Archive for the ‘C.A.R.E. Africa’ Category

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

 

Facebook_ A Global Day of Unity (1)

You can give to help our children and caregivers at C.A.R.E. Africa on this global day of giving at https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/COVID19. For Canadian donations you can visit https://www.sim.ca/care-africa/.

GivingTuesdayNow_Social-Globe Design copy

 

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving that will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.  It is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, business and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in communities around the world.

#GivingTuesdayNow is the day we hope to raise money for our children and caregivers. We know that as we recover from COVID-19, the need for food and other provisions will increase significantly. Food is not always available as the markets are not open for many days. Finding food is already becoming a difficulty for some. Many people who are fortunate enough to have a job were not paid in April and possibly won’t be paid in May. There isn’t any such thing as stimulus money in Nigeria. We need you to be the stimulus that helps us get these families through this pandemic. If you want to help a family or two or three then please give any amount on #GivingTuesdayNow.

$50 will feed a family of 5-6 people for one week.
$100 bag of rice will feed 30 families a meal.
$200 bag of beans will feed 30 families a meal.

Visit https://www.donorrise.com/careafrica/COVID19 to donate from the United States

Canadian Residents can donate at https://www.sim.ca/care-africa/

#GivingTuesdayNow

Please mark your calendar to support us on this national giving day! 

front marking

This is Damilola Amarachi’s remodeled home. Below the two little feet pictured – you will see these words etched in the concrete:  “Is the time of joy, favour, happy, Mercy is the work of God”.  These words express gratitude for the house that love built.

You may remember the Amarachi family from a C.A.R.E. Africa blog several months ago. Here’s the link to that story https://milesinmissions.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/amarachi/  We shared with you the deplorable living conditions of this kindhearted family of six.  You opened your hearts to the Amarachi family and donations flooded in.  With those donations C.A.R.E. Africa was able to build a new roof, windows, doors, walls and concrete floor.  The renovations were completed just in time for the rainy season. Because of your donations, Damilola and her family will never sleep on a wet, foam mat in the dirt again!   Here are some before and after pictures of the Amarachi home renovations.

before sidesideafter

 

Before frontfront2

before damiafterinside

During this Coronavirus pandemic it is easy to forget that the church, along with local and international ministries, rely solely on donations. We can only help as much as the Body of Christ empowers us to help. When we make a difference in people’s lives, it is ALL OF US who are engaged in that work. God says in His word (Mark 14:7) that the poor you will always have with you.  This reminds us  that the work never ends. It must continue during good times and bad times. During prosperity and pandemics.  Most churches and ministries will need increased support during and after this pandemic in order to help all those that were affected.

I am reminded of the widow in the Bible who gave during her uncertain time and challenge you to continue your support or to become a new supporter during these uncertain times.

Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Damilola and her family would not have experienced Christ’s love for them by way of this house renovation if it wasn’t for people saying “yes I will give”.

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.21.12 PMPlease consider and pray about becoming a C.A.R.E. Africa child sponsor.  

There are so many more “Damilola’s” out there who need someone to help them out of a life of poverty and into a life filled with hope.  Will you be that someone?  We have 12 new children that have basic needs for food, healthcare and education. 

Click Give.iCareAfrica.org to learn their names and to see their precious faces.  We would love to have all 12 sponsored over the next 40 days.  If you already sponsor a child, please consider sponsoring a 2nd or 3rd child or sharing this blog post with a friend or family member. We cannot do this without you!

Here is an Egbe, Nigeria COVID-19 update from Emma Salako our CEO;

The news of this virus has really broken a lot of people down with fear, both old and young are so scared. For the past week it has been crazy! Shops were forced to close, banks and hospitals were not allowing people in without washing of hands. Food became like gold to find, prices of everything increased overnight and churches were not allowed to hold worship services.  All schools were closed with no alternative way for the children to do school lessons.  There was no traveling and markets were not allowed to sell.  Anyone who opened their store or anyone walking about was getting caned and or harassed severely. Many people were saying it’s the end times as they sat home starving.

This week things seem to be getting back to normal.  People are opening their small shops, banks are working half days, the motorcycle guys are transporting people around town again, gas stations are now open but schools and churches are still locked down.

homeThe CARE Africa kids, caregivers and staff are all in good health. We are checking on them regularly to encourage them to keep the faith and know that all things will soon be back in place in God’s timing. Today and the rest of this week we are going house to house to share small bags of rice and other provisions to our families to help sustain them the little we can.  Please pray for the well being of our children and staff at CARE, pray for Egbe land, pray for Nigeria, pray for the poor, pray for the lost who are thinking that God wanted to punish them with this virus.  Pray for all nations to feel the hand of God and see His power at work. Pray for God’s comfort to those who lost their loved ones during this hard time.  Pray for the leadership of CARE not to give up or feel discouraged. Pray strongly that more people will draw closer to Jesus during this time and that many will come to accept Jesus.

Thank you all for your love.  We just want you guys to know that we are doing fine here on the other side of the world and you are all in our prayers just as we need your prayers.

“We need to take C.A.R.E. Africa outside of Egbe. There are so many voiceless and exhausted children in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole”

For two years this was a recurring statement in our team meetings in Egbe. How could we only help children in Egbe when there were so many children in other towns in need of help. We prayed and just never heard God tell us where, who or when.

Emma has had dreams for years of our expansion into other countries but I have always been the one to put God in a box and keep C.A.R.E. Africa small. About six months ago several of us started having dreams of expansion and felt God clearly directing us to the town of Oke Ere. So we put the word out that a team from C.A.R.E.Africa would be coming to Oke Ere. If God wanted us to open the doors of C.A.R.E. to other towns then He would have to bring the children.

IMG_1260 2

In February a team went to Oke Ere not knowing if the word had gotten out and if anyone would show up. Over 100 mothers, grandmothers and children were there waiting on us! The need was so overwhelming. We were able to interview 12 families and make home visits to about half of them. This town with only three small churches and two schools has poverty unlike anything I have ever witnessed. We had one little boy who hadn’t eaten in days and when given food he ate like a dog. It brought tears to my eyes.

IMG_1265

I thanked God for bringing the children. Now I needed Him to bring the sponsors!

Almost all of these kids are extremely behind in their studies. Many cannot read or write. A few don’t speak English. We are in the process of hiring special teachers to work directly with the Oke Ere children. We hope to catch them up so in September when the 2020/2021 school year starts, they will be able to cope in the classroom.

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.20.56 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.21.12 PM

We need your help both prayerfully and financially.

We need to find sponsors for the children of Oke Ere. The need is great!

If you already sponsor a child I ask you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a second child. I also ask that you forward this blog to as many people as God brings to mind. Tell a friend, post on social media and pray for these children and their families. Also pray for the teachers that will work directly with them as it will not be an easy task. This work would not be possible without your faith, prayers and continued support. Thank-you!

 
Click on any child to learn more about them or visit our giving website at https:/give.icareafrica.org to see all the kids available for sponsorship.

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.24.32 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.23.03 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.22.55 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.22.30 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.22.23 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-11 at 3.22.16 PM

 

dsc_0017

Mommy Favour in a dress she designed and created.

Meet Joy. In Nigerian culture, women are often called by the name of their youngest child, so Joy is better known as “Mommy Favour.”

Mommy Favour grew up in Egbe and completed secondary school (high school). After Favour, her daughter was born, her husband moved to Lagos for work and was never heard from again. Alone and unable to find work, she could not pay school fees for her daughter to attend school.  She wanted something better for her and Favour, so she registered with a seamstress in town and trained for 3 years. She completed the program, learning to make high-quality work. However, to follow protocol, a student must pay for their certificate of completion, buy a sewing machine, and pay for a graduation celebration. Together these requirements were going to cost her over 100,000 Naira. This equals around $300 US. She was unable to save enough to pay these high fees. In Nigeria, it is against regulation to sell seamstress work until you are certified, so Mommy Favour was back to where she started – alone, unable to work, and unable to pay school fees for her daughter.

 

dsc_0827copy-e1582314497433

Joy & Mommy Favour and her sewing machine.

Mommy Favour learned of C.A.R.E. Africa through word-of-mouth in Egbe and began to hope when she applied for the program in 2016. At just 3 years old, Favour was bright and beautiful. The following year, when she was old enough to start nursery class, Favour was accepted into C.A.R.E.’s program.

Mommy Favour joined C.A.R.E. Africa’s seamstress program, learning to hand-sew bottle cap trivets. Each handmade trivet takes about 10 hours to complete! She immediately set a goal to make forty trivets so she could buy a sewing machine. She did it! Now she diligently continues to work in the seamstress program making trivets and sewing clothes saving for her certificate and graduation.

 

fb_img_1580904926519

All of CARE Africa’s “Joy Trivets” are tagged with her picture.

Please consider sponsoring this beautiful family. They are very grateful for the opportunities they are empowered with through C.A.R.E. Africa. Sponsorship commitment is $35 a month. We are seeking two sponsors so Favour can continue her education and Mommy Favour can continue her seamstress work. Click https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/festusfavour. You can also support her through the purchase of her beautiful trivet’s at www.CareAfricaStore.com

 

 

 

 

photo-202

Favour modeling the new girls’ dresses that can be purchased at http://www.CareAfricaStore.com

“There are so many opportunities to serve here in Egbe that would really make a difference and nobody really knows.” This was the topic of conversation when I visited Egbe a few weeks ago. Since I left Egbe, Nigeria in 2017 for Jos, Nigeria, the ministries there have been growing as fast if not faster than C.A.R.E. Africa. It was amazing to see them all a few weeks ago and hear the needs. From teachers, music instructors, medical doctors and nurses, to robotics, auto mechanics and construction the needs are plenty.

As I was putting together the C.A.R.E. Africa flyer for the Mobilizing Medical Missions conference I am attending in Houston this week, I was encouraged to share with you the opportunities to serve in Egbe short term and long term. See the list below and please tell everyone you know that God can use the gifts he has given them to make a difference in this small town of Egbe, Nigeria. Email me for more information at patrice.miles@sim.org.

Pray for our team from C.A.R.E. Africa and also ECWA Hospital Egbe this weekend as we scout out Houston at the M3 Mobilizing Medical Missions Conference for volunteers wanting to answer the call of Matthew 28:19 to go and make a difference.

                                                                    
C.A.R.E. Africa
Nurse Educator
ElementarySchool Teachers & Trainers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECWA Hospital Egbe
Family Medicine Physician 
Ophthalmologist
Dentist
Physical Therapist

Anesthetist & Nurse Anesthetist
OBGYN Specialty Surgeons
Physician Assistant
Hospital Administrator
Construction Manager
Maintenance Manager
Electrician
Plumber
Auto Mechanic
Hospitality Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Centenary Computer Center & Music Academy
Music Instructors
Art Instructors
Computer Teachers
Hardware Engineering
Robotics Teachers
Stem Advisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fulani Bush Camps
Elementary School Teachers & Trainers