Posts Tagged ‘International Children’s Care’

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.

Should Lucas Quit Or Beat Leukemia?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

by William Hurtado

Lucas with one of his Lego creationsLucas Nelson, at 13 years of age, was diagnosed on August 25, 2018 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

He was supposed to be playing freely as a child; but now he had fevers, easy bruising, abnormal weight loss, and cancerous blood cells growing inside his body. Would he survive chemotherapy and find a way to break past the exhaustion?

Lucas lives with his family in North Dakota. His parents are Seventh-day Adventist conference workers within the education and youth ministries.

Through this calamity, the family could have easily become angry with God and distanced themselves, but instead, they decided to bless others, no matter their circumstances.

Jennifer TurkJennifer Turk is a mother with a compassionate heart and a close friend of Lucas’s family. She heard about Lucas and his family’s desire to help others.

Jennifer had an idea she felt would help Lucas bless others. She knew that Lucas loves Legos, so why not put Legos into the hands of orphaned children in Lucas’ honor? Many children around the world have never before held or even played with Legos!

Jennifer contacted me, and together we developed a program known as Lucas Legos for Kids. The plan is to have church and school groups collect Legos, and with help from you and ICC, send them to the children of International Children’s Care.

Lucas and his family were excited when they heard this plan. Lucas Legos for Kids started during the 2018 Christmas season in two locations. In only one and a half months, they collected over 30 pounds of Legos!

Jennifer and other contributors then shipped their collected Legos to International Children’s Care in Vancouver, WA.

A girl and boy from Las Palmas play with their donated Legos.In January of 2019, the first Lego shipment traveled with Sharon Fleck, ICC children’s services director, to the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic. Now, ICC children are playing and learning with Lucas Legos. Isn’t that exciting?!

Lucas Legos for Kids is a way for all of us to participate in the cause of giving children safe and fun Christian homes in which to grow.

Will you support Lucas and International Children’s Care in this vision?

Besides helping with Legos, you can also encourage others to help support ICC’s children.

And do pray for Lucas! His treatments are helping his cancer go into remission. By God’s grace, he will be well soon!

To learn more about how to involve your church, school, or Pathfinder club, visit ICC’s webpage about Lucas Legos for Kids.

You may also watch a video on YouTube about Lucas and Lucas Legos for Kids by using the following this link: Watch The Video.

A pile of Lego Blocks

Charity Navigator Awards ICC 4 Stars

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

There is no higher honor in the nonprofit realm than receiving a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

ICC’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned us a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

This is the first time that ICC has earned this top distinction.

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating.

Accountability and transparency metrics, account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, revealing which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.

Members of ICC’s staff celebrate ICC being rewarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined.

Members of ICC’s staff celebrate ICC being rewarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America and its website attracts more visitors than all other charity rating groups combined.

“ICC’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator.

“Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity.”

ICC’s rating is available free of charge on CharityNavigator.org.

Charity Navigator, is the largest charity evaluator in America. The organization evaluates more than 8,000 charities.

Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data.

Charity Navigator, a 501(c)(3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America’s charitable givers.

Big Green Needs To Get Hitched. Can You Dig It?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Because of you, there’s a ‘new’ tractor in town! The El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico recently acquired a used John Deere 6615 tractor for their farm.

Purchased from a farmer with the help of three generous donors, this tractor will allow the El Oasis farm to become much more efficient as it will no longer be necessary to rent a tractor when preparing and maintaining the fields and crops.

This tractor does however have an immediate need for implements to be truly effective. The implements required for this coming season are;

  • A Fumigator
  • A Disc
  • A Plow
  • And a Harrow,

that will fit a John Deere 6615. As of right now, any implement we require must be rented. And those implements are only available when they’re not in use by other farmers.

This puts the El Oasis farm at a disadvantage when dealing with either crop-munching insects, time-sensitive and/or weather-related issues. Creating the real risk of losing crops. And losing funds that support the children.

The farm at El Oasis helps generate income that offsets the expenses of operating the children’s village. Giving your investment in “His Kids” a greater effectiveness because of funds generated by campus industries.

Please, your help is needed now.

Contact Doug Congleton at 800.422.7729 today!

Backhoe Needed For Las Palmas Industries

The Las Palmas campus, and the on-campus industries, require drainage, canals, lagoons, and ditches be dug to benefit the campus and its industries.

Right now, those projects are done with shovels and manual labor or a rented backhoe.

Even a small backhoe purchased for Las Palmas would make these much-needed excavation projects much more efficient as well as less costly in the long run.

Please Contact Doug Congleton for details at — 800.422.7729.

One of the Most Needed Persons at ICC Is…

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

By William Hurtado

Dorothy Larson has been a volunteer at ICC for 29+ years.

Dorothy Larson

Dorothy Larson is not only the oldest and longest serving volunteer of ICC, she is one of the most needed.

At 94 years old, she has been volunteering at ICC’s main office for 29 years. She has been faithfully organizing volunteers to help prepare the monthly Que Pasa mailings.

What a blessing she continues to be!

There is a lot to tell about Dorothy’s life; but one detail about the times she lived in may exhilarate you.

In 1922, three years before Dorothy was born, the Oregon Compulsory Education Act required that every person having custody of a child between eight and sixteen years of age must send the child to a public school.

Children were being forced to receive instruction from public teachers only. This law, taking away the right to oversee the religious development of children, was bitterly resisted by many, so a suit was filed to have it declared unconstitutional.

In 1925, the year Dorothy was born, the court ruled in favor of faith-based instruction. It said that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce, 1925, p. 535

Dorothy’s beginning of life coincided with a historical event allowing children to be educated within a faith community.

Now — for 29 years and running — Dorothy contributes to an orphan-care ministry that operates Adventist schools for children coming from destabilized situations.

These schools teach ICC children about their “additional obligations” — to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and their neighbors as themselves.

Do you think Dorothy’s 29-year investment at International Children’s Care has been worth it? You bet! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every year, every decade has been worth it. Why? Because every child needs a family. Because every child God has given to ICC needs her. And needs you.

For an educated future and for a faith-filled life, will you continue your dedicated support–alongside Dorothy, and all of the other devoted staff and volunteers–to ICC’s cause? Like a contemporary of Dorothy said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

A Personal Message

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

From Doug Congleton

It was like an electric charge that went from my fingers into my very soul. It was so simple, yet it was one of the most amazing things that has happened to me since joining God’s service for His kids at ICC. Let me tell you how it happened.

I was on the campus at the Las Palmas Children’s Village in The Dominican Republic working with our new industries planning team. Things were going really well, and I was pleased with the work that had been done.

We were working on new ideas and the implementation of the things we had decided to get going previously. As always, we stopped during the Sabbath hours to take time to rest and contemplate the good things God is doing in the children’s lives.

Sabbath morning I went to the on-campus church. At the end of the service I went outside and started walking down the road back to where I was staying on the campus.

As I walked I heard footsteps running up behind me, and then I felt little fingers reach out and take hold of my hand without ever saying a word.

That may sound simple to you, but in that moment, those little fingers touching mine sent what felt like an electrical current into my very being.

This little girl who I had never even been introduced to, ran up and just wanted to share her heart with me in taking my hand and walking with me those few hundred yards.

So, we walked together hand-in-hand down that little roadway until she let go in order to run off to her home to have lunch with her family.

After running a short distance, she stopped, turned back and smiled a huge smile at me as if to say, “Thank you for loving me. It feels so good!” I know my heart felt the same way!

In those brief moments I thought of our many family members of donors at ICC who give so unselfishly and faithfully. God’s people who care enough to make a commitment to providing for these little children each day.

In a very real sense, these are the people that little hand was reaching out to. That electrical charge is something that was meant for each one of you to feel for yourselves.

It’s a moment where time stands still, and you know that what you are doing is the very thing that Jesus wants from you. I totally understand now what was on the heart of Jesus when He told us in His word to “Take care of the widows and orphans.” James 1:27.

It is a responsibility that He left to each one of us to take care of these children until He comes again. It is something that I will always remember for the rest of my life.

These special children need you so much. It is only possible with your help for ICC to take loving care of these children. This is the moment when I believe that Jesus is looking to see who will stand for what is right for His children.

He is wanting to see who it is that will take the hands of these precious children and lead them to His kingdom.

Las Palmas Industries

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019
Investing Your Gifts To Extend Your Support

Our ICC family of projects is working diligently to develop and expand project industries. Such initiatives not only help to provide food for the children, they also generate funds to help with operating costs.

This enables the impact of your support to stretch further! At the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic several industries are making a positive impact on the operation of the children’s village.

Harvesting the Sun’s Energy

Through the generous support of the VersaCare Foundation, Las Palmas has been able to establish a solar energy system that supplies a steady supply of power to the campus.

A grant from VersaCare provided the funds to install a solar-based electrical system at Las Palmas. This solar array keeps the campus supplied with electrical power day and night.

A grant from the VersaCare foundation provided the funds to install a solar-based electrical system at Las Palmas. This solar array keeps the campus supplied with electrical power day and night.

The supply of electrical power has always been a challenge at Las Palmas and there were frequent outages.

Now that Las Palmas is able to harvest energy from the sun, the children have electrical power in their homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

These batteries help keep the Las Palmas campus furnished with electrical power day and night.

These batteries help keep the Las Palmas campus furnished with electrical power day and night.

This is a huge benefit for the Las Palmas families! In addition, solar energy has enabled Las Palmas to have street lights for the first time! This improves the safety of the children very much.

Electricity costs have been cut by more than 50% and as the solar energy system is further enhanced, it’s possible that reliance on outside electric power can be eliminated.

Bounties from the Earth

The Las Palmas Farm has a long history of producing bountiful crops of yucca, plantain, papaya, and pineapples as well as other crops.

One of two greenhouses at Las Palmas used to grow vegetables for the families.

One of two greenhouses at Las Palmas used to grow vegetables for the families. Produce not used on-campus is sold locally. The proceeds help with the costs of operating the children’s village.

In addition to the field crops, Las Palmas operates two different greenhouses that produce vegetables for the children’s homes. The greenhouses allow for a controlled environment of more delicate vegetables and increase yield. Excess is sold locally and produces income to help with the daily operations.

Recently, Las Palmas was able to purchase a quality Massy Ferguson tractor. This reliable farm vehicle is proving to be a huge asset and blessing to the agriculture program.

Recently, Las Palmas was able to purchase a quality Massy Ferguson tractor. This reliable farm vehicle is proving to be a huge asset and blessing to the agriculture program.

The ‘new’ Massey-Fergeson farm tractor acquired by Las Palmas

Reaping a Blessing from God’s Creatures

Recently, we shared with Que Pasa readers about “Milky’s Challenge,” which is aimed at growing the Las Palmas Dairy.

Thanks to the support of many within the ICC family, the herd continues to grow as donations arrive and are sent on to the project.

A member of the Las Palmas dairy herd. Milk and cheese provided by the herd is used by the families and the surplus is sold at market. Proceeds help to offset operating costs at the children’s village.

A member of the Las Palmas dairy herd. Milk and cheese provided by the herd is used by the families and the surplus is sold at market. Proceeds help to offset operating costs at the children’s village.

The goal is to expand the herd from the current 70 to 100 head. There are also plans to begin automating the milking process. This industry has such great potential to produce significant profits for the benefit of taking care of the Las Palmas children.

In addition to the dairy, Las Palmas has also been developing a fish industry. While the children are served a vegetarian diet, there is a high market demand for fish, specifically Tilapia.

This image shows one of the six lagoons now on the Las Palmas campus used to raise fish that will be sold to market. The income from this fish industry helps to offset the monthly expenses of caring for the children

This images shows one of the six lagoons now on the Las Palmas campus used to raise fish that will be sold to market. The income from this fish industry helps to offset the monthly expenses of caring for the children

The fish industry is basically three-in-one. The first and most obvious industry is raising and selling fish. Las Palmas currently has six lagoons where fish are raised prior to being sold.

Each lagoon is about 100 meters by 50 meters. When this industry is running smoothly, a fish can grow to maturity (about 1 pound) in about 6–9 months.

Las Palmas recently hired two experts to assist in maximizing profitability. These men have been working to improve the quality of the water environment, managing the density and sizes of fish, ensuring that the diet of the fish is appropriate, and finding ways to decrease the threat of predators and thieves.

Using the best practices for this industry will help ensure a higher return on the investments being made in this industry. Las Palmas has more land available for expansion and developing more lagoons for fish.

Hiring these experts has led to two additional fish-related industries: making fish food and selling small fish called “fingerlings.”

Fish food can be challenging to find and purchase in the Dominican Republic. Currently it is being imported from places like Panama. There is a high demand for this product.

Las Palmas is now developing its own fish food business for producing pellets to feed the Las Palmas fish, and to sell to other fish farms.

This fish-food business requires special equipment and will initially be quite small. It can be operated by one person in limited space.

Eventually, this fish-food industry can be expanded further, including being housed in its own building.

The fish hatchery on the Las Palmas campus which is used to raise fingerlings. The fingerlings will either restock the on-campus lagoons or sold to other local fish farms.

The fish hatchery on the Las Palmas campus which is used to raise fingerlings. The fingerlings will either restock the on-campus lagoons or be sold to other local fish farms.

In order to have a profitable fish industry you need to have fingerlings to start each batch of fish. The supply of fingerlings in the Dominican Republic is limited, making them difficult to find as well.

So, for our own purposes we started a fingerling industry for our own needs and for selling to other fish farms.

This involves breeding fish to collect the eggs and then nurturing them until they hatch and are ready to sell or transfer to our own Las Palmas lagoons.

Diversifying the fish industry into these other two subindustries should help to increase not only efficiency but also profitability.

This in turn will help to sustain the Las Palmas Children’s Village, which then stretches the impact of your support further. What a blessing this is!

Banana Baby Boy

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Christmas-Miracle Child Rescued Just in Time!
“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

“Baby” was rescued on Christmas. It was a miracle he survived. Your support is needed now to help him thrive!

If you’ve been a part of the ICC family for several years you are likely aware of the many tragedies that happen in the DR Congo that causing children to be orphaned.

Some of the reasons include natural disasters, acts of war, and limited access to proper medical care for even common ailments.

In most cases, when a child comes to the ICC Patmos Children’s Village, the cause of the child being orphaned is known. But sometimes, as in the case of the following story, we may never know.

On the night of Christmas Eve, rain poured heavily upon an banana plantation on Idjwi Island in the Congo. Despite the storm, a quiet filled the air, as a baby boy lay abandoned among the bananas.

Fisherman discovered the child at 5:30 a.m. He could not even cry. Shaking with tremors because of the cold, the baby labored to breathe.

The fishermen rushed to warn the village chief. They had to find out who had abandoned this child! The village chief immediately ordered that the child be taken to the Bugarula Idjwi Baptist Hospital for urgent care.

Meanwhile, the local radio station sent out a broadcast to assist in the search for whoever abandoned the child, and to alert any interested family of the baby’s whereabouts. Sadly, no one came forward.

Fortunately, your support has helps to provide a haven of refuge for orphaned and abandoned children in Congo. And when no family member stepped forward to take the child home, we stepped in and welcomed him into the ICC family.

This Christmas-miracle child has no name and is simply called “Baby.” Baby is now in the care of a loving family at Patmos Children’s Village. Patmos is the largest children’s project operated by ICC. There are so many children in need. Yet, when God intervenes and rescues a child from death, who are we to turn that child away?

Abandoned and left to die of starvation or exposure, Baby certainly fits the description of “the least of these” for whom Jesus asked us to provide care.

Now, your support is needed to continue Baby’s care. You can help Baby through a monthly sponsorship or through a one-time gift of love.

After being abandoned into the bananas, Baby received a second chance at life. Now, he’s entrusted into the care of ICC, the care of his house parents, and he’s entrusted into your care.

Please keep this child, and all of God’s children, in your prayers. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Baby!

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.