Archive for the ‘Lenny Miles’ Category

Engage

Posted: December 6, 2018 by Patrice Miles in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Mission Trip, Missionaries, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM

Have you felt led to becoming a missionary but wanted to experience it short term before committing your life to it? Check out the latest SIM video by my amazing husband. We would love to have you or anyone you know come for an internship with our Engage program. Click the picture below to watch.

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It’s kinda crazy to think we have been living in Nigeria for 5 years now! God has been so good and we have learned so much. From the revitalization of Egbe hospital, to C.A.R.E. Africa’s birth, AWANA Nigeria in Egbe, C.A.R.E. craft shows, our own kids growing a foot or two, Ebola, spiritual battles, malaria and other illnesses, weddings, moving from Egbe to Jos, Lenny’s new role as SIM Communication Specialist, additions to our family (animal and human) and now an opening of a primary school….. God has been faithful! Nigeria is home now and we are excited to see what else he has in store for our family.

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Started w/ 2 Kids

 

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50 Children Now

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AWANA

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C.A.R.E. Craft Shows

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Emma & Tofunmi’s Wedding

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Medical Results

Posted: July 28, 2018 by Lenny in Jos Nigeria, Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Prayer, SIM
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Panoramic photo of a nearby beach. Simply amazing!

I’m glad to be back home, but Cape Town is an amazingly beautiful place where I could stay for a long time. Not having my family there made it completely boring though. I was expecting to have to stay there longer, but thankfully the healthcare system in South Africa is amazing and the Doctor had everything planned for me ahead of time.

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Selfie at the Hospital

I left Nigeria on a Monday, arrived in South Africa on Tuesday, and saw the Doctor for the first time on Wednesday. He planned for me to be admitted to the hospital the next day for an overnight stay and would have all my testing done right away. Everything went so amazingly fast that I was done with everything by 4:00pm and I didn’t even have to stay the night at the hospital! The following Monday I met with the doctor for the results (explained below) and the results were so good that I had no reason to stay in South Africa as long as I had originally expected. I called the airlines and changed my tickets for Wednesday and made it back home to Nigeria a full 10 days ahead of time.

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Hospital Room

As far as my health, it’s all great news. I’m am very healthy… Praise God! The only health concerns are… Gastritis and High Cholesterol causing a “fatty liver”.

An ultrasound found that my liver is a little big and they call it a fatty liver. The doctor told me, without having seen the blood tests results yet, that it is most likely caused by high cholesterol and the blood test results later confirmed it. My cholesterol is elevated, but not bad enough to treat with medicine. A change of diet and exercise should help all of this in some time.

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Dr. Office

Next, they did the gastroscopy and found no ulcers, took some biopsies, and found that I have gastritis which is inflammation of the stomach lining, but no cancers, etc. It can be caused by diet, but the doctor and I think it could be a result of long-term use of ibuprofen or the combination of the two.

Thats it.

As far as malaria, the doctor and I are in agreement that there is no way I actually had malaria that many times. He suspects that I was sick each time, but it was most likely a false positive or poor lab technician giving the wrong diagnoses and I was actually sick with something else giving many of the same symptoms of malaria. The doctor basically said that just as one person is allergic to poison ivy and another isn’t or that seasonal allergies affect some while others not at all, is most likely how my body is different in fighting small bugs and infections from most other expats in our field. The gastritis could also be contributing to my symptoms producing diarrhea, nausea, and cramping. They did a test to see if malaria is in my blood down to the molecular level. They found none and that means that it is not living in my liver and not lying dormant. I have no malaria in my blood. He does want me to change to a different medicine for preventing malaria.

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New Testament in Afrikaans at Dr.’s office

They checked my liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and other major organs with ultrasound and combined with blood tests, everything is functioning normally. My immune system is fine. They tested for Schistosomiasis and it is negative. Stool given is completely clean (oxygen-moron?) no parasites or bad bacteria.

The doctors biggest takeaway from our discussions was that in my history I mentioned that I am never sick when I am away from Nigeria. He kept saying, “It’s your environment”. This is when he explained that my body acts differently to the normal things of Nigeria that other people’s bodies tolerate easily. It is just what each of us is genetically predisposed to handling with our immune systems.

We are extremely thankful that our health insurance with SIM is great. When being treated outside of the USA they cover 100% of the medical costs. If I had come to the USA for treatment, there would have been a large deductible in addition to all travel costs.

That’s really the best summary I can give. Thank you all for your prayers during this time. We appreciate all of you and once again your prayers have worked for our family!

Here are some extra pictures of my trip…

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View just outside the driveway of the house I stayed in.

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Table Mountain. One of the 7 Wonders of Nature in the world.

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Sunset in Cape Town

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Another view of Table Mountain. This just a block away from the house I stayed.

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My rental car. Tiny, but it was brand new.

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Got to put my toes in the sand.

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One of the dinners I cooked for myself. Can anyone say “High Cholesterol”?

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Crystal clear nights and the moon.

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One of the dinners I cooked for myself. Can anyone say “High Cholesterol”?

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Dishes for a single guy.

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My nice room for the stay.

 

Since moving from village life in Egbe to city life in Jos – my life has become more comfortable. In Egbe I was on my knees daily just to make it through each day. I prayed about the heat, the workload, my husband’s constant bouts of malaria, the spiritual warfare, not too mention the constant prayers for CARE Africa . I needed and relied on God to show up every day. Life in Jos is still hard – it’s Nigeria – but it is easier than Egbe. I talk to God all the time but it isn’t the same yearning and deep need for Him like when we lived in Egbe.

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 8.53.18 AMI recently read a book called God’s Smuggler. It is a true story of how a young, Dutchman by the name of Brother Andrew risked his life to bring faith and hope to believers behind the Iron Curtain. While reading the book I was continuously jealous of all the miracles Brother Andrew experienced. Some were as simple as a cake being provided for a meeting where he had no money to buy one. Others were big miracles like not getting checked at checkpoints where he had over 100 Bibles hidden in his car. I was so jealous and I felt if he experienced miracles in the 1930’s why can’t I experience God’s miracles in the 2018’s. I got on my knees and begged to see, hear, and experience God like Brother Andrew did. I begged God to “show up and show off” as I like to say.

When I asked God to make me like the God Smuggler, I was expecting great miracles and even greater blessings. Well, over the past month God has been showing up and showing off. I can’t begin to document in this blog all the great things He has done and is doing. What I forgot is that when God is doing a great work someone else is trying to disrupt that work – someone who wants to steal God’s glory. I don’t want to mention his name in case that gives him any power but we all know who he is. He prowls around like a Lion.

Staff finalPray for me, for my family, for my husband’s media ministry, for my CARE Africa staff and for our school that we are starting in Egbe. My family and CARE Africa staff have experienced some serious spiritual attacks such as health problems, computers crashing, uncontrollable emotions/ thoughts, missionaries leaving, different cultural problems and even serious and brutal killings only miles from our home. There is sin in this world and when God is visibly doing big works in your life – evil is going to want to try and conquer it. There is a battle going on that our small, small minds cannot even grasp. It is a battle for our minds and souls and we know we are the winner, but there is nothing that says we will not experience suffering.

Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 8.57.53 AMThere is a song I really like by Kari Jo that is called “Speak to Me”. If you listen to it and ask Him to speak to you He will. Be prepared to put your armor on because that prowling lion will begin to challenge you. I encourage you to beat the crap out of him with prayer when he comes to steal, rob and destroy.  Pray and watch God “show up and show off”. It is a beautiful thing to see!

 

Would you consider becoming one of our prayer partners? Through these challenges so many have come alongside me and made me realize even more the importance of prayer to fight these battles. We currently have 214 of you out there praying when I send my requests. I would love for it to be 1000!! Click http://eepurl.com/DZf_D to receive our weekly prayer requests.

mayblog2malI once heard a comedian say, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Well I can certainly relate to that sentiment. Many of you know that I’ve had numerous bouts with malaria since moving to Nigeria, but you may not be aware of just how many times I have been sick with it.   From my count, I’ve had it eighteen times. My malaria is now a legal adult at eighteen.  It can join the army. It has the right to vote. It can even buy a pack of cigarettes if it wants to.

On average, I get malaria every ten weeks. Now, there are a lot of factors when considering these numbers. Things like the hospital in Egbe didn’t keep medical records on me for the entire first year we were in Egbe. There is speculation that the tests were producing false positives or even false negatives.  About five of the eighteen times I self-treated with medicine when I had symptoms of malaria in the middle of the night or when it was impossible to get to a doctor. This doesn’t change the fact that I was sick with something each of those times and the treatment for malaria made me feel better each time.

mayblogmalariaAdded into the mix were bouts with intestinal worms, E. Coli, Salmonella, and a newly diagnosed ulcer.  I can truly say “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Each of these times that I am sick, I feel a stirring inside me. I’m stirred with feelings of why am I living like this? Can I just “go home” where there is no malaria? Should I be living here? Is this the way that I “suffer for the Lord?” Am I really doing anything useful in missions if some weeks I cannot even get out of bed? Am I being a bad steward of all the sacrificial donations to us if I’m ineffective? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we were just back at home in the USA? I just want to feel normal again.

We thought that moving from the bush of Egbe to our new home in the city of Jos would help lower the frequency that I get sick, but it hasn’t changed. Now I am at the point of needing answers as to what is really going on. Do I have a low immune system? Is the malaria reoccurring by living in my body somewhere? Am I susceptible to a more dangerous disease? Do I have something else that is undiagnosed going on? Should I live here?

mayblogmal3So many questions, but there are no true answers to be found here on Jos.  So, what can be done? Well, together with SIM, we have decided that I need to seek a specialist in Tropical Medicine and infectious diseases to get some real answers. After emailing at least sixty doctors throughout Europe and South Africa, I’ve found a doctor in South Africa that is willing to see me. I’ve made an appointment for July 5th to meet with him and he is ready to run a battery of tests to see what is going on. Please pray for this time. I will go alone and leave my family behind. I am not sure of the length of stay in South Africa, but I am expecting up to one month to allow for diagnostic testing and potential treatment. 

While I’m stirred at heart when I am sick, I am not shaken. I still have faith that God has us right where He wants us and it is His ultimate plan of what our future holds. For now, we are looking forward to what this doctor says about my condition. We are letting the doctor be an instrument in God’s hands for whatever our future might hold.

Hireath

Posted: April 5, 2018 by Patrice Miles in Jos Nigeria, Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Missionaries, Nigeria, Patrice Miles, Prayer, SIM

hiraethHiraeth: a Welsh word for homesickness (or nostalgia)

(n.) a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the grief for the lost places of your past.

I don’t recall where I saw this picture but I saved it on Pinterest.  Lately, I have been feeling Hiraeth as most missionaries do. I sometimes wish I lived like the missionaries of the 40’s . They didn’t have Facebook, email or international calling plans. Seeing pictures of family get togethers on Facebook, receiving emails from friends about their life back home and navigating the six hour difference to talk to your family on the phone – it is always exciting, but it is also depressing.

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I wonder if missionaries of the 40’s missed their passport country as much as I seem too? They never knew if someone was sick or died or if there was a birth in the family until long after it happened. Is it better to immediately see and hear what you are missing out on or to not know at all?  

I feel like you can’t truly connect with your host country unless you completely disconnect with your passport country. But it can feel like you are turning your back on everyone you love and care about. Where is the middle ground?

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 9.46.24 AM.pngLately, I have been going through old pictures online trying to categorize them.  I stumbled across a file that had pictures of the annual Polsgrove family trip to Gatlinburg. I remember how every trip resulted in a Polsgrove male breaking or wrecking something or offending someone. There were pictures of the five Christmas’s or the five hundred birthdays we attended every year due to our big, happy, dysfunctional family. I remember how Lenny and I complained about the stress it created and we couldn’t wait to get away from all the busyness and family whalla (problems).  

Now as I look at each picture I wish I could have those annoying times back.  I crave the family get together where someone offends someone else.  I miss the chaos of attending three different birthday parties in one weekend.  It feels strange to look at pictures of a life and a home that no longer exist and could never be the same if we ever returned- and it grieves me.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 9.38.56 AM.pngI grieve the loss of relationship with nieces and nephews that will not know who I am. I grieve not being there to pray with a friend and hug them when they are going through tough times. I miss those deep relationships where a friend knows when you are not being your true self. 

So what do I do? I wish I could say I have the answer but I don’t.  I DO know God has called me to serve in Nigeria.  However, when times get tough, when I feel lonely or when I long for the easier life …. my thoughts turn toward my old home and I grieve. I know that grieving is normal.  I ask God to help me remember that I am his daughter in Nigeria and I am not missing out, but it is one thing to say it and another thing to really feel and believe it!  Pray for God to help me not just say that I believe in His purposes for my life but that I believe and feel it with my entire being!  I am sure my feelings are no different than some of you reading this email who have families living miles apart or SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAmaybe your families ties have been broken and you miss those better times.  I hope this blog encourages you to know you are not alone and that your fellow sister in Christ completely understands. Our feelings don’t mean we are weak or incapable but that we are human.  We are also daughters and sons of the Most High and He is our one true home! 

Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  (NIV)

Prayers Needed

Posted: March 22, 2018 by Patrice Miles in Lenny Miles, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles, Prayer, SIM

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The Miles Family currently has 209 prayer partners who receive our prayer requests each week. Our family cannot express how grateful we are for the many responses we get back each time we send out prayer requests. We are blessed by your words of encouragement and honored to receive your requests for prayer. So many urgent prayer requests have gone out and we watched as God showed up and showed off by answering those prayers from our prayer partners. We could not have survived in Nigeria as long as we have without this group.

Please consider joining us as a prayer partner and commit to pray for our family as we serve in Nigeria. We also would love to hear from you so our family can pray for your family. No matter where we serve the Lord in this world (Nigeria or Main Street USA) we all need prayer and He hears all of our requests.

The Miles Family needs as many Prayer Warriors as we can get! If you are not already a prayer partner you can become one by clicking on the following link to sign up http://eepurl.com/DZf_D.

“Nothing is well done without prayer for the simple reason it leaves God out of the account” – E.M. Bounds.