Posts Tagged ‘Congo’

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

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

We recently received a note from Desire Murhima, our program administrator at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. In it Desire told us of some exciting news from our Patmos Children’s Village. Here is what Desire had to say;

“Three weeks past, we [conducted] an evangelization campaign and we have been blessed with twenty-nine souls.

“We had fifteen [of] our children [from the] Patmos village [accept Jesus] and four new workers like our clinical doctor, our lab-medical technician and … two teachers [from] our university (UNILAI). Continue praying for God’s work on Idjwi Island.”

Baptisms were conducted in Lake Kivu following a recent evangelistic effort at ICC Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo

Some of those who were baptized following a recent evangelistic effort at ICC's Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo

We know that you join us in celebrating the fact that these members of our ICC family have decided to become followers of Jesus.

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

You Can Change Lives In The DR Congo

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

ICC is blessed to have supporters who are willing to act when they see that “His Kids” have a pressing need. And that they want to provide a way for others of our supporters to join them in relieving these needs. Recently we published a story in our newsletters concerning shortfalls in the operating budget for our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. Because of the budget issues our staff were only able to feed our children two meals a day.

Children of ICC's Patmos Children's Village

You can make a significant difference in the daily lives of these children and at the same time double your donation! Please read the article to find out how.

This was a not an acceptable situation for one of our supporters. She quickly emailed Doug Congleton, ICC’s executive director, about ways to close the gaps in the Patmos budget. Thanks to this amazing lady’s efforts a revolving matching fund has been created in which you may participate.

Each month, this rotating matching fund will double your donation until a monthly total of one thousand dollars in donations has been acquired. That means that each month your contributions to our Patmos operating budget—regardless of the amount—can become as much as $2000.

This is not an opportunity to be missed. You can make a significant difference for our children at Patmos by becoming a regular contributor to this matching fund. Please contact ICC today and let us know that you want to double the power of your donation to “His Kids” living at our Patmos Children’s Village.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

ICC Congo Erosion Control Project Successfully Completed

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In 2010 and 2011 Desire Murhima and his team worked hard to fight a severe erosion problem at the ICC Patmos Children’s Village. With the financial support of our ICC Europe Chapters and Offices they were able to successfully combat the problem. Canals to control water flow during heavy rain along with small bridges were constructed and new trees and grass was planted. Desire wishes to thank all the donors for their support.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

One of the erosion control canals at the ICC Patmos Children's Village

This year, 2012, Desire wants to expand the project into other parts of the village. The need for erosion control in those areas is not as imperative as it was where erosion control was installed, but still this needs to be done.

Photo of one of the erosion control canals with a bridge across the canal at ICC's Patmos Children's Village

Another view of one of the erosion control canals