Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Orphan Advocates Needed!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Next month, on November 12, the international community will recognize World Orphans Day. This is a day set aside to raise awareness and support for the children who continue to be orphans — ones who have not yet made it to a safe haven like an ICC children’s village.

There are hundreds of boys and girls around the world who are blessed to belong to the ICC family. They are taking advantage of opportunities that you help to provide them through your generous support.

The impact of what you do for them can be seen when a child leaves the children’s village and finds success in his or her chosen profession. Check out the story of Ana, inside this Que Pasa. She’s a good example of what your support means to an ICC child!

The need for orphan care continues as world conditions get worse. There are wars, disease and social problems that threaten the lives of innocent children.

We often receive calls to take in children, and sadly there are not enough funds to help in all situations. But with your help, we can provide care for some of them like the two boys pictured here.

Arturo and Alonzo recently joined their new family at the Las Palmas Children's Village in the Dominican Republic

Arturo and Alonzo are cousins who recently arrived at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. They were rescued from their grandmother’s home by the police.

Someone in the community filed a complaint that the boys were living in a home where the woman ran a prostitution business. The boys were not safe in this situation.

The authorities brought them to Las Palmas where they’ve become a part of the ICC family — a family that will love and provide nurturing care for them in a Seventh-day Adventist home environment. Accepting the boys is a step of faith, for Arturo and Alonzo still need sponsors.

As we approach World Orphans Day, please consider being an “Orphan Advocate.” Tell someone you know about the plight of orphans. Let them know that orphan care is so very much needed in the world today for kids like Arturo and Alonzo.

Tell them about the ICC family and how they, too, can become a part of this ministry where an orphan is orphaned no more! What a blessing it will be to Arturo and Alonzo and others like them.

If you — or someone you know — would like to sponsor one of these boys or another child in need, please contact Alanna, child sponsorship coordinator. She can be reached at 800-422-7729.

Thank you for what you do for the children!

Extending The Impact Of Your Support

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Agriculture Project Proving A Blessing at ICC’s Children’s Village in El Salvador.

— Editor’s Note —

As you may recall, we recently featured a story about the Jalapeño project at the El Oasis Children’s Village farm in Mexico.

To have success in any agriculture or industry project, we’ve found that four essential things must be in place: 1) Resources, 2) Technical Expertise, 3) Business Expertise, and 4) God’s Guidance and Blessings.

In this post we want to share how God is blessing the green house industry at the Hogar Escuela Adventista (HEA) Children’s Village in El Salvador.

Your support enables ICC to help fund initiatives like the greenhouse industry at HEA. When a project becomes more self-sustaining as a result, it extends the impact of your contributions!


esús (left; HEA’s administrator), and Merlin (right; providing technical expertise on farming), have joined forces to expand the capacity and yield of the produce-production greenhouses on ICC’s HEA campus in El Salvador.

Jesús (left; HEA’s administrator), and Merlin (right; providing technical expertise on farming), have joined forces to expand the capacity and yield of the produce-production greenhouses on ICC’s HEA campus in El Salvador.

Several attempts have been made over the years to get the best possible yield from twenty greenhouses on the HEA campus. However, because of issues with the construction of the greenhouses, there have been significant challenges in maximizing productivity.

Not long ago, Jesús, our HEA administrator, became acquainted with Merlin who has worked as a foreman on a large farm. Merlin moved close to the local Adventist school so he could put his girls in that school since the family is Christian.

Merlin has been working with Jesús to develop a business plan to enclose one of the greenhouses with netting — much like a glove — to grow peppers. They also decided to use an additional greenhouse space to grow cucumbers.

The objective was to pay back the initial investment of $10,000 in one year. This was ambitious!

The two men set to work on implementing the plan. Two of the greenhouses were enclosed with netting. Modifications were made to other greenhouses as to enlarge their capacity to grow cucumbers.

ftp://ftp.forhiskids.org//forhiskids.org/blogmedia/2018AUG/elsal_ag_01_438.jpg

Pepper plants proliferating profusly in one of the upgraded greenhouses on the HEA campus farm.

happy to report that this project is expected to meet projections and the initial funding is on track to be repaid on schedule.

Jesús leads out on the business side of the project. He has found a strong market for the produce in the nearby village. Merlin is using his skills in production. The unique abilities of these two men, along with better utilization of the existing resources, is making a big difference. And most important of all, God is blessing!

Additional investments are being made so Jesús and Merlin can work toward their goal of making all 20 greenhouses productive. This, in turn, will lead to the project being more self-sustaining. What a blessing this will be!

Thanks to You — Orphaned Siblings Stay Together!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

For many years, generous ICC family members like you have made it possible for orphan siblings to stay together. This is very important for the children. And whenever children are referred to an ICC children’s village, if there are siblings involved, attempts are made to include all the children, so they can continue growing up together.

This year, we’ve featured several sibling groups that have been rescued together and who have been able to remain together as part of the larger ICC family.

Thanks to You, Sibling Orphans Able To Stay Together!

Thanks to You these four orphaned siblings were able to stay together as part of their new family at the Las Palmas Children’s Village!

A little while ago, the four siblings in the above photos arrived at the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. The children’s father was no longer a part of the family, and their mother was very poor.

She had no way to work and provide care for her young children at the same time. The children were going hungry, and eventually the family was from the house in which they were staying because they couldn’t pay the rent. No other family members stepped forward to assist.

Because she had run out of options, the mother contacted the Las Palmas administer and asked her to take the children. After investigating the situation to verify the need and that Las Palmas could provide for the children, the Las Palmas administrator welcomed the children.

Again, it is because of the faithful support of ICC family members like you that makes it possible for ICC to take in, not just one of the siblings, but all of the siblings.

What a blessing for them — and what an opportunity you have now to continue your support through monthly gifts or sponsorship so that these children’s lives will be fully restored.

Thank you for making this ministry for orphans and orphan sibling groups possible!

Clothed With Love

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Story By — Makala James

All children deserve a loving family. That’s why International Children’s Care exists, and why people all over the world are finding creative ways to love and support “His Kids.”

One woman, Rebecca Loveless, decided to start sewing dresses. The idea came to her from Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

Rebecca Loveless (shown with her family) has created a unique way to help the girls of ICC feel special. But first, it meant learning to sew…

“I wanted to create a dress for the girls, the orphans, to symbolize them being clothed with love,” said Rebecca. “For them to know how special and valuable they are, how precious they are to Jesus, and how much they are loved.” 

Even though Rebecca didn’t know how to sew, she bought a sewing machine and quickly learned. Partners soon joined, and they named the ministry “Clothed with Love.”

Since starting this initiative, they’ve created over 50 beautiful dresses for the girls in our villages. Even more dresses are coming.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are,” says Rebecca. “There’s something special about a dress. It represents putting on God’s character, which includes love. It’s also to be a highlight for them to wear on God’s special day of worship and to realize the importance of Sabbath.” 

Each dress is embroidered with the words, “Made with love.” In addition, each girl is given a personalized note that explains the symbolism of the dress.

In April, eleven dresses were sent to Guatemala for the young girls. One of the recipients was Renata.

“We’re just making pretty dresses for girls to feel loved, appreciated, and to be reminded of how special they are.”

Abandoned by her mother, Renata struggled to survive with her four siblings and her poor, but humble, father. Left alone all day while her father worked, she could only wonder, “Why? How could a mother abandon her children?” Now, Renata lives at Los Pinos, in Guatemala, where she goes to school, eats full meals, and is surrounded by a loving family.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

Renata (Left) and her friends were pleased to receive their new dresses.

When Renata received her new dress and read the note, happiness filled her face. She, with the other girls, tried on their dresses immediately, reaching out to touch the embroidery in the folds of the gown, “Estoy Vestida de Amor.” All the girls proudly wore their new dresses to church that weekend.

So far, dresses have been sent to ICC children’s villages in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and India. Even more are waiting to be delivered to little girls around the world.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Here is a picture of the girls at the Los Pinos church wearing their new Sabbath dresses. Renata is at the far left in the middle row.

Rebecca and friends have contributed so much to the happiness of these little girls. And week-by-week, as the girls wear their hand-crafted dresses, they do so with the knowledge that they are special and loved very much.

When you sponsor a child or provide support in other ways, you also show your love and care. This makes them feel special and provides a sense of security. Thank you for blessing the children through your ongoing support!


Makala James. ICC’s PR coordinator for the SW region of the U.S.

This is Makala James. She’s ICC’s public relations coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States. Makala wrote this story of the new dresses.

Introducing Makala James

Makala has recently joined the International Children’s Care staff as Public Relations Coordinator for the Southwest region of the United States.

Makala is available to share about the ministry of ICC with your church or civic group — especially in Texas and neighboring states. You may reach her at Makala@forhiskids.org.

“Summer Rescue” Matching Grant

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

You and the children are being granted an important opportunity.

Your support of this matching grant will provide much-needed funds that will help feed the children this summer

Your support of this matching grant will provide much-needed funds that will help feed the children this summer.

Several members of our family of donors are offering you the possibility of having your donations double this summer as part of a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to support the budgets that feed the children.

The summer months can be very difficult financially, and this will provide for you the prospect to “rescue the budgets” this summer. 

The donors offering this option do want your support of this matching grant to be above and beyond your regular gifts.

Their desire is to do all they can — with your help — to meet the most urgent needs and provide food to the children in these challenging months ahead. 

Right now there are $60,000 dollars available for a dollar-for-dollar matching fund.

This “Summer Rescue” matching grant for the children’s food budgets could total $120,000 with your help.

Remember, your contribution to the children will be doubled. Please, make your gift immediately and designate it as “My Rescue Gift.”

By giving extra this month to support this grant, you will provide a blessing to the children.

The children will receive the benefit of this double gift so they have a hope and a chance in this life.

What an amazing way to not only give a blessing, but also receive one for yourself!

The children thank you from the bottom of their hearts for helping with this special gift.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director, ICC

P.S. Remember to be sure and mark your gift for this matching grant as “My Rescue Gift.”

Three Generations Supporting “His Kids”

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

In this our 40th year, we are recognizing several of the past and present heroes of ICC. This month, we want to especially acknowledge members of the Koelsch, Shultz and Erwin families.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz with one of her young friends from the Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Alice Shultz (formerly Koelsch), was a dear friend of Alcyon Fleck, co-founder of ICC. They became close friends during their days attending Laurelwood Academy and remained friends throughout their lives.

When Alcyon and Ken Fleck started ICC in 1978, Alice lent her assistance.

Alice loved to visit the children of ICC. She wanted to see the children up close and personal, so on several occasions she traveled with Alcyon to ICC projects.

Alice loved the idea that ICC not only rescues orphan children, but restores them to wholeness as well.

Writing about Alice a few years ago, Alcyon had this to say,

“[Alice] loved ICC — her favorite charity — and she participated in it in an especially personal way.

“As a sponsor, she supported and followed the lives of the various children she sponsored over the years.

“As a supporter, she was always quick to respond to the needs that I wrote about every month.

“As an ICC Board member, she attended nearly every meeting, and gave us welcome and sage advice. She participated in helping us send much-needed clothing and supplies to ICC projects.”

Indeed, Alice truly did care for the children of ICC, and her caring ways and passion were passed on to her children and grandchildren. Alice’s extended family have faithfully supported ICC for many years.

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

Cody Erwin, Board Chairman — ICC

As Alice grew older, she felt it was time to involve a younger generation. At Alice’s suggestion, her grandson, Cody Erwin, joined the ICC board in April of 2006. Alice and Cody served simultaneously until Alice could no longer attend.

On February 20, 2014, Alice passed to her rest after medical complications resulting from a fall. ICC lost a true hero of the children that day.

And yet, thanks to her foresight, she had chosen very well someone she loved and trusted to carry forward her vision and passion for the work of ICC.

In April of 2014, only a couple of months after Alice passed away, Cody was elected chairman of the ICC board.

Along with his private sector job, Cody continues to provide steady leadership to ICC as he follows in the path of his grandmother, Alice.

Speaking of his grandmother recently, Cody said this,

“My grandmother had a love and passion for this ministry for children, and she passed it on to the other members of her family. She always reminded us of our many blessings and how we needed to remember those less fortunate. She loved all of her ICC Children so very much. I’m pleased to be able to carry on the work that she helped to start so many years ago.”

The children of ICC are blessed by heroes like Cody, Alice and other family members who continue to provide their support for “His Kids!”

The Impact of YOUR Support!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Editor’s Note: Whether you sponsor an ICC child or faithfully contribute in other ways please know that you have an incredible impact on the lives of the children.

This can be seen in this letter from Alcyon Fleck that has been pulled from the ICC archives. Thank you for the support you continue to give to a new generation of children!

— January 1990

Dear ICC Family,

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

Alcyon Fleck, ICC Founder

“Three little brothers were brought to us this last week,” Juana informed me when I visited The Pines.

“They had been abandoned and passed around from place to place wherever someone would keep them, but no one wanted them. The people in that village were poor and already had families of their own to care for.”

“How old are they?” I inquired.

“The oldest one, Gilberto, is ten. Oswaldo is six, and the baby is two.”

Later, as we walked toward the home where the new children were, Juana informed me, “I don’t know how long they have been without a home, but these children were really in pitiful condition. They were sick, malnourished and in rags. The little one is the most frail.”

The house-mother brought the boys to us. Their faces were pinched and pale. They still had the frightened expression of children who have suffered at the hands of strangers. Any new situation fills them with fear.

But the two older boys smiled shyly as we talked with them. The little one was emaciated, barely able to stand, and his big, dark eyes seemed to dominate his face.

Poor little children! I thought. Who knows what they have already suffered. My heart went out to them.

Gilberto as a young boy

Gilberto as a young boy

The house-mother, holding the little one, voiced her concern about their health and promised to give them the best care she could and plenty of TLC. I could see that the baby was already bonding to the mother.

That was eight years ago. The boys have grown sturdy and healthy.

I talked to Gilberto when I visited there a few weeks ago. Cruz told me, “Gilberto is growing into a fine, young man. He is studying at the secondary school and works in the carpentry shop. He is artistic, loves to draw and work with his hands.”

“Gilberto, do you know who your sponsor is?” I asked him.

“Yes, Mommy Fleck. She writes to me, and I have written to her. Her name is Ruth Budd.”

“Yes, I know. She lives near us. She is in a Rest Home now. I suppose you know she is a widow lady. She had an accident some time back and can’t get around by herself. She never had any children, but she has been sponsoring you since you first came to us.”

“You are almost like a son to her.”

“Really!” Gilberto’s eyes brightened. “I wish I could know her!”

“Well, I know she gets lonely and loves to get letters from you.”

“Could you take a letter for me? I’ll write one today.” His face was eager.

“Of course. I know that will make Mrs. Budd happy. I’ll take a picture of you to go with it.”

This last week I took the letter, which I had translated into English, along with the picture, and visited Mrs. Budd.

Her boy had included a paper on which he had printed a special greeting in beautiful scrolled calligraphy. It said. “Felicidades a mi querida madrina.” (Happiness to my dear god-mother).

Our children call their sponsors god-parents. It was a real privilege for me to bring that special letter from the hand of that boy to the dear little lady who has been faithfully supporting and praying for him all these years. Her face beamed as I read it to her.

Dear God-mother,

It is a special pleasure for me to write to you as I have done on other occasions, hope that Jesus Christ can bless you in your home.

The reason for this letter is so that I can be in contact with you. I have learned that you never had a son or daughter, but you have trusted me as a son, and for this I thank you very much.

I know that you are getting up in years but that you always remember and think of me. I also think of you a lot and appreciate the much-needed help you have given me.

Even if you never see me nor I see you, I have the confidence in God that He will help me to continue in His ways, and at last we can know each other in the heavenly mansions…

In my humble heart I feel a deep gratitude that I can’t find words to express. I think of some occasions when I have needed help through hard and tragic experiences…

I thank you and close with much GRATITUDE IN MY HEART.

Attentively, your adopted son,

Gilberto Budd Duque Lopez

The Rest Of The Story

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

Gilberto at a recent reunion held at Los Pinos

After completing his primary and high school education, Gilberto attended the Adventist University in Costa Rica and then returned to Guatemala to continue his studies in architecture.

Gilberto is married now and is a devoted husband and proud father of his two children. He owns a small residential and commercial maintenance company.

According to Gilberto, “although it is not easy, I’m sure that God always has a purpose for everyone, and everything that happens in life develops us in such a way that we can face life with determination.

“And I personally thank God for people with the heart to keep this kind of work going which gives others the opportunity to help in this work and makes it possible to give the attention and care to boys and girls which, for reasons we don’t know about, can’t grow in the heart of their own family.

“But a home like these [ICC] homes can fill in and help for the wellbeing and growth of kids who then have one or many opportunities in their lives.”

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.

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.

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!