Posts Tagged ‘Education’

The Impact Of Your Support

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

An interview with Huridis Fortuna, one of ICC’s grown children

} By Makala James

Huridis’ life changed forever when he came to live at Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

He flourished, earned his degree in Theology, married the love of his life, Hannah, and is now serving in ministry and sharing the Gospel

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his experience growing up as an ICC kid.

A special thank you to Huridis for sharing his story about his experience at Las Palmas! God will continue to use Huridis in wonderful ways, just as He is working in the lives of all ICC children. Makala James [left] sits with Huridis Fortuna [right] in Keen, Texas. Makala had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his life before, and while, Huridis was growing up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Makala James [left] sits with Huridis Fortuna [right] in Keen, Texas. Makala had the opportunity to speak with Huridis about his life before, and while, Huridis was growing up at the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Did you have a difficult childhood before coming to the Las Palmas Children’s Village?

I had a rough childhood. There is an illustration that I use in my sermons.

How do you purify gold? It’s with fire. It’s a hard and long process, but in the end what you get is fine, pure gold. Whatever happened in my life as a child, I see as a blessing. God used that to make me the person I am today.

What do you remember of your first day at Las Palmas?

My first day at the orphanage, I arrived with a little backpack, a pair of pants, a pair of socks, and a shirt. That’s all I brought because I had nothing else.

The director said, “Where are your clothes?” She was surprised that I didn’t have anything. After meeting my teacher and classmates, we went to the warehouse and got a bunch of clothes and shoes. I got a pillow that is kind of like a race car, and I still keep that with me today.

Then, I heard that everyone at the church and village had been praying for me. They did not know me, but everyone was praying for me to get there. I was amazed!

How did the children’s village affect your spiritual life?

Certainly, it made a big impact on my life. I still remember how, to wake us up, the dad of the house would play Christian music in the living room. That would be the time for us to gather around the table for worship.

We would sing songs, study the bible, pray, and have worship together as a family. That helped me have a deeper relationship with Jesus. Not only that, but we were also encouraged to have our own personal time reading the bible and praying.

After you finished worship, what was a typical day like?

On a typical day in high school, which was the best time, we would wake up in the morning to have worship together. Then we would do our chores, such as cleaning the bathroom or bedroom or yard… Whatever was assigned to us.

Afterwards, we would get ready for school and eat breakfast. Breakfast might be yucca with cheese or plantains and eggs, maybe cereal, fruit, and milk.

We attended school, and then came home around lunch time. After an hour break for lunch, then we had two hours of work, required of everybody.

After work I would either do homework or go to music school to practice the cello. In the evening, we had dinner and evening worship as a family.

Did you always stay in the same family?

I stayed with the same family for my whole time at the orphanage until I turned 18. That year we separated from the younger children, but still remained in the same family.

I helped the younger kids with their homework and chores at home. We moved to a bigger house because the house we were living in was kind of small. It was the same family all the time.

Tell me about an ICC sibling to whom you still feel close?

Alexandra! When I first arrived at the orphanage we used to fight and argue. Now we are really good friends. She came to my wedding two years ago when I got married. She’s coming to visit again, and we keep in touch.

How does having an advanced education impact your life?

It certainly makes a difference when you get an education. Seeing it from a professional point of view, we live in a competitive world.

If you have no education, then you are behind. It’s really hard for you to find a job and survive.

Because of my education, I am able to serve and support ICC, to give back to the place that helped me to become who I am.

Share a bit about when you felt called to ministry?

When I look back to my childhood and to what I’ve been through in my life, how God rescued me from what I could have been, it’s like a calling. It’s like God telling me, “I want you for a special mission.”

That helps me to understand that I’ve been called for something special. Once I was at [Las Palmas], I kept growing in my faith and in my relationship with Jesus. I participated in church and everybody used to call me pastorcito, which means little pastor.

I didn’t want to be pastor, because, honestly, I was afraid! But I grew up and felt called in many ways. I realized, God can use my life and story.

How did your life change when you were accepted into the ICC family?

It was a big change. I got my education and things that I needed right there. For me, it was all I ever wanted. It was my family.

I understand that you and your wife sponsor a child. Can you tell me about that?

We do! Actually, we’re in the process of getting a second one. We visited our sponsorship child. He was really happy when we went to see him. When we got home, we wrote a letter and sent a photo to him of all of us.

When you were a child, did it matter when sponsors wrote you or sent you pictures?

It’s very important to write to the children. I felt special when a sponsor wrote me. I felt I was connecting with my sponsor. It was easier to reply to that person, especially when they’d sent me pictures and asked me questions.

How do the ICC children who are now adults relate to the children’s village?

We have a group of generation that comes together like an alumni association, and there’s a president. We gather money and donations to take to the children’s village. We come together at Christmas, and put on a Christmas program. Recently, we raised funds for school shoes.

Why is it important to do these things for the kids?

I went there and I received help. Once I grew up, I realized how important it was that someone helped me, that someone raised money for me to eat and go to school. It’s heart touching to do the same for those children who are also in need.

 

 

Educating For A Brighter Future — Thanks To You

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
This is Claudia. She recently graduated university with her degree in Marketing and International Business. Claudia grew up at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador. Because of people like you, Claudia was able to obtain not only her primary and secondary education, but an advanced degree as well. It is through your support and investment in the future of these children that they are able to receive their education. Education is an investment that will pay dividends now and for eternity.

This is Claudia. Because of people like you, Claudia was able to obtain her advanced degree in business.

Your generous support helps provide quality education for ICC’s children.

Whether it’s four of our girls attending the Adventist high school in Romania, or grown-up children finishing their university degrees in India, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala, or the more than 100 children in the D.R. Congo who are engaged in various levels of instruction, the ICC education program is a ticket to a brighter future — for this world and the world to come.

Claudia is a good example of this. Claudia was only four when she came to live at our Hogar Escuela Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Her father had abandoned the family, and her mother was losing the battle of trying to provide a safe environment for Claudia and her younger brother.

Claudia grew up within the HEA family. She attended elementary and secondary school and was involved in the church program on campus. She believed that a daily relationship with God helped her to make good decisions.

Through the generous support of the ICC family, Claudia was able to enroll in University in 2013. She majored in Marketing and International Business. During her studies, she was twice given the opportunity to travel to the United States for an internship. This was a reward for her good grades.

However, both times she declined the offer because of possible Sabbath conflicts and because of the cost it would have meant to her ICC family while living abroad.

Claudia recently graduated with her degree. She is a testimony to the outcome of your support!

As another school year begins, it reminds us all of the import role that education plays in the lives of children like Claudia.

The cost of education is not cheap. Neither is the cost of ignorance. Your investment in the lives of the children’s education is paying divides now and for eternity.

Please consider making an extra special gift this month in support of education for a child like Claudia. May God bless you for all you do for the children!

Should Lucas Quit Or Beat Leukemia?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

by William Hurtado

Lucas with one of his Lego creationsLucas Nelson, at 13 years of age, was diagnosed on August 25, 2018 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

He was supposed to be playing freely as a child; but now he had fevers, easy bruising, abnormal weight loss, and cancerous blood cells growing inside his body. Would he survive chemotherapy and find a way to break past the exhaustion?

Lucas lives with his family in North Dakota. His parents are Seventh-day Adventist conference workers within the education and youth ministries.

Through this calamity, the family could have easily become angry with God and distanced themselves, but instead, they decided to bless others, no matter their circumstances.

Jennifer TurkJennifer Turk is a mother with a compassionate heart and a close friend of Lucas’s family. She heard about Lucas and his family’s desire to help others.

Jennifer had an idea she felt would help Lucas bless others. She knew that Lucas loves Legos, so why not put Legos into the hands of orphaned children in Lucas’ honor? Many children around the world have never before held or even played with Legos!

Jennifer contacted me, and together we developed a program known as Lucas Legos for Kids. The plan is to have church and school groups collect Legos, and with help from you and ICC, send them to the children of International Children’s Care.

Lucas and his family were excited when they heard this plan. Lucas Legos for Kids started during the 2018 Christmas season in two locations. In only one and a half months, they collected over 30 pounds of Legos!

Jennifer and other contributors then shipped their collected Legos to International Children’s Care in Vancouver, WA.

A girl and boy from Las Palmas play with their donated Legos.In January of 2019, the first Lego shipment traveled with Sharon Fleck, ICC children’s services director, to the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Now, ICC children are playing and learning with Lucas Legos. Isn’t that exciting?!

Lucas Legos for Kids is a way for all of us to participate in the cause of giving children safe and fun Christian homes in which to grow.

Will you support Lucas and International Children’s Care in this vision?

Besides helping with Legos, you can also encourage others to help support ICC’s children.

And do pray for Lucas! His treatments are helping his cancer go into remission. By God’s grace, he will be well soon!

To learn more about how to involve your church, school, or Pathfinder club, visit ICC’s webpage about Lucas Legos for Kids.

You may also watch a video on YouTube about Lucas and Lucas Legos for Kids by using the following this link: Watch The Video.

A pile of Lego Blocks

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.

The Importance Of The “Finishing Touch”

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

— Part Two —

Last month’s Que Pasa featured an update from Désiré, director of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village in the D.R. Congo. Désiré has seen first-hand the amazing results that your support provides when an orphan child is able to attend university.

According to Désiré, “Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency. Once the children have obtained advanced education, they will have necessary tools to overcome poverty and live for themselves when they become independent. The assistance provided to them will remain unforgettable in their lives, in heaven and on earth.”

Last month, we shared the story of Guillaine and how important it was for her as a young woman to be able to attend university and earn her degree in Information Technology. She has a good job now and is able to live on her own and make a positive contribution to society.

This month, we are pleased to share the story of another one of Patmos’s children who has been blessed through the support of ICC family members like you!

Alphonse Misagwe Moise
Since the time Alphonse became a part of the ICC family, he proved to be very responsible. He had a good way of providing counsel and advice to his peers and siblings.

When the children played soccer and got into quarrels, Alphonse would heal the rifts between his “brothers.”

He avoided participating in conflict and refrained from complaining of others.

Alphonse started preaching at church and in daily worship at the age of 14. He displayed his willingness to work for God and to love God’s word.

Alphonse studied business while attending secondary school at the Patmos Children’s Village. After completing his secondary education, he enrolled in Graben University where he studied Ophthalmology.

This would not have been possible if not for the generous ICC family members like you whose ongoing support made it possible for him to go to university.

Alphonse’s academic reports were always positive showing that he excelled not only in his studies but also in his behavior.

Alphonse took advantage of the wonderful opportunity that you gave to him!

In just his second year at Graben University, Alphonse was voted as spokesman of students. He was responsible to see that the students conducted themselves appropriately and ensured there was harmony between tutors and students. He made sure that students were respectful of their teachers and kept the university regulations.

All that practice of helping to maintain harmony at Patmos was paying off! What a blessing he was at the university — just like he had been at the children’s village.

Alphonse finished his studies at the university and was awarded his degree in Ophthalmology. He then traveled to Uganda for 16 months of training. This included both the theory and practice in Optometry.

When Alphonse finished his training, he was qualified to diagnose various types of eye diseases. He was also able to make glasses.

His skills are quite rare in the Eastern part of Congo, and he was hired immediately at Goma General Hospital.

He is well paid and lives with two other boys from the Patmos Children’s Village who had earned degrees in pharmaceutical sciences. Alphonse and his roommates are grateful for the support you have helped to provide for them through the years.

They have not forgotten their home at Patmos Village and visit their brothers and sisters there bringing them presents. According to these boys, Idjwi Island is a more comfortable place than Goma where they currently live.

They are asked to speak at the church on Sabbath and do not hesitate to thank God and their sponsors for the kindness shown to them. Together with their siblings, they kneel and have prayer for the sponsors.

Alphonse and Guillaine are but two examples of the children whose lives have been positively impacted through the “finishing touch.”

It means so much to them to be educated, to be skilled, and to use their training and experience to bless others and to live independently.

Thank you for making the dreams of these children a living realty. They are grateful and are positive role models to their younger siblings.

P.S. Désiré mentioned in his report that this is a particularly difficult year. Many of the children at Patmos joined the ICC family when they were near the same age. These kids are reaching university age all around the same time.

The budget to provide the “finishing touch” has doubled this year. Désiré knows how important it is for the children to receive an education that prepares them for their future.

Won’t you please consider helping one of these children through an ongoing sponsorship or one-time gift? They will appreciate that you’re supporting them with “the finishing touch.” Use this link or call the ICC office at 800.422.7729 for more details on how you can help. Thank you!

The Importance Of “The Finishing Touch” — Part 1

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
Thanks to you, Guillaine was able to attend university. This “finishing touch” allowed her to thrive and launch a successful career.

Thanks to you, Guillaine was able to attend university. This “finishing touch” allowed her to thrive and launch a successful career.

August! Summer is quickly passing! A new school year is closing in. And with it, we are yet again reminded of the critical role that education plays in restoring the life of an orphan child.

Education helps prepare an orphan child for a life of true independence. This applies to all the children in our projects around the world. But perhaps, it’s especially so for our children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Désiré, director of our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo, recently sent a message so that you will be able to better understand the vital importance of a full education for our children.

We consider this to be “the finishing touch” for the children as they approach independence. This is especially true for our girls.

“Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency… The girls’ education is the best way to set them free from the yoke of slavery since uneducated women are treated as slaves by their husbands.”

This month and next month, we’ll be sharing excerpts from Désiré’s message which also includes examples of our children who have benefitted from the support that ICC family members like you have given. Following is the excerpt from Désiré’s message…


ICC-Congo is happy to express good feelings for the work of God that ICC and its sponsors or partners are doing for God’s children here at Patmos Children’s Village.

First and foremost, we need to mention that the mission of ICC is broadly successful and a real relief to the children in need in Congo.

From the very beginning of the project, children came to ICC with critical health issues as they had lost their parents in war, rebellion and many bloody movements organized by rebels wanting to forcibly take power.

We are certain that ICC has saved so many lives of children who might have died. The sponsors’ help is the only way through which they all survive.

Because ICC-Congo admitted many children of the same age, we are now facing difficulty when they are now attending higher education. The budget has risen, because one cannot expect to have a successful job in Congo if you did not obtain a university education.

Broadly speaking, if you desire to flee joblessness you need to hold a university degree. We have experienced this for many years and realize that children need advanced education so that they are fully armed to fight for their own welfare when they become independent.

Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency. Once the children have obtained advanced education, they will have necessary tools to overcome poverty and live for themselves when they become independent. The assistance provided to them will remain unforgettable in their lives, in heaven and on earth.

The ICC family is united and works purposely having the fear of the Lord. We would simply like to present the case that our girls attend regularly university and change their lives for the best.

We say, “Thank you to God” and to “the sponsors” who willingly took the children into care. It is not always easy we know! The girls’ education is the best way to set them free from the yoke of slavery since uneducated women are treated as slaves by their husbands.

We are so satisfied that our girls like their studies and their sponsors have decided to help them forge ahead. May God bless them on their behalf.

Many Africans believe that a girl is worth the price of a cow as dowry and cannot become self-reliant. Parents are given a cow as dowry, but their daughters live as slaves.

We thank God because the girls living at Patmos village have thoughts which go beyond this state of things

— Guillaine’s Story —

The university education you helped to provided allows Guillaine to live and work independently. She is free from the life of slavery that would have likely been her fate without an advanced education.

The university education you helped to provided allows Guillaine to live and work independently. She is free from the life of slavery that would have likely been her fate without an advanced education.

Guillaine was 9 years old when we received her in our program. Guillaine’s story begins with the invasion of the Ugandan military into the DR Congo in November 1999.

They set fire to many houses after having looted all the properties. At the time, they killed many with machetes, swords and heavy hammers.

The survivors ran away to settle in the neighboring regions. Among Guillaine’s relatives, only her old grandmother survived.

Despite all the unfortunate circumstances, God protected Guillaine through the Adventist Church. They brought her to ICC-Congo, and we kindly received her with another 11 orphan children whose fathers and mothers had also died in North Kivu Region.

At school as well as at church, Guillaine liked reciting poems. She can memorize and recite biblical chapters containing 20 to 30 verses.

At secondary school, Guillaine studied Business Administration and did studies in Information Technology at university.

Guillaine finished her studies in 2017. Something wonderful is that she never applied for a job, because the place where she completed her professional training selected her for a job without any entry exam.

Today, Guillaine is working as a cashier and is well paid. She courageously witnesses in the church giving thanks to ICC who helped her through its sponsorship department. The sponsors’ contributions changed her life and made her what she is today—very helpful to the society and the work of the Lord.


Guillaine, and many other young people like her, have experienced the wonderful blessing of “the finishing touch.”

Yet, there are many more who currently need sponsors who will also stand by and support them during this critical preparatory time of their life.

For more information on how you can help, please contact Alanna in the ICC sponsorship department at (800) 422–7729. Thank you!

Johana’s Joy

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Another example of the impact you make

What you do for the children is continuing to make a life-changing difference for them. And just like the growth of plants in your summer garden, the growth that occurs in a child is often subtle and almost imperceptible.

And then, one day you realize, “Wow, it’s time for the harvest.” 

That’s what happens in the life of a child. There are years of love and nurturing care, of education and life preparation.

And then it happens — “The Harvest.” A life event or events take place, and the child reaches sufficient maturity to care for herself and start a family of her own. Just such a harvest has recently taken place at ICC’s Hogar Escuala Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Johana came to the Hogar because of tragic circumstances in her life. Her father had died. Later her mother brought Johana and her siblings to the Hogar as she could no longer provide for the needs and safety of her children. Johana had just turned 5. Soon after, her mother also died.

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

Johana at her graduation where she received her degree in education

In spite of the trauma she had experienced, Johana thrived as a member of the ICC family in El Salvador. She took full advantage of the opportunities that your support helped to provide.

She earned good grades in her studies and was an active participant in spiritual activities on the campus. As she grew older she became a deaconess and part of the women’s ministries team. 

She also served as a teacher in one of the children’s Sabbath School classes.

After graduating from ECAS (the local Adventist school), Johana worked for a year on the HEA campus. Because of her great love for young children, she decided to prepare herself to become an early childhood educator.

In January 2012, she enrolled at a university in El Salvador. Once again, Johana did well in her studies and in August 2017 graduated with her degree. 

Not only was it a wonderful accomplishment to earn her degree, Johana was also thrilled to be able to return home — to ECAS — to serve as the preschool teacher. But “the harvest” was not yet fully complete.

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

Johana and Edwin’s wedding day

A few months later, Johana’s boyfriend, Edwin, proposed to her. This past April, Johana and Edwin were married in an emotional and lovely ceremony on the lawn outside of her home on the HEA campus.

It was a fitting culmination for Johana of years of growth and preparation, of overcoming hardships in her early life and utilizing God’s gifts and talents to bless others.

The wedding was also a new beginning — the uniting of two lives in service for children and youth. For not only is Johana the preschool teacher at ECAS, Edwin is serving as the boy’s dean.

As you can see, when the harvest comes, the returns on your investment are sweet indeed! Thank you for investing in the lives of young people like Johana through your ongoing support.

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.

You Saved Esther’s Dream

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Esther’s dream was nearly shattered—You made it happen!

It’s one thing to rescue a child so she can survive — to have basic needs supplied. It’s quite another thing to help a child thrive by enabling her to go to school and earn a college degree.

Your support has made it possible for Esther to thrive in her home country of Ghana.

Here’s her story:

Esther’s parents did not live together. Her family were Muslim, and when her mom became an Adventist, she was disowned by her family, along with Esther and her little brother.

Life was difficult for this family. Yet in spite of the hardships, Esther held tightly to her dream of one day becoming a nurse.

Those dreams were shattered when Esther’s mom broke her right leg and could no longer work. Here is how Esther describes what happened next.

“At age 9, I had to do something to support my mum and little brother, who was two years old. I followed people to their farm, usually carrying wood, foodstuff, and assisting in other activities during harvest.

“The farmers would usually give foodstuff in return, which we had to depend on and sometimes sell in order to save money for mum’s condition and for myself, so I could return to school.

“But it was not enough. Things became more difficult. Other times, when there was no work for me to do and no money at home, my mum would have me boil water and pray over it when it cooled. We drank it before going to sleep.

“I started making coconut toffees and gave them to my schoolmates to sell at school for me. I would usually cry seeing them go off to school because it did hurt to be a drop-out…

“I remember my mum would say, ‘Our Sabbath God will make a way. He will never disappoint us. He will bless us so that our own people will be amazed.’ I would smile back at her, and truly God did pave a way. I found a new family — International Children’s Care in Ghana…

“I met new kids and new parents and it happened to be the best family I have ever had. The parents are loving and caring, the church taught and upheld the true values of Adventism. This grew our bond as a family.”

Being taken into the ICC family in Ghana was a turning point in Esther’s life. Not only did she have enough food, clothing and care, she was also able to go to school. In time Esther enrolled in the nursing program at Mountain View College, an Adventist school in Ghana.

You will be pleased to know that recently Esther became the first of ICC’s children in Ghana to graduate.

Esther will use her degree in nursing to not only live successfully on her own, she’ll be able to pay forward to her patients the loving care she received.

When Esther’s dream was shattered, she needed an opportunity, and you made it possible for her to thrive! Esther shares her heartfelt gratitude:

“Sometimes I sit and reminisce, and I cannot be grateful enough for having this family. The selfless effort to love and care for destitute kids, the concern and eagerness to make somebody’s own life a better one, the annual Christmas cards and parties are everything.

“I cannot appreciate you enough…. It’s rather unfortunate that I grew up and will have to leave this family soon. But it is worth it. You have given me the very best to be able to stand on my own and become a better person…”

Help is Needed for More Kids

Like Esther, there are many other children working hard to realize their dreams of finishing their education and living independently. There are high costs associated with this, and sadly, as the children in our villages grow older, the number of caring supporters who sponsor them often diminishes.

At a time when they need it most, often there is less support. Today, please consider helping a child realize their dream by sending a gift of $35 or even $50. This would be a tremendous blessing.

And remember, since our overhead costs are covered for this year, 100% of your donation goes to children’s programs. Thank you for your continued support!