Posts Tagged ‘Orphan’

From Beggar to Professor — Thanks to YOU!

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

“I never ate fresh food on a clean plate”

That is what Timothy said on his way to the Sweet Home Children’s Village in India. But today Timothy is teaching as a college professor — thanks to your support!

A photo of Timothy

This is Timothy. His life in India began as a street beggar, but now he is a college professor because of your support.

Timothy’s story is an amazing example of how you can dramatically change the life of a child. It also demonstrates how education plays a vital role in preparing a young person to lead a productive life. We’ve told you about Timothy before. We’d like to give another update, because he continues to demonstrate that your investment in him has been well worth it!

As you may recall, Timothy was a beggar at a railway station in India. One day a pastor from the Flaiz School was waiting for his train. Timothy was standing next to him, and the pastor noticed his poor condition. He told Timothy about the ICC Sweet Home Children’s Village where children get food, clothes and an education. He asked Timothy if he would like to go to this home. At first, Timothy refused. but when he saw the train approaching, he picked up the pastor’s brief case and said; “Sir, that is our train, let us go.”

The next morning when Timothy arrived at the Sweet Home children’s village, the staff welcomed him warmly. They quickly found out he didn’t know his last name, the names of his parents or the name of the village where his parents lived. He could not remember anything about his family. He had lived on the railway station platform since the death of his parents. Your donations make it possible for Sweet Home to be a safe haven for children like Timothy.

Timothy grew up at Sweet Home. He attended elementary and high school at the Flaiz Adventist School. After his high school graduation, Timothy studied Theology at Spicer Memorial College (now called Spicer Adventist University). He received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2014 and successfully completed a Master’s Degree in 2016.

Recently Timothy returned “home” and joined the Flaiz College as a teacher in the Theology Department. He is now “paying forward” the support you gave to him by teaching at the same school where he was a student. Timothy is recognized as a good teacher and a talented preacher.
Your support made possible a great transformation in Timothy’s life. He is grateful for the prayers and financial support of his sponsors. Tim is an example of how your investment in ICC’s children is paying a wonderful return as they pay forward the blessing in lives of service. Thank you!

One Donor’s Experience of Sacrifice and Blessing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The following is a letter sent by a donor who shares an experience of sacrifice and blessing. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

“We all know that the work of professional people in North America significantly impacts our lives. But a professional in Africa has the potential for far greater influence, and not just in the church, but also for their community and country.

Although a university education in an African country is not as expensive as in North America, it is not cheap. Most four-year courses of study range from $5,000 to $10,000, but some are as much as $14,000.

“After thinking and praying about this, I felt I could not sponsor a university student because I am nearing retirement and am not wealthy. Instead, I chose to fund an ICC student’s secondary education. But the Spirit of God continued to strive with my concerns about my financial future and I felt convicted to trust in His care.

Through a series of providential events, the secondary student that I sponsored began his studies in medicine, and I provided funding for his first year, thanking God for the opportunity, and planning to continue that support until he graduated.

“However, my employment circumstances did change—I was involuntarily “retired” and given a severance allowance. After seeking God’s guidance, I decided to trust Him with my financial future and was convicted to do more, so I provided two more years of support for my sponsored student out of my severance.

Will God provide for the student that I have sponsored? He has so far. Will he continue to provide for my family and me? This is a matter that I continue to bring to God in prayer. I am asking God to enable me to continue to be a source of blessing for my sponsored student and am working to cooperate with Him in any way that opens for me and by actively seeking new employment.

“I am determined to do more, but so far my current situation prevents me. Still, I believe that there are others who would stand in this breach that my personal circumstances have created. Would you ask ICC supporters to consider sponsoring a university student for one year, half a year or even just part of a year?

Every bit makes a difference, so I am praying hard that God will convict other hearts—as He has mine—because I am convinced every ICC student that is sponsored will be a power for good to the honor and glory of God.”

For His Kids,
Anonymous

Please remember that this is a great time to take advantage of supporting the education needs of the children. From now until October 15, your donation will be doubled — up to $30,000! Thank you for your support of “His Kids.”

Matching Grant Opportunity!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Double your gift to Help Educate ICC Children!

We have some exciting news to share with you! One of ICC’s dedicated supporters is offering an opportunity to double your gift and help provide education for the children of ICC. Any donation you give toward the “ICC Education Fund,” until October 15, will be matched up to $30,000!

motionmailapp.com

You can help ensure children in India, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Romania and the DR Congo have the schooling, teachers, books, and supplies they need. What a wonderful opportunity this is, and on behalf of the children, we hope that you’ll take advantage of it by sending a gift today.

Photo of a young boy writing on a slate at the Patmos Children's Village school.

Education is vital to our children!

Education is critical for a child who has been orphaned. Education provides a pathway out of poverty. In most cases, the children are provided an Adventist education where they learn not only about the world around them, but also about Jesus, their Savior!

Even in developing countries it’s costly providing an Adventist education. However, in light of eternity, the impact can be priceless! And now that your gift will be matched, any gift you give until October 15 will become a DOUBLE BLESSING!

Your gift will be a huge blessing in the DR Congo, one of the countries where we struggle to find enough money to send all of the children to school. You may recall that several years ago we took in over 170 children — all at once!

Photo of Sara from the Patmos Children's Village

Sara needs your help!

One child who will benefit from your doubled gift is Sara who was orphaned by war. Before she came to ICC she ate just once a day or a few times a week. Sara was often hungry and wandered in search of something to eat. No one bothered to wash Sara or wash her clothes. She was insecure and had a lot of physical and psychological pain. Recounting her experience, Sara said that she kept wondering, “Where is my mother?” But she never found any answer.

Sara was eventually brought to the Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi Island where — thanks to the generosity of donors like you — she was given a new family who loved and provided for her. She was also given the opportunity to attend school. She is learning about Jesus and many other things.

Sara is making progress toward becoming a successful young woman but she still needs your help to experience the “finishing touch.” You can do so much with a gift today, especially since your gift will be doubled! It’s a great time to support Sara.

Thank-you for all you do for these children. May God bless you!

New Children At Los Pinos

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guatemala — Los Pinos

If you were to visit the Los Pinos children’s village I think you would be impressed by the various agriculture initiatives and industries on the campus. They are working hard to provide some of the income they need for their expenses.

A thriving chicken house provides eggs for the needs of the children. The extra eggs are sold in the village. We’re hoping to expand the dairy in the near future, again to provide for the needs of the children and have some extra for generating income.

The Los Pinos children’s village has also taken in several new children, thanks to the support you’ve given. In order to better accommodate these children, we’ve been making some much needed repairs to a few of the homes. This includes such things as installing new floors and windows and repairing bathrooms.

A photo of Anselmo

Anselmo

You may not realize it, but bringing in new children has a vitalizing effect on the entire project, much as it does within our own family. Having new children spreads an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm around the campus.

We recently shared the story of little Anselmo, one of the newest children at the Los Pinos children’s village. I had the opportunity to meet him recently. He really stood out as a special kid. He always had a smile on his face, was very sweet and affectionate to all of us. I could see that he was adapting very well there and seemed to be very happy and comfortable with his new family. He came over to me many times and hugged me with a big smile.

When Anselmo arrived he had a lot of bruises, but, in spite of that, he is not aggressive. In his house he protects the little kids, even though he is also a little kid himself. It’s wonderful to see how quickly kids like Anselmo adapt and begin to enjoy their new family. Kids who’ve never known a real family can now experience

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.

Heavy Rain, Floods, and Volcanoes In Nicaragua

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Editor’s Note: We recently received information about some difficulties our project in Nicaragua is experiencing. The following is an excerpt from a message received from Felix, the project director. Please keep this project and those affected in your prayers. Thank you.

“I wanted to let you know that during the last week the Atlantic zone and the center of the country have been hit hard by intense rain so extreme that some houses have been destroyed and here in the ocean zone, the tides have been so high that they damaged part of the hotel of the Canadian friend. One day he had to transfer all the guests to Chinandega because the waves were enormous.

“The lot that we have farther up from there, in spite of being back farther from the ocean, also suffered damage, especially with the fence and the trees. This next week we will try to repair it.

“This week the church is collecting food and clothes to take or send through the emergency committee. We are helping them with the coordination. After the earthquake we had in this zone, we have had tremors almost daily, some of which are quite strong.

“The predictions aren’t comforting. A week ago they told us there is a volcano starting up in the north part of San Cristobal, but they don’t want to alarm the people. I talked with a friend who is in the Civil Defense, and he confirmed this. But they don’t want to cause fear—it might be something really serious or it might not be.

“We keep putting our trust in our Creator and doing what is within our power in order to have enough dry food stored and some canned food. We have prepared a package for each child with the basics in case of an emergency. Now when the budget of the month comes we will renew the pantries and will equip each vehicle with first aid kits. It’s better to be prepared.”

In Memorium : Alcyon Fleck

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

ICC lost its founder, Alcyon Fleck, on May 25, 2015. After a short illness, Alcyon passed to her rest. We still mourn her passing, but we also celebrate her life, for she leaves behind a lasting legacy of love.

A young girl from ICC’s children’s village in Mexico, sleeps in Alcyon’s lap while Alcyon was visiting the project.

Alcyon Fleck and one of the orphans for whom she provided a home.

From her early childhood, Alcyon had an interest in helping orphan children. She eagerly followed the antics of the little cartoon character, Orphan Annie, and this made a deep impression on her. Even at a young age she felt drawn to help orphan children.

In later years, when she and her husband, Ken, served as missionaries in Central America, she was keenly aware of the conditions of many orphaned and at-risk children. Her compassion for these children often lead her to provide temporary care for the most neediest cases. Little did she realize at that time that the Lord was preparing her to create the ministry of International Children’s Care.

Through the years, Alcyon was a driving force for this ministry. Her foresight and vision helped her create a model of care for orphans that closely resembles a natural family. Her love and compassion for children ran deep, and she was affectionately known as “Mommy Fleck” to hundreds of children. Her care and concern for the children’s well-being motivated her to reach out to caring individuals like you.

Alcyon was always amazed at the way you came to the rescue of the ICC children, especially when they needed it most. Actually, you have been a driving force for ICC. Your support, your prayers, your interest encouraged Alcyon, and she never took for granted the important role you have in rescuing and restoring the lives of orphan children.

Alcyon loved the children. And they loved her in return. When news spread around the internet that Alcyon had died, many of the children posted comments on Facebook about what Alcyon meant to them. One boy wrote that he had lost his “angel.” It’s symbolic, for sure, but it tells of the deep love and respect he had for Alcyon. In a sense, you give ICC children the love of angels when you give a gift to the Alcyon Angel Fund.

Even though Alcyon has passed away, her legacy of love lives on through this fund that bears her name. Alcyon’s Angel Fund helps us provide care to children who desperately needed a loving home and have no other place to go. Help to rescue and restore a child’s life in her memory by sending a gift today.

It was in May, 2014, that Alcyon wrote what would be her final personal message for the Que Pasa. It was a fitting final message as you can see from this excerpt:

Dear ICC Family,
It has been a long time since I have written a letter to you… Most of you know that I lost Ken, the love of my life, [to] bone cancer. It has been a challenge to learn how to run my own life without his valuable help. But he fell asleep in Jesus and I know I will see him again on the resurrection morning. I can hardly wait for that day to come.

International Children’s Care is still a priority in my life, and all of these needy children are the objects of my prayers. I thank the Lord every day for our ICC family and your faithful support for our children…

These little children who have come to us to find a home have also learned to know the Jesus who loves them.

We are looking forward to the day when that same Jesus will welcome them into their Heavenly home, and that will be a permanent home.

In closing I just want to thank each of you for your loyal cooperation in helping us care for so many of these precious children whom I know are precious to Jesus too.

With my love to each of you,
Alcyon

While all of us at ICC were saddened by Alcyon’s passing, we are encouraged by the blessed hope we have in Jesus, which she believed in with all her heart—that one day we will be together with our Lord and reunited with all our loved ones in an earth made new.

Please know that you are leaving a lasting legacy of love through your support.

We have included a few of the messages received through posts and messages on Facebook that came in response to the news of Alcyon’s passing:

“We are sure she will inherit the kingdom of God, as she had lived for Jesus and done the best for His precious children. In honor of her, we will try to do our best to carry on the task she started that we may meet her in the new earth to come.” — David, ICC administrator

“How sad to learn of the loss of my mother, my Mommy Fleck. Oh how much I loved her, and she knew it! Thank God for that Angel who gave us life… What we are today we owe to that beautiful family which forged values and principles within us for eternity.” — From one of “His Kids”

“I love you Mommy, you who are everything, and thanks for helping all of us from the children’s village. You and you alone are our heroine most loved in this world.” — From one of “His Kids”

“A person filled with love, generosity and service. Mommy Fleck always gave love in our lives. We carry her in our heart, but we realize that we will see her in Heaven together—the family that we are.” — From one of “His Kids”

“The feeling of all of us who were impacted by the unconditional service of Mommy Fleck is the same, sadness. But we know she rests in peace. I wish I would have been able to tell her personally, ‘Thanks for changing my life.’” — From one of “His Kids”

You may view a video of Alcyon’s memorial service at this link: http://vimeo.com/140318853

A Shelter In Their Time of Storm

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We all remember Hurricane Katrina. Not the largest storm to ever reach the US mainland, nor the strongest, yet how can we forget the apocalyptic scenes and trail of destruction it left behind; an entire metropolis in ruins and a country in shock. Then just about a year ago, Sandy came and again we witnessed more destruction and ruin, even in places usually safe from such phenomenon.

Satellite view of typhoon Haiyan

Satellite view of Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines is a very poor nation made up of a little over 7,000 small islands, situated in what geologists call the Ring of Fire. It is also home to over 30 active volcanoes. Earthquakes and powerful storms are common in this part of the world and the Filipino people have learned to cope with it, yet no one could have prepared them for what befell them on November 8.

Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as the Filipinos named it, was something they had never seen before. Its sheer size and destructive power would move both Katrina and Sandy down the scale. It covered the entire archipelago and far beyond. Its destructive force knew no equal and spared no one. Now the country lies in ruins and millions of people, many of them women and children, are homeless.

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze - Creative Commons license

As you know, International Children’s Care operates a village for orphaned and abandoned children in the Philippines. We came there in the late 90s because of the thousands of destitute children living in the streets. Fortunately the children’s village is located in the northern region, and away from the main brunt of the storm, and we are grateful to the Lord for that. But in all reality there was no safe place in the Philippines during this storm.

As servants of the children the Lord has entrusted to us, we feel a very strong sense of responsibility for them. We pray unceasingly for them. But we also think about the others, the unreached ones, the ones not inside our little cities of refuge. As Christians we know that life in this world of ours will only get worse. People are growing more evil, more selfish, and more calloused about the less fortunate. And what about terrible natural disasters like the one afflicting our Filipino brothers and sisters right now? The Bible tells us that those will also get worse.

A young girl makes her way through downed powerlines following Typoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/10823475466/sizes/o/in/photostream/

A young girl makes her way through downed power lines following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze — Creative Commons License

The eyes of the world are on the Philippines right now, and that is good. Humanitarian aid organizations are shipping resources and personnel to assist the needy. But what is going to happen when all these philanthropists leave after a few months? Who is going to care for the child who lost his mommy and daddy in the flood? Who is going to take her home and love her?

The physical storm has passed, but the real storm in the lives of the orphaned, the abandoned, and the homeless has only begun, a very long storm that may last the rest of their lives. And that’s where ICC comes in, becoming a shelter in their time of storm, not only in the Philippines, but in Congo, in India, in Guatemala and all the other countries where we are present.

We want to thank you today for being part of their family, for being that much needed shelter in their time of storm. Our hearts ache every time a child suffers, but we are also very grateful that with your help we can do something and offer them a loving hand. No, this world is not going to get any better. Worse things will happen and more and more, children will be left homeless. Thank you for partnering with us today to make a difference.

Only a Small Child

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Joel Reyes and the donor who gave so generously to International Children's Care

Joel Reyes, ICC’s public relations director, and the young man who is the subject of this story.

He was only a little boy, no more than 10 years old. Vivacious and fast moving as he came into the resource tent at the Alberta camp meeting. He didn’t take much time as he quickly scanned all the displays. It was as if he was looking for something very specific, and as soon as he realized it was not there, he would move on. “Perhaps he has lost something,” I thought to myself as I studied him.

He came by my display booth and checked it out with the same brevity as he had all the others. I smiled at him. He politely returned my smile and moved on. I observed him as he left the resource tent through the opposite door from which he had entered.

He ran through the open field, waving his arms and calling at a man farther ahead. The man stopped, turned around and began to walk in the direction of the child. I watched as the man approached the lad and put his arm around him. They spoke for a bit and began to walk back in the direction of the resource tent.

Both man and child were smiling as they came. With a sense of urgency, the child walked in front of the man, glancing back from time to time to make sure he was still there. They came all the way to where I was standing, and as they approached the man said to me, “My son has a little fund he has created by saving his allowance and other resources and he would like to give a donation to this ministry.” I looked at the child. He gave me an almost apologetic look as he proceeded to extract wrinkled bills from his pockets and place them on the table.

As I stood before this young man pulling wrinkled bills from his pockets I couldn’t help but be moved. He was only a small child! What motivated this boy to take such a step? What about a new toy? What about saving for one of the many electronic gadgets that seem to enthrall the hearts of the young? As I stretched and counted the money the young philanthropist had placed on the table, I began to realize it was not a small amount.

Before giving my young friend a receipt I asked him, “Are you sure this is what you want to do? This is a lot of money, and you could get a lot of things for yourself with it.” The father smiled confident of his son, “Oh yes that is what I want to do” the child replied.

I turned to the father and said, “I need you to know that I am extremely moved and impressed by the attitude of this young man, this is not normal. What have you done with this kid?”

“The other day we were talking about how blessed we are as a family,” he said, “and in the middle of the conversation my son said he wanted to give a gift to the needy out of his savings. As we left for camp meeting he put some money in his pockets, but I didn’t know how much it was until right now. He has given you all he has.”

I could not stop the tears from swamping my eyes as we prayed together that day. Sometimes my job can be very difficult. I feel a tremendous burden for the orphaned and abandoned children of the world, many of them the fruit of wars, natural disasters, abuse and moral decay. I have been in the streets with these outcasts of society. I have seen their tears and anguish as they endure pain, abuse, hunger, and dreadful loneliness.

I have also witnessed miracles in their lives when some caring soul dares to reach out to them and give them a hand. I am the director of public relations for this ministry and visit numerous churches and other Adventist gatherings throughout North America sharing the plea of the children, and I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when someone steps forward and says; “I will help.”

It can also be very discouraging at times when, after pouring out my heart before congregations and sharing what I have seen and what I know about the children on whose behalf I speak, I walk away with nothing but a pat on the back. I am a human being and I also get discouraged sometimes, but on this day the Lord chose to reveal Himself to me and send an angel in the form of a little boy with a shy smile.

Oh little friend, you have empowered me today. You have reassured my faith in the goodness of humanity. Oh how I wish I could replicate your spirit and disposition and pour it not only on every kid I see, but on all the adults I come across as well. Oh yes, most of them could use a bit of what you have in abundance! Oh if this world had more little angels like you, I wouldn’t have a job and that would make me very happy!

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3,4

Joel Reyes

Joel Reyes has been serving with International Children’s Care, an Adventist ministry, for the past 7 years. ICC builds country villages for orphaned and abandoned children. The rescued children are raised in a family environment and educated in the ways of the Lord.

Heavy Flooding And Erosion Damage Patmos

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Earlier this year, heavy flooding caused damage at our children’s village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here’s an excerpt from a message received from our project director, Désiré:

“We received a heavy rain but due to God’s mercy we survived. The river behind us overflowed and the whole block was swept off and it also encroached where the cows stay as you will see on the photos. The other small house for the calves was swept off by heavy waters.

Erosion due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the  DR Congo

Damage due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo. The shelter for the calves was ruined due to the significant erosion.

“The gully may need to be built but we wanted you to see the pictures of how rain caused this heavy erosion around the cows’ premises. The cow’s shelter would be better to be constructed in a permanent material in order to be on a safe side. Thanks for your good collaborations, God bless you abundantly.”

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs from heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs necessitated by significant erosion due to heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Our Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi island is in need of financial assistance to aid with the recurring problem caused by erosion. In the past, funds have been sent to remedy other erosion issues, and these efforts have been highly successful. Please consider assisting with this additional need.