Because Of Your Support — New Children Have Been Accepted At Las Palmas

August 23rd, 2016

Dominican Republic — Las Palmas

Because of your support new children have recently been accepted into the ICC family at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. I wish you could be on the campus of one of our children’s villages to see what it’s like when new children arrive!

You may be interested in knowing more about the special process involved in welcoming new children. First of all, they are brought to the children’s home where they meet their new mom and dad and siblings. They are greeted warmly and taken in and loved. They are given new clothes and are bathed. If they need medical attention or treatment they receive that. Many of the children are hungry when they first arrive and they receive food. This gives them assurance that their needs will be meet in their new home.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The welcoming is not complete until the entire children’s village has the opportunity to participate in a special dedication service for the children and their new parents. During the children’s first weekend, at one of the village worship services, they are called to the front along with their house parents. They are introduced to the rest of the children’s village family and greeted warmly. There is a special dedication prayer for the children and the parents. This service helps the new children realize that they are part of a larger community who also loves and cares for them.

You’ve read in the Que Pasa about the three siblings, Tomas, Diego and Renata, who recently came to live with us at Las Palmas. The last time I heard these children are all doing very well. Thanks to you, these children can now grow and develop within a safe and loving home.

In time they will be introduced to caring people like you who will come along side of them and provide financial support through monthly sponsorship. This is extremely important to them. It adds to their sense of security to know that people who live a long way from them are supporting them and praying for them. The role you play in making the children feel secure is extremely important. Thanks for all you do to make them feel loved and accepted.

Fuente de Vida Becomes A Fountain Of Life

August 16th, 2016

Nicaragua — Fuente de Vida

It was ICC supporters like you who made it possible to purchase land for the Fuente de Vida children’s village in Nicaragua. Fuente de Vida means “Fountain of Life.” We didn’t realize at the time that the property would have a literal fountain of life flowing beneath the surface. The children are very blessed to have a home on this property, and we’re certain God had his hand in this.

A severe drought has effected the region around our Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua. There is a deep well on the Fuente de Vida property. The project administrators are using the well to provide water to local villages.

A severe drought has effected the region around our Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua. We have a deep well on the Fuente de Vida property. The project administrators are using our water-tank-on-wheels to provide much-needed water to local villages.

The lack of rain has caused drought conditions in the surrounding area. Many people are suffering from a lack of water. But God has provided a wonderful well or “fountain of life” for the water needs of our children plus many neighbors in the community. During my visit it was wonderful to see how the children share their water with others. Water is drawn from the well and placed in a large holding tank on a wagon. The wagon is pulled by tractor into the surrounding area where it provides for those neighbors who are desperate for a drink of pure water.

Because we have this excellent source of water, we are also able to provide for the needs of the dairy herd which in turn helps the cows to produce adequate milk for the children. The extra is sold in the community and provides income that multiplies the power of your gifts. On Sabbath, the milk is donated to the hospital for woman and children.

What a blessing water is to this project and they are quick to pass the blessing on to others. Thank-you for helping to provide such a wonderful place for them to call home!

Your Support Is Having A Positive Effect

August 9th, 2016

El Salvador — Hogar Escuela Adventista (HEA)

Your support is having a positive effect on the lives of the older children in El Salvador. Because of you, kids like Abel, Miriam, and Daniel are pursuing a university education. You would be pleased to know that these kids are doing well and getting good grades. They are taking full advantage of this opportunity you are providing them. And they are grateful.

A photo of Anita at her graduation from the School of Nutrition at Linda Vista University.

Anita at her graduation from the School of Nutrition at the Linda Vista University in Mexico.

Anita is one of our older girls from El Salvador. She recently completed a degree in nutrition at Linda Vista, an Adventist University in Mexico. When she was only two years old, Anita and her three siblings were brought to HEA by the police. The children’s mother had complex problems of her own and couldn’t provide the care the children needed.

At HEA, Anita found a safe haven and flourished in the loving care she received. You can see the impact your support has had in her life especially when compared to the time when Anita first arrived. Thank you for what you’ve done for Anita and other children like her.

Heavy Rain, Floods, and Volcanoes In Nicaragua

July 22nd, 2016

Editor’s Note: We recently received information about some difficulties our project in Nicaragua is experiencing. The following is an excerpt from a message received from Felix, the project director. Please keep this project and those affected in your prayers. Thank you.

“I wanted to let you know that during the last week the Atlantic zone and the center of the country have been hit hard by intense rain so extreme that some houses have been destroyed and here in the ocean zone, the tides have been so high that they damaged part of the hotel of the Canadian friend. One day he had to transfer all the guests to Chinandega because the waves were enormous.

“The lot that we have farther up from there, in spite of being back farther from the ocean, also suffered damage, especially with the fence and the trees. This next week we will try to repair it.

“This week the church is collecting food and clothes to take or send through the emergency committee. We are helping them with the coordination. After the earthquake we had in this zone, we have had tremors almost daily, some of which are quite strong.

“The predictions aren’t comforting. A week ago they told us there is a volcano starting up in the north part of San Cristobal, but they don’t want to alarm the people. I talked with a friend who is in the Civil Defense, and he confirmed this. But they don’t want to cause fear—it might be something really serious or it might not be.

“We keep putting our trust in our Creator and doing what is within our power in order to have enough dry food stored and some canned food. We have prepared a package for each child with the basics in case of an emergency. Now when the budget of the month comes we will renew the pantries and will equip each vehicle with first aid kits. It’s better to be prepared.”

In Memorium : Alcyon Fleck

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

ICC no longer affiliated with ICC Australia

May 4th, 2016

This is to clarify that since 2014 International Children’s Care (ICC), with headquarters in Vancouver, Washington, which started in 1978, is no longer affiliated with the group in Australia doing business as International Children’s Care Australia (ICCA).

ICCA was started, funded and operated by ICC, but the ICC Board of Trustees voted in 2013 to cut ties with ICCA. This was after unsuccessful attempts to renew a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations due to differing operating philosophies and practices. ICC also informed ICCA that ICC no longer authorized the use of the ICC name or logo. International Children’s Care is a legally trademarked name in the USA, and we hope to avoid confusion by the Australia group changing their name and logo.

Las Palmas Receives Visitors

March 2nd, 2015

While in the Dominican Republic as members of a group participating in a church-building project, a party of friends, organized by Nancy Wilson (wife of Elder Ted Wilson, General Conference President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church), took time to visit our Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Jean Parchment, one of the groups members, wrote this first-hand account of the group’s visit to Las Palmas.

They toured the Las Palmas campus and spent time with the children and staff. We at ICC would like to thank our special visitors for taking the time to come and see our children’s village.

“My excitement grew as the bus turned into the gate of Las Palmas. We sensed that we were going to meet some very special and precious people.

“We were not disappointed. The director; Samilin Williams met us with warm hugs. Her welcome reflected the warmth and kindness of the staff and children to whom we were introduced.

“I was extremely impressed by the well kept campus. The school and homes also reflect cleanliness, orderliness and neatness.

“I must hasten to note that my greatest joy was seeing seemingly well-adjusted children of all ages, enjoying the care and love of their teachers, director and foster parents in a natural family setting.

“A handsome and very personable young man, a resident since he was four-years-old and now a college student, came to the director and spontaneously hugged her. Wow! I thought, this speaks volumes. What I witnessed truly demonstrated the warm relationship that they share.

“We were privileged to meet a young teacher, one who went through the system of Las Palmas and is now giving back, teaching with love and kindness.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

“Las Palmas demonstrates hands-on love of God for His children. I made the trip to deliver gifts but I received inspiration and blessings that cannot be measured by volume, time, money or distance.

“It is reassuring to realize that funds donated are being used as intended. My resolve to do all I can to help ICC projects deepened. This work is evangelism in its most powerful and effective form. Didn’t Jesus Himself declare that ministering to His precious children is pure and undefiled religion?

“Thank you ICC for your vision and sustained support of this awesome work, thank you for the privilege of being a part of your ministry.”

— Jean Parchment —

Fuente de Vida Protected from Earthquake

November 12th, 2014

Here is an excerpt from a project update sent to us by Felix, director of the Fuente de Vida children’s village in Nicaragua.

“… [W]e had an earthquake with the epicenter nearly in front of the Hogar along the Jiquilillo Coast. It was stronger than the one in 1972 in Managua [It was 7.4], but because it was at sea and very deep, it didn’t cause major damage.

The view from Fuente de Vida looking west towards the Pacific Ocean where the earthquake occured

The view from Fuente de Vida looking west towards the region of the Pacific Ocean where the earthquake occurred

“They say the shaking was terrible, and I say ‘they say’ because in the homes at the Hogar it wasn’t felt very much. We are on the rock and they have good foundations. Most of the kids didn’t even wake up.

“It was at 9:50 at night, but in a few minutes the neighbors were calling to see how we were. They called us from Costa Rica worried because it was felt in all of Central America, Belize and Mexico. In El Viejo and Chinandega some houses collapsed.

“Things have gotten worse with the torrential rains which are falling which have made the situation even worse. We are very well. God gave us a perfect place to live and we haven’t had any effect—just some delays with the work because of all the rain, after being in a drought.

Rain storm at the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua

Rain storm at the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua

“We praise God for his leading in establishing this children’s village on the Rock. It has proven many times to be an ideal location for the children. Thank-you for all you continue to do for ‘His kids.’”

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

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.

A Shelter In Their Time of Storm

November 27th, 2013

We all remember Hurricane Katrina. Not the largest storm to ever reach the US mainland, nor the strongest, yet how can we forget the apocalyptic scenes and trail of destruction it left behind; an entire metropolis in ruins and a country in shock. Then just about a year ago, Sandy came and again we witnessed more destruction and ruin, even in places usually safe from such phenomenon.

Satellite view of typhoon Haiyan

Satellite view of Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines is a very poor nation made up of a little over 7,000 small islands, situated in what geologists call the Ring of Fire. It is also home to over 30 active volcanoes. Earthquakes and powerful storms are common in this part of the world and the Filipino people have learned to cope with it, yet no one could have prepared them for what befell them on November 8.

Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as the Filipinos named it, was something they had never seen before. Its sheer size and destructive power would move both Katrina and Sandy down the scale. It covered the entire archipelago and far beyond. Its destructive force knew no equal and spared no one. Now the country lies in ruins and millions of people, many of them women and children, are homeless.

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze - Creative Commons license

As you know, International Children’s Care operates a village for orphaned and abandoned children in the Philippines. We came there in the late 90s because of the thousands of destitute children living in the streets. Fortunately the children’s village is located in the northern region, and away from the main brunt of the storm, and we are grateful to the Lord for that. But in all reality there was no safe place in the Philippines during this storm.

As servants of the children the Lord has entrusted to us, we feel a very strong sense of responsibility for them. We pray unceasingly for them. But we also think about the others, the unreached ones, the ones not inside our little cities of refuge. As Christians we know that life in this world of ours will only get worse. People are growing more evil, more selfish, and more calloused about the less fortunate. And what about terrible natural disasters like the one afflicting our Filipino brothers and sisters right now? The Bible tells us that those will also get worse.

A young girl makes her way through downed powerlines following Typoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/10823475466/sizes/o/in/photostream/

A young girl makes her way through downed power lines following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze — Creative Commons License

The eyes of the world are on the Philippines right now, and that is good. Humanitarian aid organizations are shipping resources and personnel to assist the needy. But what is going to happen when all these philanthropists leave after a few months? Who is going to care for the child who lost his mommy and daddy in the flood? Who is going to take her home and love her?

The physical storm has passed, but the real storm in the lives of the orphaned, the abandoned, and the homeless has only begun, a very long storm that may last the rest of their lives. And that’s where ICC comes in, becoming a shelter in their time of storm, not only in the Philippines, but in Congo, in India, in Guatemala and all the other countries where we are present.

We want to thank you today for being part of their family, for being that much needed shelter in their time of storm. Our hearts ache every time a child suffers, but we are also very grateful that with your help we can do something and offer them a loving hand. No, this world is not going to get any better. Worse things will happen and more and more, children will be left homeless. Thank you for partnering with us today to make a difference.