Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

10 Days of Prayer for Orphans

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Keep the prayers ascending for “His Kids” January 19-28, immediately following the world church’s 10-Days of Prayer.

Please join in a special 10 Days of Prayer for Orphans in our ICC Children’s Villages. This event will take place January 19–28, and follows the world-wide week of prayer sponsored by the SDA Church.

There will be a different prayer focus on each of the 10 days. The following are suggested prayer topics…

 


1• Sab, Jan 19 —

Pray for the healing of the “Holes in the Hearts” of orphaned and abandoned children.

When a new child comes to live at an ICC children’s village, he or she is immediately placed in a loving family. Yet, emotional healing does not take place overnight. The pain of being neglected, abused, or orphaned leaves a big hole in the heart of a child. It takes a while for a hurting child to be happy and to feel loved.

Pray for children that are still healing. Pray that they can accept the change that is taking place in their lives and that they will trust the love that is freely given to them.

2 • Sun, Jan 20 —

Pray for the education of ICC’s young school children.

Every child at an ICC children’s village is provided education. Yet, outside of ICC, education is not a guarantee for many children around the world. Those who have been orphaned or abused are even more disadvantaged.

It’s not uncommon for children to arrive at ICC with no prior formal education, or to be delayed in learning because of trauma. Pray that children may overcome these disadvantages, so that they may do well in school. Pray that they may catch up to the grade level for their age and that they will be blessed by their Christian education.

3 • Mon, Jan 21 —

Pray for the education of ICC’s grown children.

As children grow, they must prepare for life outside of the Children’s Village. Thanks to the care of donors, like you, higher education and technical training are possible. It is this “finishing touch” that helps these young people to thrive on their own in the world. Yet, it can be difficult for them to decide on the best way to be independent.

Pray for the young people as they make important decisions about their education and future. Pray for them to do well in school. Pray that they follow God’s guidance and that they become productive and thriving members of the community.

4 • Tue, Jan 22 —

Pray for the children’s caregivers.

It is a true mission to be a house parent at an ICC Children’s Village. Children come to ICC from all different situations and walks of life. Also, each child responds to trauma in different ways. Some children respond to pain by acting out, others by suppressing their emotions.

Caretakers have to be capable, adaptable, and available to many different children. They are truly the on-the-ground “hands and feet” of Christ. Pray that they may have wisdom. Pray that they find comfort and support in this critical mission work.

5 • Wed, Jan 23 —

Pray for the safekeeping of the ICC Children’s Villages.

When we see photos of the smiling faces of our dear children around the world, it’s easy to forget that they live in dangerous parts of the world. Stories of warfare in DR Congo are shocking. Even in Central American countries, the fear of gang violence and political upheaval can threaten the safety of the children.

Praise God for the protection that He daily provides.

Pray that the children may continue to be kept safe from external danger.

6•  Thu, Jan 24 —

Pray for the campus industries.

A thriving industry is an essential way for ICC children to receive the quality, ongoing care they need. The more self-sustaining a project can be, the more consistent the care is for the children.

It’s also an effective way for the generous gifts of donors to be multiplied, giving back to the children. As sustaining industry options are explored and built upon, pray that they may reach their highest potential. Pray that the workers may have wisdom, and pray for a full harvest.

7• Fri, Jan 25 —

Pray that the villages have a positive impact on their communities.
While the main purpose of ICC is to care for orphaned and abandoned children, there is often a secondary mission work to reach out to and positively impact the surrounding communities of a Children’s Village.

Outside of the blessing of adding jobs and income to communities, the Villages also provide opportunities for others to learn about Jesus. Churches have been planted and communities have benefited from the blessings God provides to His children.

Pray that the communities surrounding ICC Children’s Villages come to know and love Christ, and pray that the Children’s Villages may continue to have a positive impact on those around them.

8•  Sab, Jan 26 —

Pray for the administration and staff.

In the words of an old African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is especially true at ICC. Orphaned and abandoned children benefit from the personal love of house parents, in addition to love from the administration and staff who bless the children daily on campus.

The on-campus administration is responsible for making sure that children are cared for properly and that the Villages run smoothly.

Pray that their efforts are blessed to have a deep impact on the children. Pray that the staff and administration know that they, too, are loved and are doing good work.

9•  Sun, Jan 27 —

Pray for the governments to realize the need for facilities like ICC’s.

One of the greatest challenges that the Children’s Villages face is governmental regulations.

Many countries where our villages are located receive funding from North America and other developed countries to help with the care of children. The problem is that this funding often comes with the pressure to stop the use of child-care institutions, such as traditional orphanages.

ICC falls into the category of an institution, but it is not an institution in a traditional sense. Children live with parents in a home and are part of a community where they can receive the specialized care they need.

Pray that governments see the difference between traditional institutionalized care and the very personal approach of ICC. Pray that they will see the need for our villages and that they continue to send children to ICC’s care.

10• Mon, Jan 28 —

Pray for the worldwide ICC family.

ICC is only possible because of the many generous donors, like you, who give from the heart. We recognize that it’s not always easy to give and that it often requires sacrifice.
Praise God for those who have given of their time and funds to support the children!

Pray for each donor and volunteer to have joy throughout this new year. Pray that they realize the importance of their support. Pray that they may be abundantly blessed.

 


Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the children. With the start of a new year comes a spirit of new beginnings. That spirit beats in the heart of every child who no longer lives in poverty, fear, and neglect; who now lives in security and love.

The transforming power that comes with new beginnings is proven to be effective in the lives of ICC children, thanks to your support. That will be the case this New Year, and abundantly so, as we pray together each day.

Growing Plants Helps Children Grow Too!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Los Pinos School Teaches Principles of Gardening and Responsibility

Your support of the children through sponsorship and/or monthly giving is helping to provide the children with a rich educational experience.

Because of you, the children at Los Pinos are able to learn valuable skills, such as gardening and money management, that will help them throughout life.

Because of you, the children at Los Pinos are able to learn valuable skills, such as gardening and money management, that will help them throughout life.

At the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala, the curriculum includes more than just reading, writing and arithmetic, the “three R’s” that were coined many years ago as being early requirements in education. It also includes a fourth R: Responsibility.

The Los Pinos elementary school has classes for children in first through sixth grade. One of the special classes that has been developed for the children is called “productivity and development.”

Each child participates in this class and is given an old tire they use as a mini garden. The children are taught how to prepare the soil, select their crop, plant seeds, and nurture and care for their garden. One of the older boys who grew up in Los Pinos serves as the instructor for his younger “siblings.”

An important part of this class is teaching the children principles of budgeting and sales. Whatever the children grow may be sold for cash that they can use as they choose.

Sonja Hernandez, the school principal says that “It’s been a nice experience because it’s something the kids really like to do. When they get their money, they learn about tithing. They learn about budgeting, and we’ve taught them that they can buy seeds from the little money.”

Because of the long growing season in Guatemala, during a typical school year, the children can have three and possibly even more crops. Vegetables the children grow include things like cilantro, radishes, and peppers.

One of the major crops in the “big garden” at Los Pinos are bell peppers grown in a greenhouse. This crop helps feed the children and staff with the surplus being sold to supplement the budget.

In a small way, these children are learning early the important principles of responsibility that will help them grow.

Thank you for supporting the children. God is working through you and the caring staff at the ICC Children’s Villages like Los Pinos. You really are making a huge difference in their lives. And just as the garden plants require nurturing care, so these young children need your support throughout the year.

As the calendar has now turned to a new year, please remember the children. January is often a very difficult month financially as people recover from the holidays. But the children still need daily care — just like the plants.

You may use this link to make a special gift to help provide for the needs of the children.

Thank you!

Your Gifts Saved Jacob’s Life

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

A matching grant doubles your extra gift till December 31.

Dear Friend of the Children,

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

This is Jacob. You saved his life.

God continues to bless “His Kids” through your kind and generous support.

Before I share Jacob’s story and a holiday update, I’m excited to tell you that some of our dedicated family members have offered a special matching challenge.

From now until December 31, your gift can be doubled to provide even more of a blessing for the children. Please take advantage of this opportunity, and thank you for all you continue to do for the children. YOU are truly a blessing!

This challenge is also to give a little extra — a bit more than you would otherwise give. Please mark this extra gift as “Matching Challenge.” Thank you so much!

I can’t overemphasize or even dramatize the impact you have on the children. When I visit the ICC children’s villages, I see first-hand the transformations that are taking place in the lives of the children. Your support makes these transformations possible.

Smiles on little faces that were once cloudy with fear and suspicion.

Confidence to interact appropriately with others rather than hide in the shadows.

Of course, there’s more than just emotional transformations. Physical transformations are taking place as the children grow healthy and strong from good nutrition, exercise, and medical care.

There are mental transformations, too, as our campus schools provide stimulating learning experiences for the children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Thank you for supporting the life-transforming ministry on behalf of ICC children.

Yet the best of all transformations take place when an ICC child is “born again.” I recently received word that two of our teenage girls in Romania made a public demonstration of their commitment to God by being baptized.

This thrills my heart! They were little children when they came to us. And through the years, your support enabled us to provide the nurturing care they needed. And now that they are old enough, they are also wise enough to decide to follow Jesus as their Savior.

This Christmas I praise God for the decision of these girls and others within our ICC family who have been baptized and are waiting and watching for the coming of Jesus — just as wise men of long ago did!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

Your support enabled us to grow the Las Palmas herd to over 100 cows!

This year, your support has enabled us to expand efforts to develop and strengthen sustaining industries. I’m pleased to let you know that “Milky’s Challenge” has been a success. This campaign was developed to help raise funds for the Las Palmas Dairy. Through the support of many, the dairy herd has grown to over 100 head of cows!

We’ve been contacted by the Rica Group, a large food company in the Dominican Republic. They process milk among other products. Not only will they purchase Las Palmas milk, but they will also help our dairy industry enabling you to provide even more support for the children. We see God’s potential leading in this endeavor!

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

The pepper farm project at the El Oasis Children’s Village continues to gain momentum as it provides funds to help operate the El Oasis project for children

In Mexico, we are completing the harvest of Jalapeño peppers. This has been another excellent year for this crop. The production remained strong even though the market price was lower than anticipated.

At the end of the season, for the second year in a row, we saw God intervene when a killing frost crept over the valley where the El Oasis campus is located. All the other farmers in the valley except our close neighbor lost their crop, but God saved ours so we could harvest more peppers.

The growth and potential of this industry can be seen in the fact that for the first time, an ICC project was able to send support to another project! Additional agri-businesses are being explored at other ICC projects. Thank you for the support you give that enables us to help these projects become more self-sustaining.

Your support of ICC children in the past has enabled them to “pay your support forward” and bless their younger “siblings.” Many of our ICC children return as adults to the same children’s village in which they grew up. They help to share in the care of the children.

Of particular note are two of our former children who for the past couple of years have served as business manager and director of children’s services for the Sweet Home Children’s Village in India.

Because our director there had a medical emergency that required treatment in the US, Udai, our business manager, was asked to take on the management role in the director’s absence.

Both Udai and Nirmala have taken their work very seriously and have done an excellent job of managing the operations of the children’s village. It’s wonderful to see dedicated young people giving back in gratitude for what they were given!

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

Your support enables ICC children to learn in an environment appropriate for their ability and needs.

My parents, Ken and Alcyon Fleck, had no way of imagining how the work of ICC would grow and develop through the years.

Back in the late ’70s, they set out to help a few orphan children in Guatemala. Over the past four decades, the number of children who call or who have called

ICC home and family have grown to well over 4,000! That’s a big family of children, many of whom are now raising families of their own!

In October I had the privilege of attending the 40-year anniversary celebration of the opening of the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

It was thrilling to spend several days of celebrations at Los Pinos. There were many of our kids, who are independent now, who came with their families. Also, there were former parents, teachers, and administration. What a joy to listen to the stories of how God has led through the years.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

Manuel (right) and his family attended the 40th-anniversary celebration at the Los Pinos Children’s Village. His life story was depicted in a video created by the current staff and children.

The kids and staff put together a video reenacting the story of Manuel, one of the first-generation kids, who is now a pastor and was there with his family.

We were all so moved to tears by his story and how God brought him to Los Pinos after his parents were killed by rebel soldiers; how he grew to know Jesus and studied to become a pastor.

Manual, with tears, got up and said this was the best video he had ever seen. He brought all the “actors” to the platform and personally thanked them for doing the video.

Afterwards, as we stood around and talked about this with Manuel and others, Sharon commented, with emotion choking her voice, “That story was so real that we saw today, and it was the reality that started ICC 40 years ago — a reality that so many of these kids went through who are adults today. Now, the situation in Guatemala is different — not the civil war that existed back then, but the poverty and sinfulness that still causes so much suffering with the children.”

But then she paused and said, “Now we are seeing that same reality being faced and lived out in the lives of many little children today in other countries such as in Congo where we recently took in 59 little children five years old and under! Those precious little ones just recently experienced this same reality of war and unimaginable violence at such a young and vulnerable age. God help us to find the means to help them!”

Yes, this year we saw the ICC family of children grow by 59 in an instant. We were challenged by the urgent call from the D.R. Congo that these newly-orphaned children needed our immediate intervention.

We counted on your support to provide for the children and stepped out in faith believing that God would move upon the hearts of our ICC family members to include these children, too, at the “ICC family table.” And yes, you came through with the support that was needed to provide for the initial care of the children. On behalf of these children, thank you very much!

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

“As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40

We’ve been challenged with creating the profiles of the children whose identities and background information are difficult to track since their parents were massacred and the children are so very young.

But I have good news! We are now finally able to assign sponsors to at least some of these new children! This will mean so much to them and aid in their transformations. Would You like to sponsor one of these special little kids?

Speaking yet again of transformations, I want to include the following incident in this letter.

Many of you know our ICC sponsorship supervisor, Alanna Jones. She recently shared the following account of what happened to her when she received the picture of Jacob, who had arrived at the Congo Patmos Children’s Village in 2017.

You must realize that Alanna has served the children of ICC for 11 years. During that time, she has seen many of the pictures of the new children who arrive at “ICC’s front door.” But Jacob’s picture touched her deeply. Here’s how she described it:

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

Jacob arrived at the Patmos Children’s Village in 2017. He was very close to death. Your gifts saved and transformed his life.

“I felt my heart clutch when I saw Jacob’s picture. He appeared to me to be very near death, and he was so skinny.

His little legs looked like bones with a thin layer of skin pulled tight. He looked like he would not be able to even lift his head a little bit. And the blank look in his eyes was haunting — frightening.

“I have a 2-year-old grandson, and I started to imagine how horrible it would be if he were suddenly on his own with no way to eat or care for himself. I had to stop myself from these thoughts because it was terrifying.

Jacob was someone’s baby at one point. How would they feel if they knew how badly he was doing? Their precious tiny boy. I did not assign any sponsors to him because I was afraid that he was not going to make it. I didn’t want a sponsor to know that kind of heartache if he did pass.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

Jacob’s transformation is a testament to what you can do by providing nurturing care and love through your gifts.

“When the latest set of pictures arrived on my desk recently, I saw his name on the label on the back of his picture before I saw his face. I think I may have cheered out loud. I know I did in my head. OH! YAY! Jacob!

“He looks so healthy now. He has put on some weight, has cute round cheeks and a darling smile. I was so excited and impressed by his improvement that I printed his first picture and the newest picture and kept them on my desk for a few weeks. I just kept looking at them trying to believe it was actually the same sweet boy.

“I always feel very honored to be able to work at ICC, to have the privilege of seeing the children and reading their stories of how they came to be in our care and to be a small part of helping them get the support they need. I especially felt this honor and happiness when Jacob’s new picture arrived.

“Sponsors get to know a few children — but I get to see all of them. That to me is a privilege. I am thankful that Alcyon responded to the call so many years ago and that ICC is still operating and saving children’s lives.”

You make transformations like this possible! And now, through the end of the year, your EXTRA gift of love and support can be doubled — literally transformed — to be twice the blessing for children like Jacob.

That’s right! Because there are children like Jacob who desperately need the nurturing care that ICC provides, some of our faithful supporters have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any special EXTRA donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $100,000 is reached. Please mark your gift, “Matching Challenge.”

The reality is that this Christmas we depend upon the generosity of ICC family members to change the reality for all these children. Close to a quarter of the funds needed to support ICC’s mission for children is given in December. If that doesn’t happen, how will we provide a place of healing and transformation for children like Jacob? 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 within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope!

The world has little use for orphan children. After all, what can they contribute? I believe there is a real counterpoint that can be said for the mission of ICC. Once an orphan child receives the nurturing care needed, he or she has such great capacity to contribute and to pay forward the support given. That transformation is what makes this ministry worthwhile!

And YOUR support tells the children…

“I care for you. I believe in you. I want to help you!”

Please — Use This Link — to make your gift today.

On behalf of ICC’s worldwide family of children, caregivers and support staff, thank-you for the blessing you are this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

Rick Fleck
President

P.S. To take advantage of year-end-tax benefits, please respond by December 31. And to take part in the matching challenge, please respond as quickly as possible! Thank you!

Because Of You 3 Kids Have New Families

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

These kids are thankful you gave them their new family

Thanksgiving offers us a season to reflect and be truly grateful for the way God has touched and blessed our lives.

For orphan children like Raji, Marissa, and Henri they are truly grateful for the blessings you bring to them all year long!

This is Raji

This is Raji

Raji has been through a lot in his young life. In order to provide for his family, Raji’s father went to a distant state in India for a welding job. He had to leave behind his wife, Raji and his younger brother.

But the job was a good one and it offered good wages. Raji’s father was only able to visit home once or twice a year and this wasn’t enough to keep the home fires of love burning brightly.

Raji’s mother developed a relationship with another man. When Raji’s father returned home the next time, his wife refused to live with him. She no longer wanted him nor Raji or his brother.

The breakup of this home was devastating. The mother didn’t want Raji, and the father was more like a stranger than a father. He couldn’t keep his job and keep the boys. As is often the case, the broken life of a child is the sad result of a broken marriage.

Raji’s father begged us to accept the boys into our care. And knowing of the compassionate heart that you and other ICC family members have for children like Raji, who need the nurturing care of a loving Christian family, our administrator welcomed Raji and his little brother into the ICC family.

This is Marissa

This is Marissa

Marissa, along with her siblings, was found wandering the streets of a city in Guatemala. As a result of a court order, they became a part of the ICC family at Los Pinos.
Efforts were made to locate family members. When the authorities found out the mother was not working in a reputable occupation and was not providing any care for

Marissa and her siblings were taken into care by the government.

These children were initially sent to one children’s home and then another before finally becoming a part of our ICC family.

Joel Carpio, our Los Pinos director, knew of the emotional and psychological trauma the children had experienced from being moved around. Rather than letting the children be dropped off yet again at another facility, he arranged to pick them up himself and drive them to the Los Pinos Children’s Village.

They had a pleasant trip with him and were excited and full of joy as soon as they arrived. That day was the Father’s Day celebration and they became very involved in the program. That day Marissa and her siblings began to experience first-hand what it means to be a part of a loving family—with a mom and dad.

Imagine coming to the Los Pinos campus when the families were celebrating fathers. Marissa’s own father was not a part of her life. Yet, thanks to ICC family members like you, she can now experience the love of an earthly father. And more importantly, within the ICC family, she will learn of her heavenly father and the home He is preparing for her.

This is Henri

This is Henri

Henri’s mother died as a result of being caught up in the war between rebels and government forces in the D.R. Congo. His father is blind and had no way to protect Henri or provide for him.

Henri’s story is similar to other children who have come to us from this country filled with violence and natural disasters.

War tears children from their mother’s arms. And the children are left with little hope and nothing to live for unless help comes from outside.

And again, thanks to your support, Henri has been given a new life within the ICC family at Patmos Children’s Village. And the pieces of his life are being slowly put back together.

Through the support of ICC family members like you, Raji, Marissa, and Henri have found a place of safety and a place to belong. They are thankful for the blessings you help to provide for them each day.

World Orphan Day Spotlights the Plight of Orphans

November 11 is World Orphan Day. On this day, many people around the world will be paying special attention to the needs of orphans. We are so very grateful that you care about orphans, not just on November 11, but every day of the year!

Your loving and generous support makes it possible for our dedicated family of caregivers to provide all that Raji, Marissa and Henri and others like them need.
These children don’t really care about a day of the year that focuses on their needs. What they need is daily care. That is only possible as you continue to partner with us to love them and provide for them.

As we celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., we’ll be reminded of the bountiful blessings God has given to us throughout another year — good health (or at least access to quality health care), loving family relationships, opportunities to grow, develop and succeed.

As we reflect upon those blessings God’s given during this Thanksgiving season, please consider giving a special thank you gift to help support children like Raji, Marissa, and Henri who are finding out what it means to be a part of a loving family.

Thank you!

May God bless you with a Happy Thanksgiving!

Urgent Equipment Needs @ Los Pinos

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Guatemala Needs Your Help

An illustration of an elderly, ill, stone-age computer being evaluated by a computer “doctor.”Remember the last time your old, slow, but still somewhat trusty-ish computer suddenly wheezed its last, went blue in the screen, and simply gave up?

Leaving you having to acquire (before you were really ready) a current, functioning computer?

It’s during events such as these that we’re abruptly reminded (and probably not for the first time) how important it is to have up-to-date techology to sucessfully function in today’s world.

Like you, the staff at our Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala also need and benefit from computers and tech equipment that is up-to-date and functions properly.

Los Pinos needs to replace three computers. The current computers are old, outdated, and do not function properly. New computers will help the project secretary, the accountant, and the school manage information about the children for the Secretary of Education.

Two video projectors are needed as well to replace one projector for the school and another projector used by the Los Pinos on-campus social worker and psychologist.

Please make a gift today to help purchase one or more of these much-needed and necessary technolgy items for your family at Los Pinos.

Thank you!

2 Computers — $878 Each For the Los Pinos office staff

1 Laptop — $649 For the children’s
 school records

2 Video Projectors — $621 Each For our school and on-campus social workers

Become an Ambassador for “His Kids”

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

A special opportunity is now available for you to become an ICC Ambassador.

As the name suggests, an ICC Ambassador is one who promotes our collective mission to rescue and restore the lives of orphan children.

Many options are available for ICC Ambassadors to share our mission with others.

We will work with you individually and provide you with the tools and training needed to be a successful Ambassador.

Here are some specific ways that you can serve as an ICC Ambassador for “His Kids” —

  • Share the Que Pasa, brochures, and videos with family & friends.
  • Share ICC materials with local business owners.
  • Introduce ICC to your pastor and church leaders. Offer to make a presentation about “His Kids” during a church program.
  • Encourage your Pathfinders or youth group to participate in a mission outreach project for ICC.
  • Plan a fundraising event to benefit “His Kids” such as food fairs, bake sales, car washes.
  • Invite ICC supporters near you to an annual ICC family reunion. If possible, ICC will provide a guest speaker for your event.
  • Represent ICC at your local camp meeting. Displays and materials will be provided, and reasonable expenses will be covered.

You’ll find more information on our website at the ICC Ambassdor page.

Or you may contact William Hurtado directly at (800) 422–7729.

 

You Made Christmas 2018 Memorable for His Kids

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” Isaiah 9:6

In a very real sense, the ICC family has been given very special children. We believe that Jesus entrusts these children to us so we can be His guardians to care for them and teach them about Him.

And there’s no better time to do that than at Christmas. Christmas is one of the most special occasions at ICC children’s villages around the world. Your contributions, especially to the gift fund, help to make this a memorable time for all the children.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Christmas 2018 at the Hogar Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador.

These pictures sent from Guatemala and El Salvador show some of the decorations and programing from their special celebrations during the recent holiday.

Christmas 2018 at the Las Palmas Children’s in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Thanks to your support, the children had a wonderful time of family togetherness, sharing, gift giving and most importantly, remembering Jesus, God’s most precious gift.

Thank you for helping to make these celebrations possible.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

Christmas 2018 at the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

News from the ICC Family

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

God Blesses the Jalapeños at El Oasis

Thanks to God’s blessings and hard work from the El Oasis staff, the Jalapeño crop at the El Oasis children’s village was profitable. Along the way, God provided several miracles that turned out to be huge blessings.

First, when there was a delay in getting our seeds started at the company that provides the seedlings it turned out to be a blessing.

Even though it delayed planting, we learned that other farmers experienced a blight in their seedlings that had been started earlier. God protected the El Oasis seedlings.

Not only did He protect them, our seeds produced more seedlings than expected.

As with many vegetables, Jalapeños have several harvests. Due to the late start, the initial harvest was delayed, and the final harvests would be threatened by a killing frost.

God worked a wonderful miracle as the season neared it’s close. When the killing frost arrived in the valley, all the other farmers in the valley lost their crops.

Only the EL Oasis Jalapeños and the next-door neighbor’s were protected. This proved a double blessing. The Jalapeños from these later harvests were sold at about twice the price of the initial harvests — because there were fewer Jalapeños on the market.

Praise God for his loving care — for not only the children of El Oasis — but also for the little chili peppers that help to provide for their care!

Supreme Court Justice Visit’s Los Pinos

As with many governments in Central America, Guatemala is under pressure from the global community to move away from institutions for children, opting rather to establish a traditional foster care system.

In contrast, the ICC model of care is based upon placing children within families in a type of managed foster care setting.

Recently an Adventist supreme court justice from Guatemala visited the Los Pinos Children’s Village in Poptun. She was very impressed and said, “This is the model that works. We have it right here. Why should we spend money to send people to New York to hear about foster care? This works.”

Even amid such outside pressures, the Los Pinos Children’s Village continues to flourish. The elementary school is operating very well under the leadership of a new principal who used to be one of the administrators at ICAP secondary school next door.

Because of where the children’s village is located, agriculture has the greatest potential to provide sustainability for this project. Food grown in the Los Pinos garden provides excellent nutrition for the children. Any extra food not needed at the children’s village is sold.

A new greenhouse was installed recently. This will help protect crops from damage due to bad weather and insects.

Los Pinos staff are exploring the possibility of developing a little store in the village of Poptun where farm and bakery products can be sold. The store may also feature the repackaging of bulk items like beans and rice.

Government May Send New Children to the ICC Village in El Salvador

The population of children at the Hogar Escuela Children’s Village has been aging. The children are growing up, and younger children have not been referred to us because El Salvador is also under pressure from the global community to move away from institutions for children to traditional foster care.

However, there are positive indications from government authorities they will soon be sending us children. This is exciting news for the ICC family. Having new children, especially the little ones, breathes new life into the project.

Several months ago, the Que Pasa featured the modification and development of greenhouses at the Hogar Escuela Children’s Village in El Salvador.

The staff are continuing to expand this project. Fifteen greenhouses are in use. The primary crops are green beans, peppers and cucumbers.

The food being produced, as well as the income generated from sale of the extra produce, is blessing the children at this village.

Grown ICC Children Return to Serve at Sweet Home in India

What a blessing it is for the ICC family when an ICC child grows up, completes his or her education and then finds a place of service that blesses others.

And it is a double blessing when that place of service is back at home, in the children’s village where they were raised.

At the ICC DEWS Sweet Home Village in India we have even more of a double blessing. Two of our grown children have returned and are serving in key positions.

Nirmala is the children’s services director and Udai is our financial manager. They are paying forward the support ICC family members like you have given them and are blessing a new generation of ICC children!

News of ICC Children in the DR Congo

There are 101 children at the Patmos Children’s Village and another 28 who are taking advanced education studies. This makes it the largest children’s village within the ICC family. There are currently nine children’s homes.

Though there’s been news of an Ebola outbreak in the DR Congo, our children are not affected. Praise the Lord!

In the fall of 2017, we received many new children resulting from mudslides and rebel attacks. Those children have been with us for over a year. They’re growing and making progress.

We’re hopeful elections will happen in the DR Congo soon. This could greatly benefit the country and bring a more peaceful environment.

Thankful For You This Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
By Kent Greve

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest

The words above from English poet, William Blake, serve as an excellent reminder of the importance of living with a heart filled with gratitude.

How grateful are the children of ICC, most of whom have been given a second opportunity in life to experience the security and happiness of a loving family!

ICC children bear testimony that a “thankful receiver bears a bountiful harvest.” On their behalf, thank you for investing in them!

During the past 40 years of serving orphan children, the ICC family has been able to experience many a happy harvest when children leave our care and are able to live successfully on their own.

As Thanksgiving in the U.S. approaches it’s important that we share a collective word of thanks for all that you have done and continue to do to bring hope and healing to the children.

God is working through you to bless and provide for children like Fernando, Eshana and Victor. Because of your faithful support, these children continue to live within a loving family at an ICC children’s village. Here are their stories:

Thirteen-year-old Fernando doesn’t know who his father is. His mother struggled with alcohol addiction. She had difficulty providing appropriate care for Fernando, and eventually, the child protection authorities intervened and brought him to the Los Pinos Children’s Village where he joined the ICC family.

Before and after pictures of Fernando

Fernando

Fernando continues to make positive progress within his ICC family. He treats his parents and siblings well and does his part in helping the campus chicken industry by assisting with vaccinations, washing the drinking fountains and removing the chicken manure.

Eshana’s father died of Tuberculosis in 2013. Her mother is blind and unable to provide care for her. Eshana had been living in a tribal community, and the ICC children’s village in India was quite different for her.

Before and after photos of Eshana

Eshana

However, Eshana has adapted well to her new surroundings, and thanks to the loving care you have helped to provide for her, she is doing well. She is respectful of her elders, gets along well with her peers and is diligent in her studies

Victor never knew his parents. His grandmother was taking care of him and his younger brother and sister. They lived in a thatched roof house in the forest in the DR Congo until the war came to their village.

Then they had to move around to try to keep safe. Eventually they were attacked, and the children were separated from their grandmother.

Before and After Photos of Victor

Victor

Victor eventually made it to a refugee camp. He was moved to several different camps. The conditions at the last camp he were so bad that he became very sick and exhausted. Without the strength to live, Victor waited to die. That’s when the Red Cross found him and brought him to ICC.

Fortunately for little Victor, he has found a loving home at the Patmos Children’s Village. He’s eight-years-old and has a special bond with his house mother. This is a big help to him as he continues to face challenges that may be expected of one so small and who has experienced such trauma and tragedy in his young life.

Please pray for Victor and other ICC children who struggle in the process of having their little lives rebuilt. What a blessing that they have loving caregivers and prayer warriors who intercede for them.

Fernando, Eshana and Victor are three of the many children who currently have a home and family because of your caring concern and generous support.

Again, this ministry would not be possible if it were not for you! Thank you for participating with us as we experience the joy of harvest past — and harvest to come. What a blessing you are to the children. Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. The book of Acts gives this reminder to us. “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” — Acts 20:35

As God has richly blessed you this year, please consider giving a special holiday gift to benefit the children who continue to need you so much. Thank you!

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.