Posts Tagged ‘Nicaragua’

A Small Church With A Big Heart

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

In 2006, ICC began a special sponsorship campaign called “One Church, One Child.” Since the start of this program, many churches, big and small, have partnered with ICC in providing for the care of orphaned and vulnerable children. This initiative continues to be a blessing for ICC’s children.

An exterior view of the Portales, NM, SDA church.

The Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

Recently, our attention was drawn to one particular church that has a big (and growing) heart for “His Kids.” This church of 22 members, most on fixed incomes, is located in the small town of Portales, New Mexico. In January of 2007, this church joined ICC’s One Church, One Child campaign. Accompanying their most recent sponsorship donation was a note which read:

“Because God has blessed our group we are adding funds for two more children. So now we will be paying for eight children each month instead of six.”

The ever expanding generosity of this church merited further investigation. What was this church like? What caused the members to continue to expand their support far beyond the original scope of only sponsoring one child?

Interior view of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church.

The congregation of the Portales, New Mexico, SDA church during services.

One of the church members, Merlene Olmsted, provided insights into how the church’s involvement with ICC has grown over the years. She said that the church decided to sponsor two children at the beginning. “We didn’t even know how it would go,” Merlene recalled.

As time passed, support increased. Merlene continued, “We would be going along and the church treasurer would say, ‘We have this much money, and we’re way ahead. Why don’t we sponsor more children?’”

About once a quarter, Merlene shares with the church news or information from the Que Pasa newsletter, ICC’s website or something one of the sponsored children has written. Recently, at an evening board meeting after one of those presentations was made, the treasurer indicated that there was $1,000 in the sponsorship fund for the children and there was only a few months left in the year. The board decided then to sponsor two more children bringing the total number to eight. That is more than one third of the church’s membership! With these latest additions, the church now sponsors three children in Congo, two children in the Dominican Republic and one child each from Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Int’l Development Director ICC

New Residents at ICC Nicaragua Farm

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Thanks to recent donations, the Fountain of Life ICC Children’s Village in Nicaragua has been able to increase the size of its dairy herd. Currently there are nine cows giving milk and ten heifers that will be giving birth in about eighteen months. The milk cows have given birth to six calves. That makes a total of twenty-five cows with the potential of ten others on the way.

One of the new new cows at the ICC Nicaragua farm

One of the new cows at the ICC Nicaragua farm.

The September 2010 edition of ICC’s Que Pasa Newsletter features a personal message from Rick Fleck that tells of the blessing this dairy is to our children and the local community. A copy of that Que Pasa can be found here.

In addition to the dairy herd, the Fountain of Life Children’s Village is also raising chickens. In total there are seventy-seven chickens. These include sixty-one hens, four roosters, and twelve chicks. Eggs from the chickens provide food for our children and any excess can be sold.

Chickens from the ICC Nicaragua farm

Some of the new chickens at the ICC Nicaragua Farm.

What a blessing it is to have a growing number of animals on this campus. As well as providing milk and eggs for the children and community, they provide a small source of revenue and allow some of the children to learn animal husbandry.

Thanks for reading!

Kent Greve
Int’l Development Director ICC

Nicaragua Project Aids Devastated Community

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

One of the benefits of using the family model in caring for the children in our program is so the children may learn by example. Watching their parents and our project administrators participate in the local community as involved citizens is a powerful way to teach the children to become responsible citizens themselves.

On Friday, September 24th, 2010, tropical storm Matthew blew in from the Caribbean to make landfall on the eastern coasts of Honduras and Nicaragua headed for Belize and Guatemala.

Satellite Image of Tropical Storm Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew approaches the eastern coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras. The Yucatan peninsula of Mexico can be seen in the upper left of the photo.

The slow-moving storm spent the weekend delivering torrential rains, flooding and mudslides to Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Bridges collapsed and roads were washed away. Some towns were buried in mudslides. In Nicaragua alone 65 people were reported to have lost their lives.

Thankfully neither the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village in Nicaragua, our Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala nor the Escuela Adventista Children’s Village in El Salvador were adversely effected by the storm.

Sadly many people in the region surrounding the Fuente de Vida Children’s Village were not so fortunate. 25 miles of roads were impacted by wash-outs and water wells were fouled leaving many of the poorest people of the area isolated without food, drinking water or communication. Nicaragua’s national economy has also been effected because the region around Fuente de Vida is the main producer of peanuts, shrimp and cattle products in Nicaragua.

Over the past couple of weeks, Félix Almendarez, our administrator in Nicaragua, has responded to this disaster by taking what milk, drinking water, food and household items the families at Fuente de Vida could spare.

One of the cows from the ICC Nicaragua project.

One of our cows from our farm at the Fuente de Vida Children's Village in Nicaragua.

Félix has been transporting water to the effected families by using our tractor to haul a tank of clean water. He has also given what food we could spare from our crops and milk from our cows. It is this kind of selfless response to neighbors in need that we want the children to see and from which we hope they will learn to adopt the same values.

The Farm Tractor From the Fuente de Vida Children's Village

The farm tractor from the Fuente de Vida Children's Village that Félix has been using to haul water to the effected refugees of Tropical Storm Matthew.

Still more is needed. The mayor of the department of Chinendega has asked Félix if he, and by extension the ICC family, could help provide further basic food items for the displaced families. You can help us and Félix purchase sorely needed staple foods such as rice, beans, oil and sugar. All that is needed is $300–$400. Please consider giving even a small donation to aid these families.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

A Story about some Good Friends from Holland

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Here’s a personal message from Félix, our project administrator in Nicaragua.

Back in about 1996, when Angelica and I had a small vegetarian restaurant, we met Dr. Gert Brillenburg from Holland who supported several social projects in the department of Chinandega in Nicaragua. One of those projects was for people with problems with hypertension and diabetes. He asked my wife Angelica to help him by giving some talks on vegetarian cooking and nutrition to people attending his program. Until October of 1998 Angelica helped with that program, but because of Hurricane Mitch in 1998 we got involved in rescuing and helping the people affected by that disaster, and our lives took an unforeseen turn. We had to close our business, and we ended up taking care of the orphan children from Hurricane Mitch in a program that was created with the support of many friends and which is operated by International Children’s Care (ICC) here in Nicaragua in the department of Chinandega and which we now know as Fountain of Life Family Home.

From the start Dr. Brillenburg was one of the people who really believed in this project and has enthusiastically supported it all this time. But not only that, he also invited a couple who are friends of his, Nico and Corry Hooijmaaijer, to support this project as well. And this has resulted in a great blessing for our children’s village, not only because of their great financial support, but also because of the energy and strength that they give us with their words of encouragement, their trust and their friendship both by letters and by a couple of visits they have made – the last one being in April of this year, 2010.

Nico Hooijmaaijer and Dr. Gert Brillenburg

Nico Hooijmaaijer and Dr. Gert Brillenburg

In the past when we built the previous orphanage building, these three Dutch friends helped us with different needs. For example, they provided part of the outside wall of our complex, the garden, and the floor in certain areas. With our new children’s village, they have given for the construction of the dairy building, two cows with calves. And recently Nico and Corry donated a new 4.5 ton truck. A few weeks ago Dr. Brillenburg let us know that he and his wife sent us some money for more cows. They want us to very soon have a functioning dairy.

Truck Donated To ICC Nicaragua By Nico and Corry Hooijmaaijer

Truck Donated to ICC Nicaragua by Nico and Corry Hooijmaaijer

During all these years God has blessed us with many special people like these Dutch people that they could get to know about this project, and he has placed in their hearts the desire to help. This spirit of unconditional love, expecting nothing in return, inspires us and gives us new strength to continue on.

Thanks for allowing us to tell you this story, although it is in simple and short words, about how God has blessed this work through these wonderful people.

Félix Almendarez
ICC Nicaragua Administrator

We’ll See You at GC!

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Are you going to the SDA General Conference session next week in Atlanta? If you are it will be your opportunity to acquire a fine delectable that can only be obtained at the ICC booth. I am speaking of the amazing Stroopwafels (Stroopkoeken in Dutch) from The Netherlands. I’ve enjoyed these wonderful treats on several occasions and I can tell you that they will not last. I’ve traveled the world and been privileged to enjoy some tasty ethnic cuisine but nothing is quite like the Stroopwafels.

A delicious picture of stroopwafels


These confectionery concoctions were provided for us by a Dutch baker to aid ICC in raising money for ICC’s worldwide ministry that is creating families for orphaned and vulnerable children. Each package of Stroopwafels will cost $5. You’ll be able to purchase these mouth-watering, delightful delectables at booth number 554 with all proceeds supporting ICC’s children.

Once you’ve got your Stroopwafels be sure to take the chance to view the many other distinctive items collected from the countries in which ICC has projects. The Mexican tops which were very popular five years ago in St. Louis will again be at our booth. Just remember, these tops sold out in two days.

You will also find hand-made decorative clay pottery from Nicaragua and Guatemala. The story of the Nicaraguan family who creates these distinctive, singular pieces of folk art and how they’re supporting ICC is quite fascinating. Wood carvings from India will also be available. Remember, the proceeds from the sale of these items directly support our children.

While you’re at our ICC booth be sure to spend some time talking with those of our staff members manning the booths. This will be your opportunity to talk personally with many of the people who make this ministry what it is.

We look forward to seeing and talking with you at the General Conference session. You’ll be able to find us at booths 554 and 556. See you there!

Thanks for reading.

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC