Posts Tagged ‘Home’

Severe Drought Ends Just in Time!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Showers of Blessings at Las Palmas by Rick Fleck

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Water flows from a stand pipe at Las Palmas as the drought came to an end

Sharon and I recently visited the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. They had been enduring a serous drought over the past several months. Yet through the difficulties this has created, God has yet again shown his mercy in caring for “His Kids” and even the cows.

The drought has been so severe that many of the elderly in the community can’t recall a time when it has been so bad. Even though this country lies in the tropics, there has been little rain. Water levels in rivers and reservoirs have dropped so low that the government has had to implement water rationing. People have been able to drive on the dry bed of one reservoir.

The staff at Las Palmas have been increasingly alarmed as water levels in the stream which provides our main source of water went lower and lower. The water is needed to help replenish the fish farm ponds and furnish irrigation for the gardens and water for the cows at the Las Palmas dairy. They were still able to purchase bottled water for drinking, but there was little to no water on some days in the homes for bathing, washing clothes and cleaning.

On Friday, September 6, the water was so low that the dairy manager came to me and said, “There is literally not a drop of water for the cows!” We acted quickly to rent a small pump to get some water from a very small creek or a fish pond to fill the water troughs of the cattle — we have about 80 head, including calves.

As the Las Palmas family gathered for evening worship at the chapel that night, there were fervent prayers for rain, for water, for relief from the drought. That evening, I listened as they emphasized reading and depending on the Word of God. Family members shared texts of encouragement like the one above in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Would God heal their land? Would He provide water for crops and the herd?

And then it happened! Seemingly from out of nowhere and quite unexpected, it started to rain!

The rain lasted for a short time, but it was a foretaste of what was to come. The next day it rained more heavily and the next day still even more heavily. The recent rain has been enough to lift the drought!

You can imagine the impact this has had on the expectant and praying ICC family members at Las Palmas. On the day the water ran out, God sent the rain. This is yet another visible example of God’s loving care!

You are also a significant channel through which God takes care of “His Kids!” Thank you for the showers of blessing you provide for the children through your prayers and financial support.

The Impact Of Your Support

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

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

} By Makala James

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you always stay in the same family?

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

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

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

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

How does having an advanced education impact your life?

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

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

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

Share a bit about when you felt called to ministry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

 

Las Palmas Opens New Counseling Center & Medical Clinic

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Versacare Honors Two Special People While Blessing ICC Children

— By Doug Congleton

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an amazing event at one of our projects! Let me tell you about it…

ICC partnered with the Versacare Foundation many years ago, and they have done wonderful things to help change and literally save the lives of children here at ICC.

You all know how this feels since you do the same thing every day for these special children through your continued support.

Versacare constructed a counseling center/medical clinic at Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic.

The new medical and counseling clinic at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The new medical and counseling clinic at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

This multi-purpose facility will bless ICC children by helping to provide for their emotional, physical and spiritual care.

There is such a huge need for this type of care in our projects, and now we have such a facility for the children at Las Palmas.

The main entrance to the counseling center section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

The main entrance to the counseling center section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

This building was built in honor of two Versacare board members that were retiring from the board this past year. Those two gentlemen are Robert Coy and Elder George Brown.

The main entrance to the medical clinic section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

The main entrance to the medical clinic section of the new R.E. ‘Robert’ Coy Counseling Center & Elder G.W. Brown Medical Clinic. The clinic building is located on the campus of the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. The clinics were opened and dedicated during a ceremony held in May of 2019.

These two men have done so much through Versacare to provide for our children around the world, and Versacare wanted to honor them and their passion in life for these children.

Elder G.W. Brown [right], and Myrna Costa of VersaCare [left], speak at the dedication of the new counseling and medical clinic at Las Palmas.

Elder G.W. Brown [right], and Myrna Costa of VersaCare [left], speak at the dedication of the new counseling and medical clinic at Las Palmas.

The grand opening was truly an amazing event! There were numerous dignitaries from the local SDA Conference as well as community leaders. Rick and Sharon Fleck and I were blessed to be able to attend this very special event.

The Las Palmas Children’s Orchestra played a few songs for us, and there were numerous speeches.

The special highlight for all the children was a short video where Robert Coy spoke to the children and then Elder George Brown stood up and gave his thoughts and expressed his appreciation for this building that will serve hundreds if not thousands of children in the future!

The Las Palmas orchestra played a few selections during the grand opening ceremony.

The ceremony ended with a very touching presentation from the younger children of Las Palmas. They came forward with individual sheets of paper that spelled out “Gracias” once they all lined up.

This was meant for Robert Coy, Elder Brown and all Versacare board members. You could see an expression of happiness on Elder Brown’s face. I also imagined how much this would mean to Bob Coy and Versacare if they all could have personally been there as well.

The program concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony and everyone being invited into the new facility to see all that it holds for the children.

Our leaders at Las Palmas also provided fresh fruit cups for all in attendance at the end of the tour.

This was such a blessing to be a part of and to see how excited the children were for this very special gift to them!

It is always such a tremendous blessing to me to be a part of an organization that is doing this work for “His kids.”

It’s also an honor to know that every dollar that is given to the children of ICC is utilized in the best way possible.

This enables ICC to provide a better life for the children, to give them a safe home to live in, a family to love them, and most important, the knowledge of their “forever home” in Heaven with Jesus.

There is nothing better in life than to stand in witness to these very special moments for His Kids!

Thank you Versacare for the practical gift of this counseling center/medical clinic which recognizes the contribution of two very important people in our ICC family.

Latest News About New Kids At Patmos

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Current info about newly arrived orphans in DR Congo

You take the Bible mandate to provide for orphan children seriously.

Though you may not be able to personally tend to the 59 newly-arrived orphans in the DR Congo, your prayers and financial gifts are vital. They help provide for the daily needs of the children.

As reported last month, the rescue mission for the kids was successful. The process of restoration continues. Your gifts are what make it possible for the Patmos staff to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus for these children.

The documentation needed to assign sponsors for these children will take time to receive.

However, if you would like to sponsor one of these children, please contact Alanna at 800–422–7729. She’ll let you know when you’ll be able to sponsor these children.

Thank you for your prayers in behalf of these children and their caregivers.

Putting On Love With Special Dresses

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Girls at Las Palmas have been gifted hand-made Sabbath dresses

Two of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses

Orphan children don’t have much of this world’s goods when they arrive at an ICC children’s village. Often, they have only the clothes they are wearing.

Two of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dressesImagine how a little orphan girl feels when she is given several sets of clothing that include a special Sabbath dress.

The most recent recipients of these special dresses are the girls from the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic. The happy faces in these pictures tell of the positive impact of these dresses.

Those dresses are the craftsmanship of Rebecca Loveless and her team of volunteers. Rebecca created a ministry called “Clothed with Love” to make these dresses for the girls. Rebecca was inspired by Colossians 3:14, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Four of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses“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.”

Rebecca and her team continue their work of blessing ICC children. They are currently working to provide dresses for girls at ICC’s largest project — the Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo.

Thank you, Rebecca, the volunteer seamstresses and all our ICC family for your loving support of the children!

Five of the girls from Las Palmas with their hand-made Sabbath dresses.

Children Thriving At Sweet Home

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

During a recent visit to the Dews Sweet Home children’s village in India, Rick and Sharon Fleck took the opportunity to participate with the children in various activities.

They helped to purchase supplies for the children to create special greeting cards for their sponsors.

One of the children at DEWS Sweet Home in India making a greeting card for their sponsor.

One of the children at DEWS Sweet Home in India making a greeting card for their sponsor.

They also observed one of the staff members create tasty snacks for the children using an outdoor cooking fire.

One of the staff at ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home Children’s Village in India making some tasty snacks.

One of the staff at ICC’s DEWS Sweet Home Children’s Village in India making some tasty snacks for the children.

Susan, the director of this project, is recovering from a medical emergency. In her absence, two of the older children from Sweet Home, Udai and Nirmala, are leading out in the day-to-day operations.

Since they grew up at Sweet Home, they both have a good understanding of the issues the children face as well as a great measure of compassion for them.

What a blessing it is for the children to have such dedicated young people who are looking after them during this time of need!

Your “Container of Love” Is On Its Way!

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019
by Doug Congleton

During March 4th and 5th, our ICC staff and two volunteers joined together and loaded a 40-foot container. This container is now on the ocean destined for the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic.

The container is set to arrive in the Dominican during this week. Hopefully, on April 27th. I just wish that all of you could be there when it arrives and the children and families get to open it and unload the many things that you sent to help them.

The children are so grateful to all of you who helped make this possible for them to have these much-needed items that were loaded with care.
None of this would have happened if it were not for each one of you.

On behalf of the children, thank you for giving of yourselves and the blessings that God gave to you in order for the children to share in these vital supplies.

Tribute To Sorin Neaga

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Faithful ICC Family Member Sleeps in Jesus

Sorin Neaga 1969–2019

It is with deep sadness and loss that we tell you of the untimely passing of a dear ICC family member, Sorin Neaga. Sorin was a vital member of the ICC Romania staff.

Along with being the supervisor of the children’s village construction, maintenance, farm, garden, and grounds, Sorin also supported his wife, Simona, in the supervision of the children’s program. He was a faithful, loving father figure.

While performing repairs on his personal home February 12, Sorin fell from a ladder onto a handrail. This caused massive internal bleeding. Sorin called for Simona, and she notified emergency personnel who rushed him to the hospital.

News of the accident spread rapidly and prayers were lifted to God on Sorin’s behalf. Sadly, he never regained consciousness. On the morning of February 13, he passed to his rest leaving behind Simona, his wife of nearly 26 years and their two children, Rebecca and Teddy.

Sorin believed in Jesus as his Savior and that Jesus would come again soon to take His faithful ones to heaven. With this blessed hope in mind, we celebrate Sorin’s life and legacy.

The family has been actively involved with ICC Romania since 1998. Sorin was a loving and positive role model for ICC children. Some, even as adults, called Sorin with their problems. He always lent a helping hand.

The buildings and grounds on the children’s village campus continue to bear testimony to Sorin’s skillful craftsmanship. As one person put it, “Every stone on the pavement, every brick in the walls, each tree and each flower are marked by the fingerprint of the one who has been the administrator of this place for more than 20 years.” Sorin was also actively involved in the lives of people within the local community. Ask around in the village of Odobesti, and everyone has memories of the help they received from Sorin. The neighbors say he never refused anyone.

Sorin was hardworking, always moving, and was extremely quick in everything he did. After waking up in the morning, he often started his day without eating so he could ensure the children had everything they needed and would get to school on time.

Taking good care of the children was important to him. His cheerful and optimistic nature helped to make children happy. It didn’t matter if it was the neighbor’s children looking for compassion or our ICC children, they all wanted to be close to him. The children loved and respect “Uncle Sorin.”

At Sorin’s funeral on February 16, many of the ICC children were present to pay their respects. They gathered close around him and many wept in sorrow. Certainly, the influence of this godly man will continue to live on in their lives.

We cling to the hope that one day soon, very soon, when the trumpet sounds and Jesus gathers His people, Sorin will be among them. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20.

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.