Archive for the ‘Congo (DRC)’ Category

A Step In Faith

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
by: Doug Congleton

“Little Nicole was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness… all of her family members had perished in the landslides… To picture that little child terrified and alone, just crushes my heart…”

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

I know what Faith means to me  — Forever, Anywhere, I’ll, Trust, Him — FAITH. This is exactly what we have again just experienced here at ICC concerning a small girl that was going to die in Congo. The story of Nicole* is an amazing story of what I believe is the main reason that Jesus created ICC. Somehow I think you may feel the same way.

Recently, there were torrential rains, which caused devastating flooding in the Mulenge Mountains, in the Uvira territories of the Congo.

The few people who were able to survive could only stand by and watch as family, friends, animals, livestock, homes and belongings were swept away in the landslides of mud that roared through their village from the four full days of relentless downpour.

Can you imagine how this must have felt to stand there and witness such a horrific event and not be able to stop it?

One night after the storms subsided, one of the ADRA workers that was on-site heard the cries of a small child in the darkness. Little Nicole (we are guessing she is about three-years-old) was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness alone, since all of her family members had perished in the landslides. To picture that little child in my mind, terrified and alone, just crushes my heart.

The ADRA worker brought Nicole to our Patmos Children’s Village on the island and asked us if we could take her in since she would perish without help.

We are all aware that the finances are really stretched here at ICC right now, but for those of us who serve here, this request to take Nicole in IS the reason Jesus created ICC. We knew we did not have sponsors to financially support little Nicole, but we also knew that without help, she would perish.

So, we have taken Nicole into our ICC Family in faith — faith in a God who is “The Father of the fatherless,” and a faith in our ICC family that you would never choose to turn a child in need away due to financial challenges.

Désiré, our director at Patmos, just wrote a letter to us, and here is an excerpt:

“At the arrival of our new little girl, Nicole, she is very shy and she just isn’t eating all types of food given to her. We found out that in addition to the deadly accident of her parents, she had a case of malnutrition. She has discolored hair, a large belly and scabies on her legs. We ask anyone who has a heart for children to contribute financially to support our little girl Nicole.”

Nicole needed a life-saving love in order to survive. We made that choice in faith to somehow find a way to provide that love for her by adding her to our ICC family.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Today is the time for each one of us to step forward and make sure that Nicole, and others just like her have a place to call “home.” A home in a children’s village is a place where these children will find the love and hope that they lost or have not had before.

Every one of us can tell these children they are loved in spite of what has happened to them by giving our financial support in providing for them. In giving to these children, I am sure that your life will be blessed many times over. I know this because it happens in my life.

For just 41 cents per meal, which is only $1.22 each day, you can provide an entire day’s meals to a child in Congo. What a difference something as simple as meals can make for them!

If you can help financially, no matter how large or small, please do so today. Will you help Nicole and so many other children know that they are loved enough that someone somewhere will do something to help them? If you and I do not do this for these special children, who will?

Please mark your donations “The Nicole Project and we will make sure that 100% of your donations go directly to provide for Nicole and her new brothers and sisters in The Patmos Children’s Village.

God bless you for providing for these special children in need.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

*Nicole’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Christmas Matching Challenge Doubles Your Gift

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Dear Friend,

As the son of an Adventist pastor couple, I grew to love and appreciate the special traditions and activities of Christmas.

The candles.

The carols.

The lights on the tree.

The nativity complete with shepherds, wise men, animals, Mary, Joseph and the Babe laying in a manger.

As lovely as the nativity scene is in portraying the “reason for the season,” it also is a haunting reminder to us all that the Babe lying in a manager was in the manger because there was no room for Him anywhere else!

Today, “no room” is a harsh reality that orphan children continue to face.

But not if you help today.

In the Adventist faith, we are told to “make room” for children. James 1:27 even goes so far as to say that pure and genuine religion requires us to care for orphans in their distress. That’s God’s call to action — for me, and for you!

And now, especially at Christmas, you can make even more room for an orphan child by responding to a special matching grant that will double your gift.

That’s right. Because “making room” for orphans is a top priority, two of our loyal donors have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $60,00 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we’re experiencing a shortfall for the year. That means it’s almost impossible to think of “making room” for any more children. Budgets are strained to the breaking point taking care of kids who already have found room within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope! Your doubled gift will help provide…

Food for Deka, whose mother was killed by lightning and who suffered from malnutrition before she came desperately needing you to help “make room” for her.

Shelter for orphaned Ramon, whose cousin brought him to ICC to get him away from drug trafficking gangs. Ramon needed you to help “make room” for him.

Nurturing care for Sofia, from an orphanage in Guatemala that was closing its doors. Sofia also needed you to help “make room” for her.

‘Room’ for children like Oria and her three sisters. Oria, the oldest sister, wrote a letter pleading, “Please give us your help. I promise that we are going to behave well… We are not lazy. Even my little sister knows how to do dishes and clean. If the four of us can’t stay and be together, which is our desire, at least I want you to help our little sisters.”

The world tells orphans, “There’s no room for you!” But I’m calling on you to tell a waiting child something far different — You’ll say, “I believe in you! I know you long for a home and family, and I want to help you!”

You’ve done it before. Each and every time you’ve sent a gift to help a child.

I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience the love of our Heavenly Father. It was because of God’s great love that He gave the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus, to the world. And now, God calls us to prepare room and receive Him by helping to “make room” for His little ones who are in need.

“Let every heart, prepare Him room…”

Please, having read this post, send your gift for the children — which will immediately be doubled.

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

In His Service,

 

 

 

Rick Fleck, President ICC

P.S. Remember to give by December 31 to take advantage of year-end tax benefits and to have your gift matched, helping twice as many children in need!

YOU can help the Kids have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

This year, your contribution to the Gift Fund is best made before December 1.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, you may be thinking you would like to do something for the child, or children, you sponsor. Sending actual gifts to the children is discouraged because some children could receive more gifts than others which, as you can imagine, would most likely cause hurt feelings.

There is a way for sponsors who wish to give gifts at Christmas (this also works for Birthdays). ICC has a Gift Fund for each of the children’s villages. You may donate any amount to this fund. The fund is used to purchase gifts for all the children and to provide a special Christmas meal.

This is the best solution to helping you give gifts and make beautiful memories for your child. You may, if you so choose, let your child know you have contributed to their celebration in your next letter or card.

Sending your gift by December 1st will allow us time to forward your gift to the proper children’s village in time to prepare for the holiday festivities.

You may make your contribution with a check to ICC, at our website (ForHisKids.org), or by telephone (800.422.7729).

Please be sure your contribution designates your gift is for the Gift Fund. Also tell us to which children’s village it should be credited. This will assure it reaches the proper Gift Fund.

Thank you for making these wonderful children a part of your lives. We want to wish you blessed Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

A Special Message to You from the DR Congo

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Editor’s Note: The following letter thanks you for your generosity to the ICC children in the DR Congo.

 

An image of the header from the letter from Desire

Dear supporter of the children;

My name is Désiré, and I have the privilege of being the administrator of the ICC Congo Children’s Village. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your help for these children that were are caring for here in Africa. These kids have no other hope in life, but you have giving them hope. They have lost their families, but you have helped to restore a family to them.

I want to thank you especially for helping us to recover from the accident which took the life of our dear son Samuel. Thanks to your generous gifts, we have been able to pay our workers the salaries that were lost in the accident. Your generous gifts help our children have a new life.

I this country it is extremely important to get an education, and I want to thank you for your generous support so that our children can get a good education. God manifested His power and love to our orphans and unaccompanied children because during the graduation of this year 2016 on 25th, July, our your children of Patmos village have succeeded with 93% of the state examinations to complete the secondary school cycle. Those who study in higher education have succeeded with 86%. We praise the Lord and thank the sponsors for you assistance that have been very beneficial.

That is making a huge difference in their lives. But this education is very expensive here, and we have a lot of older children now whose education is more expensive, so we will be so grateful to you for your continued support.

Again, I want to thank you for your generous donations to help these children to have love, hope and a future. Most important os all os that they are learning to love Jesus, and they have a hope of eternal life.

May God give you a long life and success in your business.

Your brother in Christ,
Désiré

The official seala and signature from Desire's letter

One Donor’s Experience of Sacrifice and Blessing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The following is a letter sent by a donor who shares an experience of sacrifice and blessing. The donor wishes to remain anonymous.

“We all know that the work of professional people in North America significantly impacts our lives. But a professional in Africa has the potential for far greater influence, and not just in the church, but also for their community and country.

Although a university education in an African country is not as expensive as in North America, it is not cheap. Most four-year courses of study range from $5,000 to $10,000, but some are as much as $14,000.

“After thinking and praying about this, I felt I could not sponsor a university student because I am nearing retirement and am not wealthy. Instead, I chose to fund an ICC student’s secondary education. But the Spirit of God continued to strive with my concerns about my financial future and I felt convicted to trust in His care.

Through a series of providential events, the secondary student that I sponsored began his studies in medicine, and I provided funding for his first year, thanking God for the opportunity, and planning to continue that support until he graduated.

“However, my employment circumstances did change—I was involuntarily “retired” and given a severance allowance. After seeking God’s guidance, I decided to trust Him with my financial future and was convicted to do more, so I provided two more years of support for my sponsored student out of my severance.

Will God provide for the student that I have sponsored? He has so far. Will he continue to provide for my family and me? This is a matter that I continue to bring to God in prayer. I am asking God to enable me to continue to be a source of blessing for my sponsored student and am working to cooperate with Him in any way that opens for me and by actively seeking new employment.

“I am determined to do more, but so far my current situation prevents me. Still, I believe that there are others who would stand in this breach that my personal circumstances have created. Would you ask ICC supporters to consider sponsoring a university student for one year, half a year or even just part of a year?

Every bit makes a difference, so I am praying hard that God will convict other hearts—as He has mine—because I am convinced every ICC student that is sponsored will be a power for good to the honor and glory of God.”

For His Kids,
Anonymous

Please remember that this is a great time to take advantage of supporting the education needs of the children. From now until October 15, your donation will be doubled — up to $30,000! Thank you for your support of “His Kids.”

Matching Grant Opportunity!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Double your gift to Help Educate ICC Children!

We have some exciting news to share with you! One of ICC’s dedicated supporters is offering an opportunity to double your gift and help provide education for the children of ICC. Any donation you give toward the “ICC Education Fund,” until October 15, will be matched up to $30,000!

motionmailapp.com

You can help ensure children in India, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Romania and the DR Congo have the schooling, teachers, books, and supplies they need. What a wonderful opportunity this is, and on behalf of the children, we hope that you’ll take advantage of it by sending a gift today.

Photo of a young boy writing on a slate at the Patmos Children's Village school.

Education is vital to our children!

Education is critical for a child who has been orphaned. Education provides a pathway out of poverty. In most cases, the children are provided an Adventist education where they learn not only about the world around them, but also about Jesus, their Savior!

Even in developing countries it’s costly providing an Adventist education. However, in light of eternity, the impact can be priceless! And now that your gift will be matched, any gift you give until October 15 will become a DOUBLE BLESSING!

Your gift will be a huge blessing in the DR Congo, one of the countries where we struggle to find enough money to send all of the children to school. You may recall that several years ago we took in over 170 children — all at once!

Photo of Sara from the Patmos Children's Village

Sara needs your help!

One child who will benefit from your doubled gift is Sara who was orphaned by war. Before she came to ICC she ate just once a day or a few times a week. Sara was often hungry and wandered in search of something to eat. No one bothered to wash Sara or wash her clothes. She was insecure and had a lot of physical and psychological pain. Recounting her experience, Sara said that she kept wondering, “Where is my mother?” But she never found any answer.

Sara was eventually brought to the Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi Island where — thanks to the generosity of donors like you — she was given a new family who loved and provided for her. She was also given the opportunity to attend school. She is learning about Jesus and many other things.

Sara is making progress toward becoming a successful young woman but she still needs your help to experience the “finishing touch.” You can do so much with a gift today, especially since your gift will be doubled! It’s a great time to support Sara.

Thank-you for all you do for these children. May God bless you!

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, June 27th, 2014

150 children
8 University / Vocational Students
8 homes / 11 families

A photo of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Project Contact
Communication is very difficult between this project and the outside world. Even when ICC’s children’s services personnel try to call, their conversations are often cut short due to poor phone communication and internet connections. It is difficult to discuss all topics from either end.

Email communication is challenging when working through issues. There is nothing like sitting face-to-face. Rick and Sharon Fleck plan to take a trip to Congo later this year. If they can’t go into Congo for some reason, they will meet with the key personnel in Rwanda for a week.

Project Staff
The project has a new children’s service director. She seems to be doing a great job. The progress reports indicate that the children have experienced many positive changes. This could also be partially due to the presence of a psychologist who is working with the children’s services director.

Education
The children are growing up. A majority of them are in secondary school which has caused an increase in the education costs. They have a European style of education where students start specializing in the areas that they will be studying in university. This project is not able to offer all the different streams of study at the campus school, so some of the students have to go to other schools to continue their education. Funding for education is one of the greatest needs at this project.

Desire, the project administrator is encouraging the students to study for different specialties so that eventually they will be able to help our program with their education. They may also be able to help in an area that will provide funds for the project. It is a wonderful concept.

A photo of the secondary school at ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Construction and Development
Construction continues on the secondary school. An additional amount of about $22,000 (€16,176) is needed to complete this important project.

Work continues on completing house #9 so that the new children will have a home to live in.

The Patmos children’s village also is in need of staff housing. Current facilities are not adequate or appropriate to for administrative and support staff.

Doug Congleton and Joel Reyes placing the special message that was included with the container ICC shipped to the Patmos Children’s Village

Container
In February, ICC US sent a container of much needed supplies. As of the end of June, 2014, it had arrived in Rwanda is the process of getting it out of customs is underway.

Heavy Flooding And Erosion Damage Patmos

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Earlier this year, heavy flooding caused damage at our children’s village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here’s an excerpt from a message received from our project director, Désiré:

“We received a heavy rain but due to God’s mercy we survived. The river behind us overflowed and the whole block was swept off and it also encroached where the cows stay as you will see on the photos. The other small house for the calves was swept off by heavy waters.

Erosion due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the  DR Congo

Damage due to heavy flooding on the campus of the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo. The shelter for the calves was ruined due to the significant erosion.

“The gully may need to be built but we wanted you to see the pictures of how rain caused this heavy erosion around the cows’ premises. The cow’s shelter would be better to be constructed in a permanent material in order to be on a safe side. Thanks for your good collaborations, God bless you abundantly.”

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs from heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Kids and adults alike join in making temporary repairs necessitated by significant erosion due to heavy flooding at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo

Our Patmos Children’s Village on Idjwi island is in need of financial assistance to aid with the recurring problem caused by erosion. In the past, funds have been sent to remedy other erosion issues, and these efforts have been highly successful. Please consider assisting with this additional need.

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

Water Lighting Patmos Children’s Village

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Recently our administrator of the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo, Désiré, reported that thanks to Mr. Jovan, an Italian engineer, and his team of five who came from Butembo, our Patmos hydroelectric project is functioning.

The hydroelectric turbine that provides electric power to our Patmos Children's Village in the D.R. Congo

The hydroelectric turbine that is providing electrical power to our homes at the Patmos Children's Village in the D.R. Congo. This hydroelectric plant is the very first to ever be built on the Island of Idjwi.

We now have electric lights in our homes at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi. The lights have been installed in the houses, school and church. This hydroelectric plant is the very first in the history of the Island of Idjwi.

This is the hydro canal that feeds water to the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

This is the hydro canal that feeds water to the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant which provides electric power to our homes at the Patmos Children's Village..

This project necessitated a great deal of hard manual labor in order to build the canal that carries the small stream of water to where it can feed a small turbine. This turbine produces 220 volts of electricity that will now provide lighting and electrical power for the church, school and homes in the children’s village.

The gauges that monitor the power output from the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

The gauges that monitor the power output from the Patmos Hydroelectric Plant.

Funds are needed for this project, and Désiré will be sending a project update to let us know what is still needed, so watch for more details.

Thanks for reading!