Posts Tagged ‘Lake Kivu’

The Importance Of The “Finishing Touch”

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

— Part Two —

Last month’s Que Pasa featured an update from Désiré, director of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village in the D.R. Congo. Désiré has seen first-hand the amazing results that your support provides when an orphan child is able to attend university.

According to Désiré, “Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency. Once the children have obtained advanced education, they will have necessary tools to overcome poverty and live for themselves when they become independent. The assistance provided to them will remain unforgettable in their lives, in heaven and on earth.”

Last month, we shared the story of Guillaine and how important it was for her as a young woman to be able to attend university and earn her degree in Information Technology. She has a good job now and is able to live on her own and make a positive contribution to society.

This month, we are pleased to share the story of another one of Patmos’s children who has been blessed through the support of ICC family members like you!

Alphonse Misagwe Moise
Since the time Alphonse became a part of the ICC family, he proved to be very responsible. He had a good way of providing counsel and advice to his peers and siblings.

When the children played soccer and got into quarrels, Alphonse would heal the rifts between his “brothers.”

He avoided participating in conflict and refrained from complaining of others.

Alphonse started preaching at church and in daily worship at the age of 14. He displayed his willingness to work for God and to love God’s word.

Alphonse studied business while attending secondary school at the Patmos Children’s Village. After completing his secondary education, he enrolled in Graben University where he studied Ophthalmology.

This would not have been possible if not for the generous ICC family members like you whose ongoing support made it possible for him to go to university.

Alphonse’s academic reports were always positive showing that he excelled not only in his studies but also in his behavior.

Alphonse took advantage of the wonderful opportunity that you gave to him!

In just his second year at Graben University, Alphonse was voted as spokesman of students. He was responsible to see that the students conducted themselves appropriately and ensured there was harmony between tutors and students. He made sure that students were respectful of their teachers and kept the university regulations.

All that practice of helping to maintain harmony at Patmos was paying off! What a blessing he was at the university — just like he had been at the children’s village.

Alphonse finished his studies at the university and was awarded his degree in Ophthalmology. He then traveled to Uganda for 16 months of training. This included both the theory and practice in Optometry.

When Alphonse finished his training, he was qualified to diagnose various types of eye diseases. He was also able to make glasses.

His skills are quite rare in the Eastern part of Congo, and he was hired immediately at Goma General Hospital.

He is well paid and lives with two other boys from the Patmos Children’s Village who had earned degrees in pharmaceutical sciences. Alphonse and his roommates are grateful for the support you have helped to provide for them through the years.

They have not forgotten their home at Patmos Village and visit their brothers and sisters there bringing them presents. According to these boys, Idjwi Island is a more comfortable place than Goma where they currently live.

They are asked to speak at the church on Sabbath and do not hesitate to thank God and their sponsors for the kindness shown to them. Together with their siblings, they kneel and have prayer for the sponsors.

Alphonse and Guillaine are but two examples of the children whose lives have been positively impacted through the “finishing touch.”

It means so much to them to be educated, to be skilled, and to use their training and experience to bless others and to live independently.

Thank you for making the dreams of these children a living realty. They are grateful and are positive role models to their younger siblings.

P.S. Désiré mentioned in his report that this is a particularly difficult year. Many of the children at Patmos joined the ICC family when they were near the same age. These kids are reaching university age all around the same time.

The budget to provide the “finishing touch” has doubled this year. Désiré knows how important it is for the children to receive an education that prepares them for their future.

Won’t you please consider helping one of these children through an ongoing sponsorship or one-time gift? They will appreciate that you’re supporting them with “the finishing touch.” Use this link or call the ICC office at 800.422.7729 for more details on how you can help. Thank you!

The Importance Of “The Finishing Touch” — Part 1

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
Thanks to you, Guillaine was able to attend university. This “finishing touch” allowed her to thrive and launch a successful career.

Thanks to you, Guillaine was able to attend university. This “finishing touch” allowed her to thrive and launch a successful career.

August! Summer is quickly passing! A new school year is closing in. And with it, we are yet again reminded of the critical role that education plays in restoring the life of an orphan child.

Education helps prepare an orphan child for a life of true independence. This applies to all the children in our projects around the world. But perhaps, it’s especially so for our children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Désiré, director of our Patmos Children’s Village in the DR Congo, recently sent a message so that you will be able to better understand the vital importance of a full education for our children.

We consider this to be “the finishing touch” for the children as they approach independence. This is especially true for our girls.

“Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency… The girls’ education is the best way to set them free from the yoke of slavery since uneducated women are treated as slaves by their husbands.”

This month and next month, we’ll be sharing excerpts from Désiré’s message which also includes examples of our children who have benefitted from the support that ICC family members like you have given. Following is the excerpt from Désiré’s message…


ICC-Congo is happy to express good feelings for the work of God that ICC and its sponsors or partners are doing for God’s children here at Patmos Children’s Village.

First and foremost, we need to mention that the mission of ICC is broadly successful and a real relief to the children in need in Congo.

From the very beginning of the project, children came to ICC with critical health issues as they had lost their parents in war, rebellion and many bloody movements organized by rebels wanting to forcibly take power.

We are certain that ICC has saved so many lives of children who might have died. The sponsors’ help is the only way through which they all survive.

Because ICC-Congo admitted many children of the same age, we are now facing difficulty when they are now attending higher education. The budget has risen, because one cannot expect to have a successful job in Congo if you did not obtain a university education.

Broadly speaking, if you desire to flee joblessness you need to hold a university degree. We have experienced this for many years and realize that children need advanced education so that they are fully armed to fight for their own welfare when they become independent.

Education is a weapon against poverty and domination as well as dependency. Once the children have obtained advanced education, they will have necessary tools to overcome poverty and live for themselves when they become independent. The assistance provided to them will remain unforgettable in their lives, in heaven and on earth.

The ICC family is united and works purposely having the fear of the Lord. We would simply like to present the case that our girls attend regularly university and change their lives for the best.

We say, “Thank you to God” and to “the sponsors” who willingly took the children into care. It is not always easy we know! The girls’ education is the best way to set them free from the yoke of slavery since uneducated women are treated as slaves by their husbands.

We are so satisfied that our girls like their studies and their sponsors have decided to help them forge ahead. May God bless them on their behalf.

Many Africans believe that a girl is worth the price of a cow as dowry and cannot become self-reliant. Parents are given a cow as dowry, but their daughters live as slaves.

We thank God because the girls living at Patmos village have thoughts which go beyond this state of things

— Guillaine’s Story —

The university education you helped to provided allows Guillaine to live and work independently. She is free from the life of slavery that would have likely been her fate without an advanced education.

The university education you helped to provided allows Guillaine to live and work independently. She is free from the life of slavery that would have likely been her fate without an advanced education.

Guillaine was 9 years old when we received her in our program. Guillaine’s story begins with the invasion of the Ugandan military into the DR Congo in November 1999.

They set fire to many houses after having looted all the properties. At the time, they killed many with machetes, swords and heavy hammers.

The survivors ran away to settle in the neighboring regions. Among Guillaine’s relatives, only her old grandmother survived.

Despite all the unfortunate circumstances, God protected Guillaine through the Adventist Church. They brought her to ICC-Congo, and we kindly received her with another 11 orphan children whose fathers and mothers had also died in North Kivu Region.

At school as well as at church, Guillaine liked reciting poems. She can memorize and recite biblical chapters containing 20 to 30 verses.

At secondary school, Guillaine studied Business Administration and did studies in Information Technology at university.

Guillaine finished her studies in 2017. Something wonderful is that she never applied for a job, because the place where she completed her professional training selected her for a job without any entry exam.

Today, Guillaine is working as a cashier and is well paid. She courageously witnesses in the church giving thanks to ICC who helped her through its sponsorship department. The sponsors’ contributions changed her life and made her what she is today—very helpful to the society and the work of the Lord.


Guillaine, and many other young people like her, have experienced the wonderful blessing of “the finishing touch.”

Yet, there are many more who currently need sponsors who will also stand by and support them during this critical preparatory time of their life.

For more information on how you can help, please contact Alanna in the ICC sponsorship department at (800) 422–7729. Thank you!

Congo Children Recovering Thanks To You!

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Many have shown great compassion and generosity for the new children in ICC’s care in the D.R. Congo. Thank you so very much for your support of the children! To keep you informed, here is an update on what is happening at the Patmos Children’s Village.

As you recall, toward the end of last year, rebel forces overran three refugee camps in the D.R. Congo. In the aftermath, the Ministry of Social Affairs with the help of the UN military, recovered 906 children who were left orphaned or abandoned.

Government officials distributed the very youngest of these children, from ages 5 and under, to our Patmos Children’s Village and six other organizations. We received 24 children. These joined the seven other new children who arrived in September as result of a devastating mudslide.

The children from the refugee camps were in pitiful shape when they arrived. Traumatized. Sick. Suffering. They had protein deficiencies, typhoid, malaria, diarrhea and other severe effects of malnutrition. Some were so ill that they couldn’t stand on their own. Others were nearly to the point of death.

We feared that the health issues of the children were so grave that some might die despite best efforts to promote healing. We are saddened to report that one child has indeed died. Two other children have been taken to Goma for more specialized care at a therapeutic nutritional center. Thirteen of the children did not attend the New Year’s celebrations due to their health issues. They had to remain in bed.

“Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not…” Because of your kind-hearted generosity, these children have been welcomed into the Patmos Children’s Village and are now experiencing hope and healing. Thanks for caring for “His Kids.”

Thanks to the support from generous donors like you, the caring staff members of Patmos continue to minister to these little ones. The healing and mending process is ongoing. According to the latest report, 60% of the new children are making good progress. The others are being given the medical care and appropriate therapeutic food that they need.

It will take time to work through the details of housing, long-term care and education for all these new children. They now live in two homes at the Patmos Children’s Village. Désiré, project administrator, hired two new mothers per home and a few other persons to help provide for what the children need.

The mothers work very hard day and night caring for the children. The older girls on campus also help by washing the children’s clothes. Even local church members joined in to give assistance. Pastors, elders and mothers from some of the churches in the area came with food to help the children when they first arrived.

A Note of Thanks Especially for Loyal ICC Family Members
Many of you have generously helped to provide for these new children in Congo. What a blessing you are to them and to other ICC children that you support through your financial gifts! We recognize and want to thank you for being a loyal ICC family member. The gifts you give are very much needed, are highly valued and are put to good use providing for the children.

Thank you for your kind-hearted generosity! You are a hero to children who continue to need you very much! May God bless you!

Snatched from the Clutches of Death

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Orphans in Desperate Need – You can help!

— Editor’s Note —

The mission of ICC was conceived in the aftermath of a terrible earthquake that decimated Guatemala City leaving hundreds of children orphaned.

Now, 40 years after ICC’s humble beginning, your ongoing support helps to provide a refuge and nurturing home environment for children who’s lives have been devastated by natural disasters, social problems and civil unrest.

ICC continues to play a critical role in the lives of children who have lost everything and been rescued from the very clutches of death. Your continued help ensures these children receive the care they need!

Please read on to find out more —

One of the orphaned children resuced in the DR Congo

“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger, and you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you looked after me…
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”

Matthew 25:34-36,40.

Refugee camps are supposed to be safe havens — free from surrounding conflicts. At least that’s what they are supposed to be. But in the D.R. Congo it sometimes happens that refugee camps become caught up in the strife and bloodshed.

Recently three camps in northeastern D.R. Congo came under attack from rebel fighters. In the aftermath, when UN military peace-keeping forces arrived to see what had transpired, they found a sickening sight — over nine hundred children were left behind to fend for themselves. The children recounted having only limited food in the camps. At times, they had to survive on wild fruit and edible leaves.

“Thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the ‘least of these’, Desire set about clothing, feeding, soothing, and welcoming them into the ICC family.”

You may recall that in September, our Patmos Children’s Village received seven children because of a mudslide that barreled through a village leaving many children orphaned. Now, just 43 days after these children arrived, another 17 were brought to us. An additional seven arrived the following day bringing the total number of new children to 31 — all within two months.

Patmos director, Désiré, tried to reason with the officials. He pleaded that he didn’t have the resources to provide for these children, many of whom were nearly dead.

But the Ministry of Social Affairs, even though working with the UN troops and seven other organizations in the region, had no other alternatives left. Patmos was their last chance. Désiré agreed to try to save the lives of these little children.

These children were a pitiful sight when they arrived! Photos that Désiré sent tell the story of the children’s meager existence all too well — distended bellies, skeletons covered by skin without tissue to hide the bones, colorless hair (or not having hair at all), splotchy skin, and sad eyes.

The children suffered from some form or combination of health issues: malnutrition and/or kwashiorkor, malaria, typhoid fever, intestinal worms, diarrhea.

Much like Matthew’s description in the Bible of those in need, these children were naked, hungry, sick, a stranger. However, thanks to the support you’ve given in the past and the confidence that you will stand by the “least of these,” Désiré set about clothing, feeding, soothing and welcoming them into the ICC family.

Nine of the children needed immediate medical care in the clinic. As of the writing of this update, four remain in serious condition, one of whom you can see in the picture at the beginning of this article.

After assessing the condition of the children, Désiré believed that 80% of them would have died within a week if they had not come to The Patmos Children’s Village.

In the days following, he received reports about children who died in the care of other orphan facilities. We pray to God that none of the children brought to us will die! God is faithful, and Désiré and his team are skilled at providing the care the children need.

Please pray that God will work through them to restore the health of these children and make a way for them to be fully integrated into the ICC family in the D.R. Congo. But, where to from here — and how can you help?

The Bible makes it clear that caring for orphan children is not an option if you want to demonstrate “true religion” before God (See James 1:27).
The ministry of ICC exists to help rescue and restore the lives of children like this. It will take sustained effort. We will need to work together.

The Plan

In consultation with Désiré, we have established a plan going forward. Within the next three months, 13 of the older children at The Patmos Children’s Village will leave the project to become independent. This will bring some relief to the budget.

However, the net gain from having 31 new children means they need more of the following: care givers, furniture and equipment, food, educational supplies, and ongoing medical care.

For five months, it will cost an additional $9,300 per month to provide for the new children. After the 13 older children leave  The Patmos Children’s Village, that amount will decrease to $4,800.

It will take some time before sponsors can be assigned to these new children. In the meantime, the Patmos Children’s Village needs extra financial support. For the sake of all the children in other children’s villages like Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and India, the extra financial support needs to be on top of support given to those projects as well.

The world is hurtling into chaos. Many of the innocent victims are children. But, the Bible makes it plain that there are no “throw away children.” And how we respond says much about us and what we value.

Your extra gift today of $50 or $150 or even $350 will go a long way to helping these new children in Congo. Thank you for answering the call to feed, cloth and welcome orphan children who need you so very much right now!

Please pray for the ICC Congo situation and especially for the children who are still fighting for their lives. Who knows, someday we might see some of them become teachers, pastors, mechanics and nurses! God definitely has a plan for each one of these kids, or He wouldn’t have brought them specifically to Patmos Children’s Village.

You’ve Saved Lives & Other News

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

News of your powerful impact across the world

Patmos Children’s Village, Idjwi Island — DR Congo

Thanks to your support, the seven children who came to us having lost their families in a devastating mud slide, have been welcomed into the ICC family in Congo.

There is much patient and caring effort that will be required to help them learn the dialect spoken at the children’s village. When more information is gathered, these children will need sponsors to help provide for their care.

Please share this need with others. Maybe you or someone you know would like to sponsor one of these children. Thank you for your support of these children who have lost so much and who stand to gain so much through your generosity.

Las Palmas Children’s Village — Dominican Republic

A photo of the solar panels installed at the Las Palmas children's villageIf you have visited the Las Palmas children’s village in the Dominican Republic you may have experience one of the frequent power outages that plague the campus.

Not only do these blackouts create annoying inconveniences for both the children and staff, they also create security risks.

However, thanks to the wonderful support of the Versacare Foundation, Las Palmas will soon have a reliable source of power through solar energy. Solar panels have been recently installed on various campus buildings.

When fully operational, the solar energy project will provide enough electricity to power the entire campus. It will also create surplus energy to sell to the power grid. What a huge blessing this is to the children and staff of Las Palmas! A BIG thank you to Versacare for this tremendous support for the children!

Myitta Gaye Har (Village of Love) — Myanmar

Sheets of fresh rubber hung on rack to dry at the ICC Myanmar children's villageSeveral years ago, the ICC children’s village in Myanmar developed a rubber plantation with the intent that one day the funds generated would help the project to become more self-sustaining.

It takes a while for the rubber trees to produce. We’re happy to report that this micro-industry is doing well. In the picture you can see the first stage of the rubber processing business. The first sale of the rubber brought in about $2,400. What a blessing this is for the project!

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!

Tragedy Strikes Again in the DR Congo

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Newly Orphaned Children Need Immediate Help!

Overnight. In a moment. In an instant. Life can be forever altered. There are seven orphan children whose lives have been forever changed and who need your help right away! Please read on.

Several weeks ago, heavy rains fell in a province of the DR Congo. No one knew at the time that a tragedy was brewing. However, the heavy rains, combined with deforestation, were just too much for the saturated ground to hold.

Early one morning the earth trembled as a torrent of water, mud and debris gathered momentum and stormed down the hillside. Sleeping villagers had little time to react as the wall of mud crashed through their homes burying entire families and leaving behind a path of death and destruction. In just a few moments, scores of people died and over a hundred children were left orphaned.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

These children (and many others) lost their families during a deadly mud slide in the DR Congo. They were brought to our Patmos Children’s Village. They need your help.

As is often the case in poor countries, humanitarian aid and assistance was slow to arrive to this remote area. The survivors suffered, and this was especially true for the children.

Nearly a month went by before the government assessed what to do with the orphans. That’s when our Patmos Children’s Village was asked to help. Désiré, project director, sent an urgent appeal to my wife, Sharon, ICC’s director for children services. Here is an edited excerpt from that message:

Yesterday we received unexpected visitors — a team of five persons from North-Kivu Province. They had been sent to us by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

This team brought seven children with them. The children had severe malnutrition. They were from Mabolio where a landslide had covered 129 houses. 329 persons were unaccounted for. 97 dead bodies were found along the river. 111 surviving children were without assistance and were half-dead.

The province reported the case to the Ministry of Social Affairs. A meeting was held by the National and International Non-Governmental Organizations to study together a permanent solution to save these children.

At the end of the meeting, the children were spread to 6 children’s villages. That’s how we have received 7 children who need urgent assistance. They need quality food, medical care, clothes, accommodation, psycho-social follow-up, protection, schooling, etc.

We tried to explain to the delegation that we do not have enough financial means to take care of the children. They did not believe us because they had heard about our children we helped to become independent last year.

They also heard that Patmos village has a tremendous reputation all over the country and provides appropriate care to children.

In favor of these children, we beseech you Mother Sharon to introduce this case to the ICC Board so that the children may receive help for their salvation.

For ICC–Congo Project
Désiré MURHIMA
M.Sc Administrator

Désiré is aware of the financial implications of having seven new children to feed, clothe and educate. He has been trying to stretch the resources he has to provide for over 100 children who are currently part of the Patmos family. He has turned to us for help.

And now, I am turning to you. Will you help these children in their time of need? In considering this request, Sharon said, “How can I say no to this very urgent need? I was just feeling like we were getting down to the right number of children in the homes we have, and the Lord is sending more. Is a crowded home better than no home? Is a little bit of food better than no food? It is a life and death situation to these children.”

Today, we are dedicated to stepping out in faith to take these helpless children into our care, a faith in Jesus who has left this responsibility to all of us, and a faith in each one of you that you will step up and support these children as you always have.

It will take some time before we have enough information in order to assign these children sponsors. In the meantime, they will need the things that Désiré mentioned, which will stretch the Patmos budget even further. Your gift of support today for $50 or $100 will be life-saving for these children.

Also, the DR Congo has 423 dialects. Each tribe has its local and/or regional language. None of those at the Patmos Children’s Village knows or understands the languages of these new children. Désiré indicated most of the children don’t know their own identities.

We must move forward to help them. To rescue and restore the lives of orphan children is our mission. We are counting on you as we always have when we face an urgent situation like this. Thank you for your prayers!

On behalf of the children, thank you very much for your generosity and loving care!

May God bless you,
Rick Fleck

P.S. These seven children, orphaned by circumstances beyond their control, desperately need your help. Please send in your gift of support today!

You Saved This Child. But, She Needs Sponsors.

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Jeanne* lived a normal life, not so unlike the lives we all live. Yes, because she lived in The Congo, her culture and other things were different than the ones we have grown accustomed to, but her everyday life in her family was somewhat like ours.

A photo of Jeanne as a young girl after arriving at PatmosYes, like ours until the one day that Jeanne will never forget. This was the day that would take away everything that she cherished the most.

Jeanne’s whole world was yanked away from her due to her father’s second wife, Jeanne’s stepmother. Even though Jeanne’s parents were divorced and her father had re-married, both of her parents still had a connection to each other. That connection was Jeanne.

Jeanne’s stepmother was jealous and decided to come up with a plan to get rid of both of Jeanne’s parents, and then little Jeanne as well. She decided to poison the food that Jeanne’s Mom and Dad ate.

One day, she found the opportunity to carry out her plan, so she acted on it immediately. Within days, Jeanne’s mom and dad were gone. The stepmother was thrilled, and now she decided to get rid of Jeanne. Instead of poisoning her, the stepmother decided to abandon Jeanne, leaving her to suffer and perish on her own.

Someone from the local area found little Jeanne, and they had heard about the ICC Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi. They heard that this was a wonderful place for orphaned or abandoned children to receive love and hope for their futures. It was a place where these children that came from horrific situations could find a refuge from the storms of their young lives.

This kind person brought Jeanne to the children’s village on Idjwi and told the terrible events that had brought her to this place and time. We don’t know what happened to Jeanne’s stepmother, but we do know what has happened to Jeanne. She was welcomed into the Patmos Island children’s village and became part of a loving family.

Jeanne at age 19Jeanne is 19 years old, and she is going to school. She is a little behind other children her age due to those tragic events that took place early in her life.

I just read a report about Jeanne that says she “is a brave, hardworking and a polite young lady. She helps her house mother by carrying in the water, cooking and searching for firewood for her family’s needs. Jeanne wants to become a teacher when she graduates from her studies in order to make a difference in the lives of other children.”

Jeanne’s is a story that is very much like many other children in our ICC villages. Sure, the circumstances may change, but the horror and traumatic events are similar in their devastation. Jeanne is turning the blessing she is receiving from you into a blessing for others by her helpfulness. Jeanne desires to help other children as she has been helped.

Sometimes it is overwhelming to think of the stories that have taken place in the lives of these kids. It can easily destroy the best of days for me if I just leave the story where it started.

Instead, I rejoice in the fact that your support has helped to make it possible for these children to have a reason to live. No matter the reason or event that caused them to become an orphan, they now have love and hope in their lives because of individuals like you who care enough to continue to support them in tremendous ways.

But, there is one big thing that Jeanne needs right how—someone to sponsor her.

Jeanne is entering the time at ICC that we call “The Harvest.” This is the time when the children graduate from school, graduate from their children’s village and become adults going out into the world to find employment and most importantly, share the love of Jesus with others.

This is a continuing story in which you play the main part as a sponsor or donor. Thank you for what you do to change the lives of these kids by helping to provide what is needed so they can have a happy continuing story!

Jesus tells us to “Love one another.” I cannot think of anything in this world that can have a greater impact of love than sponsoring Jeanne or one of these older kids and providing that hope that they cling to as they make their own choices for their futures.

What a wonderful blessing it is to be a part of what Jesus wants for His kids. Please join me today!

In faithful service for His kids,

Doug Congleton
Executive Director, ICC

P.S. There are several older children just waiting to hear from you that you love and care for them. Please contact Alanna at our ICC office (800-422-7729) to find out more about a child who needs you right now! Thank you!

*The child’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

A Step In Faith

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
by: Doug Congleton

“Little Nicole was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness… all of her family members had perished in the landslides… To picture that little child terrified and alone, just crushes my heart…”

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

Nicole’s entire family were carried to their deaths by landslides following torrential rains. You can help Nicole. Your gift will give her a new family.

I know what Faith means to me  — Forever, Anywhere, I’ll, Trust, Him — FAITH. This is exactly what we have again just experienced here at ICC concerning a small girl that was going to die in Congo. The story of Nicole* is an amazing story of what I believe is the main reason that Jesus created ICC. Somehow I think you may feel the same way.

Recently, there were torrential rains, which caused devastating flooding in the Mulenge Mountains, in the Uvira territories of the Congo.

The few people who were able to survive could only stand by and watch as family, friends, animals, livestock, homes and belongings were swept away in the landslides of mud that roared through their village from the four full days of relentless downpour.

Can you imagine how this must have felt to stand there and witness such a horrific event and not be able to stop it?

One night after the storms subsided, one of the ADRA workers that was on-site heard the cries of a small child in the darkness. Little Nicole (we are guessing she is about three-years-old) was found hiding in the bushes, shivering in the darkness alone, since all of her family members had perished in the landslides. To picture that little child in my mind, terrified and alone, just crushes my heart.

The ADRA worker brought Nicole to our Patmos Children’s Village on the island and asked us if we could take her in since she would perish without help.

We are all aware that the finances are really stretched here at ICC right now, but for those of us who serve here, this request to take Nicole in IS the reason Jesus created ICC. We knew we did not have sponsors to financially support little Nicole, but we also knew that without help, she would perish.

So, we have taken Nicole into our ICC Family in faith — faith in a God who is “The Father of the fatherless,” and a faith in our ICC family that you would never choose to turn a child in need away due to financial challenges.

Désiré, our director at Patmos, just wrote a letter to us, and here is an excerpt:

“At the arrival of our new little girl, Nicole, she is very shy and she just isn’t eating all types of food given to her. We found out that in addition to the deadly accident of her parents, she had a case of malnutrition. She has discolored hair, a large belly and scabies on her legs. We ask anyone who has a heart for children to contribute financially to support our little girl Nicole.”

Nicole needed a life-saving love in order to survive. We made that choice in faith to somehow find a way to provide that love for her by adding her to our ICC family.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Nicole needs your help. Your loving gift will give her a new family at Patmos.

Today is the time for each one of us to step forward and make sure that Nicole, and others just like her have a place to call “home.” A home in a children’s village is a place where these children will find the love and hope that they lost or have not had before.

Every one of us can tell these children they are loved in spite of what has happened to them by giving our financial support in providing for them. In giving to these children, I am sure that your life will be blessed many times over. I know this because it happens in my life.

For just 41 cents per meal, which is only $1.22 each day, you can provide an entire day’s meals to a child in Congo. What a difference something as simple as meals can make for them!

If you can help financially, no matter how large or small, please do so today. Will you help Nicole and so many other children know that they are loved enough that someone somewhere will do something to help them? If you and I do not do this for these special children, who will?

Please mark your donations “The Nicole Project and we will make sure that 100% of your donations go directly to provide for Nicole and her new brothers and sisters in The Patmos Children’s Village.

God bless you for providing for these special children in need.

Doug Congleton
Executive Director

*Nicole’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Christmas Matching Challenge Doubles Your Gift

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Dear Friend,

As the son of an Adventist pastor couple, I grew to love and appreciate the special traditions and activities of Christmas.

The candles.

The carols.

The lights on the tree.

The nativity complete with shepherds, wise men, animals, Mary, Joseph and the Babe laying in a manger.

As lovely as the nativity scene is in portraying the “reason for the season,” it also is a haunting reminder to us all that the Babe lying in a manager was in the manger because there was no room for Him anywhere else!

Today, “no room” is a harsh reality that orphan children continue to face.

But not if you help today.

In the Adventist faith, we are told to “make room” for children. James 1:27 even goes so far as to say that pure and genuine religion requires us to care for orphans in their distress. That’s God’s call to action — for me, and for you!

And now, especially at Christmas, you can make even more room for an orphan child by responding to a special matching grant that will double your gift.

That’s right. Because “making room” for orphans is a top priority, two of our loyal donors have stepped forward to challenge you to match their gifts. You can now double any donation you give until December 31 or until a total amount of $60,00 is reached.

The reality is that this Christmas, we’re experiencing a shortfall for the year. That means it’s almost impossible to think of “making room” for any more children. Budgets are strained to the breaking point taking care of kids who already have found room within the ICC family.

So, wherever the need is greatest, your gift brings help — and hope! Your doubled gift will help provide…

Food for Deka, whose mother was killed by lightning and who suffered from malnutrition before she came desperately needing you to help “make room” for her.

Shelter for orphaned Ramon, whose cousin brought him to ICC to get him away from drug trafficking gangs. Ramon needed you to help “make room” for him.

Nurturing care for Sofia, from an orphanage in Guatemala that was closing its doors. Sofia also needed you to help “make room” for her.

‘Room’ for children like Oria and her three sisters. Oria, the oldest sister, wrote a letter pleading, “Please give us your help. I promise that we are going to behave well… We are not lazy. Even my little sister knows how to do dishes and clean. If the four of us can’t stay and be together, which is our desire, at least I want you to help our little sisters.”

The world tells orphans, “There’s no room for you!” But I’m calling on you to tell a waiting child something far different — You’ll say, “I believe in you! I know you long for a home and family, and I want to help you!”

You’ve done it before. Each and every time you’ve sent a gift to help a child.

I pray that because of your support, orphan children will come to know and experience the love of our Heavenly Father. It was because of God’s great love that He gave the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus, to the world. And now, God calls us to prepare room and receive Him by helping to “make room” for His little ones who are in need.

“Let every heart, prepare Him room…”

Please, having read this post, send your gift for the children — which will immediately be doubled.

On behalf of the children, thank you for blessing them this Christmas!

In His Service,

 

 

 

Rick Fleck, President ICC

P.S. Remember to give by December 31 to take advantage of year-end tax benefits and to have your gift matched, helping twice as many children in need!