Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Questions Of Importance & A Quiz

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

1. What year was ICC incorporated?

a. 1976
b. 1978
c. 1981

2. How many children have you helped through your support since ICC began?

a. 4,112
b. 5,217
c. 3,921

3. What is the average cost of one meal for one child living in one of the children’s villages?

a. $1.13
b. $0.71
c. $2.11

4. What percentage of the yearly financial needs for the children are given during the month of December?

a. 17%
b. 33%
c. 23%

Answers to the Quiz:

Question 1 = B
Question 2 = A
Question 3 = B
Question 4 = C

Questions Of Importance

A photo of Doug Congleton with several of the children from the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic

Doug Congleton with ICC kids

I hope you enjoyed learning more about the children of ICC by taking a few moments and going through the “ICC Informational Quiz” above.

It’s always fun and rewarding to learn more about the lives of the children and what is all involved in their various programs.

I hope that one of the questions of importance that stood out to you in the informational quiz was the fact that December is such an important month for the children as far as yearly funding is concerned.

There is no other month that means more to the children than December does, this month actually decides if we even have children’s villages in the coming year.

Yes, it is important for the children. When you think about 23% of the total year’s donations coming in the month of December, it is vitally important!

Isn’t it ironic that we always celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time of year, and now it is also the same time of year that decides how His Kids lives will be saved and changed as well? Just think about that.

I am asking you to prayerfully consider your year-end giving plan this next month to include a very special gift for His kids.

This has been a difficult year financially for all of the projects. We are doing everything we can to try to shore up the financial pillars of each project.

This year we have given lots of effort and time into developing industries at the children’s villages in order to help them financially contribute by offsetting some of their ever-increasing budgets.

This is starting to help, but we just started these efforts, and we are far from making the difference we hope to make in the future.

These efforts take money to initiate, and as always, we work very hard to be good stewards of what comes in for the children. This is why you see an occasional special request letter asking to help support a specific industry in a children’s village.

We always want to make sure that we spend every dollar wisely for its intended purpose.

I also want to thank each one of you for your continued, faithful support on behalf of the children. Your love and support are what keeps the doors open, food on the table, and most importantly, hope for today and a heavenly home for the futures of His kids.

God bless you for everything that you continue to do for the children. I am so excited for the day when they can walk up to you in our heavenly home and thank you personally for what you have done for them each day while we are on this earth. That will be such a special moment for me, and an amazing and rewarding moment for you!

In Service for His kids,

Doug Congleton's Signature

 

 

 

Doug Congleton

Educating For A Brighter Future — Thanks To You

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
This is Claudia. She recently graduated university with her degree in Marketing and International Business. Claudia grew up at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador. Because of people like you, Claudia was able to obtain not only her primary and secondary education, but an advanced degree as well. It is through your support and investment in the future of these children that they are able to receive their education. Education is an investment that will pay dividends now and for eternity.

This is Claudia. Because of people like you, Claudia was able to obtain her advanced degree in business.

Your generous support helps provide quality education for ICC’s children.

Whether it’s four of our girls attending the Adventist high school in Romania, or grown-up children finishing their university degrees in India, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala, or the more than 100 children in the D.R. Congo who are engaged in various levels of instruction, the ICC education program is a ticket to a brighter future — for this world and the world to come.

Claudia is a good example of this. Claudia was only four when she came to live at our Hogar Escuela Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Her father had abandoned the family, and her mother was losing the battle of trying to provide a safe environment for Claudia and her younger brother.

Claudia grew up within the HEA family. She attended elementary and secondary school and was involved in the church program on campus. She believed that a daily relationship with God helped her to make good decisions.

Through the generous support of the ICC family, Claudia was able to enroll in University in 2013. She majored in Marketing and International Business. During her studies, she was twice given the opportunity to travel to the United States for an internship. This was a reward for her good grades.

However, both times she declined the offer because of possible Sabbath conflicts and because of the cost it would have meant to her ICC family while living abroad.

Claudia recently graduated with her degree. She is a testimony to the outcome of your support!

As another school year begins, it reminds us all of the import role that education plays in the lives of children like Claudia.

The cost of education is not cheap. Neither is the cost of ignorance. Your investment in the lives of the children’s education is paying divides now and for eternity.

Please consider making an extra special gift this month in support of education for a child like Claudia. May God bless you for all you do for the children!

Become an Ambassador for “His Kids”

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

A special opportunity is now available for you to become an ICC Ambassador.

As the name suggests, an ICC Ambassador is one who promotes our collective mission to rescue and restore the lives of orphan children.

Many options are available for ICC Ambassadors to share our mission with others.

We will work with you individually and provide you with the tools and training needed to be a successful Ambassador.

Here are some specific ways that you can serve as an ICC Ambassador for “His Kids” —

  • Share the Que Pasa, brochures, and videos with family & friends.
  • Share ICC materials with local business owners.
  • Introduce ICC to your pastor and church leaders. Offer to make a presentation about “His Kids” during a church program.
  • Encourage your Pathfinders or youth group to participate in a mission outreach project for ICC.
  • Plan a fundraising event to benefit “His Kids” such as food fairs, bake sales, car washes.
  • Invite ICC supporters near you to an annual ICC family reunion. If possible, ICC will provide a guest speaker for your event.
  • Represent ICC at your local camp meeting. Displays and materials will be provided, and reasonable expenses will be covered.

You’ll find more information on our website at the ICC Ambassdor page.

Or you may contact William Hurtado directly at (800) 422–7729.

 

Amazon Smile Supports ICC Children!

Tuesday, 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!

 

Insurgents Murder Innocent Villagers

Tuesday, 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!

Charity Navigator Awards ICC 4 Stars

Tuesday, 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.

One of the Most Needed Persons at ICC Is…

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

By William Hurtado

Dorothy Larson has been a volunteer at ICC for 29+ years.

Dorothy Larson

Dorothy Larson is not only the oldest and longest serving volunteer of ICC, she is one of the most needed.

At 94 years old, she has been volunteering at ICC’s main office for 29 years. She has been faithfully organizing volunteers to help prepare the monthly Que Pasa mailings.

What a blessing she continues to be!

There is a lot to tell about Dorothy’s life; but one detail about the times she lived in may exhilarate you.

In 1922, three years before Dorothy was born, the Oregon Compulsory Education Act required that every person having custody of a child between eight and sixteen years of age must send the child to a public school.

Children were being forced to receive instruction from public teachers only. This law, taking away the right to oversee the religious development of children, was bitterly resisted by many, so a suit was filed to have it declared unconstitutional.

In 1925, the year Dorothy was born, the court ruled in favor of faith-based instruction. It said that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce, 1925, p. 535

Dorothy’s beginning of life coincided with a historical event allowing children to be educated within a faith community.

Now — for 29 years and running — Dorothy contributes to an orphan-care ministry that operates Adventist schools for children coming from destabilized situations.

These schools teach ICC children about their “additional obligations” — to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and their neighbors as themselves.

Do you think Dorothy’s 29-year investment at International Children’s Care has been worth it? You bet! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every year, every decade has been worth it. Why? Because every child needs a family. Because every child God has given to ICC needs her. And needs you.

For an educated future and for a faith-filled life, will you continue your dedicated support–alongside Dorothy, and all of the other devoted staff and volunteers–to ICC’s cause? Like a contemporary of Dorothy said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

A Personal Message

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

From Doug Congleton

It was like an electric charge that went from my fingers into my very soul. It was so simple, yet it was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me since joining God’s service for His kids at ICC. Let me tell you how it happened.

I was on the campus at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in The Dominican Republic working with our new industries planning team. Things were going really well, and I was pleased with the work that had been done.

We were working on new ideas and the implementation of the things we had decided to get going previously. As always, we stopped during the Sabbath hours to take time to rest and contemplate the good things God is doing in the children’s lives.

Sabbath morning I went to the on-campus church. At the end of the service I went outside and started walking down the road back to where I was staying on the campus.

As I walked I heard footsteps running up behind me, and then I felt little fingers reach out and take hold of my hand without ever saying a word.

That may sound simple to you, but in that moment, those little fingers touching mine sent what felt like an electrical current into my very being.

This little girl who I had never even been introduced to, ran up and just wanted to share her heart with me in taking my hand and walking with me those few hundred yards.

So, we walked together hand-in-hand down that little roadway until she let go in order to run off to her home to have lunch with her family.

After running a short distance, she stopped, turned back and smiled a huge smile at me as if to say, “Thank you for loving me. It feels so good!” I know my heart felt the same way!

In those brief moments I thought of our many family members of donors at ICC who give so unselfishly and faithfully. God’s people who care enough to make a commitment to providing for these little children each day.

In a very real sense, these are the people that little hand was reaching out to. That electrical charge is something that was meant for each one of you to feel for yourselves.

It’s a moment where time stands still, and you know that what you are doing is the very thing that Jesus wants from you. I totally understand now what was on the heart of Jesus when He told us in His word to “Take care of the widows and orphans.” James 1:27.

It is a responsibility that He left to each one of us to take care of these children until He comes again. It is something that I will always remember for the rest of my life.

These special children need you so much. It is only possible with your help for ICC to take loving care of these children. This is the moment when I believe that Jesus is looking to see who will stand for what is right for His children.

He is wanting to see who it is that will take the hands of these precious children and lead them to His kingdom.

News About Matching Grants

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Fish Industry Matching Grant

There’s a matching grant challenge for the Las Palmas fish industry, thanks to a generous donor. You can expand your support of the ICC children even further with an additional gift to this matching grant.

Currently there is nearly $13,000 available in matching grant funds. Not only can you double your donation by supporting this industry, you will also help Las Palmas to become even more self-sustaining. This matching grant will further extend your gifts!

“… go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 17: 27

Be sure to designate your donation as “Fish Industry Matching Grant.” Thank you, and may your contributions continue to help ICC kids become ”fishers of men!”


Update on the Christmas 2018 Matching Grant

Yes, you’ve done it again!

In December one of our faithful ICC donors stepped forward to challenge you to match their gift. And yes, you’ve done it again by not only matching the $50,000 challenge, you’ve exceeded it! These funds, along with all the other gifts given by our faithful ICC family members at the end of the year have been such a blessing!

We finished 2018 strong thanks to the kind generosity of our ICC family. On behalf of the children whose lives you’ve touched in a special way during 2018 and here at the start of 2019, thank you very much! May God bless you and you have blessed “His Kids!”

Give A Child A New Home

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

December 1, 2018

Dear Friend,

You can give a child a place to belong. A gift sent by December 31 will be doubled through a matching grant

Everyone wants to feel that they belong — that they have a special place where they fit in, where they are loved and accepted for who they are.

This is especially true at Christmas. Our hearts go out to those who must spend the holiday alone. It just doesn’t seem right.

This need for belongingness makes the plight of orphan children so desperate. An orphan child is set adrift on the stormy sea of life with

no sail, no rudder, no anchor.

The orphan child needs help from outside. But will that help come? And will that help come from you?

During the last 40 years, many of you have joined ICC in providing children like Sarita (see story on second page) and thousands of other children like her with not only the basics of life, like food and shelter, but, just as important, we have been providing orphan children with “a place to belong!”

Of all the important elements of effective orphan care, this is one of the most important. And it is making a difference in the lives of orphan children like Sarita. Here’s her story.

Sarita’s mother died when she was very little. She was left in the care of her older sisters and her father. When her father disappeared, the sisters turned her over to an orphanage for girls run by Catholic nuns. Sarita stayed there until one Christmas when one of her sisters came and picked her up for the holiday.

Because of you Sarita has a new home

Sarita never returned to that orphanage. Her two sisters then took turns caring for her and sometimes had others taking care of her. But she would be given back to them because her sisters didn’t pay what they promised.

Passed around, neglected, abused.

Sarita desperately needed a loving place to belong! Fortunately God intervened, and she was brought to the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala where she found a home within the ICC family. Here is how Sarita described what happened.

“[The authorities] took me to this place because I ran away from the house where I was living. One of my sisters left me in the house of a lady that she was going to pay to take care of me. My sister started making the payments, but, little by little, she stopped paying, until one day she never returned. The lady started to mistreat me.”

This Christmas, Sarita has a place to belong within her loving and nurturing family at Los Pinos. Generous ICC family members like you make her belongingness possible.

Sarita still has many challenges ahead as she learns to trust those who provide for her care. That is why it is very important this Christmas that her ICC family continues to provide for the support that she and other children like her need.

And right now, you can participate in a special Christmas Matching Challenge. These funds will help children like Sarita to have the one thing they need the most this Christmas — “a place to belong!”

That’s right. Because every child needs “a place to belong” one of our loyal donors has stepped forward to challenge you to match their gift. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $50,000 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we depend upon the generosity of ICC family members. About 22% of funds needed to support ICC’s mission for children is given in December.

If that doesn’t happen, it restricts our ability to provide a place to belong for children like Sarita. And there are so many more children who need the nurturing care in which ICC specializes.

At this time of year, budgets are stretched taking care of children who have already found their place to belong. So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope!

The world tells orphans, “You don’t belong!” But your gift will tell them

“I care”          “I want you to belong”          “I will help you.”

It was because God loved the world so much that he sent His Son to earth so that we could experience a sense of belonging as part of His eternal family. I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience their Heavenly Father’s love as well. For Sarita, and for all the children, this will be the ultimate experience in belonging!

Please, make your gift today!.

On behalf of the children, thank you for blessing them this Christmas!

In His Service,

Rick Fleck

 

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. To take advantage of year-end-tax benefits please respond before December 31. And to make sure your gift is matched, helping twice as many children in need, please respond as quickly as possible! Thank you!