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Sheep Are Stupid

Posted: August 7, 2019 by Patrice Miles in Miles In Missions, Patrice Miles, Prayer, SIM

At the beginning of this year my mission’s agency, SIM, held their annual Spiritual Life Conference in Miango, a retreat center in Nigeria. The theme was Psalm 23.

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SLC 2019 Painting by Washiba

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[
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I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

 

 

The speaker started the first session of the conference with a sheep analogy. He talked about how wonderful it would be to follow Jesus, the Shepherd, and be a sheep. All I could think about was “Sheep are stupid!” When I think of a sheep I think of an animal with no brain that just eats and sleeps.

Is that how Jesus wants us to be? Lay around and just eat and sleep and enjoy the pasture and quiet waters? The Holy Spirit convicted me to research sheep and shepherds to learn more. I found out some amazing things;

1. Did you know that sheep need to eat the best grass possible so their wool is very good and pleasing to wool traders? Without the Shepherd leading them to green pastures they will continue to eat in the same pasture until the grass is no good. Then their wool will be coarse and brittle and good to no one.

 I want to eat good grass so I am not coarse and brittle but beautiful and valuable!

2. Did you know that sheep’s wool when wet is so heavy they can actually drown in a pool of water? If they stumble upon a fast paced stream of water, it could actually sweep them off their feet and then once wet, they would drown. The Shepherd will always lead them to quiet waters so they can be refreshed without fear of drowning.

I want to be refreshed and restored and stop fearing that I might drown!

Jesus, Your Good Shepherd And Door by Joseph Prince3. Did you know that sheep stray off sometimes or get lost and get themselves into trouble? Wild animals actually lay in wait for these straying sheep so they can devour them. The Shepherd will find that sheep and if that sheep continues to stray the Shepherd will actually break the sheep’s leg. He will then carry the sheep until the leg is healed so that the sheep will begin to understand its need for the Shepherds protection from the animals prowling around waiting to harm it.

I don’t want to stray and be at risk of being devoured by wild animals laying in wait for me!

Oh Lord help me to rest at your feet today, wanting to be led into green pastures and beside quiet waters. Help me to always hear your voice loud and clear so I do not stray or get lost. Thank you for being my Shepherd and always picking me up and carrying me when I think I know my own way. Thank you for protecting me from the evils that lurk in the shadows that I cannot see. Thank you for being a good Shepherd and always bringing me back even though I can be so stupid sometimes.

 

 

In less than a month I will be headed back to Nigeria. It is impossible to contain the joy I feel! I can’t wait to spend time with my team encouraging them in the tireless work they do.

Last Import - 405 of 581My mother, Jolene Eicher, will be joining me for her third trip to Nigeria. She will be busy interviewing and documenting the stories of several of our caregivers, our children and our C.A.R.E. Africa staff.

IMG_1380 2Ashley Beebe, a school teacher, will make her eighth trip to Nigeria. She will work with our teachers at Foundations Academy Egbe. We will be packing a lot into this short trip.

 

We need your help!!

Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 8.34.33 AMWe will host a back to school party with the theme “What Would Jesus Do”. Our goal is to help the kids remember in the new school year to model Jesus in all they do. To always be kind, gentle and patient and not lie, steal or cheat. We are taking rubber bracelets stamped with W.W.J.D. for them to wear to remind them each day – “What Would Jesus Do”. We will also provide each child with a backpack, some school supplies, sandals, underwear, socks and more. Can you help us collect new or gently used backpacks from anyone you know? We also need K-12 boys boxer briefs, girls underwear, sports bras, belts and white crew socks (above ankle). Monetary donations would also help us purchase needed items and/or cover any baggage fees. You can Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org with any local donations I can pick up or I can give you a shipping address. 

Any monetary donations can be given to our general fund at give.icareafrica.org or checks can be made payable to CARE Africa and mailed. Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org for our mailing address.

The kids love school and are always excited to receive their new school supplies. Thank you for all you do!

“So What’s Next?”

Our family has been hugely blessed the past two and half months on home assignment re-connecting with our family and catching up on everything we had missed the past two years. During this time we met with SIM and our home church. After wise counsel we have decided that our next two year term will be stateside. We are praying you will continue to walk with us through our next two years of ministry.

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Polsgrove Family Reunion

So what does this look like for Miles In Missions and our supporters?

For Miles in Missions: The next two years I (Patrice) will remain a full time missionary with SIM. I will travel to Nigeria several times a year. My goal is to grow the ministry both in Nigeria and stateside. I will continue in my roll as sponsorship manager for the orphans along with donor relations, marketing, empowerment and accounting. We will set up house in Louisville, KY and Lenny will do re modeling jobs to supplement our income. The kids are enrolled at Portland Christian school and start classes August 15th.

For our supporters: If you are currently donating through SIM and or C.A.R.E. Africa, we ask that you prayerfully continue. The ministry continues to grow as more orphans and caregivers come on board. This growth is a blessing from God but adds additional expenses. This is why your continued support is critical. 

*C.A.R.E. Africa currently has 60 orphans and 55 caregivers enrolled in our programs with more on the waiting list.

*AWANA Egbe hosts over 150 kids every Monday.

46773a43-6a66-4618-9e60-fb7ba7346d47*Foundations Academy Egbe has been open for almost one year now and we currently have 58 children attending. The current building is already too small so we have found 25 acres of land but will need to raise around $7,000 for the purchase plus an additional $250,000 for the building of the elementary, middle and high school, chapel, administrative offices, medical clinic, hostel, guesthouse, soccer pitch and sports buildings.

*Emma Salako (C.A.R.E. Africa CEO and co founder) will be attending seminary school part time for the next 4-5 years for youth ministry.

*TITI, our Nigerian daughter, has completed one year at Lancaster Bible College with academic excellence and has three more years to go.

*Spring of Life HIV/AIDS clinic continues to rely solely on donations to run the center as all government funding has been non-existent. In addition Pastor Alabi has been invited to attend a new SIM gathering in South Africa for all the HIV/AIDS ministries across the world.

All of these programs would not be possible without your donations and cannot continue without your much needed support. Thank you for continuing down this road with Miles In Missions. We will keep you updated on our progress.

If you are not currently a supporter and would like to join us on this next chapter please click http://bit.ly/milesgive

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When It’s Calm.

Posted: July 19, 2019 by Patrice Miles in Uncategorized

Check out another beautiful post by Titi and how you can wish her a Happy 21st Birthday.

Plantains Please

IMG-20190105-WA0013 Peace, bringing it all to peace…

“Why do you love to stay up so late?” I prefer not going to bed early because I would rather experience the calmness at night than waste it by sleeping. At night when everyone else is sleeping, it is calm inside and it is calm outside and I can finally let out the breath I do not always realize I am holding onto all day long. It does sound ridiculous if you like to go to bed before twelve, or maybe it sounds like a luxury if unlike me you have a lot to do during the day and cannot keep your eyes open at night.

IMG-20190105-WA0010 The rage in me to still…

Another reason would probably be that I cannot stop thinking…for the life of me I can not get my brain to shut up, ever! At school I am using my brain a…

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“It’s time to go home.”

Those were the words my husband said to me one morning after returning from a Men’s retreat. I thought he was joking and when I realized he wasn’t, I became angry and hurt. For 48hrs I didn’t shower, barely ate and I wrestled with God. I questioned everything I believed in, my faith, my marriage, my motherhood and my life. At some point I reluctantly handed over my ego and my superwoman cape. I sat at God’s feet and just started to breathe Him in. I realized that I had been drowning under my own skin. Throughout my life God has always picked me up before I self-destructed and I realized that He was saving me from myself once again.

simkidsHe opened my eyes to the fact that my amazing son has just two years left to prepare for college and doesn’t know how to go to the grocery store, manage a checking account, drive a car, clean his own clothes, cook a meal or simply clean a toilet. My beautiful daughter has art and musical gifts that she craves to learn more about and our environment had limited resources to help her. My loyal husband, who has supported my work with C.A.R.E. Africa for 6 years, has a body ravaged with sickness that needed to heal physically as well as emotionally. Then there was me… I was so stressed from trying to raise money for C.A.R.E. Africa without ever having face-to-face time with our loyal donors or the opportunity to build new relationships that I felt the stress in the base of my neck daily.

 

superpatriceGod first, family second and work/ministry last. Once again I realized my priorities were skewed. Everyone around me was struggling including myself. It hurt to realize that all my superhuman powers had failed to save everyone. When I slowed down and breathed God in, He reminded me that He gave me wings to fly – not a superwoman cape. It was time to let go.

So what does this mean for our family and our ministries in Nigeria? It means God is in control and we are not. We are excited about this next chapter and how God is going to show off. I am eager to see my family flourish and C.A.R.E. Africa bloom into the beautiful flower God wants it to become. Stay tuned to our next blog as we give more details on our time in the U.S.A.

One Year Down! — Plantains Please

Posted: May 15, 2019 by Patrice Miles in Titi

Titi’s latest post!!

That’s right! By God’s grace I completed my first year of college. I was going to celebrate by dancing and posting a short version of it here, but who am I kidding? I was so busy at the end of the semester that it felt like I was having an out of body experience, observing […]

via One Year Down! — Plantains Please

Teach to Transform Nigeria

Posted: April 17, 2019 by Patrice Miles in Jos Nigeria, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM

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Judy, Pastor Dogara & Wife

 

“Would you like to come to church with me?”  Last year, Judy, from Southeast Christian Church happened upon a Nigerian pastor named Dogara Gwana who was in Louisville for some seminary classes. Judy invited him to church and her bible study. It was at the bible study where Pastor Gwana met Dr. Tom McKechnie, founder of Teach to Transform. Teach to Transform (TTT) equips indigenous pastors and believers with basic medical training, farming and vocational skills. The hope is by using their new skills it will open doors for the gospel to be shared with others.

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Dr Tom Mckechnie & wife Karen with board member Ken Wilson and a TTT participant TY Wiggins

But the exciting part of this story is how God had a plan. Judy and Pastor Dogara were one of two divine appointments. My mother had heard of TTT and asked for a meeting between TTT and the Foundation she works for. As she  listened to TTT share what they do with the Foundation’s President she thought of Nigeria. My mom told Dr. Mckechnie about her daughter in Nigeria and asked if they had ever considered going there. Having two divine appointments where Nigeria was mentioned, Dr. McKechnie felt he had to explore what God had in mind. He traveled to Jos, Nigeria, and met with SIM, Pastor Dogara and myself. After seeing the need, Dr. McKechnie committed to coming back with a team.

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The Team

This past week I have had the pleasure of hosting this amazing team of 14 facilitators from Kenya, Texas, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky (my home town). We had 59 participants who attended the training in basic medical skills. About 75% of the class passed as trainers. Each was given a medical backpack with all the necessary medical supplies and sent forth to spread the gospel through basic medical care. Our class of 59 had a higher pass rate then any class TTT has ever trained. The high pass rate testifies that Nigeria has the people it needs to truly transform this nation if given the education and tools to do so. This story is about the awesomeness of God! You never know when you invite someone to church or set up a meeting that you might be a part of a divine appointment orchestrated by God Himself.

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