Why is it that the first question after being introduced is always “so what do you do”?

45328000_10156746330298808_3825232954834026496_nIn the missionary world we are excited to talk about the great things we are involved in and how God is working in our ministry. We list the programs we offer, how many churches we have planted, how many widows, orphans and vulnerable people we have helped.

But we are so much more than what we do…..or are we?

The deceptive attitude that our worth is proportional to our job title or our achievements is predominantly found in Western culture. For the Western worker it means that hard work and more productivity leads to a promotion or a raise. For the missionary it means our accomplishments will lead to increased donations. Somehow our work has become our search for meaning in our life. In the process – many of us have forgotten who we really are and what brings joy to our lives.

Group-of-workersThe cashier, bank teller, missionary, doctor, construction worker and waitress are people with actual lives. They all have passions, goals, struggles, interests, hobbies, families, and qualities that define them and make them who they are. Everyone is more than their job, whether it’s the most admirable career worldwide, or a temporary position. We are all “something” but we are also “someone.” There’s a difference!

 

13416885_10154174756783808_3829576414355949085_oI would like to introduce myself to you.

My American name is Beth Patrice Miles. Beth in Hebrew means house, a strong structure. My Yoruba name is Modupe which means Gratefulness.

I am a child of God, daughter, mother, wife, friend, blogger, deep thinker, prayer warrior, Jesus believer, avid reader, clothing designer, honest to a fault, no filter, baker, coffee lover, innovator, sugar addict, visionary, question asking, exercise loving and don’t reinvent the wheel if someone has already done it -kind of girl.

I am a 3 on the Enneagram (The Achiever) an INFJ (The Advocate) on the Myers Briggs a DIC on the DISC test.

I had a complex childhood and my teenage and college years were not without their problems. I now live in Nigeria with two amazing kids, two dogs and a husband who loves me more than I deserve. My heart is big but there is a wall which only a few have climbed over. I am never satisfied unless I am helping someone or something grow or improve.

Missionary is what I do but I am so much more than that!

Who are you?

John 12:12 ~ child of God.
Ephesians 1:7 ~ forgiven.
John 15:16 ~ chosen.
Romans 6:6~ no longer a slave.
Genesis 1:27 ~ created in the image of God.
Jeremiah 1:5 ~ set apart and appointed.
1 Peter 2:9 ~ royal priesthood, God’s special possession.
John 15:15~ friend of God.
Ephesians 2:10~ God’s handiwork.
Philippians 3:20~ citizen of heaven.
Romans 8:37~ conqueror.
Psalm 139:14 ~ fearfully and wonderfully made.
2 Corinthians 5:17~ a new creation.
Ephesians 1:13 ~ marked with his seal.

Next time you meet someone and they ask you what you do, tell them who you are!

 

electionsPresidential elections will be held in Nigeria this Saturday the 16th of February 2019. This will be the sixth time that an election has been held every four years, since the end of military rule in 1999. Our family has started stockpiling supplies in case of lock down and curfews implemented due to violence. Cason and Jolie’s school has already given them off Friday and Monday.

Elections in Nigeria have always been a volatile subject. 2007 elections were described as “the worst they had ever seen anywhere in the world”, with “rampant vote rigging, violence, theft of ballot boxes and intimidation.

2011 elections were postponed and there was tension over whether a Muslim or a Christian should be President.

Our family was in Nigeria during 2015 elections and it was mostly very peaceful. All the nationals forecasted Buhari’s win and that it would be a peaceful handover and they were right.

This year, 2019, the forecast is not so positive. Concerns with terrorist attacks on elections institutions, violence toward voters, observers, or electoral officials, the use of armed gangs for voter intimidation, and widespread vote buying.

electiongifThe U.S. has warned against violence during the February 2019 general elections in Nigeria, and U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington says,

“I can tell you from my impressions during my travels and my previous service in Nigeria that I fear there will be some violence around these elections, as has been the case with previous elections. I do not anticipate large-scale nationwide conflict, but rather localized violence. We look at states that are currently tense, especially if state-level politics are contentious like those in Benue, Plateau, as well as those in high-stakes locations with large populations such as Kano”.

We know our God is a big God and his word says in Romans 13:1

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Please pray for Nigeria this weekend. The entire nation waits to see who the next President is and if the losing candidates will be humble and show the world that Nigeria is a country moving forward.

Dresses for Orphans

Posted: February 6, 2019 by Patrice Miles in C.A.R.E. Africa, Egbe, Egbe Nigeria, Nigeria, Orphans, People of Egbe, SIM

Almost two years ago on home assignment I had the honor of attending my first CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) conference in Tennessee. It was a wonderful event and one of the vendor’s was Dresses for Orphans https://dressesfororphans.org/.

Dresses For Orphans is an all-volunteer, nonprofit ministry that sews dresses and shirts for orphans worldwide. They want to give an orphan a dress or shirt that has been specially made for them, is new and is something they can keep. They want to make that child feel cared for, special and love and to increase the child’s sense of self-worth – that he or she is a worthy individual valued by God.

Thank you dresses for orphans!!

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Last year we were blessed to have three children graduate from secondary school (high school). In Nigeria, only about 30% of applicants get acceptance to higher institutions due to overcrowding. We did not want our kids sitting idle while waiting on acceptance to a University, so we found apprenticeships in the town.

Michael was able to learn hair barbing and earned his own barbering shears.
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Toyin was able to learn photography and earned his own laptop for editing, camera hopefully to follow.
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Miriam was able to learn hairdressing. 
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We are so proud of them!

Vocational skills like these, will help them at University and afterwards. They are also blessed that their sponsors have helped to support these apprenticeships prayerfully and financially. Here are just a few pictures of them.

Please pray for our graduates.

If you have ever considered supporting a child’s future through sponsorship please visit our giving page to see the children currently in need. give.icareafrica.org.

 

Another beautiful post by Titi!                                                                                                        

I came across this piece of writing a few days ago in a small notebook, I apparently jotted down my prayer to God the beginning of last year. I would just say that the stage I was then, is the truth. I have definitely come a long way since then, understood a lot more. But, […]

via The Truth — Plantains Please

Quote  —  Posted: January 21, 2019 by Patrice Miles in Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Titi

girl

“You chose the wrong girl God!”

I can only imagine that this was what Mary thought when she was pregnant with Jesus or when Queen Esther was told by her Uncle to save the Jews.

“You chose the wrong girl God!”

2018 was a hard year. Many times I felt inadequate to handle this missionary life. From problems in the ministry, to wondering if everything would collapse, fatigue and sickness that made me want to curl up and die, seeing needs without the finances to help, spiritual warfare taking its toll on my staff and having absolutely no clue what to do. I truly was stripped of everything I thought was important and my bare branches were exposed.

“You chose the wrong girl God!”

tumblr_static_winter_tree_by_epickittyness-d3dpj76“In spiritual winters, our fullness is thinned so that, undistracted by our giftings, we can focus on our character. In the absence of anything to measure, we are left with nothing to stare at except for our foundation. We begin to examine the motivations that support our deeds, the attitudes that support our words, the dead wood otherwise hidden beneath our busyness. Abundance may make us feel more productive, but emptiness has greater power to strengthen our souls.” Anonymous: Jesus Hidden Years…..my new favorite book!

In using my own strength to determine what I could or couldn’t do I inadvertently had removed God from the equation. Yes I loved Him, Yes I believed in Him, Yes I trusted Him and of course I spent time with Him everyday talking to Him about all these things.

So how did I get here?

How do I get out of it?

Look at how weak I am!

Look at my unbelief and how easily I am distracted and lose focus on You!

Why did You choose me to represent You to the lost when I am evidently lost myself.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Helplessness tests us and reveals what is really in our hearts. Dependence on God not self reliance is the true friend of our soul.

45328000_10156746330298808_3825232954834026496_n“My daughter, you are weak and that is why I chose you. Strength is not given, it is grown. Through Me you will help grow My kingdom and change lives. I chose the right girl!”

Personally, I do not know whether my dreams will be fulfilled or if my sweat, tears and prayers are just planting seeds for someone else to watch bloom. I do not know if like Esther, one day God will say, “I rose you up for just a time as this,” or if, like Mary the mother of Jesus, I will wait and watch my dreams be crucified before they know resurrection. I do not know……but then being all-knowing, is not my job.

Continue to pray for me and my family as we serve in Nigeria. If you would like to become a prayer partner and receive our weekly prayer requests click Prayer Partner. 

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I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalms 9:1

2018 was a very fruitful year for C.A.R.E. Africa and we give all the thanks and glory to our Lord and Savior! When we look back at our 2018 goals, and check off every single one, our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness to God. Without him stirring people’s hearts to support us prayerfully, financially and physically, none of this would have been possible.

If you followed our blogs you know that 2018 was also a very hard year for us. Spiritually we experienced attacks like never before. Honestly, we were not prepared and that is why 2019 we will be better equipped. Watch for our upcoming blog announcing our 2019 theme and goals for C.A.R.E.

Join us to thank the Lord for what he fulfilled in 2018.
1. Foundations Academy Egbe primary school opened.
2. Monthly sports outreach started.
3. Began weekly Egbe community search for the vulnerable.
4. Three children graduated secondary school and one was accepted to University.
5. First, annual, one-week kids camp held. Three children accepted Christ.
6. First, annual, staff spiritual retreat held in Miango.
7. C.A.R.E. van purchased for children, staff and team transportation.
8. Hired an AWANA director who will also serve in pastoral care.
9. Two USA teams traveled to Egbe. They were instrumental in the school renovation and the TIV outreach.
10. Water well project for TIV camp started.
11. Significant increase in sale of C.A.R.E. products in USA
12. Caregiver microfinance program started. It is designed to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty.

As of today we have 55 children and 45 caregivers/foster parents registered in our programs. 

As we continue to walk faithfully please join us in prayer for the new year and new opportunities it will present.