Archive for the ‘Congo (DRC)’ 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!

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.

You Saved This Child. But, She Needs Sponsors.

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Jeanne* lived a normal life, not so unlike the lives we all live. Yes, because she lived in The Congo, her culture and other things were different than the ones we have grown accustomed to, but her everyday life in her family was somewhat like ours.

A photo of Jeanne as a young girl after arriving at PatmosYes, like ours until the one day that Jeanne will never forget. This was the day that would take away everything that she cherished the most.

Jeanne’s whole world was yanked away from her due to her father’s second wife, Jeanne’s stepmother. Even though Jeanne’s parents were divorced and her father had re-married, both of her parents still had a connection to each other. That connection was Jeanne.

Jeanne’s stepmother was jealous and decided to come up with a plan to get rid of both of Jeanne’s parents, and then little Jeanne as well. She decided to poison the food that Jeanne’s Mom and Dad ate.

One day, she found the opportunity to carry out her plan, so she acted on it immediately. Within days, Jeanne’s mom and dad were gone. The stepmother was thrilled, and now she decided to get rid of Jeanne. Instead of poisoning her, the stepmother decided to abandon Jeanne, leaving her to suffer and perish on her own.

Someone from the local area found little Jeanne, and they had heard about the ICC Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi. They heard that this was a wonderful place for orphaned or abandoned children to receive love and hope for their futures. It was a place where these children that came from horrific situations could find a refuge from the storms of their young lives.

This kind person brought Jeanne to the children’s village on Idjwi and told the terrible events that had brought her to this place and time. We don’t know what happened to Jeanne’s stepmother, but we do know what has happened to Jeanne. She was welcomed into the Patmos Island children’s village and became part of a loving family.

Jeanne at age 19Jeanne is 19 years old, and she is going to school. She is a little behind other children her age due to those tragic events that took place early in her life.

I just read a report about Jeanne that says she “is a brave, hardworking and a polite young lady. She helps her house mother by carrying in the water, cooking and searching for firewood for her family’s needs. Jeanne wants to become a teacher when she graduates from her studies in order to make a difference in the lives of other children.”

Jeanne’s is a story that is very much like many other children in our ICC villages. Sure, the circumstances may change, but the horror and traumatic events are similar in their devastation. Jeanne is turning the blessing she is receiving from you into a blessing for others by her helpfulness. Jeanne desires to help other children as she has been helped.

Sometimes it is overwhelming to think of the stories that have taken place in the lives of these kids. It can easily destroy the best of days for me if I just leave the story where it started.

Instead, I rejoice in the fact that your support has helped to make it possible for these children to have a reason to live. No matter the reason or event that caused them to become an orphan, they now have love and hope in their lives because of individuals like you who care enough to continue to support them in tremendous ways.

But, there is one big thing that Jeanne needs right how—someone to sponsor her.

Jeanne is entering the time at ICC that we call “The Harvest.” This is the time when the children graduate from school, graduate from their children’s village and become adults going out into the world to find employment and most importantly, share the love of Jesus with others.

This is a continuing story in which you play the main part as a sponsor or donor. Thank you for what you do to change the lives of these kids by helping to provide what is needed so they can have a happy continuing story!

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 Jeanne or one of these older kids and providing that hope that they cling to as they make their own choices for their futures.

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!

*The child’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

A Step In Faith

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
by: Doug Congleton

“Little Nicole was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness… all of her family members had perished in the landslides… To picture that little child terrified and alone, just crushes my heart…”

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

I know what Faith means to me  — Forever, Anywhere, I’ll, Trust, Him — FAITH. This is exactly what we have again just experienced here at ICC concerning a small girl that was going to die in Congo. The story of Nicole* is an amazing story of what I believe is the main reason that Jesus created ICC. Somehow I think you may feel the same way.

Recently, there were torrential rains, which caused devastating flooding in the Mulenge Mountains, in the Uvira territories of the Congo.

The few people who were able to survive could only stand by and watch as family, friends, animals, livestock, homes and belongings were swept away in the landslides of mud that roared through their village from the four full days of relentless downpour.

Can you imagine how this must have felt to stand there and witness such a horrific event and not be able to stop it?

One night after the storms subsided, one of the ADRA workers that was on-site heard the cries of a small child in the darkness. Little Nicole (we are guessing she is about three-years-old) was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness alone, since all of her family members had perished in the landslides. To picture that little child in my mind, terrified and alone, just crushes my heart.

The ADRA worker brought Nicole to our Patmos Children’s Village on the island and asked us if we could take her in since she would perish without help.

We are all aware that the finances are really stretched here at ICC right now, but for those of us who serve here, this request to take Nicole in IS the reason Jesus created ICC. We knew we did not have sponsors to financially support little Nicole, but we also knew that without help, she would perish.

So, we have taken Nicole into our ICC Family in faith — faith in a God who is “The Father of the fatherless,” and a faith in our ICC family that you would never choose to turn a child in need away due to financial challenges.

Désiré, our director at Patmos, just wrote a letter to us, and here is an excerpt:

“At the arrival of our new little girl, Nicole, she is very shy and she just isn’t eating all types of food given to her. We found out that in addition to the deadly accident of her parents, she had a case of malnutrition. She has discolored hair, a large belly and scabies on her legs. We ask anyone who has a heart for children to contribute financially to support our little girl Nicole.”

Nicole needed a life-saving love in order to survive. We made that choice in faith to somehow find a way to provide that love for her by adding her to our ICC family.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Today is the time for each one of us to step forward and make sure that Nicole, and others just like her have a place to call “home.” A home in a children’s village is a place where these children will find the love and hope that they lost or have not had before.

Every one of us can tell these children they are loved in spite of what has happened to them by giving our financial support in providing for them. In giving to these children, I am sure that your life will be blessed many times over. I know this because it happens in my life.

For just 41 cents per meal, which is only $1.22 each day, you can provide an entire day’s meals to a child in Congo. What a difference something as simple as meals can make for them!

If you can help financially, no matter how large or small, please do so today. Will you help Nicole and so many other children know that they are loved enough that someone somewhere will do something to help them? If you and I do not do this for these special children, who will?

Please mark your donations “The Nicole Project and we will make sure that 100% of your donations go directly to provide for Nicole and her new brothers and sisters in The Patmos Children’s Village.

God bless you for providing for these special children in need.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

*Nicole’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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!

YOU can help the Kids have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

This year, your contribution to the Gift Fund is best made before December 1.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, you may be thinking you would like to do something for the child, or children, you sponsor. Sending actual gifts to the children is discouraged because some children could receive more gifts than others which, as you can imagine, would most likely cause hurt feelings.

There is a way for sponsors who wish to give gifts at Christmas (this also works for Birthdays). ICC has a Gift Fund for each of the children’s villages. You may donate any amount to this fund. The fund is used to purchase gifts for all the children and to provide a special Christmas meal.

This is the best solution to helping you give gifts and make beautiful memories for your child. You may, if you so choose, let your child know you have contributed to their celebration in your next letter or card.

Sending your gift by December 1st will allow us time to forward your gift to the proper children’s village in time to prepare for the holiday festivities.

You may make your contribution with a check to ICC, at our website (ForHisKids.org), or by telephone (800.422.7729).

Please be sure your contribution designates your gift is for the Gift Fund. Also tell us to which children’s village it should be credited. This will assure it reaches the proper Gift Fund.

Thank you for making these wonderful children a part of your lives. We want to wish you blessed Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

A Special Message to You from the DR Congo

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Editor’s Note: The following letter thanks you for your generosity to the ICC children in the DR Congo.

 

An image of the header from the letter from Desire

Dear supporter of the children;

My name is Désiré, and I have the privilege of being the administrator of the ICC Congo Children’s Village. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your help for these children that were are caring for here in Africa. These kids have no other hope in life, but you have giving them hope. They have lost their families, but you have helped to restore a family to them.

I want to thank you especially for helping us to recover from the accident which took the life of our dear son Samuel. Thanks to your generous gifts, we have been able to pay our workers the salaries that were lost in the accident. Your generous gifts help our children have a new life.

I this country it is extremely important to get an education, and I want to thank you for your generous support so that our children can get a good education. God manifested His power and love to our orphans and unaccompanied children because during the graduation of this year 2016 on 25th, July, our your children of Patmos village have succeeded with 93% of the state examinations to complete the secondary school cycle. Those who study in higher education have succeeded with 86%. We praise the Lord and thank the sponsors for you assistance that have been very beneficial.

That is making a huge difference in their lives. But this education is very expensive here, and we have a lot of older children now whose education is more expensive, so we will be so grateful to you for your continued support.

Again, I want to thank you for your generous donations to help these children to have love, hope and a future. Most important os all os that they are learning to love Jesus, and they have a hope of eternal life.

May God give you a long life and success in your business.

Your brother in Christ,
Désiré

The official seala and signature from Desire's letter

One Donor’s Experience of Sacrifice and Blessing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The following is a letter sent by a donor who shares an experience of sacrifice and blessing. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

“We all know that the work of professional people in North America significantly impacts our lives. But a professional in Africa has the potential for far greater influence, and not just in the church, but also for their community and country.

Although a university education in an African country is not as expensive as in North America, it is not cheap. Most four-year courses of study range from $5,000 to $10,000, but some are as much as $14,000.

“After thinking and praying about this, I felt I could not sponsor a university student because I am nearing retirement and am not wealthy. Instead, I chose to fund an ICC student’s secondary education. But the Spirit of God continued to strive with my concerns about my financial future and I felt convicted to trust in His care.

Through a series of providential events, the secondary student that I sponsored began his studies in medicine, and I provided funding for his first year, thanking God for the opportunity, and planning to continue that support until he graduated.

“However, my employment circumstances did change—I was involuntarily “retired” and given a severance allowance. After seeking God’s guidance, I decided to trust Him with my financial future and was convicted to do more, so I provided two more years of support for my sponsored student out of my severance.

Will God provide for the student that I have sponsored? He has so far. Will he continue to provide for my family and me? This is a matter that I continue to bring to God in prayer. I am asking God to enable me to continue to be a source of blessing for my sponsored student and am working to cooperate with Him in any way that opens for me and by actively seeking new employment.

“I am determined to do more, but so far my current situation prevents me. Still, I believe that there are others who would stand in this breach that my personal circumstances have created. Would you ask ICC supporters to consider sponsoring a university student for one year, half a year or even just part of a year?

Every bit makes a difference, so I am praying hard that God will convict other hearts—as He has mine—because I am convinced every ICC student that is sponsored will be a power for good to the honor and glory of God.”

For His Kids,
Anonymous

Please remember that this is a great time to take advantage of supporting the education needs of the children. From now until October 15, your donation will be doubled — up to $30,000! Thank you for your support of “His Kids.”

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!

motionmailapp.com

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!

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.