Author Archive

My Birthday Wish

Posted: October 20, 2020 by Patrice Miles in Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles, People of Egbe, Prayer, Sponsorship, Titi

My 41st Birthday is tomorrow! Would you help make it one of the best birthdays ever, by donating to my Birthday Fundraiser for Titi! https://www.donorrise.com/careafrica/titi/birthday

Titi desires to give back to the world through social work and she only has 1.5 years left until she graduates. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her, she is an adventurer, not scared of anything, introvert, analytical thinker, wise for her age, beautiful on the inside and outside, heart for the Lord and the voiceless and oh so much to say once she gets to know you. She is RA at her school currently, mentor in English department and making straight A’s. God has big plans for this girl and I am excited to get to watch it all play out! Join me by helping make a difference in her life and so many others that she will help one day.

My Birthday wish is to pay Titi’s second semester tuition at Lancaster Bible College! This would be the best birthday present ever. Just click this link to help! https://www.donorrise.com/careafrica/titi/birthday.

 

Update on Return Trip to Nigeria

I have had so many people ask me when I plan to return to Nigeria now that international airports are opening. Our visit in June was cancelled due Covid-19 and my team and I have been anxious to reschedule. The most recent COVID testing and quarantine protocols for travelers arriving in Nigeria requires:

  1. We must provide the airline with proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result administered within 5 days of departure to Nigeria. The airline will deny boarding of any passenger who does not have said proof.
  2. We must register and upload PCR test results to Nigeria’s online International Travel Portal.  We must pay via the online portal for a Covid-19 PCR retest in Nigeria to occur seven days after arrival at an approved lab.
  3. At the airport in Nigeria we will undergo mandatory health screening and must present evidence of negative pre-boarding PCR test results and evidence of payment/appointment for a repeat PCR test in-country.  Our passport biodata page including our passport picture will be forwarded to all COVID-19 PCR Sample Collection Centers.
  4. Mandatory eight days of isolation.  Present ourselves for repeat Covid-19 PCR testing on day seven.  Once we have received a negative repeat PCR test the quarantine is lifted.

We would have to travel to the small town of Ilorin for our repeat Covid-19 PCR tests 7 days after arrival. The four hour drive to Ilorin is over difficult roads that are frequented by robbers. We have no experience with anyone obtaining a PCR repeat test in Ilorin so have no idea what the challenges might be. We have heard from other missionaries about delays in getting their repeat PCR test results performed in better run and larger cities. Two weeks of our time in country are tied up meeting all the testing and quarantine requirements – and that’s only if there are no problems along the way (no “wahalla”).  Unfortunately, in my experience, it is unlikely this will be a smooth process. It is not a risk I am willing to take nor put my team through at this time. You can pray Nigeria does away with this in country Covid-19 PCR retest so our team can visit and encourage our children, staff and caregivers and bring much needed supplies.

 

Update on School Resumption

We were so excited to get the news last month that schools could finally reopen. It was challenging to get the needed resources like face masks, hand sanitizers and other COVID-19 requirements, but God provided and we are open!

The children were very excited to return. However, we found that the homework packets and the small amount of interaction we were allowed with the children have left the kids behind academically. Thankfully, Nigeria decided to start the school year with the original third term that was missed due to the COVID shutdown.  Repeating the third term should help catch the children up but there are still many challenges that we face.

Starting Nov 1st, the first term of the new school year will begin, and things will hopefully return to normal. Pray for our teachers and kids to persevere and that this pandemic will not have a negative effect on any child’s educational foundation.

Enjoy some of the smiling faces returning to our school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.A.R.E. Africa has been a registered 501(c)(3) since 2017 and we have an amazing Board of Directors! Let me introduce you to them. 

Diana Beville

Diana is married to Stephen Beville and has two young daughters. She runs our C.A.R.E. Africa markets and Etsy store while also working part time as a career consultant in Louisville, Kentucky. Diana has traveled to Egbe, Nigeria three times and Stephen two times. Stephen is a solution architect with GE and helped create the bylaws and financial accounts for C.A.R.E. Africa’s US 501(c)(3). 

 

 

Jolene Eicher


Jolene is retired CEO of Advanced ENT and Allergy and a small group leader at her church in Louisville, KY.  She is married to Fred Eicher, a financial counselor. Jolene has four grown children and seven grandchildren. She is the secretary for our Board of Directors and also proofreader for all marketing, blogs and press pieces. She has visited Egbe, Nigeria three times helping to document our children’s stories and progress of the ministry.

 

Cindy Borody

Cindy, her husband and three children were missionaries in Niger for 20 years. While in Niger, Cindy started a local village school, and taught in a one room school house for Missionary Kids. Her husband ran the lab at a local hospital. After their time in Niger they had a sabbatical in the US and then moved to Egbe, Nigeria.  Cindy helped with the C.A.R.E. Africa school while in Egbe. Today she is living in Canada and manages the SIM C.A.R.E. Africa Canada project and C.A.R.E. Africa Canada Etsy store. She has two grandchildren and one on the way. 

 

Ashley Beebe

Ashley is a retired school teacher and is married to Scott Beebe. They have three children, two in high school and one in college. She currently works in administration for her husband’s coaching firm (“Business on Purpose”), facilitates a women’s group called the “Real Reel”, is on the missions board at her church and helps with our child sponsorship at C.A.R.E. Africa. She has been to Nigeria eight times and provides training and encouragement for the teachers at our school.

 

Patrice Miles

Patrice Miles is married to Lenny Miles and has two children. Patrice and Lenny, along with their children, were missionaries in Nigeria for six years. While in Nigeria Patrice helped found the C.A.R.E. Africa ministry. She now resides in Louisville, Kentucky and continues to run the C.A.R.E. Africa ministry from the U.S.A. She is the chairperson for the board and in charge of child sponsorship, donor relations, marketing and all day to day communication to and from Nigeria for the school, C.A.R.E. center and Spring of Life HIV/AIDS counseling center.

 

Hilary Wang

Hillary is married to Jeff Wang and lives in Plano Texas. Hillary is a CPA and teaches at the University of North Texas. Hillary lived in Egbe, Nigeria at the H.E.L.P. orphanage for six months. Hilary tutored and encouraged the orphans at H.E.L.P.  Hilary has returned to Egbe, Nigeria several times and continues to be involved with the children at H.E.L.P. Hillary is the C.A.R.E. Africa Birthday Advocate.  She facilitates birthday celebrations between sponsors and their C.A.R.E. Africa sponsored child. 

 

 

 We are so grateful to have these volunteers serve on our C.A.R.E. Africa board. Their involvement will ensure the sustainability and future of C.A.R.E. Africa.  Please add them to your prayers as we endeavor to make wise decisions with what God has entrusted into our care. C.A.R.E. Board Power!

For over three years I have sought a way to create prayer partners for my kids at C.A.R.E. Africa. We have been blessed with financial sponsors for all but a few of the children; however, a child can never have enough people praying for him or her. 

I have seen many miracles while on the mission field in Nigeria, but I have also seen much evil. Our C.A.R.E. Africa children face so much oppression in their environment on a daily basis. They need the prayers of devoted Christians asking God to place a hedge of protection around their bodies, minds and hearts. These children are the next generation and need prayerful help in living out a life of faith in Nigeria. 

God gave me a vision for a Prayer Card that I have carried in my heart for several years. I just needed to design it, print it and distribute it. Now that I am stateside, I have less challenges and more resources for time consuming projects like this. Can you imagine my excitement when the vision for these prayer cards recently became a reality? Now, God just needs to help me find 7300 Prayer Warriors – that’s 100 prayer partners per child!

Do you have a small group, a bible study, church, neighborhood community, organization or workplace that would consider praying for the future of these children? 

If so, please let me know and I will send you as many Prayer Cards as you can distribute. Each card has the child’s name and picture along with a few personal details to help get your prayers started. 

Help me find 7300 prayer partners for our 73 children at C.A.R.E. Africa!

Make this dream come true and email me at Patrice@iCareAfrica.org 

Have you ever thought about volunteering for a non-profit?
Could you spare a few hours a month to make a difference in the lives of 73 children?

MW2C8181In Egbe, the majority of C.A.R.E. Africa children do not know their birthdays. Generally, with a little research, we are able to discover their birth date but there are times we simply have to give a child a birth date. Birthdays are not celebrated  in Nigeria the way we CELEBRATE in the Western world. Only the “wealthy” are able to purchase a small cake for their child and sometimes a present. When C.A.R.E. Africa children have their first birthday celebration complete with a present and cake it is very special to them.  Our goal is, on their birthday, every child in our ministry would receive a present and a small cake to share with their extended family.

 

So, back to our earlier discussion about volunteering.  Here’s your chance!  We have created a new volunteer position called Birthday Advocate.  This volunteer would spend a few hours a month helping us make our kiddos birthdays special.

IMG_4114This volunteer position is virtual and can be done anywhere in the world with reliable internet connection. We would provide you with the data to keep track of all the birthdays.  At the beginning of each month you would make a list of each child with a birthday in the following month and reach out to the sponsor/s of each birthday child.  You will ask if they would like to send the birthday child a present or have us purchase a birthday package in Nigeria for their child. There will be a point of contact at C.A.R.E. Africa for you to communicate which children will need a birthday package/ cake purchased.  Once the child receives their birthday package our staff will send you a picture and/or video of the child opening their present which you would forward to the child’s sponsor/s.  It’s an easy task with such a great reward.

Help us create some smiles and lasting memories for these precious children by becoming our new Birthday Advocate.  I am ready to greet you and teach you all the fundamentals.  I look forward to hearing from you soon! Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org

IFFY5211 (1)VXFG5225IMG_0246JSPQ6778

So many of us have experienced a COVID-19 cancellation. Graduations, weddings, birthdays, funerals, proms, camps, vacations, and so many other life events. In Egbe, Nigeria the case has been the same. We have all suffered in so many ways from this pandemic.

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 4.19.45 PMIt has been encouraging to see people think outside the box of ways to celebrate these life events amongst the social restriction. I have seen car birthday parades through neighborhoods, small intimate outdoor weddings, online funerals and graduations, at home proms with a few friends and vacations in state at locations that you normally may have never visited. We have all had to really get creative to find ways to adapt.

care booth 7Diana Beville (Etsy store manager), Tofunmi Salako(Operations Manager in Egbe) and myself are also trying to do the same for C.A.R.E. Africa. All of our yearly large exposition events were cancelled due to COVID-19 and moved to online platforms. We had scheduled expo booths in Northern KY, Dallas Tx and Louisville, KY that would normally generate around $15,000 a year in sales of our handmade products from Nigeria. Our ladies in our seamstress ministry work so hard to create these beautiful products. The income they make helps them support their families and put food on the table so we were deeply saddened to not be able to participate in these events.

We started to think of how can we could get creative and help these ladies sell their goods without having a booth set up for people to come and see and touch the products?

How about a C.A.R.E. Handmade Empowerment Package?

You can pick any amount $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more and we will put together a package of handmade goods from our ladies that equals that amount.

You can;

  1. Wrap them up as a gift for Christmas or to appreciate a teacher or a co-worker.
  2. Resell these items at a small at home party, church, bible study or online through social media.
  3. Give them away with a C.A.R.E. Africa Etsy info card to friends and family to help us create awareness of our Etsy store and ministry.
  4. Be a secret neighbor and leave a gift on a front porch.

You will be empowering women in Nigeria while also creating awareness of C.A.R.E. Africa and putting a big smile on someone specials face.

one year

Our Seamstresses

What do you think?

Are we thinking outside the box?

If you think it is a great idea and would love to help us keep these ladies in Nigeria busy click Empowerment to make a general donation and make sure to write in the memo Empowerment Package. You can also always visit our Etsy store at www.CareAfricaStore.com and purchase all your Christmas and or appreciation gifts.

When I returned to America over a year ago and decided to run the ministry stateside for two years, I thought I had everything planned out. Then Corona hit and all my plans were put aside. I was already wrestling with how I would continue to keep donors excited about supporting my work and the ministry while not having pictures and stories of my life in Nigeria to share. I was encouraged when a fellow stateside missionary said “Patrice, your location does not determine your calling!” I loved this and am able to testify that his words were true!

Okikiola is a recent story that reminded me that my location does not determine my calling. If you don’t follow us on Facebook then you wouldn’t know about this beautiful little miracle girl. Her story in Tofunmi’s words are below.

okiI got a call on the 9th of May 2020 from Okikiola’s Mum. She was ill and was taken to the hospital and they needed her hospital card. I was down with Malaria myself and could barely stand on my feet but it was on the weekend and so the office was closed. I gathered all the strength and my husband took me to the office to get the card.  My mum dropped it at the hospital for me since I was so weak and I thought it was just fever and headache, besides, the mum said she was going to call when they left the hospital later in the day.

True to her words, she did call but not to tell me they were home but that Okiki would be spending the night in the hospital.

okihospital2

 

On Sunday the 10th, the mum called me again in the morning crying and could barely speak up enough for me to understand clearly, but I could make out words like oxygen and seizures.  I went back with Emma and on getting there, I was as scared as I can ever be. There were tubes all over her, from her nose to blood transfusion and IV and even a catheter. She also was on oxygen and I could still see her shaking as an aftermath of the seizures. Her eyes were half-open but she was in a coma. Her lips were swollen and bloody from biting them and there was her mum at the corner crying.

She was so tiny on the bed and I felt so helpless. I asked from the mum what the doctors had said, and she said they told her it was cerebral malaria, the worst kind of malaria to get. I wanted to help her more but all I could do was pray and be hopeful, which myself and Emma did before we left that day.

So, our journey to the hospital twice a day to pray and check in on Okiki started. After 27 IV’s, which made every part of her body swollen, she opened her eyes. The mum called immediately, and I rushed there as soon as I could. She was sitting in a chair but still barely conscious as she did not even know I was there.

okidischargeI don’t think we have ever prayed for anything in CARE Africa as strongly as everyone prayed for Okiki during that time. She continued to get better and at visits with her she began to talk and tell us she was ready to go home because she had a church program to do and was tired of being in the hospital. God answered our prayers and she left after 11 days in the hospital. It was all a miracle from God.

She is fine now but still has to be going to the hospital for frequent checkups and they say her blood is still a bit short but we are trusting the Lord. She has started coming to school again and even shared her wonderful testimony with her friends at CARE Africa.      

I was so blessed to be able to communicate stateside with Tofunmi, Emma and all our donors and prayer warriors during this scary time. I know we had over 300 people praying all over the world for this little girl. Even her sponsor was able to contribute to her hospital bill, so the family wasn’t left with this burden. It truly was an amazing example of how the body of Christ can work globally. Everyone got to watch God work a miracle!

Your location does not determine your calling. You can also make a difference globally by investing in one of our kids futures. Visit give.icareafrica.org to see all the children in need and sign up to a part of our family today!

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.22.55 PMScreen Shot 2020-07-15 at 5.15.59 PM

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 10.06.07 AMLately, my relationship with the Lord has been a lot of work. Coming back to the United States and leading C.A.R.E. Africa from afar has not been as easy as I thought.

Lack of purpose
 – not being able to be hands on with the ministry in Nigeria.
Lack of identity – “Missionary” is a weird word to use when you don’t live in a far-off country.
Lack of joy -God made me an extrovert and now I work alone from home every day.

Since being stateside, I have continually asked God what His purpose was in bringing me back to the United States. What am I supposed to be doing? What is this new chapter in my life? I feel sick, heartbroken and I want to be healed but all I hear is silence.

76710897_10157714046358808_16463361264844800_nThis last year, I have spent time rekindling my relationships with friends and family. We get together for a meal, coffee or a walk in the park. The more time we spend together the more the relationship grows. If I have a problem I can call or text and talk it out with them. It feels easy and there is definitely not any silence.

I feel like my relationship with the Lord should be easier than my relationship with humans, after all, He is God. I meet with Him every day to study His word and ask Him for guidance and wisdom. I invest daily in this relationship and lately I have not felt a return on this investment.

Is God’s investment in my life His son’s death and I am now indebted to Him forever?

girlYes, eternal life is worth it! I don’t deserve to ask for anything more as He has given me everything needed. But sometimes it feels like obedience is all there is in this relationship. Be patient on His timing, love that person, sell everything we own, forgive that family member, move to Nigeria, give that money away, tithe, live humbly, move back from Nigeria, give grace to that one, lead like Jesus, don’t judge, just wait, treat your body like it is a temple, rest, don’t do that, do that. 

It’s just that I would do anything for my friends and family. I would not be silent. If you ask Cason or Jolie what their mom would do if anyone did something to hurt them- they would tell you – “She would take no prisoners..!” If they had a problem I would drop everything and be there to help. If they needed to be healed and I could heal them, I would.

I feel like with God I always need to be on my knees or be at His feet, always praying (oftentimes pleading) to Him in the hope He will speak clearly to me. Why can’t God heal me like the cripple at the pool in John 5:1-9. The cripple didn’t even initiate the conversation. Jesus did. The cripple just answered His question and was immediately healed.

Really? Why do I feel like I have to do something or give up something for God to do something for me?

I feel suffocated, required, demanded, controlled, enslaved and indebted. 

God’s love, as clearly described in the Bible, is unconditional. This just makes the silence  harder to understand. The Bible says in Matthew 11:30 that His yoke is easy but I am not feeling the easy right now.

As a mom, I don’t want my children to feel suffocated, required, demanded, controlled, enslaved or indebted. Yes, I carried them for 9 months, they ruined my body and continue to drain my bank account, but I don’t want a relationship built on obligation. I don’t currently hang out with the Lord out of obligation but I’m feeling like it is heading that direction if this silence continues.

Have you experienced silence from God before?
Has there been a time you questioned if He really cared?
What got you through this?
What helped you maintain your faith, hope and joy amongst the silence?

I am always jealous when I hear of missionaries in the big cities of Nigeria opening up pizza parlors, small grocery stores, or coffee shops that generate income for their ministry. C.A.R.E. Africa is located in a rural community called Egbe. Rural business has its share of challenges such as geographic isolation and barriers to capital. I ask God all the time, “Why couldn’t you have called me to do ministry in a large city like Jos, Abuja or Kano in Nigeria. It would have been so much easier! Why Egbe?”

iyabo2

Many times when I tell someone about Egbe and the challenges we face they often ask how I keep up the faith amid such – hopelessness….

I am a businesswoman at heart. I love commerce, marketing, planning and executing and then watching the rewards of the endeavor. I will never forget the first business class Emma and I taught in Nigeria to a Yoruba Fulani woman who could not read. I made her a picture chart for inventory keeping and helped her realize when she sold her pure water for 10 naira each or 15 naira for two, she was actually losing money.  This encounter inspired me but the many obstacles and failures in other endeavors has caused me to feel… hopelessness.

Sometimes the obstacles are culturally based.  Women who are empowered to start a small business are oftentimes threatened with being cast out or disowned by their family if they do not use their business funds to pay for a family member’s wedding, funeral or hospital bill. As a result, this once empowered woman will not have the money needed to restock her shelves and has to close her business.  Hopelessness…

DSC_3009Sometimes the obstacles are unforeseen. Weddings are a big event in Egbe. We saw an opportunity to teach our high school girls how to make wedding cakes to later find out the neighboring city of Ilorin would be our competition.  In Egbe it is considered prestigious to have your wedding cake, wedding dress and catering to come from a bigger city like Ilorin.  If you bought it all in Egbe then you must not be doing very well. Hopelessness…..

 “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

~Mother Teresa

 

DSC_2903I recently found this quote and it meant so much to me because it is the antidote to hopelessness and it is what we are doing at C.A.R.E Africa.  We invest in one child, one caregiver, one staff member at a time. We invest by focusing on their relationship with the Lord first. We know that if their relationship with Him is strong it doesn’t matter what obstacles they face – they will always have hope! They will be content in all things.  Their joy and hope will spill out onto others and change the environment and culture around them one person at a time.

Do I still dream of a C.A.R.E. Business Complex where our sponsored children and our caregivers are trained and working in the eatery, bakery, wedding shop, hair salon, coffee shop, business center, bicycle sales/repair and KeKe service? Oh Yes!!!  All I need to do is cast a single stone into the waters of life and God will do the rest.

On #GivingTuesdayNow there are so many ways you can give to C.A.R.E. Africa during this pandemic. 

Give away your stuff, give away your time or give away your finances……….

messyGive away those unwanted and or unused items lying around your home! Furniture, books, clothes, toys and appliances. We will come and get them and sell them on the marketplace and donate all the proceeds on your behalf to C.A.R.E. Africa. It’s called a Gift in Kind!

 

 

74676989_10157709795238808_7557151122322882560_n

Give away your time! Email me to volunteer at the next C.A.R.E. Africa booth, help us plan and run our next fundraiser event, join our next mission trip and or use your marketing and or administrative gifts to help with website updates and  data entry for prayer cards and calendars.

 

 

 

cashGive away your finances!  Donate to our ministry to help our children and caregivers during this Corona Pandemic by visiting https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/COVID19 for US donations and https://www.sim.ca/care-africa/for Canada donations.

 

 

Whatever you have to give we an use it at C.A.R.E. Africa on this #GivingTuesdayNow!

precious