Posts Tagged ‘Congo’

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.

Presidents Message For 2017

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

As a New Year begins, we’ve all been given the renewed opportunity to experience a NEW BEGINNING. During the past several months YOUR support has helped create dozens of NEW BEGINNINGS for children who have been orphaned, abandoned or neglected.

I’ve shared with you the stories of children who have lived with aching bellies because of malnutrition, or who have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of family members.

You’ve helped rescue these kids through your generous support! Because of you, they’ve been welcomed into one of our children’s homes. They now have nourishing food and a warm place to sleep. They have Adventist house parents who treat them kindly and tell them about their Heavenly Father who loves them very much.

I say it often, but it bears repeating. This ministry for children exists because of donors like YOU! There would not be a warm welcome nor would there be a NEW BEGINNING — if it were not for YOU! On behalf of the children, thank you very much for your continued care and support!

As we turn the page of yet another year, I invite you to remember the children’s projects that YOU have supported with generous gifts and prayers.

Next week we’ll bring you news of our Children’s Villages around the world.

Q & A with the President of ICC, Rick Fleck

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

YOUR support of ICC’s children is having a lasting effect upon them. In the following interview with ICC President, Rick Fleck, you’ll find a more in-depth perspective of the work being done on behalf of the children.

“I can’t thank YOU enough for all that you continue to do for ‘His Kids!’ This ministry for orphan children has been operating for nearly 40 years, and it’s because of people like you, that thousands of children have been rescued and had their lives restored.”

“I can’t thank YOU enough for all that you continue to do for ‘His Kids!’ This ministry for orphan children has been operating for nearly 40 years, and it’s because of people like you, that thousands of children have been rescued and had their lives restored.”

Q: The news is filled with political debate this election season as well as conflicts in various parts of the world. There seems to be little news concerning the plight of orphans. Is orphan care still a world-wide problem?

A: Yes, absolutely! Jesus said we would always have the poor among us, and there is strong biblical counsel to help the orphans. ICC children are very fortunate to have many caring individuals who believe and act upon this counsel. The news media is always looking for stories which are exciting and attract attention. The plight of orphans is a constant that happens every day all around the world—so we sometimes get numb and indifferent to their suffering. Actually, it’s not popular to help orphans. Governments and non-profit organizations prefer to concentrate on prevention strategies. But, no matter what is done to prevent these sad situations, little children are constantly being left without mommies and daddies, and the wonderful folk who contribute to our mission are very passionate about helping these little ones to grow up and have new opportunities for a better future.

Q: Which ICC projects appear to have the greatest potential for growth in the future?

A: As we see shifting government priorities and policies, we also see doors opening and closing for ICC to help children in different areas of the world. Right now I see a great potential for ICC to grow and help more children in Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Congo. For example, in Guatemala, the government for several years did not want to place children in institutions. But we have presented our children’s villages as a more normal environment for orphaned children rather than an institution. We have empty beds at our Los Pinos children’s village, and now government authorities are asking us to take in more children. Just in the last few months, thanks to the generous support of donors, we have welcomed in 18 children to their new homes in Los Pinos. Of course, whether we can grow also depends largely on finances.

Q: What are some exciting things happening in the lives of ICC children?

A: I love to see the happy faces of children who have recently come to live in an ICC children’s village. They often talk about how much they appreciate having enough food and clothing and the opportunity to go to school. It’s amazing to hear little kids talking like that! Of course, it takes time for them to completely adjust to their new home, and they always have a hurt in their little hearts, but we introduce them to their heavenly Father and point them to a future that has hope beyond the hurts of this world.

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, 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.

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

Conflict Intensifies in Congo – ICC Children Still Safe

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Perhaps you have seen or heard reports about the violence that has recently erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo. ICC’s director of the Patmos Children’s village sent us an update today. Here is an excerpt:

We are not happy to pass you this information about Goma town. The situation has become worse since 16th in the morning at 04:00am, because people started running away from Goma town and from places around Goma town.

Rebels have surrounded the town, airport, radios, main roads and all these are under their control. No markets are operating at this time and all shops have been closed. Vehicles have been stopped to pass within the town and many vehicles have been taken away. Hospitals have been closed and even all the doctors have run away from the town.

We need your prayers so that the situation can be able to calm dawn.

We sent our boat to go and pick our people who are still within Goma town.

God should be praised because [we have not heard of] any person who has been injured yet and all are still living.

We shall continue informing you in case the situations changes. Patmos village children are afraid because they are hearing bad news from all sides even when they see helicopters passing going to support the war within Goma, things which are not common to them.

For ICC-PROLASA DRC Congo

Murhima Désiré.

Water Lighting Patmos Children’s Village

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Recently our administrator of the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo, Désiré, reported that thanks to Mr. Jovan, an Italian engineer, and his team of five who came from Butembo, our Patmos hydroelectric project is functioning.

The hydroelectric turbine that provides electric power to our Patmos Children's Village in the D.R. Congo

The hydroelectric turbine that is providing electrical power to our homes at the Patmos Children's Village in the D.R. Congo. This hydroelectric plant is the very first to ever be built on the Island of Idjwi.

We now have electric lights in our homes at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi. The lights have been installed in the houses, school and church. This hydroelectric plant is the very first in the history of the Island of Idjwi.

This is the hydro canal that feeds water to the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

This is the hydro canal that feeds water to the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant which provides electric power to our homes at the Patmos Children's Village..

This project necessitated a great deal of hard manual labor in order to build the canal that carries the small stream of water to where it can feed a small turbine. This turbine produces 220 volts of electricity that will now provide lighting and electrical power for the church, school and homes in the children’s village.

The gauges that monitor the power output from the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

The gauges that monitor the power output from the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

Funds are needed for this project, and Désiré will be sending a project update to let us know what is still needed, so watch for more details.

Thanks for reading!

ICC Congo—Project Update

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The Lord is blessing and protecting ICC’s children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a recent update from Sharon Fleck, ICC’s director of children’s services, the children are doing well— everyone is healthy. The recent fighting in the country has not spread to the Island of Idjwi where our children are located. While Idjwi is safe, the interior of East Congo and the rural areas are not. Things are starting to move again in Goma, but it is not possible at this time for ICC personnel to visit.

School has started for the children. Our project director, Desire, has been working on getting the Patmos school accredited with the SDA church. The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo came from Kinshasa, the capital, to visit our school. They are moving forward now with submitting the request to the Union Committee for their approval. Included are some photos of the superintendent’s visit to our school.

SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo visits ICC Congo's Patmos Children's Village from the DR Congo capital, Kinshasa.

The project recently hired a psychologist. This has been a real need at this project, and even though it will mean an increase in the project’s budget, it will be a blessing to have someone to help in this area.

Construction on house #9 is continuing as can be seen in the pictures. After this house and the school are built the project is in desperate need of staff housing.

Construction of new children's home at International Children's Care's Patmos Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Construction of House Nine continues at the Patmos Children's Village

A group of ASI people with a “Share Him” evangelistic group came to visit the project. One of the group members was a sponsor of one of the girls. She promised a cow for the project. The visitors were all excited about the program and went away wanting to get more sponsors. The children sang for them and put on a program.

Children from the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo sing for visitors from the ASI "Share Him" group

A choir comprised of Patmos children sings for the visiting SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

We are working on a bio-gas project to replace the burning of wood/charcoal for cooking. An engineer has come out and they are giving us their recommendations for it.

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