Written 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 above, 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 modeled for them. They may not know what it means to be part of a safe and loving family.
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 modeled. 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.
And 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 fulfill His promise and satisfy your soul as we partner together to extend ourselves in support of His children. Please, won’t you consider giving an extra special gift today to help support His children in 2023?