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The Story Of My Life

The Story of My Life By Lea Wasi

Your support has helped to transform the life of children like Lea Wasi from the DR Congo. Following is an edited excerpt of her story.

I was two years old when my father died in an ambush by foreign rebels. My uncle was the elder of an Adventist church in our area. He had recently received a letter telling about a ministry that would care for orphan children. My uncle, seeing that my mother had 10 children who were orphans, decided it would be better to take two of them to this ministry. I was selected along with my brother.

We had the opportunity and grace to come to the Prolasa receiving centre when the orphanage was still in the city of Goma.

We were welcomed with love. The staff took very good care of us.

We ate three times per day, we received medical care, we were well dressed, and we were happy to meet other children who were in the same situation as us. We met kind housemothers, good supervisors and other people who really cared about us. Our questions were answered with satisfaction and our needs were met. At that point, we even forgot about the wars.

Photo: Because of you, Lea Wasi (pictured in 2005) received many good things such as medical care, education, a loving family, and the chance to know Jesus.

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.

In 2008 the orphanage moved to Idjwi, and that’s where I completed my Primary and secondary school. Once again, I was among the luckiest and went to study at university in the city of Bukavu.

At ICC/Prolasa, we received the following benefits: spirituality, good nutrition, medical care, education, clothing, and many other good things.

Living with a poor, single parent and being an orphan, it would never have been easy for me to even finish primary school. With the opportunity I was given by ICC/Prolasa, I went further than I had dreamed. What a pleasure!

Fortunately, God’s hand was and is still above me. I am convinced that poverty is never a choice, and if it was no one would choose it, I imagine.

Lea is thankful for the support of ICC family members like you. She is planning for her wedding which will be held in June. Her husband-to-be is the chaplain of another ministry in that area.

Photo:Now Lea is grown (pictured in 2020) and planning a family of her own. Thank you!

The Healing Power of Touch, By Rick Bowes

Please take a few moments to look at the two heart-warming photos of an ICC teacher greeting her student at the beginning of the school day.

At first glance one might be tempted to just say, “That’s nice” and of course it is nice, but in reality it’s more than nice, because for that student, that simple greeting could be life-changing.

Photo: Thanks to your generous support, orphaned and abandoned children are cared for physically, spiritually, and emotionally – this includes warm hugs, daily!

Many of the children who come to us, having suffered through the loss of parents, siblings, and other family members, are in desperate need of human touch. The sad story that has been repeated many times is that they have been set adrift in life. They have been passed around, neglected, and abused.

Knowing this, ICC’s teachers, house-parents, and other staff members, are in the habit of giving out warm hugs morning, noon, and night.

To our kids the hugs mean they are accepted. The hugs mean that they are safe. The hugs mean that they belong.

So it is that the hugs are truly life-changing.

I’m writing to you today to say clearly that your donations are making those life changing hugs possible.

Thank you for all you are doing for HIS kids!

Photo: Thanks to your generous support, orphaned and abandoned children are cared for physically, spiritually, and emotionally – this includes warm hugs, daily!

Now More Than Ever, I Love Jesus!, By Brian Manley

Last month I was part of a group that visited Los Pinos Children’s Village in Guatemala.

This was my first visit. The rich history of ICC is visible everywhere on that beautiful campus. The layout of the campus, home designs, farm, school and centrally located church speak of an inspired plan that God has ordained to nurture and care for vulnerable children in that country.

As we walked around campus in the evenings, we enjoyed the sweet sounds of children singing during family worship. Their songs floated from their softly lit homes. The stars were more visible in the dark sky of that remote area.

We heard many stories of God’s provision and power in that project that long-time supporters of ICC may remember and cherish. It is because of the kind generosity of ICC family members like you that such testimonies are possible. We witnessed that God is not finished working with the ICC family in Guatemala.

“Colour!” The children excitedly ran their hands over the colourful markers laid out on a table. A nine-foot design was attached to a nearby wall. The design, created by Ken Wilson, ICC Media Director, filled the large paper with patterns of Guatemalan textiles. Like a moving beehive, the children worked eagerly to fill in the design with various colours they chose.

They laughed and joked and took turns in different areas to fill in the words and patterns. Slowly, words emerged in the middle of the design: “Now More Than Ever: I love Jesus”. This special statement is our theme this quarter at ICC.

“Now more than ever, I love Jesus…”

Those words are a meaningful part of life on campus. Let me explain. Early one morning I joined two of our staff as they left campus in one of the project’s vans.

It was quite cool that morning, but we kept the windows open to allow fresh air to blow in and dry up the foggy moisture on the front window. We drove over the rough, narrow roads through the jungle for about 20 minutes. We were on our way to pick up 18 children and bring them to Los Pinos school for the day.

These children are vulnerable, living in remote areas without access to school. Their homes are small, one room shacks where a parent or relative has cleared a little bit of land to try and survive.

There is no electricity or running water in most of these little dwellings. Poverty and hardship surround the kids growing up in those areas. We arrived at a junction in the road where half the children were already waiting for us. The staff members greeted the children and asked about some of the others who they were waiting for. After about 15 minutes the rest of the children arrived one by one from out of dirt trails in the forest. They looked shy, nervous, excited…

The van door closed and, before starting off, one staff member (speaking in Spanish) invited the children to pray together first. Some of the little heads bowed, others looked around in curiosity.

When the staff member finished a prayer and said “amen,” two little girls on the middle row said “amen,” too.

They felt safe and secure to experiment with this new way of praying directly to God as a father. As we returned to campus the sun was piercing through the tree’s creating horizontal stripes of light across the road and pulsating reflections through the van windows.

When we arrived at the school the children spilled out of the van. They joined the other children from our campus in the central area between the classrooms.

Soon they all lined up at their different classroom doorways where the teacher was standing to welcome them. They each received a warm hug and entered the classrooms for a day full of activity, learning and spiritual nurture.

On Sabbath afternoon we climbed in the van again and drove out to the area of the jungle where we had picked up the children that week. We entered single track, dirt roads and bumped along until we arrived at a small clearing with several huts around.

What a joy to see the principal of our school there visiting the homes of the children. She carried her Bible with her and mentioned that she studied with some of the family members of the children who were interested in learning about Jesus. What a blessing to see our drivers, teachers and school principal living out such committed expressions of love for these vulnerable children and their families.

“Now more than ever, I love Jesus!” And He loves all the children of the world, including those in the jungle near Los Pinos.

Thank you for sharing your love for Jesus by supporting the children!

Photo: Your support enables orphaned and needy children to learn about the love of Jesus. Pictured, children at Los Pinos color a poster that says," Now more than ever, amo a Jesus!" – I love Jesus!

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