Strong Women

Posted: August 13, 2015 by Patrice Miles in C.A.R.E. Africa, Egbe Nigeria, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles, People of Egbe
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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.44.38 PMI am a strong woman. I have never been very sympathetic to anyone’s’ ailments or problems. I persevered through a rocky child hood and it made me who I am today. I continually pray for God to soften my heart so that I have more compassion for people during their times of trouble. I just get up and go and expect everyone else should do the same. Why think about your problems or complain about things when there is this whole big beautiful world out there? I wake every morning excited to see what God has in store for me. I have always wondered why God gave me such a strong heart. Africa has shown me why.

DSC_9946Mom’s in Egbe do not have it easy. It seems eight out ten women I meet are single mothers that have either been abandoned or widowed. Most of them have at least two or more children and are barely managing. Gift, is a widow who has been a part of our seamstress program for over a year now. Her husband died two years ago and she has been managing ever since. At the beginning of 2015 she expressed the need for her four children to attend school. When I went last week on a home care visit to see Gift, I was again amazed at the joy that so many Egbe mothers have in spite of their circumstances. As I watched Favor, her 15 year old son, boil corn over charcoal and tried to get Goodness, her youngest, to sit still for a picture, I asked Gift a few questions.

DSC_0042“How often are you getting to seamstress class every week, so you can graduate soon?”

“I haven’t been able to attend in the past few weeks. “ Gift said quietly.

“What work are you doing for money right now?” I questioned.

“I have had a few brick and stone moving jobs here and there.” she proudly told me.

“How are you able to buy food and provisions for your babies right now?”

“I am very wise with my money, Mummy.” she told me.

“Do you have any family that can help?”

“No Mummy. My father is old and I have lost track of my brothers and sisters.”

DSC_0022We are then interrupted by her youngest son named , Thankgod. He comes running past me with a wheel on a stick. He was laughing and laughing as if his toy was the best toy in the whole world. Gift smiled at him and laughed and then offered me corn that Favor had been boiling. Goodness, her youngest, stared at me as she leaned on Emma eating her corn. I wondered what she was thinking of my white skin? I wondered if this is the only meal they will have all day? I wondered if Favor always cooked the meals? I prayed in my head for God to show me what he wants me to do for this family. I was speechless as how this mom continues to smile, laugh, and love these children and God everyday.

I am also amazed at how I can go home to my revitalized house, eat my dinner with my family that fills my belly, and not think about Gift and her family in their 10×10 room with their boiled corn. How do I sleep at night in my soft bed shipped from the US and not wonder how all 5 of the Jeremiah family fit on the one mattress they have on the floor? Have I become immune to the poverty here? Is it really poverty or is it just a way of life here? My mind can play so many tricks on me and my emotions can get the best of me sometimes. Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 5.59.54 PMI am a strong woman and God built me for this bush life but I am also weak too. I cannot rely on myself to remain strong but, thank God that I can rely on him. I know God is faithful. I know he loves all his Egbe children both old and young. I know he will always give them what they need. I am only one person but he is all-sufficient. He shows up over and over again for these Egbe Mom’s…..I see it in their smiles…..I hear it in their laughter! Thank you God for making me the way you did. Thank you God for allowing me to see how weak and inadequate I am so I can see how BIG you are. Thank you God for using me!

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Comments
  1. mary eicher says:

    Never think you are better hon. We have so much to be thankful for in our walk with Jesus. Love, Grandma in Texas

  2. Megan says:

    Amen, Sister! I feel the exact same way inside as you do and I often forget about the children in India we visited and their extreme poverty. Rick is unemployed right now, but I don’t understand how it can be easy for us and not for others. God has a plan and it’s always Good!!

  3. Domark says:

    This is great Patrice. God will continue to guide and protect you. However, the scenario is very common in our society. We are praying and hoping that God will give us a leader that will understand that one day, they nust die, hence the need to do the right thing through contributing in developing humanity.

  4. Kate Hadassah says:

    I have never been able to see past myself and my loved ones before,but God is helping me to see beyond myself,to want to live for others.and am seeing it again through your post.

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