Posts Tagged ‘Las Palmas’

“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!

Because Of Your Support — New Children Have Been Accepted At Las Palmas

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

Dominican Republic — Las Palmas

Because of your support new children have recently been accepted into the ICC family at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. I wish you could be on the campus of one of our children’s villages to see what it’s like when new children arrive!

You may be interested in knowing more about the special process involved in welcoming new children. First of all, they are brought to the children’s home where they meet their new mom and dad and siblings. They are greeted warmly and taken in and loved. They are given new clothes and are bathed. If they need medical attention or treatment they receive that. Many of the children are hungry when they first arrive and they receive food. This gives them assurance that their needs will be meet in their new home.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

Because of your support, Tomas and Diego recently became part of the ICC family at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The welcoming is not complete until the entire children’s village has the opportunity to participate in a special dedication service for the children and their new parents. During the children’s first weekend, at one of the village worship services, they are called to the front along with their house parents. They are introduced to the rest of the children’s village family and greeted warmly. There is a special dedication prayer for the children and the parents. This service helps the new children realize that they are part of a larger community who also loves and cares for them.

You’ve read in the Que Pasa about the three siblings, Tomas, Diego and Renata, who recently came to live with us at Las Palmas. The last time I heard these children are all doing very well. Thanks to you, these children can now grow and develop within a safe and loving home.

In time they will be introduced to caring people like you who will come along side of them and provide financial support through monthly sponsorship. This is extremely important to them. It adds to their sense of security to know that people who live a long way from them are supporting them and praying for them. The role you play in making the children feel secure is extremely important. Thanks for all you do to make them feel loved and accepted.

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 —

Dominican Children Provide Church Programs

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Earlier this year, the children at our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic prepared a special program for their church. Samilin Lori, the Administrator, sent us the following report and photos.

The Children of Las Palmas Present a Special Program

The children of Las Palmas present their special program

The Young Peoples Society leadership for 2011 is made up of young people with an adult counselor, Mrs. Samilín. This committee met to see what they could do to get the children and young people to read the Bible in a way that would be interesting for them.

They developed a program which would involve all the children and young people in actively reading and studying the Bible.

The Leadership Committee with some of the presenters

The leadership committee with some of the presenters

The program consists in following the annual Bible reading plan that is included with the youth daily devotional book (morning watch book). In order to interest the children and young people, we prepared a good promotional program ahead of time.

We created four groups for the whole church, called Action Groups. Each group has its leaders, a name that identifies it, a color, a motto and aim.

They earn points for various aspects of the program of the Young Peoples Society, such as:

  • Bible reading
  • Developing and presenting programs
  • Participating in Sabbath sundown worship
  • Participating in Bible games on Sabbath afternoons
  • Preparing social activities
  • Preparing spiritual activities

The Bible year was divided into four quarterly sections. For the first quarter, the final program was a weekend devoted to the Sanctuary theme.

Each group was given a portion of the Sanctuary materials so that they could present it in an attractive and dynamic manner. The groups had to develop the Sanctuary implements/equipment and memorize part of the message that contains the truth about the Sanctuary.

We invited Christian singing artists who gave a special touch to the activity, and each action group presented the portion which they had been assigned.

One of the children as the high priest of the Sanctuary

One of the children as the high priest of the Sanctuary

It was a joy to see how the kids learned portions of the Bible on the Sanctuary theme. This was a marvelous experience for the kids, and they felt even closer to God. During the entire year, the Young Peoples Society has presented precious programs during which the children and young people have developed their talents for Christ.

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC

Waste Container or 40-foot Container?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The choice was quickly made when chairs and cupboards were being replaced at the Community Center ‘t Nieuwelant in Vlaardingen the Netherlands. The center had contracted with the company IVA Groep BV to supply the center with new chairs and cupboards. The question came up, “What shall we do with the old ones? Should we throw them out.”

The account manager for IVA Groep BV, Jonne Klaucke, contacted ICC Netherlands (IKN) to see if an ICC project could use 100 chairs and 6 cupboards and thus prevent them from going in a waste container.

Quickly agreements were made between the parties.

On Tuesday the 9th of August these items were loaded by transport business Slager & Zandbergen and delivered to a temporary storage space. These items will eventually be loaded onto a 40-foot container and shipped to the Dominican Republic where they will be used at the Las Palmas children’s village that IKN supports.

Photo of the chairs donated to ICC Netherlands (IKN) for our project in the Dominican Republic.

Chairs for ICC's project in the Dominican Republic are loaded for transport to a storage facility till they can be loaded onto a container and shipped to the Dominican Republic.

Employees and the board of the Community Center ’t Nieuwelant have the heartfelt wish that this furniture will make a positive difference in the lives of the Las Palmas children.

By Christa Breure
IKN Project Assistant

Violent Storm Damages Las Palmas Crops

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve received some disturbing news from Mario Lora, ICC’s business and farm manager at the Las Palmas Campus in the Dominican Republic. On Friday, May 27 an isolated and violent storm swept through the Las Palmas campus and caused extensive damage to the farm crops which had been growing in such abundance.

Weather forecasts had not predicted the storm, and it hit the campus unexpectedly and with terrific force. According to Mario, “Its radius of action was practically in our locality and towards the mountains. In fact, the nearby city of Bonao had no damage.

“We understand that it affected an area of about 10 square kilometers with us in the center. We haven’t heard anything about it on the news, and everyone who comes here is surprised when they see the destruction.

“In fact, one of the engineers in charge of the greenhouse project, when he came here was stunned because he didn’t know this had happened, and he was investigating a lot to see what happened. It was quick, only lasting about 20 to 25 minutes as a strong storm, and then the rain lasted for a long time afterward. There was no warning to prepare.”

Plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm destroyed by a focused storm.

Some of the destroyed plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm

About 2/3 of the plantain crop was damaged by the heavy winds and rain that accompanied the storm. Many of the trees were laden with plantains and according to Mario, “With a few exceptions, all trees that had stalks (bunches) of plantains fell to the ground. The stalks varied a lot, from ones that were just flowering to those that were ready to harvest.

Of the trees that didn’t have stalks, only a few fell to the ground, but a very small percentage. We think that about 2,500 plantain trees fell over. Each stalk has about 30 to 40 plantains, which at the current market price are worth between 5 and 7 pesos, so each stalk is worth about 150 pesos [$4.05]. When we multiply that by 2,500 trees, it comes out to a loss of about 375,000 pesos [$10,135]. Also, we were left with about 1,250 trees which will start flowering in the next three months.”

The loss of the trees means more than the loss of the crop. A tree can produce several crops, plus they produce other “children” – small trees that grow up to the next generation. Mario, the staff and children at Las Palmas have quickly started the process of rehabilitating trees that can be salvaged and planting new trees.

Mario states that, “when we plant a new crop it takes about 8 or 9 months to start producing.” One piece of good news is that the project already has enough seeds to do the replanting and together with rehabilitating the damaged trees, the project should be able to expand the crop. This will have to wait until the rains allow the workers to prepare the land.

Plantains are a staple crop at the children’s village. This loss will certainly impact the project. Mario continues. “Of the production that we had projected, we consume almost the entire crop. What was happening at this moment was that as the plantains would get ripe we would cut them for use in the homes. They were not all ready to cut at the same time. In fact, many times we have had to cut them before they were really ready because of the needs in the homes.”

One of the other important crops at Las Palmas is Yucca. Mario estimated that perhaps 30% to 40% was affected. Since Yucca are tubers, it’s difficult to say at this time what the effect of the storm may be. However, there was significant damage to the plants themselves and the tubers may rot or not develop normally.

Garden vegetables were also hit hard, and according to Mario, “everything we had was ruined.” The house father and children of house 4 on the Las Palmas campus had put forth dedicated effort to supply the homes with vegetables. Mario estimates that this was valued at the equivalent of $135 per week so over the next 8 weeks as they wait for new crops to mature, they’ll need to spend about $1,080 to replace what was lost.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm

There are some bright spots in all this discouraging news. All the children and staff escaped unharmed. Praise God for that! Also, the sweet potato, corn and pineapple crops were not damaged. As well, there is something telling about how Mario describes the attitude of the staff and children on campus. “What has impressed me the most in all this,” he states, “is the good spirit that exists among the employees and the kids. We can see complete unity in order to reestablish, with God’s help and our efforts, what has been damaged. We have courage to continue on as long as the Lord gives us the strength.”

We’re pleased to report that when the Versacare Foundation heard about this tragedy, they immediately provided a donation of $10,000 to help with this food emergency. What a blessing this is! Additional funds are needed, and if you would like to help, please mark your donation “Las Palmas Farm and Food Fund.” It will directly assist with this need.

Thank you for your generous support.

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

Sewing Success at Las Palmas

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Recently we received this report written by María Teany Cuevas, the sewing teacher at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

Thanks to the donation of sewing machines, 15 girls in our children’s village are taking a sewing class every Sunday from 9:00 to 12:00. They are very happy and enthusiastic with this opportunity. Despite having only a few machines, we have seen a lot of progress since these girls’ interest allows them to progress. This is an opportunity with a lot of benefit for each of these girls. We would like to present some of the objectives of this course in its first phase.

The sewing class at ICC's Las Palmas Children's Village.

The sewing class at ICC's Las Palmas Children's Village.

We hope that when we initiate the second phase we can have a small graduation where we can display the clothing items that they have made. Later we hope they can make some of the clothing for the children [in the children’s village] such as the skirts for school uniforms.

In this course we are using the Rocha Method which is easy and practical. In the first phase we are working with the following objectives:

  1. Learn the fundamentals needed for basic sewing.
  2. Design and implement a pattern for a basic skirt.
  3. Design and implement a pattern for a blouse.
  4. Design and implement a pattern for a dress.

Objectives achieved:

  1. Basic knowledge of sewing.
  2. Design and implementation of a basic skirt.
  3. Design of a blouse.
Learning to Sew

Learning to Sew

These achievements were accomplished, thanks to God, and all the students had maximum participation and showed great interest. The course was affected by a lack of electricity at times. We hope to continue in order to reach our objectives and then continue with a more advanced course.

The girls are very excited to soon be able to make their own clothes. It is really beautiful to be able to make your own.

María Teany Cuevas
Las Palmas


Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

Las Palmas Medication Blessing

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Tattered clothing
Little bodies needing a bath
Evidence of malnutrition
Eyes that show fear and emit tears

These are outward appearances of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children when they first arrive at an ICC children’s village. Immediately our staff provide for their obvious physical needs: the children are bathed and dressed in clean clothes, food is offered, and the children are given abundant assurance that they are in a safe place where they will be happy.

However, even with all these efforts to provide for the apparent needs of the children, underneath, lying hidden perhaps for months and even years, are wounds and scares from a past life that in many cases was filled with neglect, abuse and fear. As a child grows and develops within the children’s village these wounds and scares begin to manifest themselves in attitudes and behaviors that require intervention.

At the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic, several of our children have undergone psychological evaluations and are now receiving psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment. Critical to the success of such intervention for these children is correct follow-up to this process and that involves ensuring that the children continue the medical treatment without interruption and without missing the established appointments as part of their therapy.

At a time when there is a great need at the project for this intervention, the project is also facing economic challenges as costs outpace ICC’s ability to provide for all the needs at the project. The medications and general process are expensive yet essential.

Being placed in a difficult situation, our administrator contacted the National Counsel for Children and Adolescents in the Dominican Republic to see if they would offer assistance. Here are the results, according to our administrator. “After satisfying all the requirements of that institution and a long waiting period, we obtained, by the grace of God, a satisfactory response from them in the sense that they will commit to providing monthly the needed medications for the treatment of the boys and girls in our program.” What a blessing this is and a cost savings to ICC of nearly $600 each month.