Posts Tagged ‘Family’

One Donor’s Experience of Sacrifice and Blessing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The following is a letter sent by a donor who shares an experience of sacrifice and blessing. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

“We all know that the work of professional people in North America significantly impacts our lives. But a professional in Africa has the potential for far greater influence, and not just in the church, but also for their community and country.

Although a university education in an African country is not as expensive as in North America, it is not cheap. Most four-year courses of study range from $5,000 to $10,000, but some are as much as $14,000.

“After thinking and praying about this, I felt I could not sponsor a university student because I am nearing retirement and am not wealthy. Instead, I chose to fund an ICC student’s secondary education. But the Spirit of God continued to strive with my concerns about my financial future and I felt convicted to trust in His care.

Through a series of providential events, the secondary student that I sponsored began his studies in medicine, and I provided funding for his first year, thanking God for the opportunity, and planning to continue that support until he graduated.

“However, my employment circumstances did change—I was involuntarily “retired” and given a severance allowance. After seeking God’s guidance, I decided to trust Him with my financial future and was convicted to do more, so I provided two more years of support for my sponsored student out of my severance.

Will God provide for the student that I have sponsored? He has so far. Will he continue to provide for my family and me? This is a matter that I continue to bring to God in prayer. I am asking God to enable me to continue to be a source of blessing for my sponsored student and am working to cooperate with Him in any way that opens for me and by actively seeking new employment.

“I am determined to do more, but so far my current situation prevents me. Still, I believe that there are others who would stand in this breach that my personal circumstances have created. Would you ask ICC supporters to consider sponsoring a university student for one year, half a year or even just part of a year?

Every bit makes a difference, so I am praying hard that God will convict other hearts—as He has mine—because I am convinced every ICC student that is sponsored will be a power for good to the honor and glory of God.”

For His Kids,
Anonymous

Please remember that this is a great time to take advantage of supporting the education needs of the children. From now until October 15, your donation will be doubled — up to $30,000! Thank you for your support of “His Kids.”

New Children At Los Pinos

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guatemala — Los Pinos

If you were to visit the Los Pinos children’s village I think you would be impressed by the various agriculture initiatives and industries on the campus. They are working hard to provide some of the income they need for their expenses.

A thriving chicken house provides eggs for the needs of the children. The extra eggs are sold in the village. We’re hoping to expand the dairy in the near future, again to provide for the needs of the children and have some extra for generating income.

The Los Pinos children’s village has also taken in several new children, thanks to the support you’ve given. In order to better accommodate these children, we’ve been making some much needed repairs to a few of the homes. This includes such things as installing new floors and windows and repairing bathrooms.

A photo of Anselmo

Anselmo

You may not realize it, but bringing in new children has a vitalizing effect on the entire project, much as it does within our own family. Having new children spreads an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm around the campus.

We recently shared the story of little Anselmo, one of the newest children at the Los Pinos children’s village. I had the opportunity to meet him recently. He really stood out as a special kid. He always had a smile on his face, was very sweet and affectionate to all of us. I could see that he was adapting very well there and seemed to be very happy and comfortable with his new family. He came over to me many times and hugged me with a big smile.

When Anselmo arrived he had a lot of bruises, but, in spite of that, he is not aggressive. In his house he protects the little kids, even though he is also a little kid himself. It’s wonderful to see how quickly kids like Anselmo adapt and begin to enjoy their new family. Kids who’ve never known a real family can now experience

Las Palmas Receives Visitors

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

While in the Dominican Republic as members of a group participating in a church-building project, a party of friends, organized by Nancy Wilson (wife of Elder Ted Wilson, General Conference President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church), took time to visit our Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Jean Parchment, one of the groups members, wrote this first-hand account of the group’s visit to Las Palmas.

They toured the Las Palmas campus and spent time with the children and staff. We at ICC would like to thank our special visitors for taking the time to come and see our children’s village.

“My excitement grew as the bus turned into the gate of Las Palmas. We sensed that we were going to meet some very special and precious people.

“We were not disappointed. The director; Samilin Williams met us with warm hugs. Her welcome reflected the warmth and kindness of the staff and children to whom we were introduced.

“I was extremely impressed by the well kept campus. The school and homes also reflect cleanliness, orderliness and neatness.

“I must hasten to note that my greatest joy was seeing seemingly well-adjusted children of all ages, enjoying the care and love of their teachers, director and foster parents in a natural family setting.

“A handsome and very personable young man, a resident since he was four-years-old and now a college student, came to the director and spontaneously hugged her. Wow! I thought, this speaks volumes. What I witnessed truly demonstrated the warm relationship that they share.

“We were privileged to meet a young teacher, one who went through the system of Las Palmas and is now giving back, teaching with love and kindness.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

“Las Palmas demonstrates hands-on love of God for His children. I made the trip to deliver gifts but I received inspiration and blessings that cannot be measured by volume, time, money or distance.

“It is reassuring to realize that funds donated are being used as intended. My resolve to do all I can to help ICC projects deepened. This work is evangelism in its most powerful and effective form. Didn’t Jesus Himself declare that ministering to His precious children is pure and undefiled religion?

“Thank you ICC for your vision and sustained support of this awesome work, thank you for the privilege of being a part of your ministry.”

— Jean Parchment —

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.

Only a Small Child

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Joel Reyes and the donor who gave so generously to International Children's Care

Joel Reyes, ICC’s public relations director, and the young man who is the subject of this story.

He was only a little boy, no more than 10 years old. Vivacious and fast moving as he came into the resource tent at the Alberta camp meeting. He didn’t take much time as he quickly scanned all the displays. It was as if he was looking for something very specific, and as soon as he realized it was not there, he would move on. “Perhaps he has lost something,” I thought to myself as I studied him.

He came by my display booth and checked it out with the same brevity as he had all the others. I smiled at him. He politely returned my smile and moved on. I observed him as he left the resource tent through the opposite door from which he had entered.

He ran through the open field, waving his arms and calling at a man farther ahead. The man stopped, turned around and began to walk in the direction of the child. I watched as the man approached the lad and put his arm around him. They spoke for a bit and began to walk back in the direction of the resource tent.

Both man and child were smiling as they came. With a sense of urgency, the child walked in front of the man, glancing back from time to time to make sure he was still there. They came all the way to where I was standing, and as they approached the man said to me, “My son has a little fund he has created by saving his allowance and other resources and he would like to give a donation to this ministry.” I looked at the child. He gave me an almost apologetic look as he proceeded to extract wrinkled bills from his pockets and place them on the table.

As I stood before this young man pulling wrinkled bills from his pockets I couldn’t help but be moved. He was only a small child! What motivated this boy to take such a step? What about a new toy? What about saving for one of the many electronic gadgets that seem to enthrall the hearts of the young? As I stretched and counted the money the young philanthropist had placed on the table, I began to realize it was not a small amount.

Before giving my young friend a receipt I asked him, “Are you sure this is what you want to do? This is a lot of money, and you could get a lot of things for yourself with it.” The father smiled confident of his son, “Oh yes that is what I want to do” the child replied.

I turned to the father and said, “I need you to know that I am extremely moved and impressed by the attitude of this young man, this is not normal. What have you done with this kid?”

“The other day we were talking about how blessed we are as a family,” he said, “and in the middle of the conversation my son said he wanted to give a gift to the needy out of his savings. As we left for camp meeting he put some money in his pockets, but I didn’t know how much it was until right now. He has given you all he has.”

I could not stop the tears from swamping my eyes as we prayed together that day. Sometimes my job can be very difficult. I feel a tremendous burden for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world, many of them the fruit of wars, natural disasters, abuse and moral decay. I have been in the streets with these outcasts of society. I have seen their tears and anguish as they endure pain, abuse, hunger, and dreadful loneliness.

I have also witnessed miracles in their lives when some caring soul dares to reach out to them and give them a hand. I am the director of public relations for this ministry and visit numerous churches and other Adventist gatherings throughout North America sharing the plea of the children, and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when someone steps forward and says; “I will help.”

It can also be very discouraging at times when, after pouring out my heart before congregations and sharing what I have seen and what I know about the children on whose behalf I speak, I walk away with nothing but a pat on the back. I am a human being and I also get discouraged sometimes, but on this day the Lord chose to reveal Himself to me and send an angel in the form of a little boy with a shy smile.

Oh little friend, you have empowered me today. You have reassured my faith in the goodness of humanity. Oh how I wish I could replicate your spirit and disposition and pour it not only on every kid I see, but on all the adults I come across as well. Oh yes, most of them could use a bit of what you have in abundance! Oh if this world had more little angels like you, I wouldn’t have a job and that would make me very happy!

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3,4

Joel Reyes

Joel Reyes has been serving with International Children’s Care, an Adventist ministry, for the past 7 years. ICC builds country villages for orphaned and abandoned children. The rescued children are raised in a family environment and educated in the ways of the Lord.

Volunteers Making A Difference At ICC

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Laughter cascades down the stairwell at the ICC home office in Vancouver, Washington. Is there a staff party in full swing? Not at all. Today is mailing day and eleven enthusiastic volunteers have gathered in the upstairs conference room to stuff and prepare the monthly Qué Pasa newsletter. Even though there is light-hearted conversation, this task is critical to the ministry of ICC, and the volunteers seated around the tables take it seriously.

Dorothy Larson ICC volunteer

Dorothy Larson — ICC Volunteer. Dorothy coordiantes the volunteers who stuff the envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter. Dorothy has been a volunteer at ICC for thirty-three years. Volunteers are a vital component of the ICC ministry.

Dorothy Larson has been an ICC volunteer for almost as long as ICC has been in existence. She reckons that it was a couple of years after the start of ICC that she became involved with the mailings. That would be about 33 years ago. Dorothy coordinates the volunteer involvement in the mailings and ensures that everything is done correctly and efficiently. It usually takes from 8:00-10:30 on mailing mornings to stuff three to four items into each envelope. According to Dorothy, the volunteers prepare about 6,000 envelopes for each mailing. That includes the Spanish version of the Que Pasa which she processes herself.

Things are a bit different now. “When we first started,” Dorothy states; “we had to put the stamps on the envelopes and write the addresses.” Now, that process is automated. However, stuffing the envelopes is still done by hand and ICC is indebted to our faithful group of volunteers who willingly, and happily, do this task. When asked why she keeps coming back Dorothy replies with a big smile; “I love children.”

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

Volunteers stuff envelopes for ICC’s monthly newsletter

ICC children, staff, donors and volunteers comprise what we warmly refer to as the “ICC family.” Our mailing volunteers are part of the ICC family, and sometimes they involve their own family members. On this particular day, there are two married couples. One of the volunteers, Eileen, is the mother to Alanna Jones who is ICC’s sponsorship coordinator. Jean and Sandy are mother and daughter. Sandy says; “Mom and Dad used to come [to help with the mailings]. Dad used to invite me, and when he died, I used to bring mom because she couldn’t drive.”

The volunteers really seem to enjoy themselves and feel good about their contribution to the work of ICC. Bonnie B. has been volunteering for about six years. She states that “It’s a wonderful social time of Christian men and women. It’s fulfilling to now we’re helping orphans. It’s a blessing to be able to do that.”

Judy has been volunteering for about a year. When describing what’s going on she says; “It’s a Christian fellowship. It’s fun to get together and do something worthwhile.”

Eileen adds; “It’s very healthy because we laugh a lot.”

It’s not possible for all the volunteers to participate every month. According to those seated at the table more volunteers are needed. Bonnie says; “This room used to be so full that we ran out of places for people to sit. We’re always in need of more volunteers.”

We appreciate the work of our faithful volunteers. They truly make a difference in the lives of ICC children by helping us communicate with you, our extended ICC family. If you’d like to join this important group of volunteers on mailing mornings, please contact the ICC office (800-422-7729) for further details.

Baking Bread In Romania!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After many years of construction and untold hours of labor from volunteers and local workers the ICC Romania Bakery is now baking bread! As part of the start-up team, ICC sent two volunteers to assist with marketing, accounting and general oversight.

A loaf of bread from the first batch of bread to ever be baked in the new bakery established at the ICC Romania Children's Village

A loaf of bread from the first batch of bread to ever be baked in the new bakery at the ICC Romania Children's Village.

One of those volunteers, Jerry Grecian, called on Wednesday, October 3 to say that the bakery was up and running! They baked 40 loaves of bread the first day. The kids helped to celebrate the start-up. The group who gathered sang songs, prayed and enjoyed the fresh baked bread. Jerry said he never saw bread disappear so quickly.

The baker from the Netherlands who has helped to open the new bakery at ICC's Romanian Children's Village

Theo, The Dutch Baker (on the right) and his colleague, Ben (on the left) with the first batch of bread from the new bakery at the ICC Romania Children's Village.

Other members of the start-up team include Theo, a Dutch baker, and his colleague, Ben. They had arrived Tuesday evening, October 2, and it was rewarding to see that they were already baking bread the next day! Praise the Lord!

Thank-you to all volunteers and donors who have contributed to this industry. We pray that it will be a financial blessing to our ICC family in Romania.

Kent Greve
International Development Director, ICC

ICC Loses A Treasured Friend And Colleague

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

[Sunday, August 26th, 2012]

Lambro Triantos 1968–2012

Lambro Triantos, 1968–2012. Lambro with some of the children from ICC's Patmos Children's Village.

ICC’s children and staff have suffered a painful loss as one of our highly loved and esteemed family members has passed to his rest. Lambro Triantos, director of ICC’s partner in the Netherlands as well as European Regional Director, died this morning after battling an aggressive and fast spreading cancer. Lambro was 44.

Vasili Triantos, Lambro’s brother, related that as the sun came up on Sabbath morning, Lambro’s family gathered around him and sang songs of hope—eternal hope. Lambro quietly went to sleep in Jesus.

Kent Greve, ICC’s International Development Director, shared that “I had the privilege of working alongside a true champion in our mission to provide care for orphan and abandoned children. This loss is far reaching in its scope and impact. Lambro was a talented and effective advocate for ICC children around the world. He was a devoted husband and father, and loved Jesus. We will miss Lambro and will cling to the blessed hope of seeing him again when Jesus comes.

Rick Fleck, ICC’s president, in sharing the news with ICC administrators and board members stated that “Although it is difficult and painful for us to lose a loved one, we rejoice in the faith that this death is only a temporary sleep, and Jesus will soon awaken Lambro to be gathered up with Him and with us if faithful together in the clouds of angels to be received into Jesus’ loving arms to live with Him forever. Let’s live and prepare for that day so we will all be there!”

Lambro is survived by his wife, Kalin, his two young children, his parents, Magda and Dimitri, and his brother, Vasili.

Funeral services will be held at the Open Hof Church at the Walraven van Hallstraat 2 in Zwijndrecht, Netherlands at 13:00 on Friday, August 31.

Let’s unite in prayer and thought with his family at this difficult time.

Dear Friends and Family

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Here is an excerpt from a letter recently received from Lilly Kaligithi, director of ICC’s Sweet Home Children’s Village in India.

Dear Friends and Family;

We have come to the end of the year 2011. We look back with gratitude and praise in our hearts to God for the wonderful way He led us. We are also very grateful to all the ICC leaders and our sponsors for their generous gifts and love. Just look at the Sweet Home Family in the picture and see how happy and healthy the Sweet Home family is. Thank-you again for all your support.

We experienced many happy moments of pride when our children received awards for their high scholastic and winning in speech and Bible contests. We just had graduation for the class of 2012. [One of our boys] who has been standing first in his class for the past ten years was the president of the class. My eyes and heart were filled with tears of joy and pride as he delivered his presidential speech. Wish you were here with me to share this joy. Soon tenth and twelfth class students will be writing their board examinations. Please remember them in your prayers…

We wish you a blessed and prosperous New Year. May you enjoy good health and peace throughout the year to come.

With sincere thanks,

Lilly

A photo of Lilly and the kids from ICC's Sweet Home Children's Village in India

Lilly, the kids and the staff from ICC's Sweet Home Children's Village in India wish you a wonderful new year.

Then and Now

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Don’t you enjoy looking through old family photo albums? It’s heart warming seeing how children grow through the years—similar facial features, recognizable, yet they’re much taller.

In 2003, shortly after ICC Romania inaugurated its first children’s home, ICC’s volunteer extraordinaire, Dimitri Triantos, took a photo of some of our children holding a banner from Stichting Internationale Kinderhulp, our Dutch partner. Dimitri’s son, Lambro, recently visited the ICC Romania children’s village and captured a similar pose with the same children now eight years older!

Our children from Romania in 2003

Our children in 2003

It’s rewarding to witness the changes and growth in these children. As well, it’s a testimony to the type of program ICC operates, where children experience the love and security they need to grow and develop over time. ICC’s programs are all about longevity, the long-term, the sustaining effort. How else can children thrive?

The children from Romania in 2011

Our children in 2011

Thank-you for joining us in the long-term support of ICC children. Without you and other faithful partners, these pictures and this ministry simply would not exist.

ICC—It’s not charity… It’s family!