A Miracle Starts with One Man's Ministry
The 30-year history of the International Children’s Fund begins with the ministry of Dr. David Bruenning, but it definitely doesn’t end there. ICF has become an ever expanding network of caring relationships, formed between African missionary workers and the people worldwide who sustain their efforts.
From Wisconsin to Africa — a pastor's preparation
When Dr. Bruenning entered work as a Christian pastor in Wisconsin USA, he had no idea his ministry would extend around the world. The scope of his work expanded as he heeded God’s call to evangelism training, preparing local pastors and lay people to share the Gospel. This soon led to evangelism training overseas, and before long Dr. Bruenning had developed connections with local ministers across Europe, Asia, India and especially Africa. This work required travel, including plenty of training missions to many parts of the African continent.
Using a natural resource to meet a pressing need
Wherever he went in Africa, Dr. Bruenning couldn’t forget the faces of the children he encountered. Pleading from the street corners for food, water, and the warmth of a human touch, he felt God’s tug at his heart to find help for these precious young ones. He soon realized that he had a tremendous source of help already at hand. He personally knew local, dedicated pastors across the continent who could funnel essential aid directly to the children in need. His pastor friends were excited about the possibilities. Only one challenge remained: how to find the resources needed to make a lasting impact.
Serving Africa with Midwestern practicality
On his return home to Neenah, Wisconsin, Dr. Bruenning began sharing his idea for an African ministry. Soon a group of volunteers was assembled, and a vision for the new International Children’s Fund came into focus:
All volunteer — To minimize costs, the ICF would function with an absolute minimum of paid staff
More than money — The ICF team would specialize in sending needed supplies and financial support directly to the African missionary workers who had a vision for their use
Soon shipments of clothing, medical supplies and other essential equipment began making their way across the Atlantic, packed tightly into shipping containers expertly prepared by volunteers in a borrowed warehouse in Neenah.
The work of ICF continues to this day in much the same way. We are still filling shipping containers with the generous gifts of American businesses and individuals. Improvements in communication and infrastructure have allowed us to also accept financial gifts. These generous financial contributions support the drilling of water wells, the construction of orphanages, churches, and schools, the purchase of medicine, food, and supplies, both locally and from around the globe. Join Us >
The future — picking up the pace
Even though Dr. Bruenning has reached the age where some men retire, he shows no sign of slowing down. He’s still traveling to Africa, laying the groundwork for ongoing ministries that will thrive long after he goes to meet the Lord. A volunteer staff shares his enthusiasm, creating the assurance that the good work done decades ago will continue to benefit Africa’s neediest children for many decades to come. Donate Now >