Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

Faithfully Serving the Children

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
A photo of Samalin and Mario Lora of the ICC Las Palmas Children's Village.

Samalin & Mario

For most of the past 35 years, Mario and Samilin Lora have faithfully served the children of Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic. In 1983 Samilin came to Las Palmas when her parents joined the staff. She was only 17 at the time.

With a chuckle, Samilin vividly remembers the first children who arrived on campus. Everyone was thrilled. These children came from the nearby village and looked so pitiful — with distended bellies and full of parasites. This was the start of the program, or so everyone thought at the time!

The children were cleaned up, given fresh clothes and some nourishing food. Everyone was happy — until the next day when family members of these children came to the campus all concerned about their well-being.

Yes, the children were in poor shape. They appeared to be orphans living on the streets. But they had distant relatives and neighbors who heard that the Americans had taken their children to use their organs and eyeballs.

Sheepishly, the staff watched as these children left with community members. However, these “first children” left behind a good lesson and principle that sticks with our project administrators to this day — be sure to follow ICC protocols so they are legally taken into care.

Despite this early setback, it wasn’t long after this experience that Las Palmas did start receiving children who legitimately needed the help for which ICC is known.

Eventually, Samilin met and married Mario Lora. Together they spent some time in Puerto Rico and also working at the Adventist University in the Dominican Republic.

A photo of Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Then in 1991, Samilin’s mother called her and Mario to come and join the staff of Las Palmas. Samilin became the children’s services director and Mario became the chaplain and accountant.

Samilin recalls how difficult it was for her at first to take on the challenges of overseeing the parents. Since she is somewhat small, the parents joked that they would “put this little auntie in a sack” so they would not have to obey her.

This was a trial by fire for Samilin, and one that she won through God’s help and her determination. She recalls that once the parents understood ICC’s model and implemented it consistently, things went much better.

Samilin grew in experience and capacity as the children’s services director and also obtained her master’s degree in Educational Administration. Then, in 1998 when her mother retired, ICC asked Samilin to take on the responsibilities as project administer — a position she continues to hold today.

When asked what her biggest challenge is now as the project administrator, Samilin says that it’s finding good house parents. It’s a challenge to find parents with a passion for taking care of the children and not just to have money.

According to Rick Fleck, ICC president, Samilin has turned this into a strength. They have a proven record of success in finding, training and keeping good house parents. They use an effective interviewing and screening process, and this has helped a lot.

Over the past few years a new generation of children have come to Las Palmas. Many of the older children have completed their education and have moved on to live independently. There has be in influx of younger children.

Logo representing the 40th Anniversary of International Children's CareMario and Samilin understand very well how important it is to teach the new children core values that will serve them well in this life and prepare them for eternal life.

Each of the past three years, the Las Palmas staff have focused on teaching the kids values. The staff are united in this. According to Samilin, “the most important thing is to have the children saved in Jesus. That is my passion. We’re working on the area of values with that end in mind.”

This year’s motto is “United with our Eyes on Eternal Values.” The entire staff are united in keeping their eyes on eternal values they can teach the children.

There was a time several years ago when there were not many children being referred to Las Palmas. That has changed. We have received so many requests that there is not capacity to accept them all. Sadly, some children are being turned away.

Samilin recently hired a couple to serve as house parents in a home that was re-opened. Their home is now nearly filled with children. Samilin will soon try to open another home because there are so many requests for assistance. The government is cooperating well and are bringing children at an early age. This is when ICC’s model of care can have the greatest positive impact.

One of the factors causing an increase in the number of at-risk children is the increase in the number of men killing women in the Dominican Republic the last couple of years. Government authorities are worried about this trend which may be caused by the increase in the cost of living, high unemployment and drug use.

In a country like the Dominican Republic, it is unusual for a woman to oversee an organization, especially if her husband is also working at the same place. However, Mario and Samilin have found a comfortable working relationship for each has a unique role.

Also, Mario is the head of their home while Samilin serves as the administrator of the project. They have learned to separate the roles within their work and personal lives and respect each other within those roles.

Mario and Samilin are well-aware of the critical part that ICC Donors play in the sustaining this ministry on behalf of children at Las Palmas. “Tell the donors,” says Samilin, “if it weren’t for those donors, this [program for children] would not exist. Only in heaven will you be rewarded.”

The children of ICC have been blessed by the tireless, sacrificial and dedicated service this faithful couple has given to them through the years. We value them as cherished members of the ICC family.

Serving Orphan Children Together for 40 Years!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

1978–2018

Your support has made a tremendous impact around the world in the lives of orphan children. Some of you may have been involved with this ministry since it’s early beginnings way back in 1978 or even before then.

Alcyon and Ken Fleck the founders of International Children’s Care

Alcyon and Ken Fleck, the founders of International Children’s Care.

In late December 1977, a group of compassionate individuals met to organize a new ministry that would become known as International Children’s Care. Ken and Alcyon Fleck helped to organize that initial meeting.

Ken and Alcyon faithfully served ICC as founders and inspirational leaders for over 30 years. Ken and Alcyon became  known affectionately as “Mami and Papi Fleck” to hundreds of orphan children.

The mission of International Children’s Care (ICC) is to provide nurturing care for orphaned and abandoned children.

ICC received its Certificate of Incorporation from the state of Oregon and began operations in April 1978. Later, ICC moved to its present headquarters office in Vancouver, Washington.

During this special year of remembrance, we plan to celebrate God’s blessing and recognize the contributions of many people who have been used by God in special ways to power this ministry forward.

Most importantly, we want to thank you for your support of the children! Your support continues to be vital for new children who have just arrived.

“Stepping Out In Faith” Matching Fund

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Just in Time to Bless the Children this Christmas!

’Tis better to give than to receive” is a truth that we all recognize. What is even better is when you give and that gift is doubled to make twice the impact! This Christmas, you have a wonderful opportunity to double your gift in support of a child like Eduardo who desperately wants and needs a home.

Please read on for more details

Dear Friend of the Children,

Eduardo’s father died without ever recognizing him as his son. His mother left Eduardo in the care of his sick grandmother who was also trying to care for her 18-year-old daughter who has special needs.

Eduardo’s living environment was unsafe, and he suffered several attempts of violation. The child protection authorities rescued Eduardo and needed a safe place for him, so they contacted the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

I’m reminded of the story of Jesus who was born in a stable because there was “no room in the inn.” Currently, several of our children’s villages DO HAVE ROOM for more children. You can help us welcome more children like Eduardo who need the safety and security of a loving home. This Christmas please consider giving the gift of family to an orphan child!

I have some terrific news to share. From now until December 31, 2017, your gift will be doubled, up to a total of $125,000. What a double blessing and impact your gift will be for the children!

In the past several weeks, 12 different children have experienced life-threatening events. These suffering children have been referred to us from authorities in Congo and the Dominican Republic.

Some of these 12 kids were already dying, and we were told that they would soon lose their lives if we did not accept them into our care. Horrible events took place leaving these children devastated without families. What were our administrators to do when these kids were placed at their door? Should they have turned their backs on these children, leaving them to die?

The thought of signing a child’s death warrant is something I cannot agree with, nor do I believe that God wants our ICC family to do that. I believe that God put ICC here to be the last harbor of refuge from these kinds of storms in the lives of the children — the storms that take their very lives. There must be another answer, and I believe the answer is the ICC family!

Recently, caring individuals provided for a special “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

Donations received (up to $125,000) will be matched and used to support the children of ICC, especially those who recently joined the ICC family or those on the outside just waiting to come in.

Your support for the children within the ICC family has meant a life-change for them. In some cases the saving of their lives.

Today, many children are brought to us by the local government, first responders, or relief workers who told us that if we did not take these kids, there was no one else who would, and they could perish.

Hearing this sends chills down my spine. That there is no other answer, and children may perish, is real and something we can’t tolerate.

With this in mind, I’m writing to you at the end of this year. There are children like Eduardo who need your help and protection. They need the life-saving and life-giving support that you offer. And since your gift will be doubled, it’s an especially good time to give!

Again, from now until December 31, you can have your donation matched up to a total of $125,000. A gift of $50 becomes $100. A gift of $250 becomes $500.

Should all the money be matched, it will be $250,000 bringing hope and healing to the lives of orphan children. What a blessing this will be for them!

Will you help me with this urgent need for these children who’ve been placed on our doorstep, which I believe was providential?

If you want your donation matched, please mark it “Stepping out in Faith.”

God bless you for stepping out in faith and saving the lives of the fatherless.

 

 

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

P.S. Thank you for your wonderful support to the children. And now through December 31st your support can be doubled through the “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

P.P.S. And since the overhead for this year has been covered, 100% of your donation plus the matched amount will go to support the program for children. Thank you for being a double blessing to the children here at the end of the year!

We Are Thankful For You This Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

A special message from ICC’s President

As the holiday season approaches, we want to take this opportunity to “Thank You” for the many ways that you have been a blessing this year!

❋ Your prayers on behalf of a specific child, for all the children and staff, or for the entire ICC family, provide a protective cover and allow God to work and bless in special ways.

❋ Your letters to ICC children and staff give encouragement and motivation to keep trying even in the midst of challenges and difficulties.

❋ Your gifts of support fuel this ministry to provide for the nurturing care the children need.

❋ Your support has made it possible for the Los Pinos Children’s Village to offer a safe-haven and refuge this year for children like the Ramirez siblings.

A photo of the Rameriz children as they arrived at the Los Pinos Children's VillageThese three young children were brought to Los Pinos recently by request of the juvenile court.

They had been living with their great-grandmother because other family members were unable to keep them.

No reason was given as to why the great-grandmother lost custody of the children, and we can only assume it was because of her advanced age.

These children need a permanent home and a mom and a dad to love them. They need a place at the table where there will be nourishing food and the warmth of family togetherness.

These are all things we look forward to experiencing with our own families at Thanksgiving and other occasions throughout the year. And thanks to the support you give, these siblings can experience the love of a family. They are able to stay together, which is something for which they are thankful.

This thanksgiving, we are truly thankful for you and the blessing you are to the ICC family!

May God Bless You!

 

You’ve Saved Lives & Other News

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

News of your powerful impact across the world

Patmos Children’s Village, Idjwi Island — DR Congo

Thanks to your support, the seven children who came to us having lost their families in a devastating mud slide, have been welcomed into the ICC family in Congo.

There is much patient and caring effort that will be required to help them learn the dialect spoken at the children’s village. When more information is gathered, these children will need sponsors to help provide for their care.

Please share this need with others. Maybe you or someone you know would like to sponsor one of these children. Thank you for your support of these children who have lost so much and who stand to gain so much through your generosity.

Las Palmas Children’s Village — Dominican Republic

A photo of the solar panels installed at the Las Palmas children's villageIf you have visited the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic you may have experience one of the frequent power outages that plague the campus.

Not only do these blackouts create annoying inconveniences for both the children and staff, they also create security risks.

However, thanks to the wonderful support of the Versacare Foundation, Las Palmas will soon have a reliable source of power through solar energy. Solar panels have been recently installed on various campus buildings.

When fully operational, the solar energy project will provide enough electricity to power the entire campus. It will also create surplus energy to sell to the power grid. What a huge blessing this is to the children and staff of Las Palmas! A BIG thank you to Versacare for this tremendous support for the children!

Myitta Gaye Har (Village of Love) — Myanmar

Sheets of fresh rubber hung on rack to dry at the ICC Myanmar children's villageSeveral years ago, the ICC children’s village in Myanmar developed a rubber plantation with the intent that one day the funds generated would help the project to become more self-sustaining.

It takes a while for the rubber trees to produce. We’re happy to report that this micro-industry is doing well. In the picture you can see the first stage of the rubber processing business. The first sale of the rubber brought in about $2,400. What a blessing this is for the project!

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!

Our Older ICC Children Need Your Help — Please Sponsor Today

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Sadly, there are young people in our projects that have no sponsors at all due to their age.

A photo of one of the older ICC children who needs a sponsor

Marienne — Congo

That’s why I am asking you today if you will be willing to make a difference for these older children in the children’s villages.

You can make such a tremendous difference if you will just make the decision to be that rock of strength and support that these older kids need right now. They need your prayers, your support and your love in their lives.

These young adults that were devastated by the choices of others at some point in their lives, now have the chance to really make something of their lives, and they almost always choose to help “pay back” for what they have received by helping our smaller children as well as others.

These kids are, and will be, the fruits of YOUR labor as sponsors and donors. Please, pray about this decision to open your life to these wonderful older kids who need you today. I know from my own experience just how much of a blessing I have received by sponsoring an older child, and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

Photos of older ICC children who need sponsors

These kids need your sponsorhsip!

Jesus tells us to “Love one another.” I cannot think of anything in this world that can have a greater impact of love than sponsoring one of these older kids and providing that hope that they cling to as they make their own choices for their futures.

Photos of older ICC kids who need sponsors

These kids need your support. Please, sponsor one of them today.

What a wonderful blessing it is to be a part of what Jesus wants for His kids. Please join me today!

In faithful service for His kids,

Doug Congleton
Executive Director, ICC

P.S. There are several older children just waiting to hear from you that you love and care for them. Please contact Alanna at our ICC office (800-422-7729) to find out more about a child who needs you right now! Thank you.

A Step In Faith

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
by: Doug Congleton

“Little Nicole was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness… all of her family members had perished in the landslides… To picture that little child terrified and alone, just crushes my heart…”

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

I know what Faith means to me  — Forever, Anywhere, I’ll, Trust, Him — FAITH. This is exactly what we have again just experienced here at ICC concerning a small girl that was going to die in Congo. The story of Nicole* is an amazing story of what I believe is the main reason that Jesus created ICC. Somehow I think you may feel the same way.

Recently, there were torrential rains, which caused devastating flooding in the Mulenge Mountains, in the Uvira territories of the Congo.

The few people who were able to survive could only stand by and watch as family, friends, animals, livestock, homes and belongings were swept away in the landslides of mud that roared through their village from the four full days of relentless downpour.

Can you imagine how this must have felt to stand there and witness such a horrific event and not be able to stop it?

One night after the storms subsided, one of the ADRA workers that was on-site heard the cries of a small child in the darkness. Little Nicole (we are guessing she is about three-years-old) was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness alone, since all of her family members had perished in the landslides. To picture that little child in my mind, terrified and alone, just crushes my heart.

The ADRA worker brought Nicole to our Patmos Children’s Village on the island and asked us if we could take her in since she would perish without help.

We are all aware that the finances are really stretched here at ICC right now, but for those of us who serve here, this request to take Nicole in IS the reason Jesus created ICC. We knew we did not have sponsors to financially support little Nicole, but we also knew that without help, she would perish.

So, we have taken Nicole into our ICC Family in faith — faith in a God who is “The Father of the fatherless,” and a faith in our ICC family that you would never choose to turn a child in need away due to financial challenges.

Désiré, our director at Patmos, just wrote a letter to us, and here is an excerpt:

“At the arrival of our new little girl, Nicole, she is very shy and she just isn’t eating all types of food given to her. We found out that in addition to the deadly accident of her parents, she had a case of malnutrition. She has discolored hair, a large belly and scabies on her legs. We ask anyone who has a heart for children to contribute financially to support our little girl Nicole.”

Nicole needed a life-saving love in order to survive. We made that choice in faith to somehow find a way to provide that love for her by adding her to our ICC family.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Today is the time for each one of us to step forward and make sure that Nicole, and others just like her have a place to call “home.” A home in a children’s village is a place where these children will find the love and hope that they lost or have not had before.

Every one of us can tell these children they are loved in spite of what has happened to them by giving our financial support in providing for them. In giving to these children, I am sure that your life will be blessed many times over. I know this because it happens in my life.

For just 41 cents per meal, which is only $1.22 each day, you can provide an entire day’s meals to a child in Congo. What a difference something as simple as meals can make for them!

If you can help financially, no matter how large or small, please do so today. Will you help Nicole and so many other children know that they are loved enough that someone somewhere will do something to help them? If you and I do not do this for these special children, who will?

Please mark your donations “The Nicole Project and we will make sure that 100% of your donations go directly to provide for Nicole and her new brothers and sisters in The Patmos Children’s Village.

God bless you for providing for these special children in need.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

*Nicole’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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

A Life Transformed Because Of You

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Stela is a vibrant young lady thanks to you! It was your generous support that made it possible for Stela to become a part of the ICC family in Romania. Her life now is quite different from how it started out.

Stela’s life has been transformed because of your support. Recently she made the decision to be baptized.

Stela’s life has been transformed because of your support. Recently she made the decision to be baptized.

When Stela arrived, she showed signs of serious neglect. She had been abandoned and left in a children’s hospital in Bucharest. After three months, no family visited and the authorities brought Stela to the ICC Romania receiving center.

She received nourishing food and loving care. Soon she was growing and developing like a healthy child!

It can’t be underscored enough just how much of a difference your support makes when you help provide a child with food and shelter and nurturing support. The transformation is dramatic!
But as you well know, the progression from childhood to an adult is a long process. That is why your continued help is so critical to, and appreciated by, children like Stela!

When it was time for Stela to go to school she thrived and was at the head of her class. But things dramatically changed for her at adolescence. Stela suffered emotionally and acted out.

The root cause?

Being abandoned and knowing that her mother had kept other children! Why hadn’t her mother kept her, too?

Your generous support enabled Stela to receive the counseling and support that she needed during those turbulent years. In time, her feelings of inferiority subsided, and through a group of Adventist young people Stela become more conscious of God’s work in her life.

Three years ago, Stela was accepted into the Adventist high school in Bucharest. She is currently a Junior and has another year to go before she graduates. Stela is diligent in her school work, serious in studying the Bible and has decided to be baptized!

Recently, Stela shared her testimony which includes many heart-warming memories and a dream for the future that you can help make possible through your continued support!

“I’m thrilled when I think of my childhood at ICC.

I have memories everywhere, memories of all my ages, and memories of every stage of my growth.

I remember the evenings when we spent time as a family after the moments of worship. We were discussing and playing games.

Stela has fond memories of a mission group from the Netherlands. She especially enjoyed closing the Sabbath with Lambro Triantos leading the singing with his guitar.

Stela has fond memories of a mission group from the Netherlands. She especially enjoyed closing the Sabbath with Lambro Triantos leading the singing with his guitar.

If I look in the yard, I remember the worship moments at the end of Sabbath in the gazebo in our beautiful yard. I remember when the volunteer group joined us [from Holland] at the end of the Sabbath and we spent a lot of time singing and Lambro was playing his guitar. At the end, he shared with us bananas from Dimitri (in the picture below at the back left). It was like a good grandfather sending sweets to his grandchildren.

Thanks to the faithful support of donors like you, Stela, (child on the right), received the loving care she needed.

Thanks to the faithful support of donors like you, Stela, (child on the right), received the loving care she needed.

We had competitions. We had a week to memorize some Psalms, and in the evening of the Sabbath day, we used to recite it. Those who knew it better were awarded. All these warm moments helped me to feel important, to think ‘I’m not alone, even if my mother left me.’

During the potato harvest Stela, with the other children in Romania did their best to be the first of several teams vying to collect all the potatoes in their assigned row. Once the potatoes were all harvested, it was time to enjoy ice cream.

During the potato harvest Stela, with the other children in Romania did their best to be the first of several teams vying to collect all the potatoes in their assigned row. Once the potatoes were all harvested, it was time to enjoy ice cream.

If I look to the garden I remember how funny the potato harvesting was. We were a group on a row, and each group tried to be the first to pick up all the potatoes from the row. At the end, we used to enjoy delicious ice cream.

I remember our trips to the local forest and the picnics and the games we played there. I loved so much to pick up a flower and to bring it to the ladies who cared for us.

Stela enjoyed the times she and the other children sang as part of ICC Romania’s children’s choir.

Stela enjoyed the times she and the other children sang as part of ICC Romania’s children’s choir.

I remember the times we were singing with the choir… these are some precious memories. I remember the time spent in the car during the drive to the place of the concert. Someone always took care to bring something sweet for us, the children.

I remember our trips to the seacoast. We were playing in the water, and our caretakers called us to eat donuts with jam or chocolate. All these memories make me realize that life is a good thing.

There was a time when I was upset with God and with people around me, because I thought I was different and not good enough for my own family. After a while, all these nice memories I had from the campus were an important aspect that helped me to change my point of view. Now I’ve decided to give my life to God and to be baptized.

Stela wants to combine her childhood dream of being a surgeon with the desire to help other children who live in difficult circumstances.

Stela wants to combine her childhood dream of being a surgeon with the desire to help other children who live in difficult circumstances.

When I was a child I dreamed of becoming a surgeon and traveling around the world. Now I’m thinking of finding something that will combine my childhood dreams with the possibility of supporting other children in difficulties.

Thanks to the faithful support of donors like you, Stela, (child on the right), received the loving care she needed.

Thanks to the faithful support of donors like you, Stela, (child on the right), received the loving care she needed.

I like to imagine that sometime in the future we will gather all the children who grew up together at ICC and all the people who cared for us in any way. Then we could see the pathways in life each of us took.”

One of the younger girls recently admitted that she had been having doubts about God and was moving toward being an atheist. But after spending time with Stela, talking and reading together, she was thinking again that God is real.

Thanks in part to your faithful support, Stela is a wonderful role model for the younger girls on the ICC Romania campus. The girls love her, and she looks forward to weekends and vacations when she can return home from boarding school and visit them.

Because of you Stela, and children like her, have experienced a true transformation in their lives Thanks for all you do for “His Kids.”