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.

The Choirs of Patmos Children’s Village

April 16th, 2019

“The melody of song, poured forth from many hearts in clear, distinct utterance, is one of God’s instrumentalities in the work of saving souls.” E.G. White, 5T 493

Patmos Children’s Village Choir

Music has a power to stir the heart. For orphan children who have experienced horrific trauma, music can help them express deep emotions and foster healing.

A Patmos Children’s Village Choir

ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo has three choirs offering children a way to experience joy through music. As you might expect, the lively songs are animated by the movements of the children who “feel” the music. Not only do the participants gain a rich blessing, so do those who listen and watch the choirs.

A Patmos Children’s Village choir

You make moments like this possible through your continuing support. You who appreciate music’s benefits and would like to help support music programs for the children, mark your gift “Music for His Kids.”

Thank you!

Tribute To Sorin Neaga

April 9th, 2019

Faithful ICC Family Member Sleeps in Jesus

Sorin Neaga 1969–2019

It is with deep sadness and loss that we tell you of the untimely passing of a dear ICC family member, Sorin Neaga. Sorin was a vital member of the ICC Romania staff.

Along with being the supervisor of the children’s village construction, maintenance, farm, garden, and grounds, Sorin also supported his wife, Simona, in the supervision of the children’s program. He was a faithful, loving father figure.

While performing repairs on his personal home February 12, Sorin fell from a ladder onto a handrail. This caused massive internal bleeding. Sorin called for Simona, and she notified emergency personnel who rushed him to the hospital.

News of the accident spread rapidly and prayers were lifted to God on Sorin’s behalf. Sadly, he never regained consciousness. On the morning of February 13, he passed to his rest leaving behind Simona, his wife of nearly 26 years and their two children, Rebecca and Teddy.

Sorin believed in Jesus as his Savior and that Jesus would come again soon to take His faithful ones to heaven. With this blessed hope in mind, we celebrate Sorin’s life and legacy.

The family has been actively involved with ICC Romania since 1998. Sorin was a loving and positive role model for ICC children. Some, even as adults, called Sorin with their problems. He always lent a helping hand.

The buildings and grounds on the children’s village campus continue to bear testimony to Sorin’s skillful craftsmanship. As one person put it, “Every stone on the pavement, every brick in the walls, each tree and each flower are marked by the fingerprint of the one who has been the administrator of this place for more than 20 years.” Sorin was also actively involved in the lives of people within the local community. Ask around in the village of Odobesti, and everyone has memories of the help they received from Sorin. The neighbors say he never refused anyone.

Sorin was hardworking, always moving, and was extremely quick in everything he did. After waking up in the morning, he often started his day without eating so he could ensure the children had everything they needed and would get to school on time.

Taking good care of the children was important to him. His cheerful and optimistic nature helped to make children happy. It didn’t matter if it was the neighbor’s children looking for compassion or our ICC children, they all wanted to be close to him. The children loved and respect “Uncle Sorin.”

At Sorin’s funeral on February 16, many of the ICC children were present to pay their respects. They gathered close around him and many wept in sorrow. Certainly, the influence of this godly man will continue to live on in their lives.

We cling to the hope that one day soon, very soon, when the trumpet sounds and Jesus gathers His people, Sorin will be among them. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20.

Should Lucas Quit Or Beat Leukemia?

April 2nd, 2019

by William Hurtado

Lucas with one of his Lego creationsLucas Nelson, at 13 years of age, was diagnosed on August 25, 2018 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

He was supposed to be playing freely as a child; but now he had fevers, easy bruising, abnormal weight loss, and cancerous blood cells growing inside his body. Would he survive chemotherapy and find a way to break past the exhaustion?

Lucas lives with his family in North Dakota. His parents are Seventh-day Adventist conference workers within the education and youth ministries.

Through this calamity, the family could have easily become angry with God and distanced themselves, but instead, they decided to bless others, no matter their circumstances.

Jennifer TurkJennifer Turk is a mother with a compassionate heart and a close friend of Lucas’s family. She heard about Lucas and his family’s desire to help others.

Jennifer had an idea she felt would help Lucas bless others. She knew that Lucas loves Legos, so why not put Legos into the hands of orphaned children in Lucas’ honor? Many children around the world have never before held or even played with Legos!

Jennifer contacted me, and together we developed a program known as Lucas Legos for Kids. The plan is to have church and school groups collect Legos, and with help from you and ICC, send them to the children of International Children’s Care.

Lucas and his family were excited when they heard this plan. Lucas Legos for Kids started during the 2018 Christmas season in two locations. In only one and a half months, they collected over 30 pounds of Legos!

Jennifer and other contributors then shipped their collected Legos to International Children’s Care in Vancouver, WA.

A girl and boy from Las Palmas play with their donated Legos.In January of 2019, the first Lego shipment traveled with Sharon Fleck, ICC children’s services director, to the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Now, ICC children are playing and learning with Lucas Legos. Isn’t that exciting?!

Lucas Legos for Kids is a way for all of us to participate in the cause of giving children safe and fun Christian homes in which to grow.

Will you support Lucas and International Children’s Care in this vision?

Besides helping with Legos, you can also encourage others to help support ICC’s children.

And do pray for Lucas! His treatments are helping his cancer go into remission. By God’s grace, he will be well soon!

To learn more about how to involve your church, school, or Pathfinder club, visit ICC’s webpage about Lucas Legos for Kids.

You may also watch a video on YouTube about Lucas and Lucas Legos for Kids by using the following this link: Watch The Video.

A pile of Lego Blocks

Charity Navigator Awards ICC 4 Stars

March 26th, 2019

There is no higher honor in the nonprofit realm than receiving a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

ICC’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned us a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

This is the first time that ICC has earned this top distinction.

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating.

Accountability and transparency metrics, account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, revealing which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.

Members of ICC’s staff celebrate ICC being rewarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined.

Members of ICC’s staff celebrate ICC being rewarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined.

“ICC’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator.

“Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity.”

ICC’s rating is available free of charge on CharityNavigator.org.

Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America. The organization evaluates more than 8,000 charities.

Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data.

Charity Navigator, a 501(c)(3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers.

Big Green Needs To Get Hitched. Can You Dig It?

March 19th, 2019

Because of you, there’s a ‘new’ tractor in town! The El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico recently acquired a used John Deere 6615 tractor for their farm.

Purchased from a farmer with the help of three generous donors, this tractor will allow the El Oasis farm to become much more efficient as it will no longer be necessary to rent a tractor when preparing and maintaining the fields and crops.

This tractor does however have an immediate need for implements to be truly effective. The implements required for this coming season are;

  • A Fumigator
  • A Disc
  • A Plow
  • And a Harrow,

that will fit a John Deere 6615. As of right now, any implement we require must be rented. And those implements are only available when they’re not in use by other farmers.

This puts the El Oasis farm at a disadvantage when dealing with either crop-munching insects, time-sensitive and/or weather-related issues. Creating the real risk of losing crops. And losing funds that support the children.

The farm at El Oasis helps generate income that offsets the expenses of operating the children’s village. Giving your investment in “His Kids” a greater effectiveness because of funds generated by campus industries.

Please, your help is needed now.

Contact Doug Congleton at 800.422.7729 today!

Backhoe Needed For Las Palmas Industries

The Las Palmas campus, and the on-campus industries, require drainage, canals, lagoons, and ditches be dug to benefit the campus and its industries.

Right now, those projects are done with shovels and manual labor or a rented backhoe.

Even a small backhoe purchased for Las Palmas would make these much-needed excavation projects much more efficient as well as less costly in the long run.

Please Contact Doug Congleton for details at — 800.422.7729.