Posts Tagged ‘child’

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.

Teddy Bears Help ICC Kids Get To Sleep

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

We received this note from Ronny Van Dessel of ICC Belgium telling us of a rather unique donation for the children of ICC.

Recently, ICC Belgium was contacted by Mrs. Sabrina Polakoff, who wanted to donate to us 100 ‘Lulabie Teddy Bears’.

The Lulabie Bears are the first ever long-lasting, scented, sleep-well, aromatherapy teddy bears for babies and young children designed to aid in a good nights sleep.

Sabrina Polakoff and Ronny Van Dessel hold a Saffie teddy bear

Sabrina Polakoff and Ronny Van Dessel (left and right respectively) hold one of the “Saffie” bears from The Lulabie Bears collection. The teddy bears were donated by Mrs. Polakoff to ICC Belgium.

The Lulabie Bears come in four different colors. Each of the bears also has a name with an educational meaning. The beige bear is named ‘Rubie’ and stands for respect, the pink bear is named ‘Rhodie’ and stands for love & education, the blue bear is named ‘Saffie’ and stands for energy and the brown bear is named ‘Selie’ and stands for everything that has to do with nature.

We also received a very nice surprise when arrangements were made to pick up the bears in Antwerp. Because another organization wasn’t able to accept their donation of bears, ICC Belgium received not 100 bears, but 200 bears!

ICC Belgium is very happy that 200 ICC children, or possibly children who are living near our projects, can be made happy with these beautiful ‘Lulabie Teddy Bears’.

Ronny Van Dessel
ICC Belgium

Help Urgently Needed In Congo

Monday, May 21st, 2012

We’ve been receiving disturbing news for the past several weeks from our staff at our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. It seems that once again regional civil war has resumed near our project. What you read here reflects the most recent information we have received from our staff in the DR Congo.

A number of officers from the Congolese army have recently joined with, or started their own, rebel paramilitary organizations to oppose the current government of the DR Congo after it was announced by the president of the DR Congo that one rebel commander in particular should be arrested for ‘crimes against humanity.’

The fighting between this rebel commander, his supporters and the Congolese army has reached the city of Goma approximately 40 miles from our children’s village. Over 20,000 refugees from the surrounding territories have fled into Goma or across the border into Rwanda to escape the fighting. In some cases entire villages have been deserted as the occupants flee the conflict.

Worse yet, children are once again being recruited or conscripted to fight for the rebel warlords. Young men of high school and college age are especially being targeted for conscription into the rebel armies.

Our children and young people studying in Goma and at nearby universities as well as our staff in Goma have returned to the children’s village on the island of Idjwi where it is relatively safe. Predictably this has put a significant strain on our budget and supplies at Patmos.

Prices for food and fuel have nearly doubled in a few short weeks and many stores have closed because all staples have become increasingly scarce or simply unavailable. Demand has also increased because farmers are abandoning their fields and farms to escape the fighting and the population of refugees flooding into Goma is swelling dramatically on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

Frankly we need your immediate help and assistance to deal with this unstable situation. It is vital that we do our best to collect three months worth of supplies at the Patmos Children’s Village so we can weather this storm as we care for our children. Without  your help the future is very uncertain.

Please contact ICC at (800) 422-7729 to make a contribution or use this link — Congo Emergency Supplies Fund — to make a secure online donation at our website. When you donate online be sure to write, “Congo Emergency Supplies” in the description box.

Thanks for much for all you do for “His Kids!”

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

A Small Church With A Big Heart

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

In 2006, ICC began a special sponsorship campaign called “One Church, One Child.” Since the start of this program, many churches, big and small, have partnered with ICC in providing for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. This initiative continues to be a blessing for ICC’s children.

An exterior view of the Portales, NM, SDA church.

The Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

Recently, our attention was drawn to one particular church that has a big (and growing) heart for “His Kids.” This church of 22 members, most on fixed incomes, is located in the small town of Portales, New Mexico. In January of 2007, this church joined ICC’s One Church, One Child campaign. Accompanying their most recent sponsorship donation was a note which read:

“Because God has blessed our group we are adding funds for two more children. So now we will be paying for eight children each month instead of six.”

The ever expanding generosity of this church merited further investigation. What was this church like? What caused the members to continue to expand their support far beyond the original scope of only sponsoring one child?

Interior view of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

The congregation of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church during services.

One of the church members, Merlene Olmsted, provided insights into how the church’s involvement with ICC has grown over the years. She said that the church decided to sponsor two children at the beginning. “We didn’t even know how it would go,” Merlene recalled.

As time passed, support increased. Merlene continued, “We would be going along and the church treasurer would say, ‘We have this much money, and we’re way ahead. Why don’t we sponsor more children?’”

About once a quarter, Merlene shares with the church news or information from the Que Pasa newsletter, ICC’s website or something one of the sponsored children has written. Recently, at an evening board meeting after one of those presentations was made, the treasurer indicated that there was $1,000 in the sponsorship fund for the children and there was only a few months left in the year. The board decided then to sponsor two more children bringing the total number to eight. That is more than one third of the church’s membership! With these latest additions, the church now sponsors three children in Congo, two children in the Dominican Republic and one child each from Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Int’l Development Director ICC