Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Only a Small Child

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Joel Reyes and the donor who gave so generously to International Children's Care

Joel Reyes, ICC’s public relations director, and the young man who is the subject of this story.

He was only a little boy, no more than 10 years old. Vivacious and fast moving as he came into the resource tent at the Alberta camp meeting. He didn’t take much time as he quickly scanned all the displays. It was as if he was looking for something very specific, and as soon as he realized it was not there, he would move on. “Perhaps he has lost something,” I thought to myself as I studied him.

He came by my display booth and checked it out with the same brevity as he had all the others. I smiled at him. He politely returned my smile and moved on. I observed him as he left the resource tent through the opposite door from which he had entered.

He ran through the open field, waving his arms and calling at a man farther ahead. The man stopped, turned around and began to walk in the direction of the child. I watched as the man approached the lad and put his arm around him. They spoke for a bit and began to walk back in the direction of the resource tent.

Both man and child were smiling as they came. With a sense of urgency, the child walked in front of the man, glancing back from time to time to make sure he was still there. They came all the way to where I was standing, and as they approached the man said to me, “My son has a little fund he has created by saving his allowance and other resources and he would like to give a donation to this ministry.” I looked at the child. He gave me an almost apologetic look as he proceeded to extract wrinkled bills from his pockets and place them on the table.

As I stood before this young man pulling wrinkled bills from his pockets I couldn’t help but be moved. He was only a small child! What motivated this boy to take such a step? What about a new toy? What about saving for one of the many electronic gadgets that seem to enthrall the hearts of the young? As I stretched and counted the money the young philanthropist had placed on the table, I began to realize it was not a small amount.

Before giving my young friend a receipt I asked him, “Are you sure this is what you want to do? This is a lot of money, and you could get a lot of things for yourself with it.” The father smiled confident of his son, “Oh yes that is what I want to do” the child replied.

I turned to the father and said, “I need you to know that I am extremely moved and impressed by the attitude of this young man, this is not normal. What have you done with this kid?”

“The other day we were talking about how blessed we are as a family,” he said, “and in the middle of the conversation my son said he wanted to give a gift to the needy out of his savings. As we left for camp meeting he put some money in his pockets, but I didn’t know how much it was until right now. He has given you all he has.”

I could not stop the tears from swamping my eyes as we prayed together that day. Sometimes my job can be very difficult. I feel a tremendous burden for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world, many of them the fruit of wars, natural disasters, abuse and moral decay. I have been in the streets with these outcasts of society. I have seen their tears and anguish as they endure pain, abuse, hunger, and dreadful loneliness.

I have also witnessed miracles in their lives when some caring soul dares to reach out to them and give them a hand. I am the director of public relations for this ministry and visit numerous churches and other Adventist gatherings throughout North America sharing the plea of the children, and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when someone steps forward and says; “I will help.”

It can also be very discouraging at times when, after pouring out my heart before congregations and sharing what I have seen and what I know about the children on whose behalf I speak, I walk away with nothing but a pat on the back. I am a human being and I also get discouraged sometimes, but on this day the Lord chose to reveal Himself to me and send an angel in the form of a little boy with a shy smile.

Oh little friend, you have empowered me today. You have reassured my faith in the goodness of humanity. Oh how I wish I could replicate your spirit and disposition and pour it not only on every kid I see, but on all the adults I come across as well. Oh yes, most of them could use a bit of what you have in abundance! Oh if this world had more little angels like you, I wouldn’t have a job and that would make me very happy!

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3,4

Joel Reyes

Joel Reyes has been serving with International Children’s Care, an Adventist ministry, for the past 7 years. ICC builds country villages for orphaned and abandoned children. The rescued children are raised in a family environment and educated in the ways of the Lord.

Happenings at ICC Nicaragua

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

[This blog post was updated on March 30th, 2011]

[UPDATE] Since this post was first published, we’ve received more information from Felix Almendarez on the progress of the farm.

Pineapple Crop “Starts”
Felix, director of the ICC children’s village in Nicaragua, recently determined that he would plant a pineapple crop.  He made a contact with a personal friend who also grows pineapples. Felix’s friend was willing to assist him.

The new pineapple grove at ICC Nicaragua's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

The new pineapple grove at ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

They went into the friend’s field and began digging up starts from beside mature plants.  After awhile it appeared that they had collected about 500 plants. Felix’s friend was selling the starts for 1 Cordova (about 5 cents) each, so Felix decided he wanted a few more. After leaving the field, Felix thought he had about 700.  However, it turned out that there were more than 900 when the planting was done in the ICC garden.

Felix was so excited about having this new pineapple crop that he decided to get some more.  When he went back to his friend’s field he got another 1,000 starts.  In all, nearly 2,000 plants are now flourishing in the ICC Nicaragua garden, and Felix only spent about $100.  Since many of the starts were pretty mature to begin with, they will start to produce in about 9 months.

Farm House Completed
A group from Canada who have been friends of our project for many years came to Nicaragua to do some other projects. They stopped by to see Felix and Angelica and asked them what they could do to help. Felix told them about the need to get the farm house finished – floor, doors and windows – so that someone could live in it and take care of the farm. These friends provided all the funds to do that. Now Felix has hired an Adventist couple to take care of the farm and live in that house.

The new farm house at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua

The new farm house at ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

Canadian Group Adds Beauty to the Children’s Homes
Three of the members of the Canadian group stayed for a few days and planted flower gardens around the homes. We appreciate their help very much.

Flowers planted outside house four of ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaraga

Flowers newly planted at House Four of ICC's Fuente de Vida Children's Village

[UPDATE] Felix Almendarez, the administrator of our ICC Nicaragua campus, today was telling us that they have really been blessed with good crops on this land. He is amazed at the production and the size of the vegetables. They have cucumbers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes and other things.

Felix with cucumbers grown on the farm at our ICC Nicaragua campus.

Felix with cucumbers grown on the farm at our ICC Nicaragua campus.

A closeup of the cucumbers grown on our ICC Nicaragua campus

A closeup of the cucumbers grown on our ICC Nicaragua campus

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC