Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

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!

“Stepping Out In Faith” Matching Fund

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Just in Time to Bless the Children this Christmas!

’Tis better to give than to receive” is a truth that we all recognize. What is even better is when you give and that gift is doubled to make twice the impact! This Christmas, you have a wonderful opportunity to double your gift in support of a child like Eduardo who desperately wants and needs a home.

Please read on for more details

Dear Friend of the Children,

Eduardo’s father died without ever recognizing him as his son. His mother left Eduardo in the care of his sick grandmother who was also trying to care for her 18-year-old daughter who has special needs.

Eduardo’s living environment was unsafe, and he suffered several attempts of violation. The child protection authorities rescued Eduardo and needed a safe place for him, so they contacted the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

I’m reminded of the story of Jesus who was born in a stable because there was “no room in the inn.” Currently, several of our children’s villages DO HAVE ROOM for more children. You can help us welcome more children like Eduardo who need the safety and security of a loving home. This Christmas please consider giving the gift of family to an orphan child!

I have some terrific news to share. From now until December 31, 2017, your gift will be doubled, up to a total of $125,000. What a double blessing and impact your gift will be for the children!

In the past several weeks, 12 different children have experienced life-threatening events. These suffering children have been referred to us from authorities in Congo and the Dominican Republic.

Some of these 12 kids were already dying, and we were told that they would soon lose their lives if we did not accept them into our care. Horrible events took place leaving these children devastated without families. What were our administrators to do when these kids were placed at their door? Should they have turned their backs on these children, leaving them to die?

The thought of signing a child’s death warrant is something I cannot agree with, nor do I believe that God wants our ICC family to do that. I believe that God put ICC here to be the last harbor of refuge from these kinds of storms in the lives of the children — the storms that take their very lives. There must be another answer, and I believe the answer is the ICC family!

Recently, caring individuals provided for a special “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

Donations received (up to $125,000) will be matched and used to support the children of ICC, especially those who recently joined the ICC family or those on the outside just waiting to come in.

Your support for the children within the ICC family has meant a life-change for them. In some cases the saving of their lives.

Today, many children are brought to us by the local government, first responders, or relief workers who told us that if we did not take these kids, there was no one else who would, and they could perish.

Hearing this sends chills down my spine. That there is no other answer, and children may perish, is real and something we can’t tolerate.

With this in mind, I’m writing to you at the end of this year. There are children like Eduardo who need your help and protection. They need the life-saving and life-giving support that you offer. And since your gift will be doubled, it’s an especially good time to give!

Again, from now until December 31, you can have your donation matched up to a total of $125,000. A gift of $50 becomes $100. A gift of $250 becomes $500.

Should all the money be matched, it will be $250,000 bringing hope and healing to the lives of orphan children. What a blessing this will be for them!

Will you help me with this urgent need for these children who’ve been placed on our doorstep, which I believe was providential?

If you want your donation matched, please mark it “Stepping out in Faith.”

God bless you for stepping out in faith and saving the lives of the fatherless.

 

 

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

P.S. Thank you for your wonderful support to the children. And now through December 31st your support can be doubled through the “Stepping out in Faith Matching Fund.”

P.P.S. And since the overhead for this year has been covered, 100% of your donation plus the matched amount will go to support the program for children. Thank you for being a double blessing to the children here at the end of the year!

Presidents Message For 2017

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

As a New Year begins, we’ve all been given the renewed opportunity to experience a NEW BEGINNING. During the past several months YOUR support has helped create dozens of NEW BEGINNINGS for children who have been orphaned, abandoned or neglected.

I’ve shared with you the stories of children who have lived with aching bellies because of malnutrition, or who have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of family members.

You’ve helped rescue these kids through your generous support! Because of you, they’ve been welcomed into one of our children’s homes. They now have nourishing food and a warm place to sleep. They have Adventist house parents who treat them kindly and tell them about their Heavenly Father who loves them very much.

I say it often, but it bears repeating. This ministry for children exists because of donors like YOU! There would not be a warm welcome nor would there be a NEW BEGINNING — if it were not for YOU! On behalf of the children, thank you very much for your continued care and support!

As we turn the page of yet another year, I invite you to remember the children’s projects that YOU have supported with generous gifts and prayers.

Next week we’ll bring you news of our Children’s Villages around the world.

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 From India

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

We are passing along to all of you, as requested by the sender, this note from the director of our children’s village in India, Lilly Kaligithi.

Dear Friends;

As you celebrate this Christmas may our Lord’s birth be experienced in your hearts and bring you joy and hope for eternal bliss. Soon we will enter into another New Year, 2013. May the Lord guide and bless every step that you take and every decision you make.

God has blessed Sweet Home in many ways. My heart is filled with gratitude as I look back on what our children have accomplished by the grace of God. One boy completed Masters in Biotechnology, and received a medal for his outstanding performance. Four [children] have graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in Nursing and nine have graduated from Academy.

They certainly made me proud. I wish to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your great support and encouragement.

“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:11

With best wishes and Season’s Greetings from your Sweet Home Family;

Lilly F. Kaligithi

Sarahʼs Story

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The following is a personal account from Sarah Johnston. Her story was featured by Alcyon Fleck in the July 2012 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter.

This is my story about how the Lord has been with me through the years. I was born in 1980 in a Mayan village in Guatemala. There was a civil war going on in Guatemala at that time. I was still a baby when a battle took place in my village in which many people were killed. I was on my mother’s back when a bullet took her life and wounded my feet.

This is all I know about the family I was born into, and the people of my village. In spite of the tragedy God was looking out for me, even though I did not know Him at that time. God sent a nice man who loved children to find me and a little boy. He took us to the military hospital in Guatemala City.

At the hospital they gave me the name “Mercedes Lopez.” The little boy and I did not stay at the hospital for long because the general that found us knew of a lady that loved children and had an orphanage in Guatemala called Los Pinos. The general called Mrs. Fleck and told her to come and see the two children he found. She did come to the military hospital to see us. I was about ten months old and stood in my crib when Mrs. Fleck saw me. The boy’s name was Lazaro, and he was even years old. He had a wound on his head and his hand.

In the limousine on the way to Mrs. Fleck’s home I sat on her lap and Lazaro sat close beside her. Not knowing where I was going I began to scream in terror and clung to Mrs. Fleck’s neck so hard that she could barely breathe. Mrs. Fleck was so nice to me and the boy. She rocked and held me until I went to sleep. In the morning Mrs. Fleck took us to the “Los Pinos” [children’s village] in Guatemala.

Sarah's First Days at Los Pinos

Sarah (in the yellow dress) not long after she came to live at Los Pinos

Juana, one of the ladies that worked at “Los Pinos,” took me to a house where the house mother could handle another little one. I do not know how long I was at “Los Pinos,’ but I do know that God was still looking out for me. Little did I know that God already had a good Christian family for me. This family lived in Vermont on a farm. They had two older children and a little baby boy, but the mother was praying that God would give her a little Indian girl. So when she found a little picture with a story of me in the Adventist Review it touched her heart, and she knew I would fit in the family if it was God’s will.

But it took nine months until they got me, even though they thought I would come at Christmas. It was a good thing I did not come at Christmas because Christine, the mother, had an operation in January and it took her a long time to heal after the operation. When she tried to do so she had a terrible headache which made it impossible for her to stay up or eat sitting erect. After much prayer the Lord urged her to exercise in the snow crawling around crying out for God’s help to be fit for her children and Sarah.

Sarah Lisa was the name they chose after they were told of Mercedes. In God’s time, exactly nine months later, the three year old came and “mommy” was well enough to receive her girl. Roger, the father, had almost traveled to Guatemala to pick me up since they were told to do so by the orphanage, but as it turned out he did not need to since Mrs. Fleck had another girl to bring and brought me up with her. Christine bought a pretty pink and white dress and shoes and mailed it away to Guatemala for me. And then they waited at the Boston airport until the plane I was on arrived. They found me with the pretty dress. I looked like a doll. Christine ran and picked me up. I looked surprised and they were surprised at how small I was.

Sarah After Joining Her New Family

Sarah after she was adopted into her new family

My new family was prepared for crying and a sleepless night as we all slept in a hotel. But I slept and their one and a half year old baby boy slept also. On the long trip home we stopped to get some food, and that is when they found out that I had the biggest appetite a tiny girl could have. I ate until all of the food was gone, and Christine wondered if maybe she gave me too much. Eating was something that I knew how to do. The next day my mom was shocked at how my little tummy got so big. Then she discovered that I had eaten five big pancakes. All night my mom worried that I may be sick, and yet I lived through it. I clung to my mother’s neck as she carried me up into the bedrooms, and I would not let go until she put me into my crib.

My mom was a good mother. She loved me and taught me about Jesus, but sad to say, I wasn’t always a nice little girl or have Jesus in my heart. I used to get so angry at my mom and brother, and I also stole. What made it worse was that I lied to my mom. It made her sad and Jesus, too, but thank God my mom did not give up on me. She did a lot of praying for me, and God answered her prayers. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was sixteen and was baptized.

I used to wonder why God spared my life and not my mom’s, but now I know why, because He wanted to use me to tell others of Him. I really do like children and they like me. My mom did some babysitting, and I helped her with the children. When I was twenty-eight, I helped take care of three foster children. I enjoyed it a lot. I sang Jesus songs with them and read stories to them. They enjoyed it, too. I become an aunt when I was seven and a half year old. I do not mind being an aunt, because I love my nieces and nephews. The only thing is that they all grew big and tall and I stayed short. But that’s OK.

I left home when I was twenty-nine and went to work up at Laurelbrook Academy. I worked at the nursing home doing different things. I also worked in the garden with some of the students. I also worked at the day care. I enjoyed doing that. I also helped out in Sabbath School with the little children.

Sarah Today

Sarah as she is today

Now I am thirty-one and married, and I know God will still use me as long as I am willing to be used. It does not make any difference how big or small or how old you are or what your background is or was. He can and wants to use you to help others to be ready when Jesus comes. May my story be an encouragement that God does work things out in our lives for His good. One of my favorite Bible verses is “All things work out together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

May God bless you,
Sarah Johnston

Spaghetti, Spaghetti and more Spaghetti

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Five years ago a new activity for ICC Belgium came to life, a Spaghetti Festivity. In that year, 2007, we started very modest with 60 subscriptions and a net profit of 375 Euro / $490 USD.
In 2011, 145 people found their way to Mechelen and the profit was 2,100 Euro / $2,745 USD.

Guests of the Spaghetti Festivity enjoy the food

Guests of the Spaghetti Festivity enjoy the food

Our cook surpassed himself once again this year. Everyone enjoyed the very tasty spaghetti sauce with fresh vegetables and some of the visitors even took a second portion. Everyone was full of praise of our cook. We were also able to count again on our volunteers who lent a hand, even two hands.

The cooks and staff prepare the food.

Wim the chef, Coszack his assitant and Anja and Louiza prepare the food.

The sales table has also become a yearly tradition and different kind of items (also handmade) were nicely presented. And lots of items were sold during these two days, thanks to the handmade items of Carmen and the handmade Christmas pieces of Denise.

Some of the hand-crafted items sold at the Spaghetti Festivity

Some of the hand-crafted items sold at the Spaghetti Festivity

As president of ICC Belgium, I’m very proud of my ICC team and I would like to thank the whole team for the enormous work that they have done: Wim (Chef Cook), Coszack (Assistant Cook), Anja and Louiza (kitchen help), Mia, Ingrid and Carmen (Bartenders), Frank, Jozef, Mario and Kristof (Waiters), Francine and Dirk (Sales Table) and Jeannine who always helps us out with the promotional materials for our events.

A word of thanks as well to those who came and to those who were not able to come but gave their financial support. We were able to close out this year in a fantastic and wonderful way!

Ronny Van Dessel
President ICC Belgium vzw

A Small Note at the end of 2010

Friday, January 14th, 2011

We are coming to the end of 2010, which was at the same time the first year of our new Village, and a year in which, with God’s help, we have been able to achieve many advances in getting the new campus in shape so that the kids each day feel better, more comfortable and really at home. In spite of the fact that we had to go through a time of adaptation, the academic achievement of our kids was excellent with 100% passing their grade, and several kids had outstanding grades.

Although we have had many achievements, it was also a very difficult year, especially because of the different tragedies that affected the world—and our country was not spared. In the months of August, September and part of October, rains devastated many areas of the country, especially the Pacific coastal area where we are located.

Many families had to evacuate because of flooding in the area after a long dry season which had also affected them adversely. These families, who are mostly farmers, not only had to leave their homes but also lost all their crops that they had cultivated, and that represented their entire livelihood.

Providing relief packages to local flood victims

ICC Nicaragua delivers relief packages to flood victims

We couldn’t just stand by with our arms crossed in view of such disaster, so we took them some clothes, sheets, and we shared some of our corn crop. Also we gave them some of the milk from our cows. Our farm, thanks to the excellent location that we have, was not damaged by the rains. Two days before Christmas, with funds donated from ICC sponsors who wanted to support our effort, we were able to prepare 70 packets of food that we gave out to poor families who had been affected by the flooding. This brought great joy to these families.

Children from ICC Nicaragua deliver relief packages to flood victims

Children from ICC Nicaragua deliver relief packages to flood victims

As we do each year, we had a Christmas dinner with members of our board, staff and friends who support the children’s village. Also this year our kids gave a little gift to the people who clean the streets and pick up the garbage in our town, El Viejo. This allowed us to take a bit of cheer to other children as we shared our blessings with them.

Local supporters of ICC Nicaragua enjoy Christmas dinner at one of the homes on the Fuente de Vida Children's Village campus

Local supporters of ICC Nicaragua enjoy Christmas dinner 2010 at one of the homes on the Fuente de Vida Children's Village campus.

Christmas was a little different this year, with bigger arrangements, since we had more room. The kids enjoyed the space to play in nature, thanks to the beautiful home that our Creator has given us.

Children from ICC Nicaragua enjoy Christmas dinner 2010

Children from ICC Nicaragua enjoy Christmas dinner 2010

During 2010 we were able to feel the marvelous hand of God caring for us, providing for us and showing us the way during difficult times. We are sure that in this New Year He will again be our great Helper, as it says in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” NIV

May God bless you and may the presence of our Creator be in each ICC program and in the hearts of all those who allow God to use them in this marvelous work of caring for the most needy.

Félix Almendarez
Administrador ICC Nicaragua