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From Survive to Thrive

FROM SURVIVE TO THRIVE, By Brian Manley, Executive Vice President

What does it mean for a child to thrive when they have only been able to barely survive? It's more than providing basic food and safe shelter. Within the ICC family, we believe for a child to thrive they need to live in a healthy, clean home with loving “parents” who help them connect with a new community and, ultimately, to their Heavenly Father.

This little girl (pictured below), lives in our Patmos Children’s Village. What she has suffered, and others like her, we would never wish on any child. Some of the Patmos children were violently displaced from their families and survived in a jungle area, eating leaves to stay alive. Experiencing such trauma, a child can have many emotional wounds related to abandonment. They have not seen nurturing, caregiving modelled for them. They may not know what it means to be part of a safe and loving family.

Photo: What a blessing it is to see an orphan "play mum" with her own baby toy. This is a testament to the happy home she now enjoys — thanks to you!

Yet, here she is, happily pretending to be a mother and caring for her “baby.” What a wonderful thing to see an orphaned child learning how to nurture a desire to take care of a baby. That is a good hint that she is thriving in her home in the children’s village.

Her basic needs are met, but much more, she lives in a loving home that is her new family. She is understanding new and healthy values being modelled. She can copy a new pattern in life. In her home she is also being led to understand what a relationship with Jesus looks like. This can be a source of real healing for her mental and spiritual needs.

So, we rejoice to see this little girl, playing and pretending to care for another human life in a joyful way. This is a living example of what it means for a child to thrive. Isaiah 58 tells us, “If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought…

The ICC family of donors, staff and caregivers provide support for “hungry and afflicted” children. Our collective support helps at-risk children do more than survive. By the grace of God, we help them to thrive. With your support they can thrive and grow into joyful followers of Jesus. They will also make meaningful contributions to their own family and community.

May God fulfil His promise and satisfy your soul as we partner together to extend ourselves in support of His children.

May God fulfil His promise and satisfy your soul as we partner together to extend ourselves in support of His children.


“Now, more than ever” orphan children need to hear the good news of the gospel. Through the generous support of ICC family members like you, young people like Isaac and Aryan have not only learned about Jesus, but they have also surrendered their lives to Him and have been baptized.

Though Isaac and Aryan are not related, they arrived at the DEWS Sweet Home campus in the same month - June of 2014. Isaac’s parents had been tragically killed in an automobile accident when he was just four years old. Aryan had lost both of his parents when he was seven.

The other children welcomed Isaac and Aryan enthusiastically into the Sweet Home family. They were excited to have new brothers!

Not only did the boys arrive in the same month, their paths since then have been very similar. They were enrolled in the Flaiz school where they completed their elementary education. They are now in 10th grade at the school.

Last year, both boys decided to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour and were baptised. Their personal walk with Jesus hasn’t stopped there. Both Isaac and Aryan are active members in the church. They participate in Sabbath School and Vesper programs and are involved in special Bible Studies on Sabbath afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m.

Photo: Thanks to your generosity, Aryan (top) and Isaac (bottom) surrendered their lives to Jesus and have been baptised

These boys are representative of many children within the ICC family who have been given a new life after tragic events have caused them to be orphaned. What a thrill it is for all the ICC family when children like Isaac and Aryan thrive in their new home environment and prepare themselves for a home in Heaven!

Jesus is still the answer for orphan children, now, more than ever!


India: DEWS Sweet Home

Isaac and Aryan, are just two of the forty children who are part of the ICC Sweet Home family. During the recent holiday season, we received a special update from India. Here is an edited excerpt from Susan Moturi, Project Administrator: “We send greetings to you from Dews Sweet Home, wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

We are blessed to have the whole [Sweet Home] family for the holidays. All are doing well, and we hope you are, too. We had Sureen’s wedding in Flaiz church with Shanthi Priya, followed by a reception at the Sweet Home campus. (Sureen is one of Sweet Home’s older boys). They have known each other since high school.

We had welcomed Sweet Home alumni to be part of the Christmas program and the wedding. Since the wedding was on 22nd, they stayed for the rest of the weekend.

We had a nice event on Christmas eve - a bonfire with snacks - and had the older brothers give testimonies about their life and what made them remain close to Sweet Home.

They are very grateful to ICC. Christmas day events included a special breakfast, beach trip, delicious lunch and play time.

All the college students are here, and they are very excited to be back home to enjoy the short break with their brothers and sisters before they head back to college.

Photo: The DEWS Sweet family pictured above includes current and former children.

As we come close to the year 2023 and look back on the years from 2020 forward, we know that God has blessed us with good support from ICC and the sponsors, especially during COVID. We were able to come through with very little impact on our children, except two casualties of staff members. We miss their presence.

The campus is bustling with little children running around enjoying their time off from school, playing, laughing, quarrelling, and complaining. With just a small band aid of love and attention, they are happy again in no time.

Mexico: El Oasis Children's Village

Not only do orphan children need a loving and secure environment in which to grow and thrive, they also benefit from special activities such as learning to play a musical instrument. Children at the El Oasis Children’s village are participating in a music program geared especially for them. The following is an edited excerpt from Mauro Reyes, Jr., Assistant Administrator.

“God has been very merciful and cares for us in so many ways. Of the many activities and experiences, we want to share the following:

Our music program is advancing step by step. The children have general music classes in our school where little ones learn bells and older children learn recorder. After their meal they have private lessons and learn piano or a band instrument.

We have witnessed how through learning an instrument our children grow in confidence. To be part of the band makes them aspire and reach goals. They learn that good things take time, need continuous effort, and have a cost. To care for the instrument borrowed makes them responsible.

They are taught that God gives them opportunities and being thankful makes them better persons. Finally, we can add that playing for others (like in church!) helps their social awareness, and it’s important to share their joy.

On October 22nd we were invited to have a concert at the local Adventist church and on December 2nd we went to Ensenada, Baja California, to play in a university that wanted to give us some warm blankets for the winter.

On December 1st, we held our Open House and Encendida del Árbol event (Christmas tree lighting). We went to every house to see how the kids decorated their rooms for Christmas. In each home we considered what Christmas really means and lit up the home's Christmas tree.

After going to the homes, we came to church and turned on the church's Christmas tree and the big El Oasis Project Christmas tree that is set at the church's side. This was accompanied by fireworks. The evening ended by playing together and having dinner in our school. This makes forever experiences and gives opportunities to be closer to one another. Pray for us.”

Photo: At El Oasis Children's Village, your loving care allows orphan children to experience music classes.

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