Posts Tagged ‘Alcyon Fleck’

Three Generations Supporting “His Kids”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

In this our 40th year, we are recognizing several of the past and present heroes of ICC. This month, we want to especially acknowledge members of the Koelsch, Shultz and Erwin families.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz (formerly Koelsch), was a dear friend of Alcyon Fleck, co-founder of ICC. They became close friends during their days attending Laurelwood Academy and remained friends throughout their lives.

When Alcyon and Ken Fleck started ICC in 1978, Alice lent her assistance.

Alice loved to visit the children of ICC. She wanted to see the children up close and personal, so on several occasions she traveled with Alcyon to ICC projects.

Alice loved the idea that ICC not only rescues orphan children, but restores them to wholeness as well.

Writing about Alice a few years ago, Alcyon had this to say,

“[Alice] loved ICC — her favorite charity — and she participated in it in an especially personal way.

“As a sponsor, she supported and followed the lives of the various children she sponsored over the years.

“As a supporter, she was always quick to respond to the needs that I wrote about every month.

“As an ICC Board member, she attended nearly every meeting, and gave us welcome and sage advice. She participated in helping us send much-needed clothing and supplies to ICC projects.”

Indeed, Alice truly did care for the children of ICC, and her caring ways and passion were passed on to her children and grandchildren. Alice’s extended family have faithfully supported ICC for many years.

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

As Alice grew older, she felt it was time to involve a younger generation. At Alice’s suggestion, her grandson, Cody Erwin, joined the ICC board in April of 2006. Alice and Cody served simultaneously until Alice could no longer attend.

On February 20, 2014, Alice passed to her rest after medical complications resulting from a fall. ICC lost a true hero of the children that day.

And yet, thanks to her foresight, she had chosen very well someone she loved and trusted to carry forward her vision and passion for the work of ICC.

In April of 2014, only a couple of months after Alice passed away, Cody was elected chairman of the ICC board.

Along with his private sector job, Cody continues to provide steady leadership to ICC as he follows in the path of his grandmother, Alice.

Speaking of his grandmother recently, Cody said this,

“My grandmother had a love and passion for this ministry for children, and she passed it on to the other members of her family. She always reminded us of our many blessings and how we needed to remember those less fortunate. She loved all of her ICC Children so very much. I’m pleased to be able to carry on the work that she helped to start so many years ago.”

The children of ICC are blessed by heroes like Cody, Alice and other family members who continue to provide their support for “His Kids!”

The Impact of YOUR Support!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Editor’s Note: Whether you sponsor an ICC child or faithfully contribute in other ways please know that you have an incredible impact on the lives of the children.

This can be seen in this letter from Alcyon Fleck that has been pulled from the ICC archives. Thank you for the support you continue to give to a new generation of children!

— January 1990

Dear ICC Family,

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

“Three little brothers were brought to us this last week,” Juana informed me when I visited The Pines.

“They had been abandoned and passed around from place to place wherever someone would keep them, but no one wanted them. The people in that village were poor and already had families of their own to care for.”

“How old are they?” I inquired.

“The oldest one, Gilberto, is ten. Oswaldo is six, and the baby is two.”

Later, as we walked toward the home where the new children were, Juana informed me, “I don’t know how long they have been without a home, but these children were really in pitiful condition. They were sick, malnourished and in rags. The little one is the most frail.”

The house-mother brought the boys to us. Their faces were pinched and pale. They still had the frightened expression of children who have suffered at the hands of strangers. Any new situation fills them with fear.

But the two older boys smiled shyly as we talked with them. The little one was emaciated, barely able to stand, and his big, dark eyes seemed to dominate his face.

Poor little children! I thought. Who knows what they have already suffered. My heart went out to them.

Gilberto as a young boy

Gilberto as a young boy

The house-mother, holding the little one, voiced her concern about their health and promised to give them the best care she could and plenty of TLC. I could see that the baby was already bonding to the mother.

That was eight years ago. The boys have grown sturdy and healthy.

I talked to Gilberto when I visited there a few weeks ago. Cruz told me, “Gilberto is growing into a fine, young man. He is studying at the secondary school and works in the carpentry shop. He is artistic, loves to draw and work with his hands.”

“Gilberto, do you know who your sponsor is?” I asked him.

“Yes, Mommy Fleck. She writes to me, and I have written to her. Her name is Ruth Budd.”

“Yes, I know. She lives near us. She is in a Rest Home now. I suppose you know she is a widow lady. She had an accident some time back and can’t get around by herself. She never had any children, but she has been sponsoring you since you first came to us.”

“You are almost like a son to her.”

“Really!” Gilberto’s eyes brightened. “I wish I could know her!”

“Well, I know she gets lonely and loves to get letters from you.”

“Could you take a letter for me? I’ll write one today.” His face was eager.

“Of course. I know that will make Mrs. Budd happy. I’ll take a picture of you to go with it.”

This last week I took the letter, which I had translated into English, along with the picture, and visited Mrs. Budd.

Her boy had included a paper on which he had printed a special greeting in beautiful scrolled calligraphy. It said. “Felicidades a mi querida madrina.” (Happiness to my dear god-mother).

Our children call their sponsors god-parents. It was a real privilege for me to bring that special letter from the hand of that boy to the dear little lady who has been faithfully supporting and praying for him all these years. Her face beamed as I read it to her.

Dear God-mother,

It is a special pleasure for me to write to you as I have done on other occasions, hope that Jesus Christ can bless you in your home.

The reason for this letter is so that I can be in contact with you. I have learned that you never had a son or daughter, but you have trusted me as a son, and for this I thank you very much.

I know that you are getting up in years but that you always remember and think of me. I also think of you a lot and appreciate the much-needed help you have given me.

Even if you never see me nor I see you, I have the confidence in God that He will help me to continue in His ways, and at last we can know each other in the heavenly mansions…

In my humble heart I feel a deep gratitude that I can’t find words to express. I think of some occasions when I have needed help through hard and tragic experiences…

I thank you and close with much GRATITUDE IN MY HEART.

Attentively, your adopted son,

Gilberto Budd Duque Lopez

The Rest Of The Story

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

After completing his primary and high school education, Gilberto attended the Adventist University in Costa Rica and then returned to Guatemala to continue his studies in architecture.

Gilberto is married now and is a devoted husband and proud father of his two children. He owns a small residential and commercial maintenance company.

According to Gilberto, “although it is not easy, I’m sure that God always has a purpose for everyone, and everything that happens in life develops us in such a way that we can face life with determination.

“And I personally thank God for people with the heart to keep this kind of work going which gives others the opportunity to help in this work and makes it possible to give the attention and care to boys and girls which, for reasons we don’t know about, can’t grow in the heart of their own family.

“But a home like these [ICC] homes can fill in and help for the wellbeing and growth of kids who then have one or many opportunities in their lives.”

In Memorium : Alcyon Fleck

Wednesday, 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

Sarahʼs Story

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The following is a personal account from Sarah Johnston. Her story was featured by Alcyon Fleck in the July 2012 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter.

This is my story about how the Lord has been with me through the years. I was born in 1980 in a Mayan village in Guatemala. There was a civil war going on in Guatemala at that time. I was still a baby when a battle took place in my village in which many people were killed. I was on my mother’s back when a bullet took her life and wounded my feet.

This is all I know about the family I was born into, and the people of my village. In spite of the tragedy God was looking out for me, even though I did not know Him at that time. God sent a nice man who loved children to find me and a little boy. He took us to the military hospital in Guatemala City.

At the hospital they gave me the name “Mercedes Lopez.” The little boy and I did not stay at the hospital for long because the general that found us knew of a lady that loved children and had an orphanage in Guatemala called Los Pinos. The general called Mrs. Fleck and told her to come and see the two children he found. She did come to the military hospital to see us. I was about ten months old and stood in my crib when Mrs. Fleck saw me. The boy’s name was Lazaro, and he was even years old. He had a wound on his head and his hand.

In the limousine on the way to Mrs. Fleck’s home I sat on her lap and Lazaro sat close beside her. Not knowing where I was going I began to scream in terror and clung to Mrs. Fleck’s neck so hard that she could barely breathe. Mrs. Fleck was so nice to me and the boy. She rocked and held me until I went to sleep. In the morning Mrs. Fleck took us to the “Los Pinos” [children’s village] in Guatemala.

Sarah's First Days at Los Pinos

Sarah (in the yellow dress) not long after she came to live at Los Pinos

Juana, one of the ladies that worked at “Los Pinos,” took me to a house where the house mother could handle another little one. I do not know how long I was at “Los Pinos,’ but I do know that God was still looking out for me. Little did I know that God already had a good Christian family for me. This family lived in Vermont on a farm. They had two older children and a little baby boy, but the mother was praying that God would give her a little Indian girl. So when she found a little picture with a story of me in the Adventist Review it touched her heart, and she knew I would fit in the family if it was God’s will.

But it took nine months until they got me, even though they thought I would come at Christmas. It was a good thing I did not come at Christmas because Christine, the mother, had an operation in January and it took her a long time to heal after the operation. When she tried to do so she had a terrible headache which made it impossible for her to stay up or eat sitting erect. After much prayer the Lord urged her to exercise in the snow crawling around crying out for God’s help to be fit for her children and Sarah.

Sarah Lisa was the name they chose after they were told of Mercedes. In God’s time, exactly nine months later, the three year old came and “mommy” was well enough to receive her girl. Roger, the father, had almost traveled to Guatemala to pick me up since they were told to do so by the orphanage, but as it turned out he did not need to since Mrs. Fleck had another girl to bring and brought me up with her. Christine bought a pretty pink and white dress and shoes and mailed it away to Guatemala for me. And then they waited at the Boston airport until the plane I was on arrived. They found me with the pretty dress. I looked like a doll. Christine ran and picked me up. I looked surprised and they were surprised at how small I was.

Sarah After Joining Her New Family

Sarah after she was adopted into her new family

My new family was prepared for crying and a sleepless night as we all slept in a hotel. But I slept and their one and a half year old baby boy slept also. On the long trip home we stopped to get some food, and that is when they found out that I had the biggest appetite a tiny girl could have. I ate until all of the food was gone, and Christine wondered if maybe she gave me too much. Eating was something that I knew how to do. The next day my mom was shocked at how my little tummy got so big. Then she discovered that I had eaten five big pancakes. All night my mom worried that I may be sick, and yet I lived through it. I clung to my mother’s neck as she carried me up into the bedrooms, and I would not let go until she put me into my crib.

My mom was a good mother. She loved me and taught me about Jesus, but sad to say, I wasn’t always a nice little girl or have Jesus in my heart. I used to get so angry at my mom and brother, and I also stole. What made it worse was that I lied to my mom. It made her sad and Jesus, too, but thank God my mom did not give up on me. She did a lot of praying for me, and God answered her prayers. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was sixteen and was baptized.

I used to wonder why God spared my life and not my mom’s, but now I know why, because He wanted to use me to tell others of Him. I really do like children and they like me. My mom did some babysitting, and I helped her with the children. When I was twenty-eight, I helped take care of three foster children. I enjoyed it a lot. I sang Jesus songs with them and read stories to them. They enjoyed it, too. I become an aunt when I was seven and a half year old. I do not mind being an aunt, because I love my nieces and nephews. The only thing is that they all grew big and tall and I stayed short. But that’s OK.

I left home when I was twenty-nine and went to work up at Laurelbrook Academy. I worked at the nursing home doing different things. I also worked in the garden with some of the students. I also worked at the day care. I enjoyed doing that. I also helped out in Sabbath School with the little children.

Sarah Today

Sarah as she is today

Now I am thirty-one and married, and I know God will still use me as long as I am willing to be used. It does not make any difference how big or small or how old you are or what your background is or was. He can and wants to use you to help others to be ready when Jesus comes. May my story be an encouragement that God does work things out in our lives for His good. One of my favorite Bible verses is “All things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

May God bless you,
Sarah Johnston