Please pray for them. The Govt. Board Examinations are fast approaching—Practical examinations are in February and theory in March.

[Here are] the photos of our trip to the Perupalem beach on the lst of Jan, 2011. Children got into the water in the evening. I just want to share this joy with you.

Children from ICC India/Sweet Home enjoy the beach

Children from ICC India/Sweet Home enjoy the beach

With New Year greetings,

Lilly


Notice the emphasis of having all the children home for the holiday. Just like your home, ICC homes provide a sense of family and community to our kids—young and old. What a blessing your donations and support continue to be to our ICC children in India and all the projects of ICC.  Thanks for continuing to make this ministry possible.

Thanks for reading,
Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

New Year’s Wishes From ICC India/Sweet Home

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Lilly Kaligithi, our director of the ICC children’s village in India sent a New Year’s greeting. I wanted to share this message with you and thank you for your continued support of our ICC Children in India.

Group photo of the ICC India/DEWS Sweet Home Family

The ICC India/Sweet Home Family

We wish you a bright and happy New Year.  May you experience the wonder of God’s abiding love as He guides you through each day of the year. Thank you for all your love and support.

With many loving wishes,
Sweet Home Family


Thanks for reading,
Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

ICC Spaghetti Days Once More a Big Hit

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Around 117 people found their way to the ‘Spaghetti Hall’ in Mechelen, for ICC Belgium’s annual Spaghetti Fest. After the busy Spaghetti Fest of 2009, our chef, Wim Dewindt, felt through his entire body that something needed to change. He proposed to organize this year’s festivity over two days.

The hall where the event was held

The hall in Mechelen, Belgium where the spaghetti feed was held

So, this year people were able to enjoy the tasty spaghetti of Wim on Saturday evening, November 20th  and on Sunday afternoon, November 21st, and with success. For ICC Belgium’s Director, Ronny, and his team the work was better divided, less stressful and everything went very smoothly.

Folks at the spaghetti feed enjoying their food.

Patrons of the spaghetti feed enjoy their dinner

The sales table was a huge success too! Denise Luyckx, a member of the Advent church in Mechelen, provided something new to sell: beautiful glass plant coasters on wheels. Next to that she also displayed beautiful Christmas pieces. Carmen and Wim again made some beautiful handmade pieces to sell, and Francine and her friend Dirk were very busy guiding all the sales in a good way.

Items sold at the spaghetti feed

The sales table with the items that were sold at the spaghetti feed

The total profit of these spaghetti days was 1.904,00 euro, around 2.520,00 USD. Thanks to this event we have reached our goal of 10.000,00 euro for the ‘Educational Program’ at the ICC Patmos Children’s Village in Congo.

Group photo of the folks who made the spaghetti feed possible

These are the folks who made the spaghetti feed possible

[Top row; L to R] Mario Bornbergen, Jeannine Vermeulen, Wim Dewindt (Chef), Ronny Van Dessel, Carmen Hamel (wife of the chef), Francine Vandenbogaerde, Dirk, Coszack (assistant chef and brother-in-law to Ronny) and Ingrid Van Dessel (Sister of Ronny). [Middle row] Nikki and Lynn Coszack (Nieces of Ronny) and Trees Teughels in the middle. [Front row] Anja Voet and Rita Hamel (sister of Carmen Hamel).

A special thanks to those who made a success of this event. The next appointment is for 2011!

Reported by:
Adelin Vermeulen
Volunteer ICC Belgium

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Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC