Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Christmas Matching Challenge Doubles Your Gift

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Dear Friend,

As the son of an Adventist pastor couple, I grew to love and appreciate the special traditions and activities of Christmas.

The candles.

The carols.

The lights on the tree.

The nativity complete with shepherds, wise men, animals, Mary, Joseph and the Babe laying in a manger.

As lovely as the nativity scene is in portraying the “reason for the season,” it also is a haunting reminder to us all that the Babe lying in a manager was in the manger because there was no room for Him anywhere else!

Today, “no room” is a harsh reality that orphan children continue to face.

But not if you help today.

In the Adventist faith, we are told to “make room” for children. James 1:27 even goes so far as to say that pure and genuine religion requires us to care for orphans in their distress. That’s God’s call to action — for me, and for you!

And now, especially at Christmas, you can make even more room for an orphan child by responding to a special matching grant that will double your gift.

That’s right. Because “making room” for orphans is a top priority, two of our loyal donors have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $60,00 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we’re experiencing a shortfall for the year. That means it’s almost impossible to think of “making room” for any more children. Budgets are strained to the breaking point taking care of kids who already have found room within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope! Your doubled gift will help provide…

Food for Deka, whose mother was killed by lightning and who suffered from malnutrition before she came desperately needing you to help “make room” for her.

Shelter for orphaned Ramon, whose cousin brought him to ICC to get him away from drug trafficking gangs. Ramon needed you to help “make room” for him.

Nurturing care for Sofia, from an orphanage in Guatemala that was closing its doors. Sofia also needed you to help “make room” for her.

‘Room’ for children like Oria and her three sisters. Oria, the oldest sister, wrote a letter pleading, “Please give us your help. I promise that we are going to behave well… We are not lazy. Even my little sister knows how to do dishes and clean. If the four of us can’t stay and be together, which is our desire, at least I want you to help our little sisters.”

The world tells orphans, “There’s no room for you!” But I’m calling on you to tell a waiting child something far different — You’ll say, “I believe in you! I know you long for a home and family, and I want to help you!”

You’ve done it before. Each and every time you’ve sent a gift to help a child.

I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience the love of our Heavenly Father. It was because of God’s great love that He gave the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus, to the world. And now, God calls us to prepare room and receive Him by helping to “make room” for His little ones who are in need.

“Let every heart, prepare Him room…”

Please, having read this post, send your gift for the children — which will immediately be doubled.

On behalf of the children, thank you for blessing them this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

 

Rick Fleck, President ICC

P.S. Remember to give by December 31 to take advantage of year-end tax benefits and to have your gift matched, helping twice as many children in need!

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.

Pathfinder Uniforms Needed!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Your gift can help a child at Las Palmas to look and feel like a real Pathfinder!

The Pathfinders at Las Palmas need uniforms for all the members of the club.

“If you were ever a Pathfinder… please support these children at Las Palmas.”

You have the opportunity to provide a big blessing for children at the Las Palmas children’s village right now. They need uniforms! For $30 you can help purchase material so that a child can have their very own dress uniform. Here are more details:

ICC children love being a “Pathfinder.” If you also had the joy of being a Pathfinder you recall the wonderful experiences of learning skills and earning honors. You’ll recall team building activities such as marching. Best of all, you’ll remember camp outs and the big camporee where you could meet kids from other Pathfinder clubs.

Now imagine how you would feel if you were a Pathfinder and didn’t have a dress uniform! This is the situation children at the Las Palmas Children’s Village face.

We’ve had several new children join the ICC family there in recent months. The project’s finances don’t stretch enough to cover purchasing uniforms for all the kids. Without uniforms, these children have had to wear normal play clothes to Pathfinder activities.

In addition, our children and the Las Palmas club will not be able to receive certain achievement awards if they are not wearing the required dress uniforms. The Las Palmas children want to look and feel just like every other child who participates in Pathfinders —but they need your help.

The Las Palmas Pathfinder Club is trying to purchase the materials needed to make dozens of uniforms for their club. Yes, make their uniforms. Purchasing new uniforms would cost too much. If they can make the uniforms, your support and keep the cost to about $30 per child.

This is an urgent need! Your gift is needed by December 15 for the uniforms to be finished before the Pathfinder Fair and Camporee. If the materials aren’t available, the children may have to go without.

If you were ever a Pathfinder, or if you know just what a rewarding experience Pathfinder’s can be, please support these children at Las Palmas. You can call or send in your donation today for these materials. Please designate your gift as “Las Palmas Uniforms.”

God bless you for helping these children to really “look” the part of being a Pathfinder!

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,
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 —