Posts Tagged ‘Versacare’

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.

Violent Storm Damages Las Palmas Crops

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve received some disturbing news from Mario Lora, ICC’s business and farm manager at the Las Palmas Campus in the Dominican Republic. On Friday, May 27 an isolated and violent storm swept through the Las Palmas campus and caused extensive damage to the farm crops which had been growing in such abundance.

Weather forecasts had not predicted the storm, and it hit the campus unexpectedly and with terrific force. According to Mario, “Its radius of action was practically in our locality and towards the mountains. In fact, the nearby city of Bonao had no damage.

“We understand that it affected an area of about 10 square kilometers with us in the center. We haven’t heard anything about it on the news, and everyone who comes here is surprised when they see the destruction.

“In fact, one of the engineers in charge of the greenhouse project, when he came here was stunned because he didn’t know this had happened, and he was investigating a lot to see what happened. It was quick, only lasting about 20 to 25 minutes as a strong storm, and then the rain lasted for a long time afterward. There was no warning to prepare.”

Plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm destroyed by a focused storm.

Some of the destroyed plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm

About 2/3 of the plantain crop was damaged by the heavy winds and rain that accompanied the storm. Many of the trees were laden with plantains and according to Mario, “With a few exceptions, all trees that had stalks (bunches) of plantains fell to the ground. The stalks varied a lot, from ones that were just flowering to those that were ready to harvest.

Of the trees that didn’t have stalks, only a few fell to the ground, but a very small percentage. We think that about 2,500 plantain trees fell over. Each stalk has about 30 to 40 plantains, which at the current market price are worth between 5 and 7 pesos, so each stalk is worth about 150 pesos [$4.05]. When we multiply that by 2,500 trees, it comes out to a loss of about 375,000 pesos [$10,135]. Also, we were left with about 1,250 trees which will start flowering in the next three months.”

The loss of the trees means more than the loss of the crop. A tree can produce several crops, plus they produce other “children” – small trees that grow up to the next generation. Mario, the staff and children at Las Palmas have quickly started the process of rehabilitating trees that can be salvaged and planting new trees.

Mario states that, “when we plant a new crop it takes about 8 or 9 months to start producing.” One piece of good news is that the project already has enough seeds to do the replanting and together with rehabilitating the damaged trees, the project should be able to expand the crop. This will have to wait until the rains allow the workers to prepare the land.

Plantains are a staple crop at the children’s village. This loss will certainly impact the project. Mario continues. “Of the production that we had projected, we consume almost the entire crop. What was happening at this moment was that as the plantains would get ripe we would cut them for use in the homes. They were not all ready to cut at the same time. In fact, many times we have had to cut them before they were really ready because of the needs in the homes.”

One of the other important crops at Las Palmas is Yucca. Mario estimated that perhaps 30% to 40% was affected. Since Yucca are tubers, it’s difficult to say at this time what the effect of the storm may be. However, there was significant damage to the plants themselves and the tubers may rot or not develop normally.

Garden vegetables were also hit hard, and according to Mario, “everything we had was ruined.” The house father and children of house 4 on the Las Palmas campus had put forth dedicated effort to supply the homes with vegetables. Mario estimates that this was valued at the equivalent of $135 per week so over the next 8 weeks as they wait for new crops to mature, they’ll need to spend about $1,080 to replace what was lost.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm

There are some bright spots in all this discouraging news. All the children and staff escaped unharmed. Praise God for that! Also, the sweet potato, corn and pineapple crops were not damaged. As well, there is something telling about how Mario describes the attitude of the staff and children on campus. “What has impressed me the most in all this,” he states, “is the good spirit that exists among the employees and the kids. We can see complete unity in order to reestablish, with God’s help and our efforts, what has been damaged. We have courage to continue on as long as the Lord gives us the strength.”

We’re pleased to report that when the Versacare Foundation heard about this tragedy, they immediately provided a donation of $10,000 to help with this food emergency. What a blessing this is! Additional funds are needed, and if you would like to help, please mark your donation “Las Palmas Farm and Food Fund.” It will directly assist with this need.

Thank you for your generous support.

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC