Posts Tagged ‘“His Kids”’

Help Moo-ve the Las Palmas Dairy Forward!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faithfully Serving the Children

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
A photo of Samalin and Mario Lora of the ICC Las Palmas Children's Village.

Samalin & Mario

For most of the past 35 years, Mario and Samilin Lora have faithfully served the children of Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic. In 1983 Samilin came to Las Palmas when her parents joined the staff. She was only 17 at the time.

With a chuckle, Samilin vividly remembers the first children who arrived on campus. Everyone was thrilled. These children came from the nearby village and looked so pitiful — with distended bellies and full of parasites. This was the start of the program, or so everyone thought at the time!

The children were cleaned up, given fresh clothes and some nourishing food. Everyone was happy — until the next day when family members of these children came to the campus all concerned about their well-being.

Yes, the children were in poor shape. They appeared to be orphans living on the streets. But they had distant relatives and neighbors who heard that the Americans had taken their children to use their organs and eyeballs.

Sheepishly, the staff watched as these children left with community members. However, these “first children” left behind a good lesson and principle that sticks with our project administrators to this day — be sure to follow ICC protocols so they are legally taken into care.

Despite this early setback, it wasn’t long after this experience that Las Palmas did start receiving children who legitimately needed the help for which ICC is known.

Eventually, Samilin met and married Mario Lora. Together they spent some time in Puerto Rico and also working at the Adventist University in the Dominican Republic.

A photo of Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Mario & Samalin with children of the Las Palmas Children’s Village

Then in 1991, Samilin’s mother called her and Mario to come and join the staff of Las Palmas. Samilin became the children’s services director and Mario became the chaplain and accountant.

Samilin recalls how difficult it was for her at first to take on the challenges of overseeing the parents. Since she is somewhat small, the parents joked that they would “put this little auntie in a sack” so they would not have to obey her.

This was a trial by fire for Samilin, and one that she won through God’s help and her determination. She recalls that once the parents understood ICC’s model and implemented it consistently, things went much better.

Samilin grew in experience and capacity as the children’s services director and also obtained her master’s degree in Educational Administration. Then, in 1998 when her mother retired, ICC asked Samilin to take on the responsibilities as project administer — a position she continues to hold today.

When asked what her biggest challenge is now as the project administrator, Samilin says that it’s finding good house parents. It’s a challenge to find parents with a passion for taking care of the children and not just to have money.

According to Rick Fleck, ICC president, Samilin has turned this into a strength. They have a proven record of success in finding, training and keeping good house parents. They use an effective interviewing and screening process, and this has helped a lot.

Over the past few years a new generation of children have come to Las Palmas. Many of the older children have completed their education and have moved on to live independently. There has be in influx of younger children.

Logo representing the 40th Anniversary of International Children's CareMario and Samilin understand very well how important it is to teach the new children core values that will serve them well in this life and prepare them for eternal life.

Each of the past three years, the Las Palmas staff have focused on teaching the kids values. The staff are united in this. According to Samilin, “the most important thing is to have the children saved in Jesus. That is my passion. We’re working on the area of values with that end in mind.”

This year’s motto is “United with our Eyes on Eternal Values.” The entire staff are united in keeping their eyes on eternal values they can teach the children.

There was a time several years ago when there were not many children being referred to Las Palmas. That has changed. We have received so many requests that there is not capacity to accept them all. Sadly, some children are being turned away.

Samilin recently hired a couple to serve as house parents in a home that was re-opened. Their home is now nearly filled with children. Samilin will soon try to open another home because there are so many requests for assistance. The government is cooperating well and are bringing children at an early age. This is when ICC’s model of care can have the greatest positive impact.

One of the factors causing an increase in the number of at-risk children is the increase in the number of men killing women in the Dominican Republic the last couple of years. Government authorities are worried about this trend which may be caused by the increase in the cost of living, high unemployment and drug use.

In a country like the Dominican Republic, it is unusual for a woman to oversee an organization, especially if her husband is also working at the same place. However, Mario and Samilin have found a comfortable working relationship for each has a unique role.

Also, Mario is the head of their home while Samilin serves as the administrator of the project. They have learned to separate the roles within their work and personal lives and respect each other within those roles.

Mario and Samilin are well-aware of the critical part that ICC Donors play in the sustaining this ministry on behalf of children at Las Palmas. “Tell the donors,” says Samilin, “if it weren’t for those donors, this [program for children] would not exist. Only in heaven will you be rewarded.”

The children of ICC have been blessed by the tireless, sacrificial and dedicated service this faithful couple has given to them through the years. We value them as cherished members of the ICC family.

Fuente de Vida Protected from Earthquake

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Here is an excerpt from a project update sent to us by Felix, director of the Fuente de Vida children’s village in Nicaragua.

“… [W]e had an earthquake with the epicenter nearly in front of the Hogar along the Jiquilillo Coast. It was stronger than the one in 1972 in Managua [It was 7.4], but because it was at sea and very deep, it didn’t cause major damage.

The view from Fuente de Vida looking west towards the Pacific Ocean where the earthquake occured

The view from Fuente de Vida looking west towards the region of the Pacific Ocean where the earthquake occurred

“They say the shaking was terrible, and I say ‘they say’ because in the homes at the Hogar it wasn’t felt very much. We are on the rock and they have good foundations. Most of the kids didn’t even wake up.

“It was at 9:50 at night, but in a few minutes the neighbors were calling to see how we were. They called us from Costa Rica worried because it was felt in all of Central America, Belize and Mexico. In El Viejo and Chinandega some houses collapsed.

“Things have gotten worse with the torrential rains which are falling which have made the situation even worse. We are very well. God gave us a perfect place to live and we haven’t had any effect—just some delays with the work because of all the rain, after being in a drought.

Rain storm at the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua

Rain storm at the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua

“We praise God for his leading in establishing this children’s village on the Rock. It has proven many times to be an ideal location for the children. Thank-you for all you continue to do for ‘His kids.’”

You Can Change Lives In The DR Congo

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

ICC is blessed to have supporters who are willing to act when they see that “His Kids” have a pressing need. And that they want to provide a way for others of our supporters to join them in relieving these needs. Recently we published a story in our newsletters concerning shortfalls in the operating budget for our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo. Because of the budget issues our staff were only able to feed our children two meals a day.

Children of ICC's Patmos Children's Village

You can make a significant difference in the daily lives of these children and at the same time double your donation! Please read the article to find out how.

This was a not an acceptable situation for one of our supporters. She quickly emailed Doug Congleton, ICC’s executive director, about ways to close the gaps in the Patmos budget. Thanks to this amazing lady’s efforts a revolving matching fund has been created in which you may participate.

Each month, this rotating matching fund will double your donation until a monthly total of one thousand dollars in donations has been acquired. That means that each month your contributions to our Patmos operating budget—regardless of the amount—can become as much as $2000.

This is not an opportunity to be missed. You can make a significant difference for our children at Patmos by becoming a regular contributor to this matching fund. Please contact ICC today and let us know that you want to double the power of your donation to “His Kids” living at our Patmos Children’s Village.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

A photo illustration of party favors and ribbons

We would like to take this time to wish all of our readers and supporters a wonderful, joyous and blessed New Year.

Thanks to all of you for what you do for “His Kids!”

House Parents – Difference Makers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

It should be obvious; however, it bears mentioning. Effective, loving house parents are critical in making the mission of ICC successful. ICC’s Director of Children’s Services, Sharon Fleck, recently saw this in action when she visited ICC’s project in Romania. For a variety of reasons, it has been a challenge to find and keep house parents at that particular project. When house parents have left in the past, social aunts have had to help fill the void.  Though the children receive good care from the aunts, a special bond takes place when the children have consistent care and  nurture from loving house parents.

House parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

The house parents from House Three of ICC's Romanian children's village

We are very thankful that the homes at ICC Romania all have quality house parents now.  The children are happy, and it is evident that they truly enjoy spending time with their house parents. One little boy especially finds great joy in doing sweet things for his house mom.

To all house parents in the ICC family we offer our heartfelt appreciation for all you do to care for “His Kids.”

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
International Development Director ICC