Archive for July, 2011

New Zealand ICC Chapter Established

Friday, July 29th, 2011

[This post was updated on 02 Aug 2011]

It is with pleasure that we welcome ICC New Zealand (ICC NZ) as the latest chapter within the ICC family. ICC NZ is now registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission.

Four trustees have graciously accepted appointments to the new chapter. They are Paul Devine, who has been appointed director; Margaret Saunders who has been appointed Secretary-Treasurer; Pastor Neil Thompson, who is responsible for marketing and Mr. Brent Ennor. ICC NZ has opened a bank account, and Pastor Thompson is working on the marketing material which will soon be ready for distribution. Once this material is prepared, the trustees plan to share the news about ICC NZ around the two Adventist conferences in New Zealand. They tell us that service to others is their motivation.

Here is more background information about the trustees of ICC NZ.

Margaret Saunders of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Margaret Saunders

Margaret and her husband, Owen, run a successful farming business in the South Island.  Owen is also chairman of the local Adventist Church School Board and chairman of the Bainfield Adventist Charitable Trust in Invercargill, that provides residential care for 50 people. The Trust also provides financial assistance for child and youth-orientated needs in New Zealand. Margaret has been on two ICC Cambodia mission trips, while Owen has been on three, all coordinated by ICC Australia.

Neil Thompson of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Neil Thompson

Pastor Neil Thompson is the New Zealand Union Conference Youth Leader based in Christchurch. Neil knew Merilyn Beveridge, former ICC Australia Director, from his work as a youth leader in Victoria, Australia. Neil is strongly committed to ICC and its mission and has also been on two mission trips to Cambodia, both of which were coordinated by ICC Australia.

Brent Ennor is a successful businessman based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Brent has a heart to help others less fortunate than himself. He has set up a trust called Mainland Christian Foundation. This is designed to assist South Island students to attend the church’s tertiary institution, Avondale College, in Australia and to assist local churches also.

Brent Ennor of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Brent Ennor

In addition Brent’s eldest son and daughter in-law are actively involved in areas of the third world. Jessica works for ADRA based in Sydney, Australia, after completing an undergraduate degree in International Development. Reuben was one of the photographers for the recent Asian Aid documentary and has just returned from Africa and Asia as part of consultancy on media for ADRA Australia. Reuben is a very talented, creative photographer. This exposure through his family has provided Brent an insight into third world countries and their needs.

Paul Devine of ICC's New Zealand Chapter

Paul Devine

Paul Devine became involved with ICC a few years ago when Pastor Neil heard that Merilyn and Don Beveridge where traveling to South New Zealand and were looking for someone willing to accept the responsibility of starting an ICC chapter in that country. Neil was Paul’s church pastor at the time, and he suggested to him that this might be a challenge he would enjoy. Pastor Neil arranged a meeting between Merilyn and Paul. Since that meeting, plans have been underway to start a New Zealand chapter for ICC.

Paul and his wife Shirley worked for 6 years in the Western Pacific Union Mission based on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. As part of Paul’s work as the WPUM Education Director, he traveled through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati visiting schools and staying in the villages with the local population. As part of his role he also traveled through Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. Later as a principal of a boarding school in New Zealand, Paul also traveled through parts of Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.

All four of the trustees have bought into the way ICC operates its orphanages, which they see as a model that offers children the example of how a family was designed to operate. They also strongly believe in the micro-finance programs initiated in various Asia/Pacific countries where ICC has children’s villages.

New Zealand is a very small country, with a population of around 4.5 million. There is a Seventh-day Adventist Church membership of approximately 11,000. Operating a charity within guidelines of the New Zealand government can be a challenge. According to Paul Devine, “For a donor to receive tax deductibility, 50% or more must be spent in New Zealand. As we intend that all our money is to go overseas, minus administration costs, you can see we have a problem. As a result we plan to work with ADRA NZ on some joint development projects.

Paul says that after ICC NZ has developed a track record over several years, “the system” allows them to approach a member of parliament and ask them to sponsor ICC NZ when new entities are being considered for tax deductibility purposes. If approved then all donations would be tax deductible. This is their medium-term target.

It is a blessing to have ICC New Zealand join the ICC family! We look forward to watching and supporting the development of this chapter.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve

International Development Director ICC

Patmos Children’s Village Welcomes Special Guests

Friday, July 15th, 2011

On June 26th, ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo hosted a special delegation lead by Pastor, W. Nathanael, General Secretary of the East Central Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to our village director, Désiré, Pastor Nathanael was pleased with the Patmos Children’s Village and has promised to interest benefactors upon his return to the Division office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Désiré is hoping that there will be a delegation of church officials from the Division and General Conference when the village church is dedicated in October.

Special Guests Arrive at the Patmos Children's Village

The guests arrive at the Patmos Children's Village.

The guests are welcomed to the Patmos Children's Village

The guests are welcomed to the Patmos Children's Village

The Patmos Pathfinders club welcomes the guests.

The Patmos Pathfinders club welcomes the guests.

The Ceremonies Continue

The ceremonies continue.

Agriculture—Reaping the Benefits

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The agriculture programs at ICC’s children’s villages are busy with activity this summer. One such program is at the Fountain of Life Children’s Village. Recently we received an update about their first harvest of plantains. Felix, the project director, reports that “In one month we’ll be harvesting continuously, and we’ll be able to sell some of the harvest—not in great quantity, but we will no longer be buying and we’ll start getting some income.”

Plantains that are part of the first harvest from our farm at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

The First of the First. The first plantains to be harvested at the ICC Nicaragua farm.

Agriculture is such a vital part of our ICC children’s villages. It benefits the children in so many positive ways by providing a balanced diet, practical work experience, and income from the sale of extra produce. However, there are subtle benefits as well.

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

This child from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua helps to harvest a bunch of plantains almost as big as he is!

Imagine a young child being rescued from life on the streets. He has no concept of the safety and security of a home and family, and begging food may be how he survives. Now, place that same child in an ICC village and give him love, security and nutritious meals.

Take him to the garden and patiently teach him about the ways of plants. Let him prepare the soil for planting, sow seeds, and wait expectantly for sunshine and rain. Watch him search day-by-day for the first tiny leaf to poke through the soil. Help him care for the tender plant and harvest the first fruits of diligent labor.

Then teach him about his Heavenly Father who loves and cares for him and who has a plan for him to grow and develop and bear fruit. With such therapy, an orphan child cannot help but gain a positive sense of belonging. And when that occurs, the orphan is no longer really an orphan and can grow to his or her full potential just like a well cared for plant in the garden.

You can see from these pictures that the plantain crop is well cared for in Nicaragua. The children have much for which to be thankful, and because you care, we are able to care. Your investment in the children’s programs of ICC enables agriculture programs like the one in Nicaragua to flourish.

On behalf of the children, thank-you for your continued support,

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC