Archive for the ‘Guatemala – Los Pinos’ Category

Your Gifts Saved Jacob’s Life

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

A matching grant doubles your extra gift till December 31.

Dear Friend of the Children,

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

God continues to bless “His Kids” through your kind and generous support.

Before I share Jacob’s story and a holiday update, I’m excited to tell you that some of our dedicated family members have offered a special matching challenge.

From now until December 31, your gift can be doubled to provide even more of a blessing for the children. Please take advantage of this opportunity, and thank you for all you continue to do for the children. YOU are truly a blessing!

This challenge is also to give a little extra — a bit more than you would otherwise give. Please mark this extra gift as “Matching Challenge.” Thank you so much!

I can’t overemphasize or even dramatize the impact you have on the children. When I visit the ICC children’s villages, I see first-hand the transformations that are taking place in the lives of the children. Your support makes these transformations possible.

Smiles on little faces that were once cloudy with fear and suspicion.

Confidence to interact appropriately with others rather than hide in the shadows.

Of course, there’s more than just emotional transformations. Physical transformations are taking place as the children grow healthy and strong from good nutrition, exercise, and medical care.

There are mental transformations, too, as our campus schools provide stimulating learning experiences for the children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Yet the best of all transformations take place when an ICC child is “born again.” I recently received word that two of our teenage girls in Romania made a public demonstration of their commitment to God by being baptized.

This thrills my heart! They were little children when they came to us. And through the years, your support enabled us to provide the nurturing care they needed. And now that they are old enough, they are also wise enough to decide to follow Jesus as their Savior.

This Christmas I praise God for the decision of these girls and others within our ICC family who have been baptized and are waiting and watching for the coming of Jesus — just as wise men of long ago did!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

This year, your support has enabled us to expand efforts to develop and strengthen sustaining industries. I’m pleased to let you know that “Milky’s Challenge” has been a success. This campaign was developed to help raise funds for the Las Palmas Dairy. Through the support of many, the dairy herd has grown to over 100 head of cows!

We’ve been contacted by the Rica Group, a large food company in the Dominican Republic. They process milk among other products. Not only will they purchase Las Palmas milk, but they will also help our dairy industry enabling you to provide even more support for the children. We see God’s potential leading in this endeavor!

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

In Mexico, we are completing the harvest of Jalapeño peppers. This has been another excellent year for this crop. The production remained strong even though the market price was lower than anticipated.

At the end of the season, for the second year in a row, we saw God intervene when a killing frost crept over the valley where the El Oasis campus is located. All the other farmers in the valley except our close neighbor lost their crop, but God saved ours so we could harvest more peppers.

The growth and potential of this industry can be seen in the fact that for the first time, an ICC project was able to send support to another project! Additional agri-businesses are being explored at other ICC projects. Thank you for the support you give that enables us to help these projects become more self-sustaining.

Your support of ICC children in the past has enabled them to “pay your support forward” and bless their younger “siblings.” Many of our ICC children return as adults to the same children’s village in which they grew up. They help to share in the care of the children.

Of particular note are two of our former children who for the past couple of years have served as business manager and director of children’s services for the Sweet Home Children’s Village in India.

Because our director there had a medical emergency that required treatment in the US, Udai, our business manager, was asked to take on the management role in the director’s absence.

Both Udai and Nirmala have taken their work very seriously and have done an excellent job of managing the operations of the children’s village. It’s wonderful to see dedicated young people giving back in gratitude for what they were given!

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

My parents, Ken and Alcyon Fleck, had no way of imagining how the work of ICC would grow and develop through the years.

Back in the late ’70s, they set out to help a few orphan children in Guatemala. Over the past four decades, the number of children who call or who have called

ICC home and family have grown to well over 4,000! That’s a big family of children, many of whom are now raising families of their own!

In October I had the privilege of attending the 40-year anniversary celebration of the opening of the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

It was thrilling to spend several days of celebrations at Los Pinos. There were many of our kids, who are independent now, who came with their families. Also, there were former parents, teachers, and administration. What a joy to listen to the stories of how God has led through the years.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th-anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

The kids and staff put together a video reenacting the story of Manuel, one of the first-generation kids, who is now a pastor and was there with his family.

We were all so moved to tears by his story and how God brought him to Los Pinos after his parents were killed by rebel soldiers; how he grew to know Jesus and studied to become a pastor.

Manual, with tears, got up and said this was the best video he had ever seen. He brought all the “actors” to the platform and personally thanked them for doing the video.

Afterwards, as we stood around and talked about this with Manuel and others, Sharon commented, with emotion choking her voice, “That story was so real that we saw today, and it was the reality that started ICC 40 years ago — a reality that so many of these kids went through who are adults today. Now, the situation in Guatemala is different — not the civil war that existed back then, but the poverty and sinfulness that still causes so much suffering with the children.”

But then she paused and said, “Now we are seeing that same reality being faced and lived out in the lives of many little children today in other countries such as in Congo where we recently took in 59 little children five years old and under! Those precious little ones just recently experienced this same reality of war and unimaginable violence at such a young and vulnerable age. God help us to find the means to help them!”

Yes, this year we saw the ICC family of children grow by 59 in an instant. We were challenged by the urgent call from the D.R. Congo that these newly-orphaned children needed our immediate intervention.

We counted on your support to provide for the children and stepped out in faith believing that God would move upon the hearts of our ICC family members to include these children, too, at the “ICC family table.” And yes, you came through with the support that was needed to provide for the initial care of the children. On behalf of these children, thank you very much!

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

We’ve been challenged with creating the profiles of the children whose identities and background information are difficult to track since their parents were massacred and the children are so very young.

But I have good news! We are now finally able to assign sponsors to at least some of these new children! This will mean so much to them and aid in their transformations. Would You like to sponsor one of these special little kids?

Speaking yet again of transformations, I want to include the following incident in this letter.

Many of you know our ICC sponsorship supervisor, Alanna Jones. She recently shared the following account of what happened to her when she received the picture of Jacob, who had arrived at the Congo Patmos Children’s Village in 2017.

You must realize that Alanna has served the children of ICC for 11 years. During that time, she has seen many of the pictures of the new children who arrive at “ICC’s front door.” But Jacob’s picture touched her deeply. Here’s how she described it:

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

“I felt my heart clutch when I saw Jacob’s picture. He appeared to me to be very near death, and he was so skinny.

His little legs looked like bones with a thin layer of skin pulled tight. He looked like he would not be able to even lift his head a little bit. And the blank look in his eyes was haunting — frightening.

“I have a 2-year-old grandson, and I started to imagine how horrible it would be if he were suddenly on his own with no way to eat or care for himself. I had to stop myself from these thoughts because it was terrifying.

Jacob was someone’s baby at one point. How would they feel if they knew how badly he was doing? Their precious tiny boy. I did not assign any sponsors to him because I was afraid that he was not going to make it. I didn’t want a sponsor to know that kind of heartache if he did pass.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

“When the latest set of pictures arrived on my desk recently, I saw his name on the label on the back of his picture before I saw his face. I think I may have cheered out loud. I know I did in my head. OH! YAY! Jacob!

“He looks so healthy now. He has put on some weight, has cute round cheeks and a darling smile. I was so excited and impressed by his improvement that I printed his first picture and the newest picture and kept them on my desk for a few weeks. I just kept looking at them trying to believe it was actually the same sweet boy.

“I always feel very honored to be able to work at ICC, to have the privilege of seeing the children and reading their stories of how they came to be in our care and to be a small part of helping them get the support they need. I especially felt this honor and happiness when Jacob’s new picture arrived.

“Sponsors get to know a few children — but I get to see all of them. That to me is a privilege. I am thankful that Alcyon responded to the call so many years ago and that ICC is still operating and saving children’s lives.”

You make transformations like this possible! And now, through the end of the year, your EXTRA gift of love and support can be doubled — literally transformed — to be twice the blessing for children like Jacob.

That’s right! Because there are children like Jacob who desperately need the nurturing care that ICC provides, some of our faithful supporters have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any special EXTRA donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $100,000 is reached. Please mark your gift, “Matching Challenge.”

The reality is that this Christmas we depend upon the generosity of ICC family members to change the reality for all these children. Close to a quarter of the funds needed to support ICC’s mission for children is given in December. If that doesn’t happen, how will we provide a place of healing and transformation for children like Jacob? 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 within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope!

The world has little use for orphan children. After all, what can they contribute? I believe there is a real counterpoint that can be said for the mission of ICC. Once an orphan child receives the nurturing care needed, he or she has such great capacity to contribute and to pay forward the support given. That transformation is what makes this ministry worthwhile!

And YOUR support tells the children…

“I care for you. I believe in you. I want to help you!”

Please — Use This Link — to make your gift today.

On behalf of ICC’s worldwide family of children, caregivers and support staff, thank-you for the blessing you are this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. To take advantage of year-end-tax benefits, please respond by December 31. And to take part in the matching challenge, please respond as quickly as possible! Thank you!

Because Of You 3 Kids Have New Families

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

These kids are thankful you gave them their new family

Thanksgiving offers us a season to reflect and be truly grateful for the way God has touched and blessed our lives.

For orphan children like Raji, Marissa, and Henri they are truly grateful for the blessings you bring to them all year long!

This is Raji

This is Raji

Raji has been through a lot in his young life. In order to provide for his family, Raji’s father went to a distant state in India for a welding job. He had to leave behind his wife, Raji and his younger brother.

But the job was a good one and it offered good wages. Raji’s father was only able to visit home once or twice a year and this wasn’t enough to keep the home fires of love burning brightly.

Raji’s mother developed a relationship with another man. When Raji’s father returned home the next time, his wife refused to live with him. She no longer wanted him nor Raji or his brother.

The breakup of this home was devastating. The mother didn’t want Raji, and the father was more like a stranger than a father. He couldn’t keep his job and keep the boys. As is often the case, the broken life of a child is the sad result of a broken marriage.

Raji’s father begged us to accept the boys into our care. And knowing of the compassionate heart that you and other ICC family members have for children like Raji, who need the nurturing care of a loving Christian family, our administrator welcomed Raji and his little brother into the ICC family.

This is Marissa

This is Marissa

Marissa, along with her siblings, was found wandering the streets of a city in Guatemala. As a result of a court order, they became a part of the ICC family at Los Pinos.
Efforts were made to locate family members. When the authorities found out the mother was not working in a reputable occupation and was not providing any care for

Marissa and her siblings were taken into care by the government.

These children were initially sent to one children’s home and then another before finally becoming a part of our ICC family.

Joel Carpio, our Los Pinos director, knew of the emotional and psychological trauma the children had experienced from being moved around. Rather than letting the children be dropped off yet again at another facility, he arranged to pick them up himself and drive them to the Los Pinos Children’s Village.

They had a pleasant trip with him and were excited and full of joy as soon as they arrived. That day was the Father’s Day celebration and they became very involved in the program. That day Marissa and her siblings began to experience first-hand what it means to be a part of a loving family—with a mom and dad.

Imagine coming to the Los Pinos campus when the families were celebrating fathers. Marissa’s own father was not a part of her life. Yet, thanks to ICC family members like you, she can now experience the love of an earthly father. And more importantly, within the ICC family, she will learn of her heavenly father and the home He is preparing for her.

This is Henri

This is Henri

Henri’s mother died as a result of being caught up in the war between rebels and government forces in the D.R. Congo. His father is blind and had no way to protect Henri or provide for him.

Henri’s story is similar to other children who have come to us from this country filled with violence and natural disasters.

War tears children from their mother’s arms. And the children are left with little hope and nothing to live for unless help comes from outside.

And again, thanks to your support, Henri has been given a new life within the ICC family at Patmos Children’s Village. And the pieces of his life are being slowly put back together.

Through the support of ICC family members like you, Raji, Marissa, and Henri have found a place of safety and a place to belong. They are thankful for the blessings you help to provide for them each day.

World Orphan Day Spotlights the Plight of Orphans

November 11 is World Orphan Day. On this day, many people around the world will be paying special attention to the needs of orphans. We are so very grateful that you care about orphans, not just on November 11, but every day of the year!

Your loving and generous support makes it possible for our dedicated family of caregivers to provide all that Raji, Marissa and Henri and others like them need.
These children don’t really care about a day of the year that focuses on their needs. What they need is daily care. That is only possible as you continue to partner with us to love them and provide for them.

As we celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., we’ll be reminded of the bountiful blessings God has given to us throughout another year — good health (or at least access to quality health care), loving family relationships, opportunities to grow, develop and succeed.

As we reflect upon those blessings God’s given during this Thanksgiving season, please consider giving a special thank you gift to help support children like Raji, Marissa, and Henri who are finding out what it means to be a part of a loving family.

Thank you!

May God bless you with a Happy Thanksgiving!

Urgent Equipment Needs @ Los Pinos

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Guatemala Needs Your Help

An illustration of an elderly, ill, stone-age computer being evaluated by a computer “doctor.”Remember the last time your old, slow, but still somewhat trusty-ish computer suddenly wheezed its last, went blue in the screen, and simply gave up?

Leaving you having to acquire (before you were really ready) a current, functioning computer?

It’s during events such as these that we’re abruptly reminded (and probably not for the first time) how important it is to have up-to-date techology to sucessfully function in today’s world.

Like you, the staff at our Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala also need and benefit from computers and tech equipment that is up-to-date and functions properly.

Los Pinos needs to replace three computers. The current computers are old, outdated, and do not function properly. New computers will help the project secretary, the accountant, and the school manage information about the children for the Secretary of Education.

Two video projectors are needed as well to replace one projector for the school and another projector used by the Los Pinos on-campus social worker and psychologist.

Please make a gift today to help purchase one or more of these much-needed and necessary technolgy items for your family at Los Pinos.

Thank you!

2 Computers — $878 Each For the Los Pinos office staff

1 Laptop — $649 For the children’s
 school records

2 Video Projectors — $621 Each For our school and on-campus social workers

You Made Christmas 2018 Memorable for His Kids

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” Isaiah 9:6

In a very real sense, the ICC family has been given very special children. We believe that Jesus entrusts these children to us so we can be His guardians to care for them and teach them about Him.

And there’s no better time to do that than at Christmas. Christmas is one of the most special occasions at ICC children’s villages around the world. Your contributions, especially to the gift fund, help to make this a memorable time for all the children.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

These pictures sent from Guatemala and El Salvador show some of the decorations and programing from their special celebrations during the recent holiday.

Christmas 2018 at the Las Palmas Children’s in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Thanks to your support, the children had a wonderful time of family togetherness, sharing, gift giving and most importantly, remembering Jesus, God’s most precious gift.

Thank you for helping to make these celebrations possible.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

News from the ICC Family

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

God Blesses the Jalapeños at El Oasis

Thanks to God’s blessings and hard work from the El Oasis staff, the Jalapeño crop at the El Oasis children’s village was profitable. Along the way, God provided several miracles that turned out to be huge blessings.

First, when there was a delay in getting our seeds started at the company that provides the seedlings it turned out to be a blessing.

Even though it delayed planting, we learned that other farmers experienced a blight in their seedlings that had been started earlier. God protected the El Oasis seedlings.

Not only did He protect them, our seeds produced more seedlings than expected.

As with many vegetables, Jalapeños have several harvests. Due to the late start, the initial harvest was delayed, and the final harvests would be threatened by a killing frost.

God worked a wonderful miracle as the season neared it’s close. When the killing frost arrived in the valley, all the other farmers in the valley lost their crops.

Only the EL Oasis Jalapeños and the next-door neighbor’s were protected. This proved a double blessing. The Jalapeños from these later harvests were sold at about twice the price of the initial harvests — because there were fewer Jalapeños on the market.

Praise God for his loving care — for not only the children of El Oasis — but also for the little chili peppers that help to provide for their care!

Supreme Court Justice Visit’s Los Pinos

As with many governments in Central America, Guatemala is under pressure from the global community to move away from institutions for children, opting rather to establish a traditional foster care system.

In contrast, the ICC model of care is based upon placing children within families in a type of managed foster care setting.

Recently an Adventist supreme court justice from Guatemala visited the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Poptun. She was very impressed and said, “This is the model that works. We have it right here. Why should we spend money to send people to New York to hear about foster care? This works.”

Even amid such outside pressures, the Los Pinos Children’s Village continues to flourish. The elementary school is operating very well under the leadership of a new principal who used to be one of the administrators at ICAP secondary school next door.

Because of where the children’s village is located, agriculture has the greatest potential to provide sustainability for this project. Food grown in the Los Pinos garden provides excellent nutrition for the children. Any extra food not needed at the children’s village is sold.

A new greenhouse was installed recently. This will help protect crops from damage due to bad weather and insects.

Los Pinos staff are exploring the possibility of developing a little store in the village of Poptun where farm and bakery products can be sold. The store may also feature the repackaging of bulk items like beans and rice.

Government May Send New Children to the ICC Village in El Salvador

The population of children at the Hogar Escuela Children’s Village has been aging. The children are growing up, and younger children have not been referred to us because El Salvador is also under pressure from the global community to move away from institutions for children to traditional foster care.

However, there are positive indications from government authorities they will soon be sending us children. This is exciting news for the ICC family. Having new children, especially the little ones, breathes new life into the project.

Several months ago, the Que Pasa featured the modification and development of greenhouses at the Hogar Escuela Children’s Village in El Salvador.

The staff are continuing to expand this project. Fifteen greenhouses are in use. The primary crops are green beans, peppers and cucumbers.

The food being produced, as well as the income generated from sale of the extra produce, is blessing the children at this village.

Grown ICC Children Return to Serve at Sweet Home in India

What a blessing it is for the ICC family when an ICC child grows up, completes his or her education and then finds a place of service that blesses others.

And it is a double blessing when that place of service is back at home, in the children’s village where they were raised.

At the ICC DEWS Sweet Home Village in India we have even more of a double blessing. Two of our grown children have returned and are serving in key positions.

Nirmala is the children’s services director and Udai is our financial manager. They are paying forward the support ICC family members like you have given them and are blessing a new generation of ICC children!

News of ICC Children in the DR Congo

There are 101 children at the Patmos Children’s Village and another 28 who are taking advanced education studies. This makes it the largest children’s village within the ICC family. There are currently nine children’s homes.

Though there’s been news of an Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo, our children are not affected. Praise the Lord!

In the fall of 2017, we received many new children resulting from mudslides and rebel attacks. Those children have been with us for over a year. They’re growing and making progress.

We’re hopeful elections will happen in the DR Congo soon. This could greatly benefit the country and bring a more peaceful environment.

Thankful For You This Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
By Kent Greve

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest

The words above from English poet, William Blake, serve as an excellent reminder of the importance of living with a heart filled with gratitude.

How grateful are the children of ICC, most of whom have been given a second opportunity in life to experience the security and happiness of a loving family!

ICC children bear testimony that a “thankful receiver bears a bountiful harvest.” On their behalf, thank you for investing in them!

During the past 40 years of serving orphan children, the ICC family has been able to experience many a happy harvest when children leave our care and are able to live successfully on their own.

As Thanksgiving in the U.S. approaches it’s important that we share a collective word of thanks for all that you have done and continue to do to bring hope and healing to the children.

God is working through you to bless and provide for children like Fernando, Eshana and Victor. Because of your faithful support, these children continue to live within a loving family at an ICC children’s village. Here are their stories:

Thirteen-year-old Fernando doesn’t know who his father is. His mother struggled with alcohol addiction. She had difficulty providing appropriate care for Fernando, and eventually, the child protection authorities intervened and brought him to the Los Pinos Children’s Village where he joined the ICC family.

Before and after pictures of Fernando

Fernando

Fernando continues to make positive progress within his ICC family. He treats his parents and siblings well and does his part in helping the campus chicken industry by assisting with vaccinations, washing the drinking fountains and removing the chicken manure.

Eshana’s father died of Tuberculosis in 2013. Her mother is blind and unable to provide care for her. Eshana had been living in a tribal community, and the ICC children’s village in India was quite different for her.

Before and after photos of Eshana

Eshana

However, Eshana has adapted well to her new surroundings, and thanks to the loving care you have helped to provide for her, she is doing well. She is respectful of her elders, gets along well with her peers and is diligent in her studies

Victor never knew his parents. His grandmother was taking care of him and his younger brother and sister. They lived in a thatched roof house in the forest in the DR Congo until the war came to their village.

Then they had to move around to try to keep safe. Eventually they were attacked, and the children were separated from their grandmother.

Before and After Photos of Victor

Victor

Victor eventually made it to a refugee camp. He was moved to several different camps. The conditions at the last camp he were so bad that he became very sick and exhausted. Without the strength to live, Victor waited to die. That’s when the Red Cross found him and brought him to ICC.

Fortunately for little Victor, he has found a loving home at the Patmos Children’s Village. He’s eight-years-old and has a special bond with his house mother. This is a big help to him as he continues to face challenges that may be expected of one so small and who has experienced such trauma and tragedy in his young life.

Please pray for Victor and other ICC children who struggle in the process of having their little lives rebuilt. What a blessing that they have loving caregivers and prayer warriors who intercede for them.

Fernando, Eshana and Victor are three of the many children who currently have a home and family because of your caring concern and generous support.

Again, this ministry would not be possible if it were not for you! Thank you for participating with us as we experience the joy of harvest past — and harvest to come. What a blessing you are to the children. Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. The book of Acts gives this reminder to us. “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” — Acts 20:35

As God has richly blessed you this year, please consider giving a special holiday gift to benefit the children who continue to need you so much. Thank you!

Grateful for Your Support!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
Ana shares her appreciation for the” finishing touch” you helped to provide for her!

— Editor’s Note —
In the January 2014 and 2016 Que Pasa (available online in the newsletter section of ICC’s website), we shared the story and accomplishments of Ana and Silvia Herera, two sisters who came to the Los Pinos children’s village in 2001. ICC family members like you helped them complete their nurses’ training.

In the following update from Ana, she shares what is happening in her life and thanks to you for what you have done for her.


Dear ICC —

It is a pleasure for me to be able to greet you again, hoping in God that all your activities will be filled with many blessings.

My name is Ana Beatriz Herrera. Thanks to the opportunity that you gave me in the “Los Pinos” Children’s Village in Guatemala, I was able to graduate from the University of San Carlos as a professional nurse, and then finish as a technician in respiratory therapy.

Ana Herrera (who grew up at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala) working at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Guatemala City. Ana was stationed in the neonatal intensive care unit. Your support of Ana while she was living at Los Pinos allowed her to realize her dream of working as a medical professional.

Ana Herrera (who grew up at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala) working at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Guatemala City. Ana was stationed in the neonatal intensive care unit. Your support of Ana while she was living at Los Pinos allowed her to realize her dream of working as a medical professional.

After having finished my studies at the end of 2015, I began to look for work in different hospitals. Thank God, it was not difficult to find a job, because in this country with a university degree it is easier to get a job.

By the beginning of 2016 I was working at the Roosevelt Hospital, which is one of the government hospitals in Guatemala. I started working as a respiratory therapist in the adult intensive care unit, which has a capacity of 38 beds.

In March of 2016 I needed to leave the ICC City Center because I already had a stable job, and, together with my sister Silvia, we rented an apartment in zone 11 of Guatemala City, because it was close to our work.

I thank God for allowing me to live in the Los Pinos Children’s Village, and for all their teachings, because when it comes time to become independent, it is not easy.

Ana (on the right) with her sister Silvia and her brother Luis while they were living at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Ana (on the right) with her sister Silvia and her brother Luis while they were living at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

That home is my family, my alma mater that saw me grow up, and it is difficult to leave to start a new life. But thank God, it was not so difficult to adapt, because we supported each other.

In May of that same year I received a call to work at the General Hospital San Juan de Dios in the neonatal intensive care unit, which I accepted.

Well, I love my job! I worked there for two years, 2016-2017. Currently I only work in one hospital (Roosevelt Hospital). My hours are very nice — 24 hours for 4 days — so that allows me to take extra shifts and also work as a teacher to adult students who are doing an intensive internship.

Due to my job performance, I have been able to receive extra training outside of my work area, which is very satisfying for me, because I know that if I am trained I can provide better care to my patients.

I feel very grateful to the children’s village, because through it I have achieved my goals and dreams. I know that God has great plans for each of the children who are still there, and He also has plans for me.

When I have the opportunity to talk with the young ladies from the Children’s Village who currently live in the ICC City Center, I encourage them to continue studying and to fight for their dreams. I know it is not easy, but not impossible either.

I continue to attend the Adventist church in zone 13 because I know it is the most valuable thing in my life, and that was something that was instilled in my heart in the Children’s Village.

I take all the principles, values and teachings with me wherever I am. When someone asks me where I come from, I tell them with joy about the ICC Children’s Village because for me it means a lot.

Thanks to that home that I had, I now have a stable job. And, best of all, I enjoy my work, helping people in their moments of pain — and even their relatives — talking with them about God.

A thousand thanks to my home Los Pinos, to ICC and to all the people who supported me when I needed it. I always remember you all with love, and I carry you deep inside my heart.

Clothed With Love

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Story By — Makala James

All children deserve a loving family. That’s why International Children’s Care exists, and why people all over the world are finding creative ways to love and support “His Kids.”

One woman, Rebecca Loveless, decided to start sewing dresses. The idea came to her from Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

“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.” 

Even though Rebecca didn’t know how to sew, she bought a sewing machine and quickly learned. Partners soon joined, and they named the ministry “Clothed with Love.”

Since starting this initiative, they’ve created over 50 beautiful dresses for the girls in our villages. Even more dresses are coming.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are,” says Rebecca. “There’s something special about a dress. It represents putting on God’s character, which includes love. It’s also to be a highlight for them to wear on God’s special day of worship and to realize the importance of Sabbath.” 

Each dress is embroidered with the words, “Made with love.” In addition, each girl is given a personalized note that explains the symbolism of the dress.

In April, eleven dresses were sent to Guatemala for the young girls. One of the recipients was Renata.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are.”

Abandoned by her mother, Renata struggled to survive with her four siblings and her poor, but humble, father. Left alone all day while her father worked, she could only wonder, “Why? How could a mother abandon her children?” Now, Renata lives at Los Pinos, in Guatemala, where she goes to school, eats full meals, and is surrounded by a loving family.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

When Renata received her new dress and read the note, happiness filled her face. She, with the other girls, tried on their dresses immediately, reaching out to touch the embroidery in the folds of the gown, “Estoy Vestida de Amor.” All the girls proudly wore their new dresses to church that weekend.

So far, dresses have been sent to ICC children’s villages in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and India. Even more are waiting to be delivered to little girls around the world.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Rebecca and friends have contributed so much to the happiness of these little girls. And week-by-week, as the girls wear their hand-crafted dresses, they do so with the knowledge that they are special and loved very much.

When you sponsor a child or provide support in other ways, you also show your love and care. This makes them feel special and provides a sense of security. Thank you for blessing the children through your ongoing support!


Makala James. ICC’s PR coordinator for the SW region of the U.S.

This is Makala James. She’s ICC’s public relations coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States. Makala wrote this story of the new dresses.

Introducing Makala James

Makala has recently joined the International Children’s Care staff as Public Relations Coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States.

Makala is available to share about the ministry of ICC with your church or civic group — especially in Texas and neighboring states. You may reach her at Makala@forhiskids.org.

Help to Restore the Life of a Child Today

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Recently rescued sister and brother, Gloria and Julio, need your help!

“Where is mommy?”

“Is mommy mad at me?”

“Why did she leave me?”

“Will she ever come back for me?”

Questions like these gnaw at the minds of children who’ve been abandoned. It’s hard for them to understand what’s happening. They know deep inside something is wrong, and they don’t know how to fix it.

Gloria and Julio need your help!

Gloria and Julio need your help! Please send them a gift right away.

Gloria, age six, and Julio, age three, know too well what it is to be abandoned. One day their mother left them with a neighbor promising that she would come and visit.

After three months, she did return, but only long enough to pick them up and take them to someone else.

Occasionally, the children would see their mother. They would ask her to take them back. But it never happened. She finally admitted that she no longer wanted them.

Eventually the juvenile court intervened and brought the children to the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Gloria and Julio have been emotionally bruised by this experience. They need the comforting and unconditional love of a family — a family who wants them and will provide for them.

Because of your support one or both of these children, who desperately need you, will experience the joy of a loving family every child deserves.

These kids need someone like you!

Here’s how you can help —

Your donation of $30 helps to provide the nurturing care, food, shelter, and medicines that children like Gloria and Julio need in order to grow and develop.

Send in your gift today!

On behalf of children like Gloria and Julio, thank you for your support!

The Impact of YOUR Support!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Editor’s Note: Whether you sponsor an ICC child or faithfully contribute in other ways please know that you have an incredible impact on the lives of the children.

This can be seen in this letter from Alcyon Fleck that has been pulled from the ICC archives. Thank you for the support you continue to give to a new generation of children!

— January 1990

Dear ICC Family,

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

“Three little brothers were brought to us this last week,” Juana informed me when I visited The Pines.

“They had been abandoned and passed around from place to place wherever someone would keep them, but no one wanted them. The people in that village were poor and already had families of their own to care for.”

“How old are they?” I inquired.

“The oldest one, Gilberto, is ten. Oswaldo is six, and the baby is two.”

Later, as we walked toward the home where the new children were, Juana informed me, “I don’t know how long they have been without a home, but these children were really in pitiful condition. They were sick, malnourished and in rags. The little one is the most frail.”

The house-mother brought the boys to us. Their faces were pinched and pale. They still had the frightened expression of children who have suffered at the hands of strangers. Any new situation fills them with fear.

But the two older boys smiled shyly as we talked with them. The little one was emaciated, barely able to stand, and his big, dark eyes seemed to dominate his face.

Poor little children! I thought. Who knows what they have already suffered. My heart went out to them.

Gilberto as a young boy

Gilberto as a young boy

The house-mother, holding the little one, voiced her concern about their health and promised to give them the best care she could and plenty of TLC. I could see that the baby was already bonding to the mother.

That was eight years ago. The boys have grown sturdy and healthy.

I talked to Gilberto when I visited there a few weeks ago. Cruz told me, “Gilberto is growing into a fine, young man. He is studying at the secondary school and works in the carpentry shop. He is artistic, loves to draw and work with his hands.”

“Gilberto, do you know who your sponsor is?” I asked him.

“Yes, Mommy Fleck. She writes to me, and I have written to her. Her name is Ruth Budd.”

“Yes, I know. She lives near us. She is in a Rest Home now. I suppose you know she is a widow lady. She had an accident some time back and can’t get around by herself. She never had any children, but she has been sponsoring you since you first came to us.”

“You are almost like a son to her.”

“Really!” Gilberto’s eyes brightened. “I wish I could know her!”

“Well, I know she gets lonely and loves to get letters from you.”

“Could you take a letter for me? I’ll write one today.” His face was eager.

“Of course. I know that will make Mrs. Budd happy. I’ll take a picture of you to go with it.”

This last week I took the letter, which I had translated into English, along with the picture, and visited Mrs. Budd.

Her boy had included a paper on which he had printed a special greeting in beautiful scrolled calligraphy. It said. “Felicidades a mi querida madrina.” (Happiness to my dear god-mother).

Our children call their sponsors god-parents. It was a real privilege for me to bring that special letter from the hand of that boy to the dear little lady who has been faithfully supporting and praying for him all these years. Her face beamed as I read it to her.

Dear God-mother,

It is a special pleasure for me to write to you as I have done on other occasions, hope that Jesus Christ can bless you in your home.

The reason for this letter is so that I can be in contact with you. I have learned that you never had a son or daughter, but you have trusted me as a son, and for this I thank you very much.

I know that you are getting up in years but that you always remember and think of me. I also think of you a lot and appreciate the much-needed help you have given me.

Even if you never see me nor I see you, I have the confidence in God that He will help me to continue in His ways, and at last we can know each other in the heavenly mansions…

In my humble heart I feel a deep gratitude that I can’t find words to express. I think of some occasions when I have needed help through hard and tragic experiences…

I thank you and close with much GRATITUDE IN MY HEART.

Attentively, your adopted son,

Gilberto Budd Duque Lopez

The Rest Of The Story

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

After completing his primary and high school education, Gilberto attended the Adventist University in Costa Rica and then returned to Guatemala to continue his studies in architecture.

Gilberto is married now and is a devoted husband and proud father of his two children. He owns a small residential and commercial maintenance company.

According to Gilberto, “although it is not easy, I’m sure that God always has a purpose for everyone, and everything that happens in life develops us in such a way that we can face life with determination.

“And I personally thank God for people with the heart to keep this kind of work going which gives others the opportunity to help in this work and makes it possible to give the attention and care to boys and girls which, for reasons we don’t know about, can’t grow in the heart of their own family.

“But a home like these [ICC] homes can fill in and help for the wellbeing and growth of kids who then have one or many opportunities in their lives.”