Posts Tagged ‘Village’

Part 2: Q & A with Rick Fleck, President of ICC

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Last week, was part one of an interview with ICC President Rick Fleck. In part two of the interview, Rick shares that sometimes kids need help after they turn 18. It’s compassionate donors like you who ensure that “His Kids” aren’t simply ‘turned out’ on their 18th birthday. Rick also shares what is happening in ICC projects to help them become more self-sustaining.

Rick Fleck and one of ICC’s kids at their graduation from high school.

“It is thrilling to see a young person march up and receive a diploma and then go out into the work force and live a productive and service-filled life.”

Q: How would you describe the “Finishing Touch” for an ICC child, and why is it so important?

A: Some organizations are done helping a child when she turns 18. In fact, government authorities encourage ICC to end our support of children at 18, because at that point they are adults, and, according to government authorities, there is danger of them doing something inappropriate with the smaller kids. But we feel strongly that we should help these kids until they are capable of being independent, so long as they cooperate with the rules, have good behavior and do their best to succeed. So we have a scholarship program to help young people get vocational training, a technical degree or a college education.

It is thrilling to see a young person march up and receive a diploma and then go out into the work force and live a productive and service-filled life. That finishing touch makes all the difference and is the actual culmination of all the care and work done for that child up to that point.

Q: What efforts are being made at children’s villages to establish self-sustaining industries?

A: From the start, my parents (Ken and Alcyon Fleck) had the vision that each children’s village should have practical income-producing activities — cottage industries. These would not only provide food for the kids but would give them experiences which would help them later in life — and help donors’ gifts go further.

We are also working to establish some industries, which can produce significant income to help to sustain the children’s villages. We have a chicken industry in Guatemala and a fish industry in the Dominican Republic. Also, we have a mobile clinic project in Congo which is producing some significant income for the children’s village while at the same time providing a real needed service to remote communities. If we can help them to produce income locally, it means we can help more children, and that is always the passion of ICC donors.

From Beggar to Professor — Thanks to YOU!

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

“I never ate fresh food on a clean plate”

That is what Timothy said on his way to the Sweet Home Children’s Village in India. But today Timothy is teaching as a college professor — thanks to your support!

A photo of Timothy

This is Timothy. His life in India began as a street beggar, but now he is a college professor because of your support.

Timothy’s story is an amazing example of how you can dramatically change the life of a child. It also demonstrates how education plays a vital role in preparing a young person to lead a productive life. We’ve told you about Timothy before. We’d like to give another update, because he continues to demonstrate that your investment in him has been well worth it!

As you may recall, Timothy was a beggar at a railway station in India. One day a pastor from the Flaiz School was waiting for his train. Timothy was standing next to him, and the pastor noticed his poor condition. He told Timothy about the ICC Sweet Home Children’s Village where children get food, clothes and an education. He asked Timothy if he would like to go to this home. At first, Timothy refused. but when he saw the train approaching, he picked up the pastor’s brief case and said; “Sir, that is our train, let us go.”

The next morning when Timothy arrived at the Sweet Home children’s village, the staff welcomed him warmly. They quickly found out he didn’t know his last name, the names of his parents or the name of the village where his parents lived. He could not remember anything about his family. He had lived on the railway station platform since the death of his parents. Your donations make it possible for Sweet Home to be a safe haven for children like Timothy.

Timothy grew up at Sweet Home. He attended elementary and high school at the Flaiz Adventist School. After his high school graduation, Timothy studied Theology at Spicer Memorial College (now called Spicer Adventist University). He received a Bachelor’s Degree in 2014 and successfully completed a Master’s Degree in 2016.

Recently Timothy returned “home” and joined the Flaiz College as a teacher in the Theology Department. He is now “paying forward” the support you gave to him by teaching at the same school where he was a student. Timothy is recognized as a good teacher and a talented preacher.
Your support made possible a great transformation in Timothy’s life. He is grateful for the prayers and financial support of his sponsors. Tim is an example of how your investment in ICC’s children is paying a wonderful return as they pay forward the blessing in lives of service. Thank you!

New Children At Los Pinos

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Guatemala — Los Pinos

If you were to visit the Los Pinos children’s village I think you would be impressed by the various agriculture initiatives and industries on the campus. They are working hard to provide some of the income they need for their expenses.

A thriving chicken house provides eggs for the needs of the children. The extra eggs are sold in the village. We’re hoping to expand the dairy in the near future, again to provide for the needs of the children and have some extra for generating income.

The Los Pinos children’s village has also taken in several new children, thanks to the support you’ve given. In order to better accommodate these children, we’ve been making some much needed repairs to a few of the homes. This includes such things as installing new floors and windows and repairing bathrooms.

A photo of Anselmo

Anselmo

You may not realize it, but bringing in new children has a vitalizing effect on the entire project, much as it does within our own family. Having new children spreads an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm around the campus.

We recently shared the story of little Anselmo, one of the newest children at the Los Pinos children’s village. I had the opportunity to meet him recently. He really stood out as a special kid. He always had a smile on his face, was very sweet and affectionate to all of us. I could see that he was adapting very well there and seemed to be very happy and comfortable with his new family. He came over to me many times and hugged me with a big smile.

When Anselmo arrived he had a lot of bruises, but, in spite of that, he is not aggressive. In his house he protects the little kids, even though he is also a little kid himself. It’s wonderful to see how quickly kids like Anselmo adapt and begin to enjoy their new family. Kids who’ve never known a real family can now experience

In Memorium : Alcyon Fleck

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

ICC lost its founder, Alcyon Fleck, on May 25, 2015. After a short illness, Alcyon passed to her rest. We still mourn her passing, but we also celebrate her life, for she leaves behind a lasting legacy of love.

A young girl from ICC’s children’s village in Mexico, sleeps in Alcyon’s lap while Alcyon was visiting the project.

Alcyon Fleck and one of the orphans for whom she provided a home.

From her early childhood, Alcyon had an interest in helping orphan children. She eagerly followed the antics of the little cartoon character, Orphan Annie, and this made a deep impression on her. Even at a young age she felt drawn to help orphan children.

In later years, when she and her husband, Ken, served as missionaries in Central America, she was keenly aware of the conditions of many orphaned and at-risk children. Her compassion for these children often lead her to provide temporary care for the most neediest cases. Little did she realize at that time that the Lord was preparing her to create the ministry of International Children’s Care.

Through the years, Alcyon was a driving force for this ministry. Her foresight and vision helped her create a model of care for orphans that closely resembles a natural family. Her love and compassion for children ran deep, and she was affectionately known as “Mommy Fleck” to hundreds of children. Her care and concern for the children’s well-being motivated her to reach out to caring individuals like you.

Alcyon was always amazed at the way you came to the rescue of the ICC children, especially when they needed it most. Actually, you have been a driving force for ICC. Your support, your prayers, your interest encouraged Alcyon, and she never took for granted the important role you have in rescuing and restoring the lives of orphan children.

Alcyon loved the children. And they loved her in return. When news spread around the internet that Alcyon had died, many of the children posted comments on Facebook about what Alcyon meant to them. One boy wrote that he had lost his “angel.” It’s symbolic, for sure, but it tells of the deep love and respect he had for Alcyon. In a sense, you give ICC children the love of angels when you give a gift to the Alcyon Angel Fund.

Even though Alcyon has passed away, her legacy of love lives on through this fund that bears her name. Alcyon’s Angel Fund helps us provide care to children who desperately needed a loving home and have no other place to go. Help to rescue and restore a child’s life in her memory by sending a gift today.

It was in May, 2014, that Alcyon wrote what would be her final personal message for the Que Pasa. It was a fitting final message as you can see from this excerpt:

Dear ICC Family,
It has been a long time since I have written a letter to you… Most of you know that I lost Ken, the love of my life, [to] bone cancer. It has been a challenge to learn how to run my own life without his valuable help. But he fell asleep in Jesus and I know I will see him again on the resurrection morning. I can hardly wait for that day to come.

International Children’s Care is still a priority in my life, and all of these needy children are the objects of my prayers. I thank the Lord every day for our ICC family and your faithful support for our children…

These little children who have come to us to find a home have also learned to know the Jesus who loves them.

We are looking forward to the day when that same Jesus will welcome them into their Heavenly home, and that will be a permanent home.

In closing I just want to thank each of you for your loyal cooperation in helping us care for so many of these precious children whom I know are precious to Jesus too.

With my love to each of you,
Alcyon

While all of us at ICC were saddened by Alcyon’s passing, we are encouraged by the blessed hope we have in Jesus, which she believed in with all her heart—that one day we will be together with our Lord and reunited with all our loved ones in an earth made new.

Please know that you are leaving a lasting legacy of love through your support.

We have included a few of the messages received through posts and messages on Facebook that came in response to the news of Alcyon’s passing:

“We are sure she will inherit the kingdom of God, as she had lived for Jesus and done the best for His precious children. In honor of her, we will try to do our best to carry on the task she started that we may meet her in the new earth to come.” — David, ICC administrator

“How sad to learn of the loss of my mother, my Mommy Fleck. Oh how much I loved her, and she knew it! Thank God for that Angel who gave us life… What we are today we owe to that beautiful family which forged values and principles within us for eternity.” — From one of “His Kids”

“I love you Mommy, you who are everything, and thanks for helping all of us from the children’s village. You and you alone are our heroine most loved in this world.” — From one of “His Kids”

“A person filled with love, generosity and service. Mommy Fleck always gave love in our lives. We carry her in our heart, but we realize that we will see her in Heaven together—the family that we are.” — From one of “His Kids”

“The feeling of all of us who were impacted by the unconditional service of Mommy Fleck is the same, sadness. But we know she rests in peace. I wish I would have been able to tell her personally, ‘Thanks for changing my life.’” — From one of “His Kids”

You may view a video of Alcyon’s memorial service at this link: http://vimeo.com/140318853

Las Palmas Receives Visitors

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

While in the Dominican Republic as members of a group participating in a church-building project, a party of friends, organized by Nancy Wilson (wife of Elder Ted Wilson, General Conference President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church), took time to visit our Las Palmas Children’s Village.

Jean Parchment, one of the groups members, wrote this first-hand account of the group’s visit to Las Palmas.

They toured the Las Palmas campus and spent time with the children and staff. We at ICC would like to thank our special visitors for taking the time to come and see our children’s village.

“My excitement grew as the bus turned into the gate of Las Palmas. We sensed that we were going to meet some very special and precious people.

“We were not disappointed. The director; Samilin Williams met us with warm hugs. Her welcome reflected the warmth and kindness of the staff and children to whom we were introduced.

“I was extremely impressed by the well kept campus. The school and homes also reflect cleanliness, orderliness and neatness.

“I must hasten to note that my greatest joy was seeing seemingly well-adjusted children of all ages, enjoying the care and love of their teachers, director and foster parents in a natural family setting.

“A handsome and very personable young man, a resident since he was four-years-old and now a college student, came to the director and spontaneously hugged her. Wow! I thought, this speaks volumes. What I witnessed truly demonstrated the warm relationship that they share.

“We were privileged to meet a young teacher, one who went through the system of Las Palmas and is now giving back, teaching with love and kindness.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

Jean Parchment (at left) and her group visit the school at the Las Palmas Children's Village.

“Las Palmas demonstrates hands-on love of God for His children. I made the trip to deliver gifts but I received inspiration and blessings that cannot be measured by volume, time, money or distance.

“It is reassuring to realize that funds donated are being used as intended. My resolve to do all I can to help ICC projects deepened. This work is evangelism in its most powerful and effective form. Didn’t Jesus Himself declare that ministering to His precious children is pure and undefiled religion?

“Thank you ICC for your vision and sustained support of this awesome work, thank you for the privilege of being a part of your ministry.”

— Jean Parchment —

Congo Update — Spring/Summer 2014

Friday, June 27th, 2014

150 children
8 University / Vocational Students
8 homes / 11 families

A photo of ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Project Contact
Communication is very difficult between this project and the outside world. Even when ICC’s children’s services personnel try to call, their conversations are often cut short due to poor phone communication and internet connections. It is difficult to discuss all topics from either end.

Email communication is challenging when working through issues. There is nothing like sitting face-to-face. Rick and Sharon Fleck plan to take a trip to Congo later this year. If they can’t go into Congo for some reason, they will meet with the key personnel in Rwanda for a week.

Project Staff
The project has a new children’s service director. She seems to be doing a great job. The progress reports indicate that the children have experienced many positive changes. This could also be partially due to the presence of a psychologist who is working with the children’s services director.

Education
The children are growing up. A majority of them are in secondary school which has caused an increase in the education costs. They have a European style of education where students start specializing in the areas that they will be studying in university. This project is not able to offer all the different streams of study at the campus school, so some of the students have to go to other schools to continue their education. Funding for education is one of the greatest needs at this project.

Desire, the project administrator is encouraging the students to study for different specialties so that eventually they will be able to help our program with their education. They may also be able to help in an area that will provide funds for the project. It is a wonderful concept.

A photo of the secondary school at ICC’s Patmos Children’s Village with Lake Kivu in the background

Construction and Development
Construction continues on the secondary school. An additional amount of about $22,000 (€16,176) is needed to complete this important project.

Work continues on completing house #9 so that the new children will have a home to live in.

The Patmos children’s village also is in need of staff housing. Current facilities are not adequate or appropriate to for administrative and support staff.

Doug Congleton and Joel Reyes placing the special message that was included with the container ICC shipped to the Patmos Children’s Village

Container
In February, ICC US sent a container of much needed supplies. As of the end of June, 2014, it had arrived in Rwanda is the process of getting it out of customs is underway.

Potato Harvest in Romania

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Potatoes are a staple food for our ICC children in Romania. Potatoes are prepared in different ways and the children love them. For a few years now, our ICC partner in the Netherlands has found a company to help supply seed potatoes for our project. These are shipped to Romania along with other needed items for our children and the wider community.

Harvesting Potatoes at International Children’s Care’s Romanian Children’s Village

Harvesting potatoes at ICC’s Romanian children’s village

This past March, 1,200 kg  (2,645 lbs.) of seed potatoes were included in the transport. These were planted in the ICC Romania garden and nurtured through the growing season. When the staff and children harvested the potatoes, the yield was 6,000 kg (over 13,000 lbs). This quantity is enough to feed the children until the next harvest.

Potatoes grown on the ICC Romania Farm

Some of the potatoes that were harvested at the ICC Romania children’s village

What a blessing this arrangement is for our children and staff. They received a donation that quite literally grew bigger as they nurtured and cared for it. This is symbolic of the children themselves. Many of them come to us as small children. Yet, with nurturing love and care, they also grow and develop and mature into talented and energetic young people with the capacity to make a difference in the world.

Thanks ICC Netherlands for organizing this initiative.

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo

A Special Message From India

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

We are passing along to all of you, as requested by the sender, this note from the director of our children’s village in India, Lilly Kaligithi.

Dear Friends;

As you celebrate this Christmas may our Lord’s birth be experienced in your hearts and bring you joy and hope for eternal bliss. Soon we will enter into another New Year, 2013. May the Lord guide and bless every step that you take and every decision you make.

God has blessed Sweet Home in many ways. My heart is filled with gratitude as I look back on what our children have accomplished by the grace of God. One boy completed Masters in Biotechnology, and received a medal for his outstanding performance. Four [children] have graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in Nursing and nine have graduated from Academy.

They certainly made me proud. I wish to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your great support and encouragement.

“And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.” Isaiah 58:11

With best wishes and Season’s Greetings from your Sweet Home Family;

Lilly F. Kaligithi

Water Emergency

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Water. It’s often taken for granted when you turn on the faucet anticipating a clear stream of liquid to refresh, to cleanse, to invigorate. Nothing satisfies thirst like water, and when a problem in the supply system interrupts the flow of water to our ICC children it becomes an urgent problem that requires immediate attention. This is what happened at ICC’s Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala. The children’s homes and facilities draw water from two wells, and recently the children and staff were totally without the use of either of them.

The well behind the bakery has a broken pipe inside, and the workers can’t get the pump out. The problem was immediate, and our administrator had to solve it quickly. The pump motor on the other well burned out, and the shaft is broken.

For a very short time, water was shared from an emergency well at ICAP, the secondary school whose property is next to Los Pinos. However, this was only a temporary solution.

The cost of purchasing a new pump for the second well is $1,543. Our administrator, Joel Carpio, had no choice but to purchase the pump and quickly put it into service. Once again, water flowed through the system and our children and staff had the supply they needed.

Problem solved? In one sense, yes, and in some years, it may not have mattered too much if Joel had to use operating funds for this out-of-budget purchase. But this year it matters very much because the summer months have seen donation income decrease significantly at ICC. This has put a huge strain on all our projects as we’re not always able to send operating funds at the time they are needed. ICC project administrators like Joel are trying their best to keep the essential operations moving along, despite the hardships. When something like the broken wells occurs, it causes added strain to the budget. In this situation, Joel had to use money from his already depleted operational funds which are desperately needed to provide for the care of our children.

I’m writing today to make you aware of this situation. We need your prayers. We need our Heavenly Father’s blessing from the “windows of heaven” so that Joel is able to have sufficient operating funds to provide for the daily care of the children. If you feel the nudge to assist Joel please let us know. You can also send your donation marked “Guatemala Need.”

Thank-you for your continued interest and support of ICC’s children and projects around the world. It’s the ongoing, consistent support of our faithful supporters that makes this ministry for orphaned and abandoned children possible. Without you, we’d not be able to care for them. So, in a sense, it’s our supporters who put the “care” into International Children’s Care. May God richly bless you for your care and support of the children.

In His service,

Kent Greve
International Development Director