Posts Tagged ‘Orphan’

Congo Children Recovering Thanks To You!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Many have shown great compassion and generosity for the new children in ICC’s care in the D.R. Congo. Thank you so very much for your support of the children! To keep you informed, here is an update on what is happening at the Patmos Children’s Village.

As you recall, toward the end of last year, rebel forces overran three refugee camps in the D.R. Congo. In the aftermath, the Ministry of Social Affairs with the help of the UN military, recovered 906 children who were left orphaned or abandoned.

Government officials distributed the very youngest of these children, from ages 5 and under, to our Patmos Children’s Village and six other organizations. We received 24 children. These joined the seven other new children who arrived in September as result of a devastating mudslide.

The children from the refugee camps were in pitiful shape when they arrived. Traumatized. Sick. Suffering. They had protein deficiencies, typhoid, malaria, diarrhea and other severe effects of malnutrition. Some were so ill that they couldn’t stand on their own. Others were nearly to the point of death.

We feared that the health issues of the children were so grave that some might die despite best efforts to promote healing. We are saddened to report that one child has indeed died. Two other children have been taken to Goma for more specialized care at a therapeutic nutritional center. Thirteen of the children did not attend the New Year’s celebrations due to their health issues. They had to remain in bed.

“Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not…” Because of your kind-hearted generosity, these children have been welcomed into the Patmos Children’s Village and are now experiencing hope and healing. Thanks for caring for “His Kids.”

Thanks to the support from generous donors like you, the caring staff members of Patmos continue to minister to these little ones. The healing and mending process is ongoing. According to the latest report, 60% of the new children are making good progress. The others are being given the medical care and appropriate therapeutic food that they need.

It will take time to work through the details of housing, long-term care and education for all these new children. They now live in two homes at the Patmos Children’s Village. Désiré, project administrator, hired two new mothers per home and a few other persons to help provide for what the children need.

The mothers work very hard day and night caring for the children. The older girls on campus also help by washing the children’s clothes. Even local church members joined in to give assistance. Pastors, elders and mothers from some of the churches in the area came with food to help the children when they first arrived.

A Note of Thanks Especially for Loyal ICC Family Members
Many of you have generously helped to provide for these new children in Congo. What a blessing you are to them and to other ICC children that you support through your financial gifts! We recognize and want to thank you for being a loyal ICC family member. The gifts you give are very much needed, are highly valued and are put to good use providing for the children.

Thank you for your kind-hearted generosity! You are a hero to children who continue to need you very much! May God bless you!

Your Support Is Giving Back — Abel’s Story

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By Rick Fleck

After more than 35 years, the Las Palmas Children’s Village has been needing many repairs, especially with the things made of wood, such as kitchen cabinets, closets, doors, window valences, tables and chairs.

We have a small carpentry and cabinet shop in our big shop on campus which Tem Suarez and others helped to set up in the 1980’s. Tem would come and work with the older boys building closets and drawers other things.

Other workers carried on that work for a few years, but lately the carpentry shop has not been kept up because we couldn’t find someone to do that work.

During a visit last year, Samilin, our administrator of Las Palmas, told me about Abel Pérez, who grew up in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, worked a lot with Tem Suarez in carpentry and now has a cabinet shop business on the side (he is a math teacher in a local school). Maybe he would be willing to come and help us.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is now a math teacher and also owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel will be producing carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is a math teacher and owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel produces carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel did come, and we became great friends. He is a wonderful young man with a family of three children of his own now. He is a successful teacher and runs a prosperous cabinet business on the side.

He was thrilled by the idea of coming back “home” to work where he spent so much of his childhood. And he wanted to make sure to inspire others who are growing up there now by teaching them some skills.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

He fondly remembers Tem Suarez, who with his wife, Judy, gave so much of themselves to the children of ICC. He told me, “I would like to be the new ‘Tem Suarez!’”

Here is a message he sent to me when I asked if he would be willing to share a little with our ICC family:

“For me it is a real pleasure to be able to tell my story so it may serve to help and be an example for many. I was born in Meches in 1975, a son of Christian parents — Seventh-day Adventists.

My parents were extremely poor but they wanted for me and my sister Miguelina (5 years younger than me) to have a chance in life and a Christian education. So they managed to take us to the Las Palmas Children’s Village. That great event was a reality in our lives on Wednesday, September 11, 1985.

“At the age of 10 and in fourth grade, I continued my studies. Mrs. Gladys Williams was the director, and Pastor Jose Ramon Bourget was the administrator. There was one teacher for all the kids in several grades. After a few months they brought in several more teachers. So we continued to study there for three years in the Las Palmas school.

After sixth grade, we studied at the nearby Dominican Adventist School for two years as external students, and I was in the dorm for two more years. After that time I went to Santo Domingo where I finished high school in 1994.

“During the time I spent in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, I learned various skills such as growing a garden, taking care of cows, pastry making, baking, working with iron, among other things.

But the thing that I loved most was cabinet making. I liked that from when I was a little boy watching my father work with wood. So I enjoyed working with Brother Francisco Vargas, then Josué Casilla (in the children’s village) and later Bartolomé Acosta at the Dominican Adventist School. I was able to progress a lot in learning this marvelous craft.

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

“After starting a lovely relationship with the young lady Yoselin Alcala, we married and had three children — Angel, now 20, Yonsi, 14 and Jasbel, 12. My wife has her degree in marketing with a masters degree in administration of education centers. I finished my bachelors degree in education with physics and math, and now I’m working as a math teacher at a school in Nuevo Orden.

“In March of 2017, Mrs. Samilin Williams, the current administrator of the children’s village, contacted me to help her prepare some budgets for some projects, and she invited me to talk with Mr. Rick and let him know the quotes. We came to an agreement that I would go to Las Palmas to do a few new projects and some repairs.”

Abel goes on to describe his work over the next several months, when he repaired closets, made drawers, window valences, kitchen cabinets and other carpentry projects. He basically remodeled all the wood items, such as closets and cabinets, in eight homes on campus. He concludes his story by reflecting as follows:

“For me is it a pleasure to help out, not only in the cabinets and wood working, but in all the projects that I can in the Children’s Village, since I really feel like I am part of it. This has been one of the happiest summers of my life, although I have spent it away from my beautiful and loved family. I was spending my time contributing to a very good cause. But I also want to say thank you to each one who gave funds so that these projects could be accomplished.

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

“There are still many projects to do, and we continue to pray that the resources continue to come so we can keep doing the projects that need to be finished. Among those are the church pews that are very deteriorated from the termites. We need them so that our adoration to God can be done in a calm and nice place. I am very willing to continue helping in every way that I can so that the Children’s Village is a PLACE OF HAPPY KIDS. God bless you, with love, from your son,”

Abel Pérez Vilorio

Able also has plans to help Las Palmas repair or rebuild their church’s pews. The church pews are made of wood and they’ve seen much use. The pews are in real need of repairs with a number needing to be replaced.

Your help with repairing and replacing Las Palmas’s church pews would be most appreciated. Abel plans to repair 5 pews and create new pews for those that need to be replaced. He can repair the 5 pews for $110 apiece and make 15 new pews for only $400 apiece.

Snatched from the Clutches of Death

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Orphans in Desperate Need – You can help!

— Editor’s Note —

The mission of ICC was conceived in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake that decimated Guatemala City leaving hundreds of children orphaned.

Now, 40 years after ICC’s humble beginning, your ongoing support helps to provide a refuge and nurturing home environment for children who’s lives have been devastated by natural disasters, social problems and civil unrest.

ICC continues to play a critical role in the lives of children who have lost everything and been rescued from the very clutches of death. Your continued help ensures these children receive the care they need!

Please read on to find out more —

One of the orphaned children resuced in the DR Congo

“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you looked after me…
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”

Matthew 25:34-36,40.

Refugee camps are supposed to be safe havens — free from surrounding conflicts. At least that’s what they are supposed to be. But in the D.R. Congo it sometimes happens that refugee camps become caught up in the strife and bloodshed.

Recently three camps in northeastern D.R. Congo came under attack from rebel fighters. In the aftermath, when UN military peace-keeping forces arrived to see what had transpired, they found a sickening sight — over nine hundred children were left behind to fend for themselves. The children recounted having only limited food in the camps. At times, they had to survive on wild fruit and edible leaves.

“Thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the ‘least of these’, Desire set about clothing, feeding, soothing, and welcoming them into the ICC family.”

You may recall that in September, our Patmos Children’s Village received seven children because of a mudslide that barreled through a village leaving many children orphaned. Now, just 43 days after these children arrived, another 17 were brought to us. An additional seven arrived the following day bringing the total number of new children to 31 — all within two months.

Patmos director, Désiré, tried to reason with the officials. He pleaded that he didn’t have the resources to provide for these children, many of whom were nearly dead.

But the Ministry of Social Affairs, even though working with the UN troops and seven other organizations in the region, had no other alternatives left. Patmos was their last chance. Désiré agreed to try to save the lives of these little children.

These children were a pitiful sight when they arrived! Photos that Désiré sent tell the story of the children’s meager existence all too well — distended bellies, skeletons covered by skin without tissue to hide the bones, colorless hair (or not having hair at all), splotchy skin, and sad eyes.

The children suffered from some form or combination of health issues: malnutrition and/or kwashiorkor, malaria, typhoid fever, intestinal worms, diarrhea.

Much like Matthew’s description in the Bible of those in need, these children were naked, hungry, sick, a stranger. However, thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the “least of these,” Désiré set about clothing, feeding, soothing and welcoming them into the ICC family.

Nine of the children needed immediate medical care in the clinic. As of the writing of this update, four remain in serious condition, one of whom you can see in the picture at the beginning of this article.

After assessing the condition of the children, Désiré believed that 80% of them would have died within a week if they had not come to The Patmos Children’s Village.

In the days following, he received reports about children who died in the care of other orphan facilities. We pray to God that none of the children brought to us will die! God is faithful, and Désiré and his team are skilled at providing the care the children need.

Please pray that God will work through them to restore the health of these children and make a way for them to be fully integrated into the ICC family in the D.R. Congo. But, where to from here — and how can you help?

The Bible makes it clear that caring for orphan children is not an option if you want to demonstrate “true religion” before God (See James 1:27).
The ministry of ICC exists to help rescue and restore the lives of children like this. It will take sustained effort. We will need to work together.

The Plan

In consultation with Désiré, we have established a plan going forward. Within the next three months, 13 of the older children at The Patmos Children’s Village will leave the project to become independent. This will bring some relief to the budget.

However, the net gain from having 31 new children means they need more of the following: care givers, furniture and equipment, food, educational supplies, and ongoing medical care.

For five months, it will cost an additional $9,300 per month to provide for the new children. After the 13 older children leave  The Patmos Children’s Village, that amount will decrease to $4,800.

It will take some time before sponsors can be assigned to these new children. In the meantime, the Patmos Children’s Village needs extra financial support. For the sake of all the children in other children’s villages like Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and India, the extra financial support needs to be on top of support given to those projects as well.

The world is hurtling into chaos. Many of the innocent victims are children. But, the Bible makes it plain that there are no “throw away children.” And how we respond says much about us and what we value.

Your extra gift today of $50 or $150 or even $350 will go a long way to helping these new children in Congo. Thank you for answering the call to feed, cloth and welcome orphan children who need you so very much right now!

Please pray for the ICC Congo situation and especially for the children who are still fighting for their lives. Who knows, someday we might see some of them become teachers, pastors, mechanics and nurses! God definitely has a plan for each one of these kids, or He wouldn’t have brought them specifically to Patmos Children’s Village.

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.

“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 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!

Tragedy Strikes Again in the DR Congo

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Newly Orphaned Children Need Immediate Help!

Overnight. In a moment. In an instant. Life can be forever altered. There are seven orphan children whose lives have been forever changed and who need your help right away! Please read on.

Several weeks ago, heavy rains fell in a province of the DR Congo. No one knew at the time that a tragedy was brewing. However, the heavy rains, combined with deforestation, were just too much for the saturated ground to hold.

Early one morning the earth trembled as a torrent of water, mud and debris gathered momentum and stormed down the hillside. Sleeping villagers had little time to react as the wall of mud crashed through their homes burying entire families and leaving behind a path of death and destruction. In just a few moments, scores of people died and over a hundred children were left orphaned.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

As is often the case in poor countries, humanitarian aid and assistance was slow to arrive to this remote area. The survivors suffered, and this was especially true for the children.

Nearly a month went by before the government assessed what to do with the orphans. That’s when our Patmos Children’s Village was asked to help. Désiré, project director, sent an urgent appeal to my wife, Sharon, ICC’s director for children services. Here is an edited excerpt from that message:

Yesterday we received unexpected visitors — a team of five persons from North-Kivu Province. They had been sent to us by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

This team brought seven children with them. The children had severe malnutrition. They were from Mabolio where a landslide had covered 129 houses. 329 persons were unaccounted for. 97 dead bodies were found along the river. 111 surviving children were without assistance and were half-dead.

The province reported the case to the Ministry of Social Affairs. A meeting was held by the National and International Non-Governmental Organizations to study together a permanent solution to save these children.

At the end of the meeting, the children were spread to 6 children’s villages. That’s how we have received 7 children who need urgent assistance. They need quality food, medical care, clothes, accommodation, psycho-social follow-up, protection, schooling, etc.

We tried to explain to the delegation that we do not have enough financial means to take care of the children. They did not believe us because they had heard about our children we helped to become independent last year.

They also heard that Patmos village has a tremendous reputation all over the country and provides appropriate care to children.

In favor of these children, we beseech you Mother Sharon to introduce this case to the ICC Board so that the children may receive help for their salvation.

For ICC–Congo Project
Désiré MURHIMA
M.Sc Administrator

Désiré is aware of the financial implications of having seven new children to feed, clothe and educate. He has been trying to stretch the resources he has to provide for over 100 children who are currently part of the Patmos family. He has turned to us for help.

And now, I am turning to you. Will you help these children in their time of need? In considering this request, Sharon said, “How can I say no to this very urgent need? I was just feeling like we were getting down to the right number of children in the homes we have, and the Lord is sending more. Is a crowded home better than no home? Is a little bit of food better than no food? It is a life and death situation to these children.”

Today, we are dedicated to stepping out in faith to take these helpless children into our care, a faith in Jesus who has left this responsibility to all of us, and a faith in each one of you that you will step up and support these children as you always have.

It will take some time before we have enough information in order to assign these children sponsors. In the meantime, they will need the things that Désiré mentioned, which will stretch the Patmos budget even further. Your gift of support today for $50 or $100 will be life-saving for these children.

Also, the DR Congo has 423 dialects. Each tribe has its local and/or regional language. None of those at the Patmos Children’s Village knows or understands the languages of these new children. Désiré indicated most of the children don’t know their own identities.

We must move forward to help them. To rescue and restore the lives of orphan children is our mission. We are counting on you as we always have when we face an urgent situation like this. Thank you for your prayers!

On behalf of the children, thank you very much for your generosity and loving care!

May God bless you,
Rick Fleck

P.S. These seven children, orphaned by circumstances beyond their control, desperately need your help. Please send in your gift of support today!

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.