Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Johana’s Joy

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Another example of the impact you make

What you do for the children is continuing to make a life-changing difference for them. And just like the growth of plants in your summer garden, the growth that occurs in a child is often subtle and almost imperceptible.

And then, one day you realize, “Wow, it’s time for the harvest.” 

That’s what happens in the life of a child. There are years of love and nurturing care, of education and life preparation.

And then it happens — “The Harvest.” A life event or events take place, and the child reaches sufficient maturity to care for herself and start a family of her own. Just such a harvest has recently taken place at ICC’s Hogar Escuala Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Johana came to the Hogar because of tragic circumstances in her life. Her father had died. Later her mother brought Johana and her siblings to the Hogar as she could no longer provide for the needs and safety of her children. Johana had just turned 5. Soon after, her mother also died.

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

In spite of the trauma she had experienced, Johana thrived as a member of the ICC family in El Salvador. She took full advantage of the opportunities that your support helped to provide.

She earned good grades in her studies and was an active participant in spiritual activities on the campus. As she grew older she became a deaconess and part of the women’s ministries team. 

She also served as a teacher in one of the children’s Sabbath School classes.

After graduating from ECAS (the local Adventist school), Johana worked for a year on the HEA campus. Because of her great love for young children, she decided to prepare herself to become an early childhood educator.

In January 2012, she enrolled at a university in El Salvador. Once again, Johana did well in her studies and in August 2017 graduated with her degree. 

Not only was it a wonderful accomplishment to earn her degree, Johana was also thrilled to be able to return home — to ECAS — to serve as the preschool teacher. But “the harvest” was not yet fully complete.

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

A few months later, Johana’s boyfriend, Edwin, proposed to her. This past April, Johana and Edwin were married in an emotional and lovely ceremony on the lawn outside of her home on the HEA campus.

It was a fitting culmination for Johana of years of growth and preparation, of overcoming hardships in her early life and utilizing God’s gifts and talents to bless others.

The wedding was also a new beginning — the uniting of two lives in service for children and youth. For not only is Johana the preschool teacher at ECAS, Edwin is serving as the boy’s dean.

As you can see, when the harvest comes, the returns on your investment are sweet indeed! Thank you for investing in the lives of young people like Johana through your ongoing support.

Thanks For Helping With The “Finishing Touch!”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Four ICC Girls Graduate from ICAP in Guatemala

The help you continue giving the children and young people is not only life changing — it is life-preparing. When an orphan becomes part of the ICC family at one of the children’s villages, their life is changed — transformed even! They receive love and the nurturing care that is needed to thrive.

Because of you, these four young ladies from Los Pinos were able receive their education and graduate from ICAP. Each will be pursuing a university education. Thank you for your support of “His Kids!”

Because of you, these four young ladies from Los Pinos were able to receive their education and graduate from ICAP. Each will be pursuing a university education. Thank you for your support of “His Kids!”

The children are also enrolled in school as part of the life-preparation process. If a child has never attended school, this opens to the young mind a whole new perspective on life.

Quality education helps the children break the chains of poverty as they prepare to live successfully on their own. Your support of the children and their education is a wonderful blessing to them.

Pictured In this post are four of our young ladies who recently graduated from the ICAP secondary school in Guatemala. Three of them completed pre-school education teacher training and one completed the bookkeeping program. After taking a year off from studies to work and prepare, each of them plans to attend university.

We refer to this part of a young person’s life as the “finishing touch.” ICC’s model of care provides for the essentials of food, shelter and nurturing care. Education is also included in this, and as the children grow, we strive to help them learn a trade, a skill or prepare for a professional career so they will be able to provide for their own care.

The help you give them means so much to them, and they are grateful. They realize where in life they would have been, if it weren’t for kind-hearted sponsors and donors like you. Thank you for your generous support in helping to apply the “finishing touch” for these girls.

Your Support Is Giving Back — Abel’s Story

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By Rick Fleck

After more than 35 years, the Las Palmas Children’s Village has been needing many repairs, especially with the things made of wood, such as kitchen cabinets, closets, doors, window valences, tables and chairs.

We have a small carpentry and cabinet shop in our big shop on campus which Tem Suarez and others helped to set up in the 1980’s. Tem would come and work with the older boys building closets and drawers other things.

Other workers carried on that work for a few years, but lately the carpentry shop has not been kept up because we couldn’t find someone to do that work.

During a visit last year, Samilin, our administrator of Las Palmas, told me about Abel Pérez, who grew up in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, worked a lot with Tem Suarez in carpentry and now has a cabinet shop business on the side (he is a math teacher in a local school). Maybe he would be willing to come and help us.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is now a math teacher and also owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel will be producing carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is a math teacher and owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel produces carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel did come, and we became great friends. He is a wonderful young man with a family of three children of his own now. He is a successful teacher and runs a prosperous cabinet business on the side.

He was thrilled by the idea of coming back “home” to work where he spent so much of his childhood. And he wanted to make sure to inspire others who are growing up there now by teaching them some skills.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

He fondly remembers Tem Suarez, who with his wife, Judy, gave so much of themselves to the children of ICC. He told me, “I would like to be the new ‘Tem Suarez!’”

Here is a message he sent to me when I asked if he would be willing to share a little with our ICC family:

“For me it is a real pleasure to be able to tell my story so it may serve to help and be an example for many. I was born in Meches in 1975, a son of Christian parents — Seventh-day Adventists.

My parents were extremely poor but they wanted for me and my sister Miguelina (5 years younger than me) to have a chance in life and a Christian education. So they managed to take us to the Las Palmas Children’s Village. That great event was a reality in our lives on Wednesday, September 11, 1985.

“At the age of 10 and in fourth grade, I continued my studies. Mrs. Gladys Williams was the director, and Pastor Jose Ramon Bourget was the administrator. There was one teacher for all the kids in several grades. After a few months they brought in several more teachers. So we continued to study there for three years in the Las Palmas school.

After sixth grade, we studied at the nearby Dominican Adventist School for two years as external students, and I was in the dorm for two more years. After that time I went to Santo Domingo where I finished high school in 1994.

“During the time I spent in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, I learned various skills such as growing a garden, taking care of cows, pastry making, baking, working with iron, among other things.

But the thing that I loved most was cabinet making. I liked that from when I was a little boy watching my father work with wood. So I enjoyed working with Brother Francisco Vargas, then Josué Casilla (in the children’s village) and later Bartolomé Acosta at the Dominican Adventist School. I was able to progress a lot in learning this marvelous craft.

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

“After starting a lovely relationship with the young lady Yoselin Alcala, we married and had three children — Angel, now 20, Yonsi, 14 and Jasbel, 12. My wife has her degree in marketing with a masters degree in administration of education centers. I finished my bachelors degree in education with physics and math, and now I’m working as a math teacher at a school in Nuevo Orden.

“In March of 2017, Mrs. Samilin Williams, the current administrator of the children’s village, contacted me to help her prepare some budgets for some projects, and she invited me to talk with Mr. Rick and let him know the quotes. We came to an agreement that I would go to Las Palmas to do a few new projects and some repairs.”

Abel goes on to describe his work over the next several months, when he repaired closets, made drawers, window valences, kitchen cabinets and other carpentry projects. He basically remodeled all the wood items, such as closets and cabinets, in eight homes on campus. He concludes his story by reflecting as follows:

“For me is it a pleasure to help out, not only in the cabinets and wood working, but in all the projects that I can in the Children’s Village, since I really feel like I am part of it. This has been one of the happiest summers of my life, although I have spent it away from my beautiful and loved family. I was spending my time contributing to a very good cause. But I also want to say thank you to each one who gave funds so that these projects could be accomplished.

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

“There are still many projects to do, and we continue to pray that the resources continue to come so we can keep doing the projects that need to be finished. Among those are the church pews that are very deteriorated from the termites. We need them so that our adoration to God can be done in a calm and nice place. I am very willing to continue helping in every way that I can so that the Children’s Village is a PLACE OF HAPPY KIDS. God bless you, with love, from your son,”

Abel Pérez Vilorio

Able also has plans to help Las Palmas repair or rebuild their church’s pews. The church pews are made of wood and they’ve seen much use. The pews are in real need of repairs with a number needing to be replaced.

Your help with repairing and replacing Las Palmas’s church pews would be most appreciated. Abel plans to repair 5 pews and create new pews for those that need to be replaced. He can repair the 5 pews for $110 apiece and make 15 new pews for only $400 apiece.

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!

Pathfinders — A Blessing that You make Possible!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Pathfinder programs that you make possible through your gifts are just one example of how your support is blessing ICC children.

Thank you for supporting the children so they can participate in the life-changing experiences of Pathfinders. This includes providing funds for uniforms and special activities like camporees.

What an amazing opportunity Pathfinder activities are for the children! These experiences will stay with them for a lifetime. On behalf of the children whose lives you touch with your generous support, thank you so very much.

“Thank you for supporting the children in the life-changing experiences of Pathfinders.”

In 2017, the SDA church in Inter-America organized a division-wide camporee in the Dominican Republic. Because of the cost and distance, the Los Pinos Pathfinder Club in Guatemala was not able to attend. However, the staff organized their own camporee-type activity with another local club that was newly formed and had never been to a camporee before.

Your support of Pathfinders gives the children an opportunity to learn important lessons and skills they can take with them through life.

Your support of Pathfinders gives the children an opportunity to learn important lessons and skills they can take with them through life.

The children participated in specialty classes (honors) that included Basic First Aid, Orienteering, Family Life, Cats, Trees and Shrubs, and Human Sexuality (taught by the new psychologist).

Other events included competitions, physical activities, spiritual activities, marching and an investiture. The children also had the opportunity to share their faith by traveling to the local town of Poptun to pass out books to people on the streets. According to Joel Carpio, Los Pinos director, “it was a great blessing, and our kids enjoyed sharing experiences with this new club.”

Since the Inter-American Division camporee was held in the Dominican Republic, the Las Palmas children had a great desire to participate. Your support made this possible, and the children had a wonderful time!

The Las Palmas children thank you for providing funds for uniforms and the opportunity to attend the recent camporee. What a blessing you are for the children!

The Las Palmas children thank you for providing funds for uniforms and the opportunity to attend the recent camporee. What a blessing you are for the children!

Marching is one of the highlights for any camporee. At this event, the march was done by zones or regions. Our Las Palmas kids were blessed to be selected to be part of the group in the exhibition march. According to Samilin, Las Palmas Director, they marched really well and were well received by the people from the other countries. Undoubtedly this was an experience which was unique and once in a lifetime for them.

Mealtime was quite unique because none of the Pathfinder clubs were allowed to cook in the camp area because so many people were attending (more than 10,000). Meals were prepared and brought in from another location. The children would get very hungry while waiting, but when the food finally arrived, they would give a lot of thanks to God for the food and all His blessings.

According to Samilin, the opening ceremonies were spectacular for the kids. They had never seen nor participated in an activity like that and were awestruck by the beauty and the many colorful lights from the fireworks. While this was happening, our club leader and chaplain, Kauri, was comparing this to what it might be like at Jesus’ second coming, when the whole heavens will open and be filled with angels ready to seek His children. The children marveled at this spectacle and shouted with joy that it was like it might be when Jesus comes. Kauri urged the children to prepare to be able to shout with joy and happiness when we see that spectacle.

Pathfinder activities provide the staff a special time to mentor the children.

Pathfinder activities provide the staff a special time to mentor the children.

The Las Palmas children very much enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to experience this once in a lifetime event that you helped make possible for them. Here are words of appreciation from Samilin that she wrote especially for you:

Dear Donors,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you in a very special way for your generous donations which made it possible for one of the most beautiful dreams of these kids to come true — to be able to shine in their Pathfinder uniforms. This is one of the activities that they most enjoy, but at the same time it helps them in a very important way in their growth as persons academically and spiritually. They learn many useful things for their lives in the Club, and we can certainly say these experiences will go with them for the rest of their lives.

The experience that the kids had at the Inter-American Camporee was unforgettable. Thanks to God and the donations from our supporters and friends, our Pathfinders had the fun experience of sleeping in very good quality Coleman tents, and they got to participate in all the activities.

Thanking you with all my heart for your donations and the interest that you show to make it possible for our boys and girls to develop,

Sincerely yours,

Samilin Williams
Executive Director

— A Message of Concern From the President —

I’m concerned. I don’t worry that God can provide for His kids through this ministry. But I am human, and feel concern as I see that donations this year are running behind last year and budgets are not being met for our children’s villages. It might not seem that it would make much of an impact if you neglect to send a donation, or delay your support for a couple of months. But it all adds up and makes a big impact on the funds for our children.

So I pray that God will heal my concern and prove once again that He will provide for all His children, and that includes you, dear friend.

Rick Fleck

ICAP Secondary School Update

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

In November, the ICAP secondary school in Guatemala celebrated the graduation of 43 students. Of those who graduated, five were from the ICC Los Pinos children’s village.

A new school year has begun and with it there is a new school director. His name is Carlos Mauricio Ordoñez Batz.

Currently there is an enrollment of 351 students. Forty-three students are enrolled in what would be considered Junior High or Middle School in the US. The largest class is for students studying agriculture. There are 181 students enrolled in that program. The next largest class is auto mechanics which has 50 students enrolled. The remaining students are taking course work in such fields as accounting, computers, biology and education.

For more details about ICAP click on the following link to view a promotional video:

http://www.facebook.com/icapoficial/videos/1514055732159492/

Sharon is Blessing Students in India

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

“I wish they [the donors] could see the transformation their support brought in the lives of the children in Sweet Home.” — Lilly Kalagithi

Editor’s Note: Here is another update on what is happening in the life of Sharon Vakkanthula, one of ICC’s grown children from the ICC DEWS Sweet Home in India. It was written by Lilly Kalagithi, founder of the project. Your support blessed Sharon’s life tremendously and she is taking full advantage of her opportunity to serve others.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

Two beautiful little girls were brought to us by their father. They had lost their mother, and their father could not care for them as he needed to work to provide for them. These two little girls came to us with their bag of clothes and photos of their mother in their hands. They were still grieving for their mother and held on to these precious photos.

These two girls were a blessing to Sweet Home. They always were very special in the way they talked and behaved. They studied well and scored top grades in school. They were very decent and respectful in their behavior, and like little angels they were always willing and ready to help others. They are continuing to do the same today.

Thanks to donors like YOU, Sharon is living a life of service to students at Spicer Memorial University in India.

The younger girl’s name is Sharon Vakkanthula. Sharon studied in the Flaiz Adventist Elementary School and High School. She always had a deep desire to join pastoral ministry. After completing her studies in Narsapur, she enrolled in Spicer Memorial College (now known as Spicer Adventist University). During summer holidays Sharon went out to different towns and villages to assist the gospel ministry.

From the very beginning of her time at Spicer, Sharon gained the favor and confidence of her teachers and professors. She soon became very popular in the college. The Vice Chancellor of the university took her in as his daughter and helped her finish a Master’s degree in Theology.
Sharon is now employed by the university as it’s very first chaplain. She also teaches theology students.

We are grateful to ICC for the continued support, love and care. We are also grateful to the sponsors for the sacrifice they made to give life to the helpless children. I wish they could see the transformation their support brought in the lives of the children in Sweet Home.

Sharon is very happy to work for the Lord who sustained her all these years. We are also very proud of Sharon and her accomplishments.
What a blessing it is to see Sharon use her talents in service to God by serving others! Thank you for your generous support of children like Sharon.

A Season and a Reason to Give Thanks

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

“ICC children show their gratitude for Your support by taking advantage of the opportunities that are possible because YOU give.”

This Thanksgiving season, ICC children around the world have much for which to be grateful.

Through the generosity of donors like you, they have nourishing food. They have a safe, comfortable home in which to live. They have the love and nurturing care they need. And they are able to go to school. This stands in stark contrast to their lives before arriving at an ICC children’s village.

Marieny was a little girl who needed help. Thanks to the support of donors like you, she has grown into a talented young woman who desires to serve others.

Marieny was a little girl who needed help. Thanks to the support of donors like you, she has grown into a talented young woman who desires to serve others.

Marieny Sosa is one example. After graduating from Linda Vista University in Mexico she expressed in a letter her gratitude for the support she received.

“It is a pleasure to know that people of great heart decided to help those in need, of which I am one.”

She went on to say what she planned to do with the opportunities given her. “I have good news for you. I have decided to help in God’s work. I will be working at the University and studying to become a Medical Missionary so I can do that in years to come.”

Many of the kids express their desire to be able to help others as they were helped in their darkest hour. They may have been abused. They may have lost family members.

That’s when you step in, rescue them and give them an opportunity for a new life. The older the children get, the more they realize what a blessing they have received because of the care you help to provide through your support.

This Thanksgiving season, as you recount your blessings, we hope that you consider your support of orphan children as something for which you are grateful. May God Bless you with a Happy Thanksgiving!

Part 2: Q & A with Rick Fleck, President of ICC

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Last week, was part one of an interview with ICC President Rick Fleck. In part two of the interview, Rick shares that sometimes kids need help after they turn 18. It’s compassionate donors like you who ensure that “His Kids” aren’t simply ‘turned out’ on their 18th birthday. Rick also shares what is happening in ICC projects to help them become more self-sustaining.

Rick Fleck and one of ICC’s kids at their graduation from high school.

“It is thrilling to see a young person march up and receive a diploma and then go out into the work force and live a productive and service-filled life.”

Q: How would you describe the “Finishing Touch” for an ICC child, and why is it so important?

A: Some organizations are done helping a child when she turns 18. In fact, government authorities encourage ICC to end our support of children at 18, because at that point they are adults, and, according to government authorities, there is danger of them doing something inappropriate with the smaller kids. But we feel strongly that we should help these kids until they are capable of being independent, so long as they cooperate with the rules, have good behavior and do their best to succeed. So we have a scholarship program to help young people get vocational training, a technical degree or a college education.

It is thrilling to see a young person march up and receive a diploma and then go out into the work force and live a productive and service-filled life. That finishing touch makes all the difference and is the actual culmination of all the care and work done for that child up to that point.

Q: What efforts are being made at children’s villages to establish self-sustaining industries?

A: From the start, my parents (Ken and Alcyon Fleck) had the vision that each children’s village should have practical income-producing activities — cottage industries. These would not only provide food for the kids but would give them experiences which would help them later in life — and help donors’ gifts go further.

We are also working to establish some industries, which can produce significant income to help to sustain the children’s villages. We have a chicken industry in Guatemala and a fish industry in the Dominican Republic. Also, we have a mobile clinic project in Congo which is producing some significant income for the children’s village while at the same time providing a real needed service to remote communities. If we can help them to produce income locally, it means we can help more children, and that is always the passion of ICC donors.

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.