Posts Tagged ‘Care’

Give A Child A New Home

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

December 1, 2018

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

no sail, no rudder, no anchor.

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

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

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

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

Because of you Sarita has a new home

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

Passed around, neglected, abused.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please, make your gift today!.

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

In His Service,

Rick Fleck

 

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

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

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!

Kids Get Motivated For Missions With ICC!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

By Makala James

Classrooms across the United States are getting motivated for mission work with International Children’s Care.

A new program called Missions For Kids is designed to teach kids about helping others. It shows them how to live as a missionary, right at home. Lesson plans and consultations, make it easy for teachers to integrate ICC mission projects into their classroom.

This year, classrooms are fundraising to purchase cows for the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. As the school semester unfolds, it’s evident that the participating students care deeply about helping the kids of ICC.

In the Dominican Republic, a cow is usually purchased pregnant or has a calf. Initial cost for an adult cow is about $1,500. So, the net cost of one cow and the goal for each classroom is $750.

The music students of Great Lakes Adventist Academy in Michigan, plan to bring “Milky the Moosical Cow” on tour this spring. Each classroom participating in Missions For Kids will get a five-foot, cardboard-cutout cow after raising their first $100.

This enterprising student from Great Lakes Adventist Academy purchased a cow costume to promote Great Lake’s “Milky The Moosical Cow” fundraising effort during Alumni Weekend. Milky (on the right) is touring with the music students this year.

This enterprising student from Great Lakes Adventist Academy purchased a cow costume to promote Great Lake’s “Milky The Moosical Cow” fundraising effort during Alumni Weekend. Milky (on the right) is touring with the music students this year.

Led by music director David Ballesteros, the students plan to take their cardboard cow on tour as they raise awareness and funds.

The Great Lakes “Moosical Cow” recently came to life at the school’s alumni weekend. One of the students bought a cow costume to promote the cause at events. She did this as a surprise for her classmates and teacher. She wore the costume at alumni weekend, telling visitors about Las Palmas and the dairy herd.

“The kids are excited,” says Ballesteros. “They made their own fundraising thermometer on the wall. They carry milk jugs around at our games. They are taking ownership.”

Missions for Kids launched at the 2018 NAD Teacher’s Convention in Chicago. The convention took place in August, right before the start of the school year. Many teachers expressed an interest in introducing missions into the classroom. Other teachers already had a developed missions program. They just needed a cause to support.

Students from Mobile Junior Academy in Alabama are excited to have Milky The Cow as part of their classroom. These students, under the guidance of their teacher, Jennifer Gennick, are raising funds to help add another cow to the Las Palmas herd.

Students from Mobile Junior Academy in Alabama are excited to have Milky The Cow as part of their classroom. These students, under the guidance of their teacher, Jennifer Gennick, are raising funds to help add another cow to the Las Palmas herd.

For Beacon Christian School, in Idaho, missions is an integral part of the classroom. Students vote on what cause to support each year. They had already raised $750 before school even started… The net cost of one cow!

Terry McGarvey, elementary teacher, felt that the coincidence was providential. She introduced ICC to her classroom and the students voted to purchase a cow for the Las Palmas dairy herd.

“I believe God intervened to help us find you and enable us to help a child who really needs assistance,” McGarvey said. “Thank you for the work you do to help those in need.”

When Rene and Thomas Coffee, long time ICC supporters and family, discovered Missions for Kids, they wanted to involve the youth Sabbath school that they lead in Gobles, Michigan.

Missions for Kids can be used in Sabbath school classrooms, Pathfinder clubs, team sports, and more. It’s not limited to traditional school classrooms.

Although the Coffees are not teachers at a school, they believe in the importance of showing kids how to be missionaries. As a result, the Gobles Youth Room Sabbath School is one of the first classrooms to accomplish their goal. There will be one more cow in the dairy herd, thanks to those students and the Coffees.

At Spokane Valley Adventist Academy, elementary students are going the “extra mile” with their mission project.

While fundraising for a cow with their classroom, they are also challenging local business to fund raise for a cow.

Teacher, Julia Dewey, wants to encourage her kids to speak about important causes. “I want my students not to be so afraid to talk about something that they have a passion for,” says Dewey.

“The mission of ICC is important to me because it shows the kids how to make a long-term difference. My desire is for them to take that throughout their lives.”

This is only the start of Missions for Kids. The program has a twofold purpose: teaching children to live mission-minded lives, as well as a blessing and supporting the children of ICC.

To be a part of Missions for Kids, sign up today! Any group of any age can join! Or, please pass this information on to your school and/or Sabbath School leaders.

To sign up or for more information, contact Makala James, Missions for Kids Coordinator, at makala@forhiskids.org, or visit this link on our website: https://bit.ly/2S2vjdZ to get started.

Long-Awaited-For Public Relations Director is Here!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018
William Hurtado and family. William is joining ICC as public relations director.

William Hurtado and family. William is joining ICC as public relations director.

William Hurtado is joining the ICC staff as the new Public Relations Director. He has a communications degree and a masters in youth ministry. Most of all, he knows Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord. Here is his story:

At 16, William stumbled into grace and was converted. Soon after, he was led to Laurelwood Academy in Gaston, OR, where he was discipled to be a missionary. After graduating from there, he began asking God, “What do you want me to do for You?”

God led William to stay at the school as a task force assistant dean. One evening, as he sat at the dean’s office, God impressed him to take students on a mission trip to Mexico. William didn’t understand it then, but God was preparing him for a life of missions and outreach.

Soon afterwards, God led William to Andrews University where he studied public relations and marketing, and where he became the campus student association outreach director.

God soon after unfolded through William and his friends the biggest and most long-lasting outreach in the history of Andrews University, according to a long-time university chaplain. Over 100 students flooded the streets of nearby Benton Harbor every Sabbath as they ministered to impoverished children and families.

Now, after 20 years of local church youth ministry and international missions endeavors, God is allowing William to combine ministry with communications through ICC.

Coming from Collegedale, TN, as the former youth pastor of the Southern Adventist University campus church, William brings new passion, vision and knowledge to the ICC team. (And William brings 10 years of belonging to the ICC family through child sponsorship). It will be a pleasure to have him help lead the way to connect an established generation with a new generation of orphan advocates for Christ.

William is married to Shelley, and together they have two children, Selah who is ten, and Xander who is seven, who were both born in Anacortes, WA.

The Hurtados lived in Western Washington previous to Tennessee, and though they will miss their friends in TN, they are happy to return to Vancouver, WA where the ICC headquarters is located.

Please join William and the ICC team in prayer as they step into the future God has planned for them — and for you! Expect from God a future of increased prayer and involvement, where together we can hear God say; “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for Me.”

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.

Orphan Advocates Needed!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Next month, on November 12, the international community will recognize World Orphans Day. This is a day set aside to raise awareness and support for the children who continue to be orphans — ones who have not yet made it to a safe haven like an ICC children’s village.

There are hundreds of boys and girls around the world who are blessed to belong to the ICC family. They are taking advantage of opportunities that you help to provide them through your generous support.

The impact of what you do for them can be seen when a child leaves the children’s village and finds success in his or her chosen profession. Check out the story of Ana, inside this Que Pasa. She’s a good example of what your support means to an ICC child!

The need for orphan care continues as world conditions get worse. There are wars, disease and social problems that threaten the lives of innocent children.

We often receive calls to take in children, and sadly there are not enough funds to help in all situations. But with your help, we can provide care for some of them like the two boys pictured here.

Arturo and Alonzo recently joined their new family at the Las Palmas Children's Village in the Dominican Republic

Arturo and Alonzo are cousins who recently arrived at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. They were rescued from their grandmother’s home by the police.

Someone in the community filed a complaint that the boys were living in a home where the woman ran a prostitution business. The boys were not safe in this situation.

The authorities brought them to Las Palmas where they’ve become a part of the ICC family — a family that will love and provide nurturing care for them in a Seventh-day Adventist home environment. Accepting the boys is a step of faith, for Arturo and Alonzo still need sponsors.

As we approach World Orphans Day, please consider being an “Orphan Advocate.” Tell someone you know about the plight of orphans. Let them know that orphan care is so very much needed in the world today for kids like Arturo and Alonzo.

Tell them about the ICC family and how they, too, can become a part of this ministry where an orphan is orphaned no more! What a blessing it will be to Arturo and Alonzo and others like them.

If you — or someone you know — would like to sponsor one of these boys or another child in need, please contact Alanna, child sponsorship coordinator. She can be reached at 800-422-7729.

Thank you for what you do for the children!

Help Moo-ve the Las Palmas Dairy Forward!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

In recent editions of the Qué Pasa you’ve read about special initiatives to help the children’s projects become more self-sustaining. The jalapeno project in Mexico and the greenhouse project in El Salvador are two examples.

Aiding the projects to help themselves, stretches your support which helps more children.

In August, at the 2018 ASI convention, another of ICC’s industries received special attention.

It’s an expansion of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The dairy is blessing the children, but more “cows for the kids” are needed and you can help. Here are the details on what we’re calling “Milky’s Challenge.”

The goal of “Milky’s Challenge” is to increase the size of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The sale of milk from the herd helps to offset child-care expenses at Las Palmas helping your donation go further. Please join ”Milky’s Challenge!”

The goal of “Milky’s Challenge” is to increase the size of the dairy herd at the Las Palmas Children’s Village. The sale of milk from the herd helps to offset child-care expenses at Las Palmas helping your donation go further. Click on this picture join ”Milky’s Challenge!”

Demand is high for milk in the region around Las Palmas. Each day (excepting Sabbath), trucks pick up milk produced at the Las Palmas dairy.

Currently, there are 13 cows producing at the Las Palmas dairy. The goal is to increase that number to 80.

A cow is usually purchased pregnant or with a calf. The initial cost for an adult cow is about $1,500. If the calf is a heifer, it can be added to the herd. If it is a bull, it can be sold for around $750.

So, the net cost of one cow is about $750. That’s a bargain when you consider that in 9 months of production the initial investment has been returned through the sale of milk.

Did you know a single quality milk cow can produce enough milk for sale each month to cover the monthly expense of feeding one of “His Kids?”

Headshot of Milky the CowWon’t you consider participating in “Milky’s Challenge” to grow the herd?! Share this project with your Sabbath School class, your school, or a group of friends or family. If everyone gives a little — it will help a lot!

And now, it’s even easier to contribute. Along with the traditional ways of giving (website, phone call to 800.422.7729), you can also use your mobile phone right now to give a gift.

In your message app type the phone number 41444. In the message line type the word — Milky. You’ll receive a return message. Click the link and you’ll be taken to a secure donation page. It’s that easy!

There’s more information online at forhiskids.org/milky. We’ll be sharing the progress of “Milky’s Challenge” in the weeks ahead. Thanks for your support!

Three Generations Supporting “His Kids”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

In this our 40th year, we are recognizing several of the past and present heroes of ICC. This month, we want to especially acknowledge members of the Koelsch, Shultz and Erwin families.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz (formerly Koelsch), was a dear friend of Alcyon Fleck, co-founder of ICC. They became close friends during their days attending Laurelwood Academy and remained friends throughout their lives.

When Alcyon and Ken Fleck started ICC in 1978, Alice lent her assistance.

Alice loved to visit the children of ICC. She wanted to see the children up close and personal, so on several occasions she traveled with Alcyon to ICC projects.

Alice loved the idea that ICC not only rescues orphan children, but restores them to wholeness as well.

Writing about Alice a few years ago, Alcyon had this to say,

“[Alice] loved ICC — her favorite charity — and she participated in it in an especially personal way.

“As a sponsor, she supported and followed the lives of the various children she sponsored over the years.

“As a supporter, she was always quick to respond to the needs that I wrote about every month.

“As an ICC Board member, she attended nearly every meeting, and gave us welcome and sage advice. She participated in helping us send much-needed clothing and supplies to ICC projects.”

Indeed, Alice truly did care for the children of ICC, and her caring ways and passion were passed on to her children and grandchildren. Alice’s extended family have faithfully supported ICC for many years.

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

As Alice grew older, she felt it was time to involve a younger generation. At Alice’s suggestion, her grandson, Cody Erwin, joined the ICC board in April of 2006. Alice and Cody served simultaneously until Alice could no longer attend.

On February 20, 2014, Alice passed to her rest after medical complications resulting from a fall. ICC lost a true hero of the children that day.

And yet, thanks to her foresight, she had chosen very well someone she loved and trusted to carry forward her vision and passion for the work of ICC.

In April of 2014, only a couple of months after Alice passed away, Cody was elected chairman of the ICC board.

Along with his private sector job, Cody continues to provide steady leadership to ICC as he follows in the path of his grandmother, Alice.

Speaking of his grandmother recently, Cody said this,

“My grandmother had a love and passion for this ministry for children, and she passed it on to the other members of her family. She always reminded us of our many blessings and how we needed to remember those less fortunate. She loved all of her ICC Children so very much. I’m pleased to be able to carry on the work that she helped to start so many years ago.”

The children of ICC are blessed by heroes like Cody, Alice and other family members who continue to provide their support for “His Kids!”

Thanks For Helping With The “Finishing Touch!”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Four ICC Girls Graduate from ICAP in Guatemala

The help you continue giving the children and young people is not only life changing — it is life-preparing. When an orphan becomes part of the ICC family at one of the children’s villages, their life is changed — transformed even! They receive love and the nurturing care that is needed to thrive.

Because of you, these four young ladies from Los Pinos were able receive their education and graduate from ICAP. Each will be pursuing a university education. Thank you for your support of “His Kids!”

Because of you, these four young ladies from Los Pinos were able to receive their education and graduate from ICAP. Each will be pursuing a university education. Thank you for your support of “His Kids!”

The children are also enrolled in school as part of the life-preparation process. If a child has never attended school, this opens to the young mind a whole new perspective on life.

Quality education helps the children break the chains of poverty as they prepare to live successfully on their own. Your support of the children and their education is a wonderful blessing to them.

Pictured In this post are four of our young ladies who recently graduated from the ICAP secondary school in Guatemala. Three of them completed pre-school education teacher training and one completed the bookkeeping program. After taking a year off from studies to work and prepare, each of them plans to attend university.

We refer to this part of a young person’s life as the “finishing touch.” ICC’s model of care provides for the essentials of food, shelter and nurturing care. Education is also included in this, and as the children grow, we strive to help them learn a trade, a skill or prepare for a professional career so they will be able to provide for their own care.

The help you give them means so much to them, and they are grateful. They realize where in life they would have been, if it weren’t for kind-hearted sponsors and donors like you. Thank you for your generous support in helping to apply the “finishing touch” for these girls.

Your Support Is Giving Back — Abel’s Story

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

By Rick Fleck

After more than 35 years, the Las Palmas Children’s Village has been needing many repairs, especially with the things made of wood, such as kitchen cabinets, closets, doors, window valences, tables and chairs.

We have a small carpentry and cabinet shop in our big shop on campus which Tem Suarez and others helped to set up in the 1980’s. Tem would come and work with the older boys building closets and drawers other things.

Other workers carried on that work for a few years, but lately the carpentry shop has not been kept up because we couldn’t find someone to do that work.

During a visit last year, Samilin, our administrator of Las Palmas, told me about Abel Pérez, who grew up in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, worked a lot with Tem Suarez in carpentry and now has a cabinet shop business on the side (he is a math teacher in a local school). Maybe he would be willing to come and help us.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is now a math teacher and also owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel will be producing carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel Pérez grew up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Abel is a math teacher and owns a successful cabinet-making business. Abel produces carpentry and cabinet projects for Las Palmas.

Abel did come, and we became great friends. He is a wonderful young man with a family of three children of his own now. He is a successful teacher and runs a prosperous cabinet business on the side.

He was thrilled by the idea of coming back “home” to work where he spent so much of his childhood. And he wanted to make sure to inspire others who are growing up there now by teaching them some skills.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

Abel as a young boy not long after he came to Las Palmas.

He fondly remembers Tem Suarez, who with his wife, Judy, gave so much of themselves to the children of ICC. He told me, “I would like to be the new ‘Tem Suarez!’”

Here is a message he sent to me when I asked if he would be willing to share a little with our ICC family:

“For me it is a real pleasure to be able to tell my story so it may serve to help and be an example for many. I was born in Meches in 1975, a son of Christian parents — Seventh-day Adventists.

My parents were extremely poor but they wanted for me and my sister Miguelina (5 years younger than me) to have a chance in life and a Christian education. So they managed to take us to the Las Palmas Children’s Village. That great event was a reality in our lives on Wednesday, September 11, 1985.

“At the age of 10 and in fourth grade, I continued my studies. Mrs. Gladys Williams was the director, and Pastor Jose Ramon Bourget was the administrator. There was one teacher for all the kids in several grades. After a few months they brought in several more teachers. So we continued to study there for three years in the Las Palmas school.

After sixth grade, we studied at the nearby Dominican Adventist School for two years as external students, and I was in the dorm for two more years. After that time I went to Santo Domingo where I finished high school in 1994.

“During the time I spent in the Las Palmas Children’s Village, I learned various skills such as growing a garden, taking care of cows, pastry making, baking, working with iron, among other things.

But the thing that I loved most was cabinet making. I liked that from when I was a little boy watching my father work with wood. So I enjoyed working with Brother Francisco Vargas, then Josué Casilla (in the children’s village) and later Bartolomé Acosta at the Dominican Adventist School. I was able to progress a lot in learning this marvelous craft.

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

One of the cabinet projects for Las Palmas recently finished by Abel Pérez

“After starting a lovely relationship with the young lady Yoselin Alcala, we married and had three children — Angel, now 20, Yonsi, 14 and Jasbel, 12. My wife has her degree in marketing with a masters degree in administration of education centers. I finished my bachelors degree in education with physics and math, and now I’m working as a math teacher at a school in Nuevo Orden.

“In March of 2017, Mrs. Samilin Williams, the current administrator of the children’s village, contacted me to help her prepare some budgets for some projects, and she invited me to talk with Mr. Rick and let him know the quotes. We came to an agreement that I would go to Las Palmas to do a few new projects and some repairs.”

Abel goes on to describe his work over the next several months, when he repaired closets, made drawers, window valences, kitchen cabinets and other carpentry projects. He basically remodeled all the wood items, such as closets and cabinets, in eight homes on campus. He concludes his story by reflecting as follows:

“For me is it a pleasure to help out, not only in the cabinets and wood working, but in all the projects that I can in the Children’s Village, since I really feel like I am part of it. This has been one of the happiest summers of my life, although I have spent it away from my beautiful and loved family. I was spending my time contributing to a very good cause. But I also want to say thank you to each one who gave funds so that these projects could be accomplished.

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

A new generation enjoys the benefits of Abel Pérez’s cabinet-making skills

“There are still many projects to do, and we continue to pray that the resources continue to come so we can keep doing the projects that need to be finished. Among those are the church pews that are very deteriorated from the termites. We need them so that our adoration to God can be done in a calm and nice place. I am very willing to continue helping in every way that I can so that the Children’s Village is a PLACE OF HAPPY KIDS. God bless you, with love, from your son,”

Abel Pérez Vilorio

Able also has plans to help Las Palmas repair or rebuild their church’s pews. The church pews are made of wood and they’ve seen much use. The pews are in real need of repairs with a number needing to be replaced.

Your help with repairing and replacing Las Palmas’s church pews would be most appreciated. Abel plans to repair 5 pews and create new pews for those that need to be replaced. He can repair the 5 pews for $110 apiece and make 15 new pews for only $400 apiece.