Just before Christmas in 1997 Mexican authorities decided to close two deteriorating orphanages. Twenty-four orphan children needed a place to live and we were asked to take the children. Even though the El Oasis Children’s village was not completed, ICC administrator’s decided to welcome them into the ICC family.
What a scene it was when the large bus rolled onto the El Oasis campus and the children disembarked. They were wide-eyed and filled with wonder as they surveyed their new surroundings.
Food for the Family
Among the group of children who arrived that first day were Ricardo and his two brothers. They had lost their parents. Before the government stepped in to help the boys, four-year-old Ricardo would go out into the local village in search of something to eat. He would return with food for his younger brothers so they could eat.
It should have been no surprise that at the end of their first meal at El Oasis, the two older brothers took food from the table and quickly hid it under their beds. They didn’t realize that the ICC caregivers were going to provide for them! It took two or three more meals, but then Ricardo began to realize that, for the first time in his life, he was going to have enough food!
This happened thanks to the support of people just like you who care for orphaned children.
As Ricardo grew up, he demonstrated many positive traits: patience, a good attitude when dealing with difficulties, natural happiness, and interest to learn more about Jesus and the new life He promises. He was a helpful child and wanted to learn to run the little PA system in the church. At 10 years of age, he was already in charge of operating it every week during services. He would arrive wearing a suit coat that was too large for him, but he wanted to look like a pastor or someone important. He made sure that things functioned correctly in order to make life a little easier for the administrator.
A Proud Father
One day the little daughter of Ricardo’s house parents was learning to take her first steps. The house father was obviously excited. Ricardo observed what was going on with great interest. He eventually approached his house father and asked, “Do you think my dad was excited when I took my first steps in life? I wish there was someone that would have been excited for me.”
His house father replied, “I don’t know about your biological father and what happened back at that time in your life. I do know that every day I’m thrilled to be your house father. As the days go by, I’m proud of everything you do – for being such a fine young man, for being so helpful and caring of other people. I know that Jesus would have been smiling down and would have been proud of you the day you took your first steps as well.”
That’s the kind of loving care that you help to make possible through your generous support!
A Student and a Professional
Along with the nurturing care that Ricardo received at El Oasis, he had the opportunity to go to school. What better way is there to break the cycle of poverty than to engage a young mind in positive learning experiences?
Ricardo did well in his studies and showed that he was intelligent and capable. Eventually, through the kind support of individuals, Ricardo enrolled in the dentistry program at Montemorelos University in Mexico.
Ricardo excelled as a student and as a growing professional. When he was doing his practice in the school clinic, patients would often say: “I would like to wait for Dr. Ricardo.” He was well known for having a great attitude with the patients. He showed real care for them, not only regarding their medical needs, but making sure he could inspire them with the seed of hope and happiness. The patients also knew Ricardo’s dental work was very good.
This past May, Ricardo realized a dream when he graduated with his degree in dentistry. The ceremony was held online because of the pandemic.
Giving Thanks by Giving Back
Ricardo’s graduation picture was featured on the university Facebook page throughout the weekend. We celebrate with Ricardo in this wonderful achievement and know that God has special plans for him.
Ricardo is grateful for the amazing support that the ICC family provided. He knows that, without faithful supporters, his destiny would be totally different.
Ricardo wants to continue giving back by helping others in need as he has been helped in his life. Helping others is what Jesus taught us while He was on earth, and at El Oasis, Ricardo learned to love Jesus and follow His steps! Thank you for helping to make his journey possible through your support!