Posts Tagged ‘Goma’

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!

Congo Children Recovering Thanks To You!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Many have shown great compassion and generosity for the new children in ICC’s care in the D.R. Congo. Thank you so very much for your support of the children! To keep you informed, here is an update on what is happening at the Patmos Children’s Village.

As you recall, toward the end of last year, rebel forces overran three refugee camps in the D.R. Congo. In the aftermath, the Ministry of Social Affairs with the help of the UN military, recovered 906 children who were left orphaned or abandoned.

Government officials distributed the very youngest of these children, from ages 5 and under, to our Patmos Children’s Village and six other organizations. We received 24 children. These joined the seven other new children who arrived in September as result of a devastating mudslide.

The children from the refugee camps were in pitiful shape when they arrived. Traumatized. Sick. Suffering. They had protein deficiencies, typhoid, malaria, diarrhea and other severe effects of malnutrition. Some were so ill that they couldn’t stand on their own. Others were nearly to the point of death.

We feared that the health issues of the children were so grave that some might die despite best efforts to promote healing. We are saddened to report that one child has indeed died. Two other children have been taken to Goma for more specialized care at a therapeutic nutritional center. Thirteen of the children did not attend the New Year’s celebrations due to their health issues. They had to remain in bed.

“Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not…” Because of your kind-hearted generosity, these children have been welcomed into the Patmos Children’s Village and are now experiencing hope and healing. Thanks for caring for “His Kids.”

Thanks to the support from generous donors like you, the caring staff members of Patmos continue to minister to these little ones. The healing and mending process is ongoing. According to the latest report, 60% of the new children are making good progress. The others are being given the medical care and appropriate therapeutic food that they need.

It will take time to work through the details of housing, long-term care and education for all these new children. They now live in two homes at the Patmos Children’s Village. Désiré, project administrator, hired two new mothers per home and a few other persons to help provide for what the children need.

The mothers work very hard day and night caring for the children. The older girls on campus also help by washing the children’s clothes. Even local church members joined in to give assistance. Pastors, elders and mothers from some of the churches in the area came with food to help the children when they first arrived.

A Note of Thanks Especially for Loyal ICC Family Members
Many of you have generously helped to provide for these new children in Congo. What a blessing you are to them and to other ICC children that you support through your financial gifts! We recognize and want to thank you for being a loyal ICC family member. The gifts you give are very much needed, are highly valued and are put to good use providing for the children.

Thank you for your kind-hearted generosity! You are a hero to children who continue to need you very much! May God bless you!

Snatched from the Clutches of Death

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Orphans in Desperate Need – You can help!

— Editor’s Note —

The mission of ICC was conceived in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake that decimated Guatemala City leaving hundreds of children orphaned.

Now, 40 years after ICC’s humble beginning, your ongoing support helps to provide a refuge and nurturing home environment for children who’s lives have been devastated by natural disasters, social problems and civil unrest.

ICC continues to play a critical role in the lives of children who have lost everything and been rescued from the very clutches of death. Your continued help ensures these children receive the care they need!

Please read on to find out more —

One of the orphaned children resuced in the DR Congo

“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you looked after me…
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”

Matthew 25:34-36,40.

Refugee camps are supposed to be safe havens — free from surrounding conflicts. At least that’s what they are supposed to be. But in the D.R. Congo it sometimes happens that refugee camps become caught up in the strife and bloodshed.

Recently three camps in northeastern D.R. Congo came under attack from rebel fighters. In the aftermath, when UN military peace-keeping forces arrived to see what had transpired, they found a sickening sight — over nine hundred children were left behind to fend for themselves. The children recounted having only limited food in the camps. At times, they had to survive on wild fruit and edible leaves.

“Thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the ‘least of these’, Desire set about clothing, feeding, soothing, and welcoming them into the ICC family.”

You may recall that in September, our Patmos Children’s Village received seven children because of a mudslide that barreled through a village leaving many children orphaned. Now, just 43 days after these children arrived, another 17 were brought to us. An additional seven arrived the following day bringing the total number of new children to 31 — all within two months.

Patmos director, Désiré, tried to reason with the officials. He pleaded that he didn’t have the resources to provide for these children, many of whom were nearly dead.

But the Ministry of Social Affairs, even though working with the UN troops and seven other organizations in the region, had no other alternatives left. Patmos was their last chance. Désiré agreed to try to save the lives of these little children.

These children were a pitiful sight when they arrived! Photos that Désiré sent tell the story of the children’s meager existence all too well — distended bellies, skeletons covered by skin without tissue to hide the bones, colorless hair (or not having hair at all), splotchy skin, and sad eyes.

The children suffered from some form or combination of health issues: malnutrition and/or kwashiorkor, malaria, typhoid fever, intestinal worms, diarrhea.

Much like Matthew’s description in the Bible of those in need, these children were naked, hungry, sick, a stranger. However, thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the “least of these,” Désiré set about clothing, feeding, soothing and welcoming them into the ICC family.

Nine of the children needed immediate medical care in the clinic. As of the writing of this update, four remain in serious condition, one of whom you can see in the picture at the beginning of this article.

After assessing the condition of the children, Désiré believed that 80% of them would have died within a week if they had not come to The Patmos Children’s Village.

In the days following, he received reports about children who died in the care of other orphan facilities. We pray to God that none of the children brought to us will die! God is faithful, and Désiré and his team are skilled at providing the care the children need.

Please pray that God will work through them to restore the health of these children and make a way for them to be fully integrated into the ICC family in the D.R. Congo. But, where to from here — and how can you help?

The Bible makes it clear that caring for orphan children is not an option if you want to demonstrate “true religion” before God (See James 1:27).
The ministry of ICC exists to help rescue and restore the lives of children like this. It will take sustained effort. We will need to work together.

The Plan

In consultation with Désiré, we have established a plan going forward. Within the next three months, 13 of the older children at The Patmos Children’s Village will leave the project to become independent. This will bring some relief to the budget.

However, the net gain from having 31 new children means they need more of the following: care givers, furniture and equipment, food, educational supplies, and ongoing medical care.

For five months, it will cost an additional $9,300 per month to provide for the new children. After the 13 older children leave  The Patmos Children’s Village, that amount will decrease to $4,800.

It will take some time before sponsors can be assigned to these new children. In the meantime, the Patmos Children’s Village needs extra financial support. For the sake of all the children in other children’s villages like Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and India, the extra financial support needs to be on top of support given to those projects as well.

The world is hurtling into chaos. Many of the innocent victims are children. But, the Bible makes it plain that there are no “throw away children.” And how we respond says much about us and what we value.

Your extra gift today of $50 or $150 or even $350 will go a long way to helping these new children in Congo. Thank you for answering the call to feed, cloth and welcome orphan children who need you so very much right now!

Please pray for the ICC Congo situation and especially for the children who are still fighting for their lives. Who knows, someday we might see some of them become teachers, pastors, mechanics and nurses! God definitely has a plan for each one of these kids, or He wouldn’t have brought them specifically to Patmos Children’s Village.

Matching Grant Opportunity!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Double your gift to Help Educate ICC Children!

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

motionmailapp.com

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

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

Education is vital to our children!

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

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

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

Photo of Sara from the Patmos Children's Village

Sara needs your help!

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

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

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

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

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

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

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

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

ICC Congo—Project Update

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The Lord is blessing and protecting ICC’s children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to a recent update from Sharon Fleck, ICC’s director of children’s services, the children are doing well— everyone is healthy. The recent fighting in the country has not spread to the Island of Idjwi where our children are located. While Idjwi is safe, the interior of East Congo and the rural areas are not. Things are starting to move again in Goma, but it is not possible at this time for ICC personnel to visit.

School has started for the children. Our project director, Desire, has been working on getting the Patmos school accredited with the SDA church. The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo came from Kinshasa, the capital, to visit our school. They are moving forward now with submitting the request to the Union Committee for their approval. Included are some photos of the superintendent’s visit to our school.

SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

The SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo visits ICC Congo's Patmos Children's Village from the DR Congo capital, Kinshasa.

The project recently hired a psychologist. This has been a real need at this project, and even though it will mean an increase in the project’s budget, it will be a blessing to have someone to help in this area.

Construction on house #9 is continuing as can be seen in the pictures. After this house and the school are built the project is in desperate need of staff housing.

Construction of new children's home at International Children's Care's Patmos Children's Village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Construction of House Nine continues at the Patmos Children's Village

A group of ASI people with a “Share Him” evangelistic group came to visit the project. One of the group members was a sponsor of one of the girls. She promised a cow for the project. The visitors were all excited about the program and went away wanting to get more sponsors. The children sang for them and put on a program.

Children from the Patmos Children's Village in the DR Congo sing for visitors from the ASI "Share Him" group

A choir comprised of Patmos children sings for the visiting SDA Educational Superintendent for Congo

We are working on a bio-gas project to replace the burning of wood/charcoal for cooking. An engineer has come out and they are giving us their recommendations for it.

Help Urgently Needed In Congo

Monday, May 21st, 2012

We’ve been receiving disturbing news for the past several weeks from our staff at our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. It seems that once again regional civil war has resumed near our project. What you read here reflects the most recent information we have received from our staff in the DR Congo.

A number of officers from the Congolese army have recently joined with, or started their own, rebel paramilitary organizations to oppose the current government of the DR Congo after it was announced by the president of the DR Congo that one rebel commander in particular should be arrested for ‘crimes against humanity.’

The fighting between this rebel commander, his supporters and the Congolese army has reached the city of Goma approximately 40 miles from our children’s village. Over 20,000 refugees from the surrounding territories have fled into Goma or across the border into Rwanda to escape the fighting. In some cases entire villages have been deserted as the occupants flee the conflict.

Worse yet, children are once again being recruited or conscripted to fight for the rebel warlords. Young men of high school and college age are especially being targeted for conscription into the rebel armies.

Our children and young people studying in Goma and at nearby universities as well as our staff in Goma have returned to the children’s village on the island of Idjwi where it is relatively safe. Predictably this has put a significant strain on our budget and supplies at Patmos.

Prices for food and fuel have nearly doubled in a few short weeks and many stores have closed because all staples have become increasingly scarce or simply unavailable. Demand has also increased because farmers are abandoning their fields and farms to escape the fighting and the population of refugees flooding into Goma is swelling dramatically on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

Frankly we need your immediate help and assistance to deal with this unstable situation. It is vital that we do our best to collect three months worth of supplies at the Patmos Children’s Village so we can weather this storm as we care for our children. Without  your help the future is very uncertain.

Please contact ICC at (800) 422-7729 to make a contribution or use this link — Congo Emergency Supplies Fund — to make a secure online donation at our website. When you donate online be sure to write, “Congo Emergency Supplies” in the description box.

Thanks for much for all you do for “His Kids!”

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

News of Renewed Militia Action in DR Congo

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Some of you may have heard reports about an outbreak of fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to ICC’s director in the DRC, Desire Murhima, “the fighting is 430 km (267 miles) from Patmos Village… Up to now our project is not affected by this fighting.”

ICC’s children are blessed to live on the Island of Idjwi which is not of any strategic significance in the wars that have ravaged this country. Desire also said that while the fighting is going on “the price of food, construction materials and other things increases.” In your prayers, please remember ICC’s children and staff in this war-torn country.