Transforming Congo Orphans Lives Thanks To You!

August 13th, 2019

This is Julian. This is a photo taken just after he arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in the D.R. Congo.

Your generous outpouring of support for the newly arrived orphan children in the D.R. Congo is truly amazing!

Thanks to you, the 59 little ones have been rescued and are on a pathway of recovery, much like the children who arrived a little over a year earlier.

Those children, 31 in all, arrived in the Fall of 2017 to ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village.

They have overcome so much physical and emotional suffering, and you’ve given them literally a new life.

Julian and Marc are just two examples of the wonderful transformations that have taken place during the past year.

This is Julian. This is a recent picture showing how much he has improved and transformed directly because of your support.

Julian was on the brink of death when he arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village.

His condition was nearly hopeless because of the wretched conditions in which he lived prior to arriving at Patmos.

He suffered from severe malnutrition because of the lack of adequate nourishment. He was ill, and his body was swollen.

Most likely, Julian would have died had he not been taken into the ICC family in the D.R. Congo.

Health workers treated Julian, and he was given a diet rich in vitamins. Gradually, his condition improved. He was able to join other children in the nursery school at Patmos.

Julian has made tremendous progress. His infections smile is a testimony to the transformation made possible through your support.

This is Marc. The photo on the left was taken just after he arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in the D.R. Congo.Marc was severely malnourished when he came to Patmos. The Patmos staff were concerned his condition being so serious that he might die on the spot.

He was not able to eat. He was very ill, and his skin was turning pale — a sign of lack of blood flow.

He was not able to stand up or sit. He wanted only to sleep and was upset if anyone woke him up.

Marc was prescribed medicines to treat his various illnesses and was put on a diet designed to meet his needs.

From the time he was given the medical care and diet that he needed, Marc’s health and hope for survival started changing for the best. The transformation was dramatic, for within two months, Marc was able to laugh.

This is Marc. This is a recent picture showing how much Marc has transformed and improved because of your support.Compared to when he arrived, Marc is in good health, even though he is still under the watchful care of the health providers.

Marc has been able to join the other children in the nursery school. His teacher says that he is among her best students!

What an amazing transformation God has orchestrated through His loving caregivers and through ICC’s family of supporters!

What wonderful plans He must have, not only for Julian and Marc, but for all the orphans within ICC’s care.

During the past eighteen months many newly-orphanded children have joined the ICC family in the D.R. Congo. The life-long work of transformation and restoration is just beginning for each of these kids. Thank you for all you are doing to provide for these children.

Your faithful support is vital to their transformation. We are confident that God will continue to work through your generosity to bless “His Kids!”

Latest News About New Kids At Patmos

July 16th, 2019

Current info about newly arrived orphans in DR Congo

You take the Bible mandate to provide for orphan children seriously.

Though you may not be able to personally tend to the 59 newly-arrived orphans in the DR Congo, your prayers and financial gifts are vital. They help provide for the daily needs of the children.

As reported last month, the rescue mission for the kids was successful. The process of restoration continues. Your gifts are what make it possible for the Patmos staff to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for these children.

The documentation needed to assign sponsors for these children will take time to receive.

However, if you would like to sponsor one of these children, please contact Alanna at 800–422–7729. She’ll let you know when you’ll be able to sponsor these children.

Thank you for your prayers in behalf of these children and their caregivers.

Putting On Love With Special Dresses

July 9th, 2019

Girls at Las Palmas have been gifted hand-made Sabbath dresses

Two of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses

Orphan children don’t have much of this world’s goods when they arrive at an ICC children’s village. Often, they have only the clothes they are wearing.

Two of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dressesImagine how a little orphan girl feels when she is given several sets of clothing that include a special Sabbath dress.

The most recent recipients of these special dresses are the girls from the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. The happy faces in these pictures tell of the positive impact of these dresses.

Those dresses are the craftsmanship of Rebecca Loveless and her team of volunteers. Rebecca created a ministry called “Clothed with Love” to make these dresses for the girls. Rebecca was inspired by Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Four of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses“I wanted to create a dress for the girls, the orphans, to symbolize them being clothed with love,” said Rebecca. “For them to know how special and valuable they are, how precious they are to Jesus, and how much they are loved.”

Rebecca and her team continue their work of blessing ICC children. They are currently working to provide dresses for girls at ICC’s largest project — the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo.

Thank you, Rebecca, the volunteer seamstresses and all our ICC family for your loving support of the children!

Five of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses.

Once Upon A Time In Mexico

July 2nd, 2019

Three stories about your impact at El Oasis

While Mexican authorities apprehend unaccompanied migrant children, ICC works even harder to become a safe-haven for kids.
by William Hurtado

Last month I traveled to ICC’s El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico and fell in love with the people, the place and the mission.

Two hours southeast of Ensenada, the road brought me to Valle de la Trinidad. It was near Valle that El Oasis began 21 years ago.

The 100-acre campus is home to a small Adventist community that is doubling up its mission for Jesus and for kids. Let me tell you about several of the people I met.


Marcos manages the farm at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Baja Norte, Mexico. Marcos has been farming in the local region around El Oasis for 25 years. He’s helping your donations to El Oasis go further by bringing in the yearly jalapeño crop. The jalapeños are then sold at market. The proceeds f rom the jalapeño sales are then used to help offset the expenses of caring for the children.

Marcos manages the farm at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Baja Norte, Mexico. Marcos has been farming in the local region around El Oasis for 25 years. He’s helping your donations to El Oasis go further by bringing in the yearly jalapeño crop. The jalapeños are then sold at market. The proceeds from the jalapeño sales are then used to help offset the expenses of caring for the children

Marcos is a successful farm manager and Christian family man. He’s been farming in the local area around El Oasis for 25 years.

He is helping your donations go even further by creating a self-sustaining jalapeño micro-industry that can supplement the children’s financial needs.

By the end of July he and the team of workers will harvest the 50 acres of jalapeño plants.

Two generous benefactors helped pay for the farm’s tractor. Others have donated funds for a fumigator and a plow.
$3000 is still needed for a disc and a harrow. This is where you can help. Your special donation will be a blessing to El Oasis. The children, staff, and farm workers look to you for support.
And as an added blessing, an ICC family member is offering a matching grant for funds donated to the El Oasis farm. It’s an excellent time to double your support for “His Kids.”

Claudia Escamilla and her husband Juan. Claudia is the assistant children’s services director at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Baja Norte, Mexico

Claudia Escamilla and her husband Juan. Claudia is the assistant children’s services director at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Baja Norte, Mexico

Claudia and JuanClaudia Escamilla is a Human Services Specialist and the assistant children’s services director.

Claudia studied Behavioral Science at Canadian Adventist University through an educational sponsorship. She also received a Master’s in public health at Montemorelos.

In 2007 she began working at ICC’s children’s village in El Salvador. In 2016 she returned with her husband Juan to her native México to minister to the children at El Oasis.

Both Claudia and Juan are committed to being your heart and hands in México.


Josue with one of the goats for which he cares at El Oasis.

Josue with one of the goats for which he cares at El Oasis.

Josue arrived at El Oasis as a baby. 19 years later, he still needs his ICC family to guide him into adulthood.

While I was there, he took me to a goat pen where he kept a mother goat and her two kids. He picked up one of the kids and lovingly held it in his arms.

As he talked about them, I could see his face glowing with pride for “His Kids.” I asked Josue if ICC loved and cared for him in the same way that he cared for his goats. He smiled and said, “Si.”

It is through your loving support that Josue and the other children at El Oasis have a chance in life.


El Oasis is a beautiful Adventist orphan care facility. Through the years it has had its challenges but now, the Holy Spirit is blowing a new wind of energy and growth.

Will you pray with me that the El Oasis story will continue to new chapters of growth and blessing for children in need?

While we may not be able to minister to every displaced child in México, of those God does bring to us we will do our best to love and care for them. Thank you once again for your partnership in this ministry.

Children Thriving At Sweet Home

June 25th, 2019

During a recent visit to the Dews Sweet Home children’s village in India, Rick and Sharon Fleck took the opportunity to participate with the children in various activities.

They helped to purchase supplies for the children to create special greeting cards for their sponsors.

One of the children at DEWS Sweet Home in India making a greeting card for their sponsor.

One of the children at DEWS Sweet Home in India making a greeting card for their sponsor.

They also observed one of the staff members create tasty snacks for the children using an outdoor cooking fire.

One of the staff at ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home Children’s Village in India making some tasty snacks.

One of the staff at ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home Children’s Village in India making some tasty snacks for the children.

Susan, the director of this project, is recovering from a medical emergency. In her absence, two of the older children from Sweet Home, Udai and Nirmala, are leading out in the day-to-day operations.

Since they grew up at Sweet Home, they both have a good understanding of the issues the children face as well as a great measure of compassion for them.

What a blessing it is for the children to have such dedicated young people who are looking after them during this time of need!

Jalapeños Growing Again At El Oasis

June 18th, 2019

“Behold, a sower went forth to sow…” And some seed “fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

Matthew 13:3,8

As reported late last year, the El Oasis children’s village in Mexico has established a successful agricultural project of raising Jalapeño peppers.

El Oasis has ideal soil and conditions for growing this crop. And with its proximity to the U.S. and its hungry market for Jalapeños, it all combines to create a wonderful opportunity to raise funds to sustain the El Oasis mission for orphan children.

Last year, despite several challenges and learning experiences, the Lord blessed the Jalapeño crop. Building on the knowledge gained, the El Oasis staff have established a robust plan to nearly triple cultivation. This will mean about 50 acres of not only Jalapeños, but also Tomatillos.

ftp://ftp.forhiskids.org//forhiskids.org/blogmedia/062019/eo-farm-seed-packs.jpg

These are the seeds purchased for the 2019 crop of Jalapeños (blue) and Tomatillos (yellow) currently being grown at the farm on the El Oasis Campus. One pound of Jalapeño seeds can cost $2000!

The seeds were purchased during the winter and were taken to a nursery that specializes in germinating seeds. In the photo above you can see a small packet of Jalapeño seeds and a bucket of Tomatillos seeds. It may be hard to believe, but one pound of Jalapeño seeds costs about $2,000!

These are the newly-germinated Jalapeño seedlings for the El Oasis farm. ICC’s seeds have germinated at better than 99%.

These are the newly-germinated Jalapeño seedlings for the El Oasis farm. ICC’s seeds for 2019 have germinated at better than an outstanding 99%!

We praise the Lord that the germinating process went very well! In fact, it’s typical that seeds germinate at a rate of 90–95%. The El Oasis seeds achieved a rate of more than 99% which meant there were more seedlings to plant than expected.

To accommodate this extra blessing, the El Oasis workers quickly set about preparing more land complete with drip irrigation.

These are the Jalapeño seedlings having just been planted for the 2019 growing season at the farm on the El Oasis campus. So many of the seeds germinated that extra land had to be prepared to plant the full crop.

These are the Jalapeño seedlings having just been planted for the 2019 growing season at the farm on the El Oasis campus. So many of the seeds germinated that extra land had to be prepared to plant the full crop.

The plants are in the ground now and are continuing to grow towards maturity where we anticipate, with God’s blessing, they will produce a bountiful harvest that will bless ICC’s children.

This ceremony was held to consecrate the 2019 Jalapeño crop at the farm on the El Oasis Campus.

This ceremony was held to consecrate the 2019 Jalapeño crop at the farm on the El Oasis Campus. The proceeds from this crop will help to offset the costs of caring for the children. Increasing the power of your gifts.

The growth of these plants is a wonderful metaphor for what is happening in the lives of the children on the El Oasis campus.

They come to us as tiny seeds. And because Jesus paid for the salvation of each of these children, they are very valuable.

The potential for these children is huge — just like the potential crop of Jalapeños that lies inside the little bag of seeds is worth many times more the investment.

And just as the Jalapeño seeds need consistent, nurturing care, so do the little children. That’s why your partnership in this ministry is so critical. Because your support enables missionary caregivers to provide the care these tender souls need to grow to maturity.

And then, think of those mature children as mature plants, bursting with the Fruit of the Spirit and primed to serve God and their fellow citizens.

In the future, you’ll be able to read about some of our older El Oasis children who came as little children and who are nearly completed with their education. They will soon be paying forward the investment you have made in them.

If you would like more information on ways you can get involved with this agricultural project at El Oasis, please contact Doug at ICC (800-422-7729). This project needs tractor implements, equipment and supplies. Also, ask about a matching grant that is available where you can double your support.

Thank you!

Amazon Smile Supports ICC Children!

June 11th, 2019

Do you enjoy the convenience of shopping online? If so, you can support ICC’s mission for children by using Amazon’s special weblink: smile.amazon.com.

You will find the same Amazon interface, and you will have access to the entire Amazon selection of products. What’s special is that Amazon will donate a portion of the price of eligible purchases to ICC!

It’s easy to sign up! Just follow these steps:

How to shop AmazonSmile:

  1. Visit smile.amazon.com
  2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials
  3. Search for and select “International Children’s Care” as the charity to receive a donation from Amazon.
  4. Start shopping!
  5. Add a bookmark for smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile

Thank you for your added support of the children when you shop smile.amazon.com!

 

UPDATE: CONGO

June 4th, 2019

Rescued Children Safely at Patmos Children’s Village

“…We all have a divine mission to save the souls and the bodies of children that God sends us. God did not give that talent to everybody; that is why we need to be thankful [to Him] for having chosen us to fulfill such a hard task.”

Desire Murhima, ICC’s director in Congo

In the aftermath of rescuing newly orphaned children, Desire made the statement above.

If you read the post from last month, you recall how dangerous it was for him just to make it to these children whose parents had been viciously murdered by insurgents.

And when he did arrive, he found there were 18 additional orphans. What a hard task — to decide on the fate of orphans in crisis.

Yet, Desire puts it well. “We have a divine mission to save the souls and bodies of children God sends to us.”

He determined to take all 59 orphans believing he would have your support and that of the world-wide ICC family.

Praise the Lord! Desire and the children arrived safely at the Patmos children’s village on Idjwi Island.

In a message that Desire sent he stated the following: “If I knew before the situation on the ground (in the rebel-controlled area), I could not accept to go there. This convinces me that it was evidently the good will of God to save the children.”

Once the children arrived, the ICC Patmos family set about making them feel welcomed in their new surroundings.

But as you can imagine, taking in 59 children at one time has stretched the resources and facilities of Patmos children’s village. Haircuts, bathing, dressing, feeding, and watching over these little children is challenging, but it’s these initial important acts of care and concern that give these children important messages:

You are loved.

You are safe.

You will be taken care of here.

Your faithful support is helping to fulfill the divine mission of rescuing and restoring the lives of these children.

Funds have been sent to help provide for some of the basic up-front costs required to set up areas of care for the children. These are needed until permanent places can be made available within a Patmos home. It’s cramped now as the children must squeeze into temporary quarters. But they are fortunate to be safe and on a pathway to restoration — thanks to your support!

Additional funds will be needed in the months ahead to help provide caregivers, food, and possibly even another house. The care of these children will add almost $14,000 per month to an already tight budget.

You can help by:

  • Sponsoring one of these new children,
  • Making a one time or recurring gift for Patmos Children’s Village to help with monthly operating costs,
  • Praying for the new children in these important first few weeks of care.

Thank you for helping to make this divine mission possible!

Insurgents Murder Innocent Villagers

May 7th, 2019
Dear ICC family,

Will the cry of the newly orphaned child that pierces the night like a knife ever come to an end in the DR Congo?

The thought of this cry unsettles me and moves me to action. The brutality and slaughter of innocent people continues. And in its wake, children are orphaned in an instant.

The plight of orphan children touched our collective hearts back in 2002 when we went to this African country to try to help rescue and restore the lives of children.

And you, our faithful ICC family of supporters, have journeyed with us making it possible to provide the care that hundreds of children have needed.

Many of the children we first brought into the ICC family are now college educated and are living successful lives of service in their community. They were given the opportunity to learn of Jesus. The spiritual lessons and values taught and shown to them at Patmos Children’s village have stayed with them. What a blessing you have been and continue to be!

And yet, our work in Congo is far from complete, and that’s why I’m turning to you once again, because I have no place else to turn!

I recently spent several hours on the phone with Désiré, Patmos Children’s Village director. The story he told touched my heart. It was yet another tragedy:  Insurgent soldiers had decimated 116 families. These were innocent people — parents and children — just trying to eke out an existence.

The Adventist church leadership in that region contacted Désiré asking for urgent assistance.  Members in three churches were desperately trying to provide care for 42 newly orphaned children. They were housing them in the church and letting them sleep on the floor.  There were more children, but two had died already. Others were sick and in desperate need of immediate care.

Would we agree to help these children?

Our ICC administrative team gathered for prayer and careful consideration of the emerging story. Team members expressed a desire to do something. We urged Désiré to go and visit the children and further evaluate their condition. I had no idea the danger in which we were putting Désiré.

In the area he visited, UN forces have installed an antenna so he could communicate with the outside world. Here is an edited excerpt of the report I received from Désiré.

Dear Rick,

I would like to let you know the current situation on the ground at three sites in which the 38 orphaned children live and four non-accompanied children.

The journey from Bukavu to Bunyakiri is very scary. Nobody would make it twice.

And to arrive here, we thank you for your prayers because God has understood them. It took us two days.

There are four reasons which make it difficult for us if we are fortunate enough to return home.

1. We met nine barricades; some by the state agents and three by different rebel groups. There were barricades by park rangers. At the end of our trip, there was a barricade to enter Bunyakiri which is a built-up area. We had to pay an entry tax.

Insecurity is a daily scenario. Farmers do not enjoy the products of their labor, and the rebels harvest their crops and own everything in the area.

All the youth in the region have guns for their protection. Unfortunately, they use them to loot the population’s properties.

2.  The road is very difficult, and it is a rainy season with a lot of broken vehicles on the way. We walked a lot of kilometers pushing the motorbikes.

3. At the last entry barrier, they confiscated all [our] photographic apparatuses…

Life in this part of the [D.R. Congo] is totally different from life of any other human being on earth.

In this region, killing a person is very easy, and is done with impunity. People are killed every day. They are not ashamed to undress somebody’s clothes to leave him unclothed.

If it were not for some members of the Adventist church here, we could not have any authorization to enter the region.

4. The government laws are not applicable. Rebels rule the region as they want. The rebel leaders ask for money, the peasants living in the region ask for humanitarian aid, and there is extreme poverty. Food items are very cheap, because nobody goes to buy food for fear of insecurity.

On the other hand, manufactured items are very expensive (medicine, soap, sugar, soft drinks, etc.) due to the inaccessibility of the region.

The rebels are active in mining and sell their products to buy guns and weapons. It is a reason why insecurity is persistent, because even the government does not control the situation.

On Friday, one day after we arrived, we participated in the burial of a child.

Instead of 42 children, we met 56 children. The additional children were gathered from the forest by the Adventist church members.

We were told that three weeks ago, there were 118 children. Of those, 62 children were given to two local NGOs operating in Bukavu town.

We wanted to apply the advice given to us by taking 38 children of the 56.

But now, we are asking ourselves what to do, because after we leave, the 18 remaining children will die since we are eye witnesses that it is impossible for an orphaned child to live without any resource or receiving family.

For the three nights we have spent here, we have never thought of sleeping because of fear of getting slaughtered.

We were authorized yesterday to preach but we were forbidden to read the Bible verses which talk about murder and killing and violence toward women and girls.

The rebel leaders refused to let us give to people the medicine and food we brought. They only allowed us to give clothes to orphaned children. After the selection of children, this afternoon we are looking for the children’s birth certificates at the legal offices.

Before we return tomorrow, we ask you to precisely tell us what to do for the additional 18 children. Shall we return with the children or leave them in their distress, trauma and despair? We need an urgent answer accordingly because we are concerned about their physical and psychological health.

We have insomnia or sleeplessness. We are accommodated in the church. We sleep on the ground on mats without covers or blankets.  There is no bed and mattress.  It is very cold here and the temperature is 15 C (59 F) .

Here, it is almost hell.

Waiting for your urgent reply, thank you for your good collaboration,

For ICC-Congo Project
M.SC. DESIRE MURHIMA

It’s not often that one has the power to choose life or death for another human being. But as you can tell from Désiré’s message, that is the choice he faced.

What should he have done?

What would you have done?

When I asked Désiré how many children he proposed to take, here is how he responded:

Papa and Mama Fleck, it is difficult to abandon these children in this situation in which they are. From the first group of 42, two children are already dead.

I cannot think to abandon the other 18 in this situation. I just split it into 3 groups. We will leave with one today, the other will arrive on Thursday and the last group on Sunday.

Pray for us because there are many barriers and huge difficulties.

ICC board members have voiced their support for taking in the children.

After all, this is our mission to rescue children and then to help restore their lives by placing them in a loving family.

Our board chairman, Cody Erwin stated, “Let’s see what we can do to help as many as we can in this terrible situation.”

As of the writing of this letter, we are evaluating options as to the best way to accommodate the new children.

Fortunately, there is some space in current homes at the children’s village that may accommodate some of the children.

Also, some of the older children are nearly ready to become self-sufficient and independent, and as a result more space will be available.

This is a huge undertaking, and the children need your support in different ways.

First, please pray right now and ask God,

  1. To protect these new children,
  2. To direct the plan being developed for their care, and
  3. To help you act.

Second, since additional funds are needed to care for these children here are some practical things you can do,

  • Raise your monthly support, if you have the capacity, because the orphan children need it now,
  • Give a single gift to help provide for the initial care the children need,
  • Share this letter with your family, friends and colleagues, and encourage them to join this mission of mercy for the orphan children,
  • Pray that God will bring about an abundant response to this urgent need.

In closing I do want to acknowledge that you have given so much already toward the care of the children.

Yet, another group of children have arrived. God continues to ask us to take care of orphans in their distress.

Please join with us in welcoming these children and helping to provide for the care and love they need so much.

May God bless you for your kindness!

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. These children lost their families when their parents were murdered. Désiré Murhima took a harrowing journey to visit them. As you can recognize from Désiré’s story, this is an urgent appeal.

Our board supports caring for these children. The costs for providing for these children will mount quickly. Please send in a gift of support today. And to help provide the ongoing care the children need, please consider making it a recurring gift each month. Thank you!

Your “Container of Love” Is On Its Way!

April 23rd, 2019
by Doug Congleton

During March 4th and 5th, our ICC staff and two volunteers joined together and loaded a 40-foot container. This container is now on the ocean destined for the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The container is set to arrive in the Dominican during this week. Hopefully, on April 27th. I just wish that all of you could be there when it arrives and the children and families get to open it and unload the many things that you sent to help them.

The children are so grateful to all of you who helped make this possible for them to have these much-needed items that were loaded with care.
None of this would have happened if it were not for each one of you.

On behalf of the children, thank you for giving of yourselves and the blessings that God gave to you in order for the children to share in these vital supplies.