Posts Tagged ‘Congo’

“Stepping Out In Faith” Matching Fund

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Just in Time to Bless the Children this Christmas!

’Tis better to give than to receive” is a truth that we all recognize. What is even better is when you give and that gift is doubled to make twice the impact! This Christmas, you have a wonderful opportunity to double your gift in support of a child like Eduardo who desperately wants and needs a home.

Please read on for more details

Dear Friend of the Children,

Eduardo’s father died without ever recognizing him as his son. His mother left Eduardo in the care of his sick grandmother who was also trying to care for her 18-year-old daughter who has special needs.

Eduardo’s living environment was unsafe, and he suffered several attempts of violation. The child protection authorities rescued Eduardo and needed a safe place for him, so they contacted the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

I’m reminded of the story of Jesus who was born in a stable because there was “no room in the inn.” Currently, several of our children’s villages DO HAVE ROOM for more children. You can help us welcome more children like Eduardo who need the safety and security of a loving home. This Christmas please consider giving the gift of family to an orphan child!

I have some terrific news to share. From now until December 31, 2017, your gift will be doubled, up to a total of $125,000. What a double blessing and impact your gift will be for the children!

In the past several weeks, 12 different children have experienced life-threatening events. These suffering children have been referred to us from authorities in Congo and the Dominican Republic.

Some of these 12 kids were already dying, and we were told that they would soon lose their lives if we did not accept them into our care. Horrible events took place leaving these children devastated without families. What were our administrators to do when these kids were placed at their door? Should they have turned their backs on these children, leaving them to die?

The thought of signing a child’s death warrant is something I cannot agree with, nor do I believe that God wants our ICC family to do that. I believe that God put ICC here to be the last harbor of refuge from these kinds of storms in the lives of the children — the storms that take their very lives. There must be another answer, and I believe the answer is the ICC family!

Recently, caring individuals provided for a special “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

Donations received (up to $125,000) will be matched and used to support the children of ICC, especially those who recently joined the ICC family or those on the outside just waiting to come in.

Your support for the children within the ICC family has meant a life-change for them. In some cases the saving of their lives.

Today, many children are brought to us by the local government, first responders, or relief workers who told us that if we did not take these kids, there was no one else who would, and they could perish.

Hearing this sends chills down my spine. That there is no other answer, and children may perish, is real and something we can’t tolerate.

With this in mind, I’m writing to you at the end of this year. There are children like Eduardo who need your help and protection. They need the life-saving and life-giving support that you offer. And since your gift will be doubled, it’s an especially good time to give!

Again, from now until December 31, you can have your donation matched up to a total of $125,000. A gift of $50 becomes $100. A gift of $250 becomes $500.

Should all the money be matched, it will be $250,000 bringing hope and healing to the lives of orphan children. What a blessing this will be for them!

Will you help me with this urgent need for these children who’ve been placed on our doorstep, which I believe was providential?

If you want your donation matched, please mark it “Stepping out in Faith.”

God bless you for stepping out in faith and saving the lives of the fatherless.

 

 

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

P.S. Thank you for your wonderful support to the children. And now through December 31st your support can be doubled through the “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

P.P.S. And since the overhead for this year has been covered, 100% of your donation plus the matched amount will go to support the program for children. Thank you for being a double blessing to the children here at the end of the year!

You’ve Saved Lives & Other News

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

News of your powerful impact across the world

Patmos Children’s Village, Idjwi Island — DR Congo

Thanks to your support, the seven children who came to us having lost their families in a devastating mud slide, have been welcomed into the ICC family in Congo.

There is much patient and caring effort that will be required to help them learn the dialect spoken at the children’s village. When more information is gathered, these children will need sponsors to help provide for their care.

Please share this need with others. Maybe you or someone you know would like to sponsor one of these children. Thank you for your support of these children who have lost so much and who stand to gain so much through your generosity.

Las Palmas Children’s Village — Dominican Republic

A photo of the solar panels installed at the Las Palmas children's villageIf you have visited the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic you may have experience one of the frequent power outages that plague the campus.

Not only do these blackouts create annoying inconveniences for both the children and staff, they also create security risks.

However, thanks to the wonderful support of the Versacare Foundation, Las Palmas will soon have a reliable source of power through solar energy. Solar panels have been recently installed on various campus buildings.

When fully operational, the solar energy project will provide enough electricity to power the entire campus. It will also create surplus energy to sell to the power grid. What a huge blessing this is to the children and staff of Las Palmas! A BIG thank you to Versacare for this tremendous support for the children!

Myitta Gaye Har (Village of Love) — Myanmar

Sheets of fresh rubber hung on rack to dry at the ICC Myanmar children's villageSeveral years ago, the ICC children’s village in Myanmar developed a rubber plantation with the intent that one day the funds generated would help the project to become more self-sustaining.

It takes a while for the rubber trees to produce. We’re happy to report that this micro-industry is doing well. In the picture you can see the first stage of the rubber processing business. The first sale of the rubber brought in about $2,400. What a blessing this is for the project!

You Saved Esther’s Dream

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Esther’s dream was nearly shattered—You made it happen!

It’s one thing to rescue a child so she can survive — to have basic needs supplied. It’s quite another thing to help a child thrive by enabling her to go to school and earn a college degree.

Your support has made it possible for Esther to thrive in her home country of Ghana.

Here’s her story:

Esther’s parents did not live together. Her family were Muslim, and when her mom became an Adventist, she was disowned by her family, along with Esther and her little brother.

Life was difficult for this family. Yet in spite of the hardships, Esther held tightly to her dream of one day becoming a nurse.

Those dreams were shattered when Esther’s mom broke her right leg and could no longer work. Here is how Esther describes what happened next.

“At age 9, I had to do something to support my mum and little brother, who was two years old. I followed people to their farm, usually carrying wood, foodstuff, and assisting in other activities during harvest.

“The farmers would usually give foodstuff in return, which we had to depend on and sometimes sell in order to save money for mum’s condition and for myself, so I could return to school.

“But it was not enough. Things became more difficult. Other times, when there was no work for me to do and no money at home, my mum would have me boil water and pray over it when it cooled. We drank it before going to sleep.

“I started making coconut toffees and gave them to my schoolmates to sell at school for me. I would usually cry seeing them go off to school because it did hurt to be a drop-out…

“I remember my mum would say, ‘Our Sabbath God will make a way. He will never disappoint us. He will bless us so that our own people will be amazed.’ I would smile back at her, and truly God did pave a way. I found a new family — International Children’s Care in Ghana…

“I met new kids and new parents and it happened to be the best family I have ever had. The parents are loving and caring, the church taught and upheld the true values of Adventism. This grew our bond as a family.”

Being taken into the ICC family in Ghana was a turning point in Esther’s life. Not only did she have enough food, clothing and care, she was also able to go to school. In time Esther enrolled in the nursing program at Mountain View College, an Adventist school in Ghana.

You will be pleased to know that recently Esther became the first of ICC’s children in Ghana to graduate.

Esther will use her degree in nursing to not only live successfully on her own, she’ll be able to pay forward to her patients the loving care she received.

When Esther’s dream was shattered, she needed an opportunity, and you made it possible for her to thrive! Esther shares her heartfelt gratitude:

“Sometimes I sit and reminisce, and I cannot be grateful enough for having this family. The selfless effort to love and care for destitute kids, the concern and eagerness to make somebody’s own life a better one, the annual Christmas cards and parties are everything.

“I cannot appreciate you enough…. It’s rather unfortunate that I grew up and will have to leave this family soon. But it is worth it. You have given me the very best to be able to stand on my own and become a better person…”

Help is Needed for More Kids

Like Esther, there are many other children working hard to realize their dreams of finishing their education and living independently. There are high costs associated with this, and sadly, as the children in our villages grow older, the number of caring supporters who sponsor them often diminishes.

At a time when they need it most, often there is less support. Today, please consider helping a child realize their dream by sending a gift of $35 or even $50. This would be a tremendous blessing.

And remember, since our overhead costs are covered for this year, 100% of your donation goes to children’s programs. Thank you for your continued support!

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.