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The North

Posted: September 12, 2017 by Lenny in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM

DSC_0054As we drove, headed north away from the Plateau, I remember being surprised at the beauty of it all. The landscape was much different than I imagined. Mountains out to the far distance and between them were huge expanses of green. In my mind, I thought we would have left all of the green behind. Heading into the North meant to me that we were going to start to see desert everywhere. That wasn’t the case at all. I see that this is a vital place in Nigeria that produces food for the whole country.

As we drove I noticed that people and buildings changed just as much as the landscape around me. All the women wore hijabs or some head covering. Many m0sques dotted the landscape. Periodically, I would see a sign on the road that was written in Arabic. It clearly indicated that a m0sque was nearby. The unusual part was that a man dressed in a white uniform and very animated was always standing after the sign pointing cars towards the m0ques. I figured that since we were traveling on the mu$lim holiday, Eid al-Adha, this was some kind of a service to those traveling if they wanted to stop and pray along the way. I was intrigued to find out that they actually were building m0sques in those places and are trying to get people to stop and give money to finish the construction.

gtsAs my travels continued I noticed people everywhere buying, selling, or butchering livestock to celebrate the holiday (Eid al-Adha), which is known as the sacrifice feast. The meaning behind the holiday is that it honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead. For this Mu$lim holiday, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts. One part is given to the poor and needy, another part is given to relatives, friends and neighbors, and the family eats the remaining part. I think back now and consider how God made so many parallels in Abraham’s story with the redemption of his creation by offering one final sacrifice in Jesus to take our place. I pray the thousands of people I passed that day will have a chance to hear the rest of the redemption story.

CIMG2956As we got further away from the Plateau, our SIM Nigeria Director started to point out piles of rubble or even a green field that used to be a church. Each came with its own story about how the church members would rebuild and then persecutors would tear down the building again and again. After five or more times they would eventually give up and many of the congregations either had left or they now meet in the open air.

 

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After the five-hour drive we arrived in the large northern city of Kano. Once more, I was amazed. The sheer size of the city (around 5 million people), its development, and its history dating back 1,000+ years was awesome to see. We saw horses, camels (I didn’t get the camels on film!), and masses of people making preparations for their holiday celebrations. We arrived safely at the church guesthouse in the only few “Christian” blocks of the city. It felt small, but safe.

IMG_9982The next morning we headed a little further up the road about 45 minutes to the small town of Tofa where SIM’s indigenous partner church, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), has a theological seminary. I was blessed to meet many people there and everyone was gracious to have the cameras “ON” so that I could take film of this institution. These videos will highlight the need for missionaries to come and teach as well as identify ways that God is working in these places. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.

Overall, it was an amazing trip and very eye opening for me on how much the North needs to here about Jesus. Please join me in praying for SIM’s northern initiative to reach the unreached. Please also pray for my future trips to the North to continue to to be safe and fruitful. Pray these video’s will stir peoples hearts to want to help in the North prayerfully, physically, and or financially.

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This is sometimes the question I get when calling and talking to family or friends. This question could have two meanings and I’m not always sure which way they are asking me. One way could mean, “So, where are you physically located at the moment?” This is an understandable question after all of the traveling our family has done over the last five weeks. And then the question could also be asked, “So, where are you with you fundraising and ability to go back to Nigeria?”

Let me answer both questions by the numbers…

71 – days since landing in the USA.

4 – days in Bluffton, South Carolina where we met with Live Oak Christian Church as well a great family that has ties to Egbe and our work there.

8 – days in California where we spent the week as camp counselors and meeting with a Shepherd Church where Patrice’s brother is the youth pastor at.

20 – days in Charlotte, NC where we did a debrief with SIM, met with a Central Church, and spent time with more of Patrice’s family

5 – days camping in the mountains of North Carolina

1 – bad hang nail cut out (Cason)

1 – Gallbladder removed (Patrice)

Just 13 days until we leave to go back to Nigeria! Yes, we’ve been cleared to go back as long as we have commitments for the following…

4 – Recurring donation partners at $25 per month

4 – Recurring donation partners at $50 per month

2 – Recurring donation partners at $100 per month

1 – Refrigerator $700

1 – Stove $400

1 – Dining room table $500

1 – Clothes dryer $350

1 – Solar power system. Needed due to the poor power grid, which is off more often than on. $2,500

1 – Bundle of media equipment for Lenny’s new ministry. Including camera, lenses, software, etc. $3,500

If you have been waiting to sign up for monthly support, there is no better time than now! We must prove to SIM that we are fully funded before going back. Click Donate Now and chose to support our family monthly. Sign up once and the funds are automatically withdrawn every month.

If you would like to donate towards the other items listed, you can do that when you click Donate Now. No amount given towards these items is too small. It all adds up!

We are so thankful for all of you that have continued to support us along the way, as well as the new financial and prayer partners who have joined us in the last 3 months. Your generosity has more than encouraged us to keep going! Thank you!

I hope you liked the videos that went out last week on our blog. If you didn’t have the time to watch them all, they are attached to the bottom of this page so that you can have a chance to catch up…

Yesterday we had a great opportunity to go to Central Church in Charlotte, N.C. We normally watch online on our living room wall in Egbe with a projector and if the internet is cooperating. We heard an amazing sermon about Jesus’ miracle with the five loaves and two fishes that fed 5,000 people. The pastor asked us to imagine ourselves in the story of John 6:1-13 and identify with one of the characters (obviously we couldn’t pick to be Jesus!). As I listened, I felt that I identify with Philip the most.

The Bible says in John 6:5-7, “Jesus said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!””

Philip immediately thought about logistics, the monetary value, and the “bigness” of the problem ahead of them. I feel the same type of questions rising within my heart. Jesus is asking me, “Where are you going to get all of this support you need to continue your work in Nigeria?” And many times I feel I react just the way Philip did. “Hey God, things aren’t adding up here.” or “There’s a short amount of time left before we get on that plane to go back, where’s the funds to do so?” These are all thoughts that run through my mind on a regular basis. Is this all just a “test” for me? Possibly, but unlike Philip, I have the full story in view. I get to read the words and get insight into the fact that Jesus “already had in mind what he was going to do.” This gives me hope and faith needed to continue on towards our July 23rd departure date with confidence in being fully funded by then.

If you have been considering supporting our ministries in Nigeria, please sign up now so we can report to SIM that we are fully funded and ready to return to Nigeria on July 23rd. Click Miles In Missions to get signed up to support us on a monthly or one time basis.

Click on the images to view videos from last week…
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#1 – Cason’s Travel Video

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#2 – Miles In Missions 3 1/2 years

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#3 –  What is Lenny going to Do?

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#4 – C.A.R.E. Africa

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#5 – Spring of Life, Egbe

Last but not least is also a ministry that Patrice manages, Spring of Life, Egbe. This HIV/AIDS ministry has great potential to grow so that many of those deeply hurting and shunned in the society can be reached with the “Good News”, so that they can have ultimate healing through Jesus Christ.

Just like C.A.R.E. Africa, in this larger city Patrice will have the time and resources to grow the ministry administratively, as well as grasp a larger vision of what it’s true potential is.

This is a very special and respectful video that showcases the ministry as well as two HIV patients that were gracious enough to show their faces on camera. Please join us in praying for these women.

Click on the picture to watch the video.

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As we transition and move to another city within Nigeria, Patrice is really looking forward to continuing with her ministry C.A.R.E. Africa. In this larger city she will have the time and resources to grow the ministry administratively, as well as grasp a larger vision of what it’s true potential is. She plans to take trips to Egbe (11 hours away) about four times a year for accountability and continued training of the staff of C.A.R.E. Africa. This video shows the tremendous growth of the ministry since 2014 and it’s present needs to continue to grow.

This was a fun video for me to produce and put together. I pray you will enjoy this glimpse into the ministry and see how God is blessing it.

Click on the picture to view the video.

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#3 – What is Lenny going to do?

Posted: May 31, 2017 by Lenny in Lenny Miles, Nigeria, SIM

Over the past two days, the videos presented to you have discussed and shown the past 3 1/2 years of our lives. However, today begins our sneak peek into the future for what is in store for our family for 2017-2019.

As I began to shift focus in ministries, it was evident that I needed to show all of you just what that means and what it looks like. So, instead of boring you with a tremendously long blog that would take hours to read, I’ve decided to put together a video. This shows how God has led me from a construction background to this new and exciting opportunity within SIM Nigeria as Communications Specialist. Please take the time to watch this video so you can be informed and answer the question, “What is Lenny going to do?”

Click on the image below to see the video.

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Today’s video shows many of the changes at the Egbe Hospital Compound and surrounding community while our family served there. It shows the accomplishments made by the missionaries, the Revitalization staff, and so many others.  It was a huge effort spanning many countries around the globe to bring resources, time, sacrifices, and people together to make this all happen. We feel that the hospital Revitalization has been a huge success and we are so blessed to have been a part of one of God’s miracles over the last several years. Please take the time to watch this quick slide show of before and after photos.

Click on the picture below to see the video.

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