Archive for September, 2017

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.

Pathfinders — A Blessing that You make Possible!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Pathfinder programs that you make possible through your gifts are just one example of how your support is blessing ICC children.

Thank you for supporting the children so they can participate in the life-changing experiences of Pathfinders. This includes providing funds for uniforms and special activities like camporees.

What an amazing opportunity Pathfinder activities are for the children! These experiences will stay with them for a lifetime. On behalf of the children whose lives you touch with your generous support, thank you so very much.

“Thank you for supporting the children in the life-changing experiences of Pathfinders.”

In 2017, the SDA church in Inter-America organized a division-wide camporee in the Dominican Republic. Because of the cost and distance, the Los Pinos Pathfinder Club in Guatemala was not able to attend. However, the staff organized their own camporee-type activity with another local club that was newly formed and had never been to a camporee before.

Your support of Pathfinders gives the children an opportunity to learn important lessons and skills they can take with them through life.

Your support of Pathfinders gives the children an opportunity to learn important lessons and skills they can take with them through life.

The children participated in specialty classes (honors) that included Basic First Aid, Orienteering, Family Life, Cats, Trees and Shrubs, and Human Sexuality (taught by the new psychologist).

Other events included competitions, physical activities, spiritual activities, marching and an investiture. The children also had the opportunity to share their faith by traveling to the local town of Poptun to pass out books to people on the streets. According to Joel Carpio, Los Pinos director, “it was a great blessing, and our kids enjoyed sharing experiences with this new club.”

Since the Inter-American Division camporee was held in the Dominican Republic, the Las Palmas children had a great desire to participate. Your support made this possible, and the children had a wonderful time!

The Las Palmas children thank you for providing funds for uniforms and the opportunity to attend the recent camporee. What a blessing you are for the children!

The Las Palmas children thank you for providing funds for uniforms and the opportunity to attend the recent camporee. What a blessing you are for the children!

Marching is one of the highlights for any camporee. At this event, the march was done by zones or regions. Our Las Palmas kids were blessed to be selected to be part of the group in the exhibition march. According to Samilin, Las Palmas Director, they marched really well and were well received by the people from the other countries. Undoubtedly this was an experience which was unique and once in a lifetime for them.

Mealtime was quite unique because none of the Pathfinder clubs were allowed to cook in the camp area because so many people were attending (more than 10,000). Meals were prepared and brought in from another location. The children would get very hungry while waiting, but when the food finally arrived, they would give a lot of thanks to God for the food and all His blessings.

According to Samilin, the opening ceremonies were spectacular for the kids. They had never seen nor participated in an activity like that and were awestruck by the beauty and the many colorful lights from the fireworks. While this was happening, our club leader and chaplain, Kauri, was comparing this to what it might be like at Jesus’ second coming, when the whole heavens will open and be filled with angels ready to seek His children. The children marveled at this spectacle and shouted with joy that it was like it might be when Jesus comes. Kauri urged the children to prepare to be able to shout with joy and happiness when we see that spectacle.

Pathfinder activities provide the staff a special time to mentor the children.

Pathfinder activities provide the staff a special time to mentor the children.

The Las Palmas children very much enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to experience this once in a lifetime event that you helped make possible for them. Here are words of appreciation from Samilin that she wrote especially for you:

Dear Donors,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you in a very special way for your generous donations which made it possible for one of the most beautiful dreams of these kids to come true — to be able to shine in their Pathfinder uniforms. This is one of the activities that they most enjoy, but at the same time it helps them in a very important way in their growth as persons academically and spiritually. They learn many useful things for their lives in the Club, and we can certainly say these experiences will go with them for the rest of their lives.

The experience that the kids had at the Inter-American Camporee was unforgettable. Thanks to God and the donations from our supporters and friends, our Pathfinders had the fun experience of sleeping in very good quality Coleman tents, and they got to participate in all the activities.

Thanking you with all my heart for your donations and the interest that you show to make it possible for our boys and girls to develop,

Sincerely yours,

Samilin Williams
Executive Director

— A Message of Concern From the President —

I’m concerned. I don’t worry that God can provide for His kids through this ministry. But I am human, and feel concern as I see that donations this year are running behind last year and budgets are not being met for our children’s villages. It might not seem that it would make much of an impact if you neglect to send a donation, or delay your support for a couple of months. But it all adds up and makes a big impact on the funds for our children.

So I pray that God will heal my concern and prove once again that He will provide for all His children, and that includes you, dear friend.

Rick Fleck