top of page

A Test of Faith

A Test of Faith by Anne Marie Ivan

Your support has helped to transform the life of children like Anne Marie Ivan from Romania. Without parents to guide her, Anne Marie struggled during early childhood. She lived with relatives before being placed in a family at the Children’s Village in Romania.

At first, Anne Marie rebelled against the values of the Children’s Village. She struggled in school, too. Yet, the house parents took a special interest in helping Anne Marie to succeed. That’s when she began to realize that they truly cared for her well-being. Now, years later, Anne Marie is studying to become a dentist! Thanks to the support of people just like you, Anne Marie was able to flourish in a loving family. Following is an edited testimony that she shared.

My name is Anne Marie Ivan. I am 23 years old and I live in Bucharest, Romania. My dream is to become a dentist and right now I’m in my fourth year of university. I believe that this is possible only because God loved me so much that He had prepared for me a home and a safe environment where I was able to grow, study, and get to know Him.

Recently, I had a situation where I had the chance to see Him working for me. Normally we don’t have exams planned during the weekend but, because one of the professors had a cold, he decided that the only time he had left for our class to take the exam was on a Saturday.

Because of you, Anne Marie Ivan (pictured left in 2005) thrived under the care of loving parents at the Romania Children's Village. Your caring support helped to transform her life. She is now studying to be a dentist (pictured right in 2022) and was bold enough to stand up for her faith in God when it was tested.

I knew I had a choice to make and I kindly asked him after that class if there is another option, because I want to keep the Sabbath according to my beliefs. He told me that I can’t be a doctor and keep the Sabbath at the same time and refused to give me another option. I was disappointed and somehow furious. I wrote a letter to the secretary, but they also said there is nothing they can do. After this, I remembered to pray for my situation. The next day, I received another letter where I was told they had found a solution to my issue and I was able to take the exam a few days earlier with another class.

I am very grateful because God always took care of me directly or through wonderful people like you who have always been there for me, supporting me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. Thank you so much!

A Tribute to Mothers

It’s not an overstatement to say that ICC house mothers are the heart and soul of this ministry for orphan and vulnerable children. They provide love, care, and guidance to every child in our homes. They create a family atmosphere where children feel safe, supported, and valued. They nurture the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development of our children.

House mothers are role models, heroes, and family members. They teach our children skills and values for life. They dedicate their lives to serving others and overcoming challenges. They put the needs of our children first.

House mothers are essential to our mission of transforming the lives of orphaned and abandoned children around the world. We are grateful, proud, and honored to serve with them. Thank you, house mothers, for everything you do. You are truly amazing!

A Legacy of Love and Care

Honoring a House Mother’s Retirement

In a 20-year time span…

  • How many meals would an ICC house mother in the DR Congo prepare, serve and afterwards, clean up?

  • How many articles of clothing would she wash and rewash again and again?

  • How many prayers would she send heavenward interceding for her children?

  • How many tears would she wipe from her own eyes and the eyes of the little ones (and big ones) in her care?

And yet, in contrast to all of the loving care she provides, how many times has she heard a heartfelt “thank you” in return?

During this month of celebrating mothers, we want to recognize one of ICC’s mothers, Mama Tebeya. She stands as an example of all the house mothers as well as the thousands of women who support them so they can serve orphan and vulnerable children.

According to Désiré, Patmos’ director, Mama Tebeya served the children with excellence, was very brave, and was appreciated by all. The children loved her.

Désiré shared that, “Her best memory remains the fact that the majority of the children gave themselves to the Lord, to the church, to studies and today hold positions in society after having contracted religious marriages.” This provides insight into the powerful influence Mama Tebeya has had on the lives of ICC children.

Thank you, Mama Tebeya, for your years of service. And thank you to all of our mothers within the ICC family! May God richly bless you for supporting the children and house mothers who provide for their care.

Tebeya with a woman whom she helped to raise as a Patmos House Mother.

No Need to Worry!

By Lorinda Manley

I want to share with you an inside peek into the complexity of ICC’s work for vulnerable children in developing nations. As a Bible believing organization, our worldview is shaped by our understanding of events through a scriptural lens. The following shows why ICC’s mission is imperative at this time in our world’s history.

When I last visited Guatemala, I noticed a colorfully clad, small doll showing up in numerous markets and souvenir shops county-wide. Here is the story of this small, seemingly innocent doll. They are termed ‘Worry Dolls’, or Muñeca Quitapena in Spanish. They originated from an old Mayan legend in the highlands of Guatemala. According to the lore, the sun god granted the Mayan princess, Lxmucane, an extraordinary gift that can solve any human problem.

They whisper to them their problems, then tuck the doll under the pillow. While the child is asleep, the doll is supposed to do all the worrying, thus relieving the little one of all the concerns that would otherwise keep them from sleeping soundly.

The doll will have done its job by the time the sun comes up and the child wakes to their worries gone. It is thought that because the worries stay with the doll, the worry doll’s tummy should be caressed by its owner to prevent it from hurting.

In Guatemala, they’re handcrafted using a wire or wooden base, with a face made with cardboard, cotton, or clay. The dolls wear a traditional Mayan dress of aguayo, a cloth that originated from Guatemala. Wool and colorful textile leftovers are often used, as there are many of these dolls to be found.

Mayan worry dolls are often stored in groups of six to allow the owner to pick one doll for each day, with the option to make one day of the week a rest day for the doll and the person.

As orphan and vulnerable children come into daily, weekly, nightly contact with our staff and community, they often bring these types of beliefs. It is imperative that we understand their world view to better point their precious hearts toward the only hope and peace that is real.

How wonderful that we know a Savior who will listen to our worries, our concerns and give us the rest we all so deeply yearn for. It’s available for free and whenever we ask for it. Now, more than ever, ICC children in Guatemala and throughout the world need to know that they, too, can rest safely in the arms of Jesus.

Thank you for helping to transform the understanding and the hearts of the children!

In Mayan tradition, children who have trouble sleeping or have frequent nightmares are given worry dolls. Before bed is often when a small child confesses their fears, sorrows, and worries to the doll.

Because of your support, orphaned and abandoned children are taught to give their worries to God. Family prayer and worship are a daily part of life, replacing customs such as the "worry dolls" of Mayan tradition, pictured above. Children learn to love and trust the God who hears and answers prayers. They also receive psychological counseling to help them overcome trauma.

Remembering My Mom

By Rick Bowes

One day when I was about ten years old my mom, leaving me alone at home for the first time, went to our local market for a few minutes. And just before leaving she said to me, “Whatever you do Ricky, stay away from the flares.”

Though I heard her words clearly and had every intention of obeying them, I just couldn’t stop focusing on the two roadside flares that my dad had just purchased. The flares, at that moment, were resting on the backyard picnic table awaiting delivery to the family car.

Mom left, but in a couple minutes of time, despite her explicit instructions, I had both flares burning brightly.

Reading this, you’re probably saying, “What were you thinking?”

My classic answer back to you would be, “I wasn’t thinking.”

The terrifying reality of what I had done came crashing down on me when I heard mom’s car in the driveway.

Not having a clue of what to do, I quickly got a shovel, found a patch of bare ground in the far reaches of the backyard, and buried both of them.

But that done, in horror I realized that the still smoking, buried flares were making our backyard look like a miniature Yellowstone.

Before I could get my wits about me, mom was at my side. Noticing the missing flares, smelling the burning phosphorus, seeing the smoking ground, and observing my panicked, and guilt-ridden face, she had every reason to launch into a sermon, but instead she began talking about how much she loved me, and about how much God loved me.

To this day I can clearly remember my mom’s words, and I can honestly say that they worked to change my life in dramatic ways.

This month, as we honor the mothers in our Children’s Villages throughout the world, we gratefully remember that our ICC moms are constantly sharing that same “I love you, God loves you” message with each of the children on a continual basis.

But these faithful mothers can’t lead and love, counsel and comfort the children without your ongoing support. Even though it’s not feasible for you to provide direct care for the children, you are able to do the next best thing! Pray for and financially support these mothers who do provide loving care for the children.

This month, in honor of ICC mothers around the world, please give an extra special gift to ensure that they are equipped to provide for the needs of each child.

And one additional idea: If you’re able, please consider supporting ICC children and the mothers who care for them by giving a special gift from stocks, a mutual fund, an IRA or Donor Advised Funds.

The children need you. Thank you so very much for all you do for them!

This Mother's Day, help us celebrate ICC house mothers around the world. Through your prayers and ongoing support, orphaned and abandoned children are placed in the care of loving mothers. Even when children make mistakes, these mothers consistently share the message, "I love you, and God loves you, too."

Congo Update

Pathfinder Clubs

We are so excited to announce that we have raised enough funds for the Pathfinder Clubs at the Patmos Children’s Village in the DRC(Congo). It's such an important part of our program for all of the children there. Each of our projects has Pathfinder Club and it is something that the majority of the children want to be a part of. They are up very early each week, usually on Sunday mornings practicing for their activities and doing their class work for the different levels. Participating in the club gives the children an opportunity to experience fellowship with other young people outside our campus in a very positive way. We don’t have many opportunities for this. They feel if they can’t attend the

camporees, then there is no purpose in putting in the time and energy for this on campus. The camporees are the highlight for them all. They leave energized and return exhausted and without their voices, but extremely happy!

It is expensive for our campus, since our “family” is large compared to most families in the community, but so worth it for the young people. They grow spiritually and socially through this program. Generally, our clubs are at the top

in their respective countries.

A huge thank you to you all for your continued support to make this happen.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page