Posts Tagged ‘Shelter’

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.

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.

The Perspectives of an ICC Student Missionary: Naomi/El Salvador

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

One of our student missionaries in El Salvador sent me this letter concerning the torrential rains that occurred in El Salvador during October 2011. I thought I’d share her experience with you.

Noami with two chidren from ICC El Salvador

Naomi (center) who is a student missionary at ICC's project in El Salvador

“Last week [October 9–20, 2011] a terrible storm hit most of El Salvador [60 inches of rain]. Many people lost their homes, valuables, clothing, shelter and food. I joined the campus Pathfinder club and some ICC El Salvador staff to give out food and clothes in a nearby village.

Photo of a flooded road in El Salvador

Typical flooding from the October 2011 rains in El Salvador

“When we got to the church at which we were to volunteer, I saw such a long line of men, women and children! Practically everyone in that town had nothing left to their names. It was such a sad experience to see little kids with shorts on even thought the night had been cold and they each had hungry looks on their faces.

Photo of people waiting for food and clothing during the relief efforts after the Oct 2011 rains in El Salvador

People waiting for food and clothing being distributed by our staff members and Pathfinders from ICC El Salvador

“As we passed out the food and the drinks, the people said, ‘Let’s give a round of applause to Seventh-day Adventist church group!’ And they started to clap for us; it was so touching to see how grateful they were with what little we could give them.

Staff members from ICC El Salvador distribute food to people who lost their homes due to flooding resulting from Oct 2011 torrential rains in El Salvador

ICC El Salvador Pathfinders and staff members serve food to people displaced by flooding from torrential rains in El Salvador during October 2011

“We left the people well-fed and with warm clothes on their backs. I was SO proud of the ICC kids that came to volunteer. By some standards, these kids don’t have much themselves, but they were still willing to share with those who had lost everything.

“As I was passing out drinks, I overheard two men from the church talking about me in Spanish. They were saying, ‘She can’t be a missionary, she is way too young.’

“After a while of listening to this, I approached them and asked why they thought I was too young to be a student missionary. I explained that although I look young, I am 19. Even if I was very young, what did that matter if God wanted to use me?

“The look on their faces was priceless! They thought I couldn’t understand/speak Spanish. So they began apologizing and said they agreed with me, if God wanted to use a young person, why couldn’t a young person be used? I assured them they hadn’t offended me.”

ICC is in the business of letting God use those He has called to serve. Please contact us today if you are interested in allowing God to use your gifts.

Thanks for reading!

Lori Manley
ICC International Social Worker