Archive for the ‘Project Updates’ 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!

Picking More Than A Peck Of Peppers

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Update from the El Oasis jalapeño farm

Thanks to the generous support of ICC family members we exceeded the matching grant offer to expand the Jalapeño crop at the El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico. This has provided over $100,000 of capital for this important Agribusiness.

We are excited to announce that the harvest of Jalapeño peppers has begun. Not only has your support enabled us to triple the size of the field under cultivation this year, we’re also seeking to increase profitability by separating the peppers into various sizes and categories.

Better quality peppers can be sold for a higher price. To help with this, we’ve been able to borrow a conveyor belt which you can see in the picture below and in this video.

If all goes as planned, there will be several pickings during harvest season. One picking takes several days to complete.

The first picking should yield between 65–75 tons of peppers. With God’s blessing and good weather, the yield this season could be up to 1,000 tons! That’s a lot of peppers — and a huge means of support for the El Oasis project.

Please join with us in praying for this pepper project. And thank you for your ongoing support in helping us develop sustaining industries which will bless the children for years to come!

Las Palmas Opens New Counseling Center & Medical Clinic

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Versacare Honors Two Special People While Blessing ICC Children

— By Doug Congleton

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an amazing event at one of our projects! Let me tell you about it…

ICC partnered with the Versacare Foundation many years ago, and they have done wonderful things to help change and literally save the lives of children here at ICC.

You all know how this feels since you do the same thing every day for these special children through your continued support.

Versacare constructed a counseling center/medical clinic at Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic.

The new medical and counseling clinic at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The new medical and counseling clinic at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

This multi-purpose facility will bless ICC children by helping to provide for their emotional, physical and spiritual care.

There is such a huge need for this type of care in our projects, and now we have such a facility for the children at Las Palmas.

The main entrance to the counseling center section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

The main entrance to the counseling center section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

This building was built in honor of two Versacare board members that were retiring from the board this past year. Those two gentlemen are Robert Coy and Elder George Brown.

The main entrance to the medical clinic section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

The main entrance to the medical clinic section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

These two men have done so much through Versacare to provide for our children around the world, and Versacare wanted to honor them and their passion in life for these children.

Elder G.W. Brown [right], and Myrna Costa of VersaCare [left], speak at the dedication of the new counseling and medical clinic at Las Palmas.

Elder G.W. Brown [right], and Myrna Costa of VersaCare [left], speak at the dedication of the new counseling and medical clinic at Las Palmas.

The grand opening was truly an amazing event! There were numerous dignitaries from the local SDA Conference as well as community leaders. Rick and Sharon Fleck and I were blessed to be able to attend this very special event.

The Las Palmas Children’s Orchestra played a few songs for us, and there were numerous speeches.

The special highlight for all the children was a short video where Robert Coy spoke to the children and then Elder George Brown stood up and gave his thoughts and expressed his appreciation for this building that will serve hundreds if not thousands of children in the future!

The Las Palmas orchestra played a few selections during the grand opening ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a very touching presentation from the younger children of Las Palmas. They came forward with individual sheets of paper that spelled out “Gracias” once they all lined up.

This was meant for Robert Coy, Elder Brown and all Versacare board members. You could see an expression of happiness on Elder Brown’s face. I also imagined how much this would mean to Bob Coy and Versacare if they all could have personally been there as well.

The program concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony and everyone being invited into the new facility to see all that it holds for the children.

Our leaders at Las Palmas also provided fresh fruit cups for all in attendance at the end of the tour.

This was such a blessing to be a part of and to see how excited the children were for this very special gift to them!

It is always such a tremendous blessing to me to be a part of an organization that is doing this work for “His kids.”

It’s also an honor to know that every dollar that is given to the children of ICC is utilized in the best way possible.

This enables ICC to provide a better life for the children, to give them a safe home to live in, a family to love them, and most important, the knowledge of their “forever home” in Heaven with Jesus.

There is nothing better in life than to stand in witness to these very special moments for His Kids!

Thank you Versacare for the practical gift of this counseling center/medical clinic which recognizes the contribution of two very important people in our ICC family.

Jalapeños Growing Again At El Oasis

Tuesday, 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!

Your “Container of Love” Is On Its Way!

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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!

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

Tuesday, 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.

Las Palmas Industries

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019
Investing Your Gifts To Extend Your Support

Our ICC family of projects is working diligently to develop and expand project industries. Such initiatives not only help to provide food for the children, they also generate funds to help with operating costs.

This enables the impact of your support to stretch further! At the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic several industries are making a positive impact on the operation of the children’s village.

Harvesting the Sun’s Energy

Through the generous support of the VersaCare Foundation, Las Palmas has been able to establish a solar energy system that supplies a steady supply of power to the campus.

A grant from VersaCare provided the funds to install a solar-based electrical system at Las Palmas. This solar array keeps the campus supplied with electrical power day and night.

A grant from the VersaCare foundation provided the funds to install a solar-based electrical system at Las Palmas. This solar array keeps the campus supplied with electrical power day and night.

The supply of electrical power has always been a challenge at Las Palmas and there were frequent outages.

Now that Las Palmas is able to harvest energy from the sun, the children have electrical power in their homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

These batteries help keep the Las Palmas campus furnished with electrical power day and night.

These batteries help keep the Las Palmas campus furnished with electrical power day and night.

This is a huge benefit for the Las Palmas families! In addition, solar energy has enabled Las Palmas to have street lights for the first time! This improves the safety of the children very much.

Electricity costs have been cut by more than 50% and as the solar energy system is further enhanced, it’s possible that reliance on outside electric power can be eliminated.

Bounties from the Earth

The Las Palmas Farm has a long history of producing bountiful crops of yucca, plantain, papaya, and pineapples as well as other crops.

One of two greenhouses at Las Palmas used to grow vegetables for the families.

One of two greenhouses at Las Palmas used to grow vegetables for the families. Produce not used on-campus is sold locally. The proceeds help with the costs of operating the children’s village.

In addition to the field crops, Las Palmas operates two different greenhouses that produce vegetables for the children’s homes. The greenhouses allow for a controlled environment of more delicate vegetables and increase yield. Excess is sold locally and produces income to help with the daily operations.

Recently, Las Palmas was able to purchase a quality Massy Ferguson tractor. This reliable farm vehicle is proving to be a huge asset and blessing to the agriculture program.

Recently, Las Palmas was able to purchase a quality Massy Ferguson tractor. This reliable farm vehicle is proving to be a huge asset and blessing to the agriculture program.

The ‘new’ Massey-Fergeson farm tractor acquired by Las Palmas

Reaping a Blessing from God’s Creatures

Recently, we shared with Que Pasa readers about “Milky’s Challenge,” which is aimed at growing the Las Palmas Dairy.

Thanks to the support of many within the ICC family, the herd continues to grow as donations arrive and are sent on to the project.

A member of the Las Palmas dairy herd. Milk and cheese provided by the herd is used by the families and the surplus is sold at market. Proceeds help to offset operating costs at the children’s village.

A member of the Las Palmas dairy herd. Milk and cheese provided by the herd is used by the families and the surplus is sold at market. Proceeds help to offset operating costs at the children’s village.

The goal is to expand the herd from the current 70 to 100 head. There are also plans to begin automating the milking process. This industry has such great potential to produce significant profits for the benefit of taking care of the Las Palmas children.

In addition to the dairy, Las Palmas has also been developing a fish industry. While the children are served a vegetarian diet, there is a high market demand for fish, specifically Tilapia.

This image shows one of the six lagoons now on the Las Palmas campus used to raise fish that will be sold to market. The income from this fish industry helps to offset the monthly expenses of caring for the children

This images shows one of the six lagoons now on the Las Palmas campus used to raise fish that will be sold to market. The income from this fish industry helps to offset the monthly expenses of caring for the children

The fish industry is basically three-in-one. The first and most obvious industry is raising and selling fish. Las Palmas currently has six lagoons where fish are raised prior to being sold.

Each lagoon is about 100 meters by 50 meters. When this industry is running smoothly, a fish can grow to maturity (about 1 pound) in about 6–9 months.

Las Palmas recently hired two experts to assist in maximizing profitability. These men have been working to improve the quality of the water environment, managing the density and sizes of fish, ensuring that the diet of the fish is appropriate, and finding ways to decrease the threat of predators and thieves.

Using the best practices for this industry will help ensure a higher return on the investments being made in this industry. Las Palmas has more land available for expansion and developing more lagoons for fish.

Hiring these experts has led to two additional fish-related industries: making fish food and selling small fish called “fingerlings.”

Fish food can be challenging to find and purchase in the Dominican Republic. Currently it is being imported from places like Panama. There is a high demand for this product.

Las Palmas is now developing its own fish food business for producing pellets to feed the Las Palmas fish, and to sell to other fish farms.

This fish-food business requires special equipment and will initially be quite small. It can be operated by one person in limited space.

Eventually, this fish-food industry can be expanded further, including being housed in its own building.

The fish hatchery on the Las Palmas campus which is used to raise fingerlings. The fingerlings will either restock the on-campus lagoons or sold to other local fish farms.

The fish hatchery on the Las Palmas campus which is used to raise fingerlings. The fingerlings will either restock the on-campus lagoons or be sold to other local fish farms.

In order to have a profitable fish industry you need to have fingerlings to start each batch of fish. The supply of fingerlings in the Dominican Republic is limited, making them difficult to find as well.

So, for our own purposes we started a fingerling industry for our own needs and for selling to other fish farms.

This involves breeding fish to collect the eggs and then nurturing them until they hatch and are ready to sell or transfer to our own Las Palmas lagoons.

Diversifying the fish industry into these other two subindustries should help to increase not only efficiency but also profitability.

This in turn will help to sustain the Las Palmas Children’s Village, which then stretches the impact of your support further. What a blessing this is!

Banana Baby Boy

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Christmas-Miracle Child Rescued Just in Time!
“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

If you’ve been a part of the ICC family for several years you are likely aware of the many tragedies that happen in the DR Congo that causing children to be orphaned.

Some of the reasons include natural disasters, acts of war, and limited access to proper medical care for even common ailments.

In most cases, when a child comes to the ICC Patmos Children’s Village, the cause of the child being orphaned is known. But sometimes, as in the case of the following story, we may never know.

On the night of Christmas Eve, rain poured heavily upon an banana plantation on Idjwi Island in the Congo. Despite the storm, a quiet filled the air, as a baby boy lay abandoned among the bananas.

Fisherman discovered the child at 5:30 a.m. He could not even cry. Shaking with tremors because of the cold, the baby labored to breathe.

The fishermen rushed to warn the village chief. They had to find out who had abandoned this child! The village chief immediately ordered that the child be taken to the Bugarula Idjwi Baptist Hospital for urgent care.

Meanwhile, the local radio station sent out a broadcast to assist in the search for whoever abandoned the child, and to alert any interested family of the baby’s whereabouts. Sadly, no one came forward.

Fortunately, your support has helps to provide a haven of refuge for orphaned and abandoned children in Congo. And when no family member stepped forward to take the child home, we stepped in and welcomed him into the ICC family.

This Christmas-miracle child has no name and is simply called “Baby.” Baby is now in the care of a loving family at Patmos Children’s Village. Patmos is the largest children’s project operated by ICC. There are so many children in need. Yet, when God intervenes and rescues a child from death, who are we to turn that child away?

Abandoned and left to die of starvation or exposure, Baby certainly fits the description of “the least of these” for whom Jesus asked us to provide care.

Now, your support is needed to continue Baby’s care. You can help Baby through a monthly sponsorship or through a one-time gift of love.

After being abandoned into the bananas, Baby received a second chance at life. Now, he’s entrusted into the care of ICC, the care of his house parents, and he’s entrusted into your care.

Please keep this child, and all of God’s children, in your prayers. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Baby!

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.