Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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.

“I’ve Got to Talk to You!”

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

“I Need to Tell You How Thankful I Am!”

You play a critical role in supplying all the things an orphan child needs when you providing funding by sponsoring an ICC child. When most of the children arrive, they often have nothing more than the clothes they are wearing. They don’t have money to provide for their care, and most governments don’t provide any assistance.

It’s donors like you who stand in the gap and say, “This child needs the loving care of a family. This child needs food, shelter and a place to go to school. I will help to provide these things for this child!”

Your support is making a huge difference in the lives of orphaned children. Constanza is just one example of a life transformed thanks to donors who invested in her—even during her darkest days when she was very young.

Your support is making a huge difference in the lives of orphaned children. Constanza is just one example of a life transformed thanks to donors who invested in her—even during her darkest days when she was very young.

If it weren’t for caring donors like you, what would have happened to a little Dominican girl we’ll call Constanza? When Constanza was young, her father died. Her mother was poor and had a mental illness. She could not provide the care that Constanza needed. It was fortunate for little Constanza that she was eventually placed in a loving family at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The care she received was made possible because donors like you came alongside of her to support her.

Constanza received nurturing care at Las Palmas and she needed these things very much. You see, Constanza suffered from depression.
She struggled and struggled. She was given psychological help and counseling and was treated with medication. The staff of Las Palmas worked with her, encouraged her and made sure she was following her treatment plan. Those were challenging days. But through this experience, Constanza became aware of just how much she was loved by all the people who cared for her—including YOU, her ICC family.

In time, Constanza graduated from the Las Palmas secondary school. She then enrolled at the local Adventist university in the nursing program which had just been established. Recently, Constanza become Las Palmas’ first child to graduate with a nursing degree. What a great accomplishment, especially when you consider the difficulties she has faced! But thanks to donors like you who made it possible, she received the care and support needed and she has taken full advantage. Furthermore, her heart is filled with gratitude for everything that has been done for her.

Recently Rick and Sharon Fleck visited the Las Palmas Children’s Village. It was late one evening, and who should come knocking on the guest room door? It was Constanza. She called out to Rick and Sharon. She wanted to talk to them.

Rick replied, “Constanza, we’re asleep already.”

Urgently, Constanza insisted, “But I’m leaving early in the morning, and I’ve got to talk to you. I need to tell you how thankful I am.

Rick got dressed and let her in. Constanza was then able to express her gratitude—the kind of urgent, heartfelt gratitude that goes to you as well. Again, without donors coming along side of her, supporting her with prayers and moral and financial support, where would she be?

Thank you for your generous donations! This work is not possible without your continued gifts. Children like Constanza bear witness that your investment is well worth it!

YOUR Support of Orphan Children is Vital!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

YOUR support of the ICC children is amazing! And it goes beyond the gifts you give. You’ve helped to rescue and restore the lives of children. Thanks for all you do!

This is about the incredible effect that YOU—and other donors like you—are having on the lives of the children you support through your gifts!

The child you sponsor sees you as far more than a source of financial support. They see you as a “God-parent.” YOUR care for them significantly increases their sense of well-being.

The child you sponsor sees you as far more than a source of financial support. They see you as a “God-parent.” YOUR care for them significantly increases their sense of well-being.

It’s no secret to any of us at ICC that this ministry would simply not be possible if it wasn’t for the faithful financial and prayer support that YOU continue to give. Not only on a monthly basis, but year after year.

The child you sponsor sees you as far more than a source of financial support. They see you as a “God-parent.” YOUR care for them significantly increases their sense of well-being.

With humble dedication and service YOU provide for the needs of “the least of these”—the very ones Jesus spoke about while here on earth. You have taken His example from the Bible and intentionally made it part of how you choose to live your own life.

Because of your gifts of love, the children’s lives are made better every day. YOU continue to do a wonderful work on behalf of “His Kids!”

Some donors like you have asked for a list of needs. Sometimes projects need some very important items and there aren’t sufficient funds to cover them within the projects operating budget.

From time to time, we plan to share lists like this in case you have the means, or know of someone who may be able, to provide a blessing for the kids in this way.

As you read this we hope that you will be inspired by the good that YOU are doing collectively for the grateful family of “His Kids.”

As you serve the children, any suggestions you may have on how we can better serve you please let us know by calling 800-422-7729.

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,

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


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.

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

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.