Archive for the ‘Missionaries’ Category

In less than a month, I will be headed back to Nigeria with a team of servants going to help make a difference in the lives of so many kids, teachers and staff. It is always overwhelming to put together the schedules for the team. I wonder how each team members gifts can be best utilized in our ministry. I alway want everyone to have the best experience and to leave Egbe, Nigeria forever changed. I am challenged to not just make it about the experience but to also make sure that my staff on the ground are encouraged and inspired. This isn’t an easy task and only with the Lord’s help can all the pieces fall in place for a team with so many gifts and talents. 

Meet the team!

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Stephen and Diana Beville from Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Diana and Stephen visited Egbe, Nigeria in 2014 before C.A.R.E. Africa had started. They helped us put together the new pharmacy at ECWA Hospital Egbe. Stephen is a solution architect with GE and Diana runs our C.A.R.E. Africa markets while also working part time as a career consultant for people with disabilities. Since their last visit they have helped me put together the U.S. C.A.R.E. Africa legal side with accounting, board meetings, taxes and 5013c status. They also started the C.A.R.E Africa markets and our Etsy store. Diana visited us again in Jos, Nigeria in 2018 to run our children’s program at our SIM Spiritual Life Conference. They will be serving in our new seamstress program, documenting our Caregiver cooperative initiative and doing interviews with C.A.R.E. families. 

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Kathy Matheny from Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Kathy is the President of Cardinal Planning & Design. Her company did our land surveys years ago when Lenny and I were in construction building homes. They have been supporters of our ministry in Nigeria and now Kathy is excited to see what she has been investing in. This will be her first visit to Egbe, Nigeria. She will help lead worship at AWANA, teach elective classes, serve in the library at the school and assist with interviews.

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Michael Beaumont from Bluffton, South Carolina.

 

Michael is the lead pastor at Live Oak Christian Church. His last visit to Egbe was in 2014. This will be his fourth trip to Egbe. He is the Pastor at Live Oak Christian Church. He will be leading a one day retreat for the C.A.R.E. Africa staff through a curriculum he created called Leading  Healthy.  In addition he will help with AWANA, our Sports Outreach and our weekly staff devotional and caregiver meetings.  He will assist me with looking at land options for C.A.R.E. Africa’s new center.

 

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Scott Beebe from Bluffton, South Carolina

Scott is the founder of My Business on Purpose and helped C.A.R.E. Africa create our vision, mission, values and goals. He helped us document our practices and coached us through the stages of his model to get us to where we are today. He will be joining the team to do leadership training, serve at AWANA and Sports Outreach, assist Michael at our one day retreat and visit all his old friends as he is a native of Egbe, Nigeria and has visited too many times to count.

We are so excited to see what God is going to do with and through this team.

We need your help!!

We would love to take any of the following items with us when we go.

  1. New or Used Soccer Balls in good condition.
  2. Used Laptops in good condition.
  3. First Aid Kits
  4. Board Games
  5. Used Playstation.
  6. Overcomer Movie
  7. National Geographic Magazines/Science Magazines.
  8. Bibles.
  9. Cake Pans all sizes.
  10. Muffin Pans regular size.
  11. Clothing and shoes starting at size 5T and up to Men’s and Women’s small sizes.
  12. Monetary donations would also help us purchase needed items and/or cover any baggage fees. Any monetary donations can be given to our general fund atgive.icareafrica.org or checks can be made payable to CARE Africa and mailed. Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org for our mailing address.

You can Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org with any local donations I can pick up or I can give you a shipping address. 

Whatever your title -teacher, mom, CEO, wife, business owner, friend, leader, sister, pastor, husband or father…do you ever feel unequipped and think God totally picked the wrong person for the job?

When I first got back to the U.S. in May I knew my role with my ministries was going to look much different. I needed to learn to speak at events and churches, network with people and businesses and create awareness of what God is doing in Egbe, Nigeria. I begged God to help me become that person who can engage a room full of people in easy conversations.  I watched Ted talks on public speaking and tried to do what they did but I sucked at it. I would get mad at myself for not being able to be a great advocate for C.A.R.E. Africa and our other ministries. What is wrong with me? Then one day I read a blog about a teenager who didn’t meet the criteria for the job.

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She was Young, Inexperienced, Simple, had no Training, Poor, and a Virgin!

But…… God chose her to be Jesus’ mother. Her willingness was the only qualification she had.. Luke 1:38a, b: “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’”

Mary had every reason to feel unequipped, yet she was told she was chosen and she only had one question: “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:34, NIV)

The angel Gabriel in Luke 1:35-37 reminds her that what seems impossible to her is absolutely possible with God.

I look around and see amazing nonprofits run at such a professional level. I continue to think they are so much more qualified than I am…. I don’t even have a college degree!

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But I am reminded this Christmas season that all God wanted from Mary was her willingness and that is  all he wants from me too. He has given me all the gifts necessary to be a great mom, sister, friend, daughter, wife, advocate for my kids, staff and caregivers in Nigeria, marketing manager, child sponsorship manager, missions trip leader, speaker, fundraiser, CEO and whatever other role necessary.  I just needed to lift my willingness up to Him and let Him help me be the best version of me.

Are you feeling unequipped for the role you are in?  Should God have picked someone else for the job? Well you should know that God loves to show off and take ordinary people and do extraordinary things through them.

God doesn’t want us to perform for him. He simply wants us to say “YES” to Him.

When you see the manger scene this Christmas, look at Mary and be reminded of her “YES”. Lift up your willingness in all areas of your life –  at work, in ministry, at home,  with family, friends and neighbors. Let’s make our greatest desire in the New Year to be all God has called us to be and nothing more.

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“So, Patrice, what do you do all day?” “Oh, I just sit around all day eating bonbons!”  HAHA! Since moving back to the states this has become the number one question people ask me. I can’t give them a quick or short answer. Should I show them everything on my to do list that I have completed or all that I still have to complete?  Should I get my calendar out and show all the people and places I have visited or are scheduled to visit?  Running a nonprofit and having responsibility for over 100 people (60 children, 50 caregivers and 23 employees) that live halfway across the world is inherently difficult. Not to mention the six hour time difference.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 5.16.32 PMIn Nigeria, I employed house help and a driver as part of the ministry to give people jobs. This allowed me to work all day on C.A.R.E. Africa and have my evenings and weekends free for family and Sabbath time. In the US I still get to focus on ministry during the day, but nights and weekends have turned into cleaning, cooking, shopping and driving kids around…… Welcome to America most of you would say!

Sabbath is how I refuel. Not the 30-minute rushed devotional in the morning but spending an entire day sitting at his feet and breathing him in. Without it, I am running on empty and when someone asks me “So, what do you do all day” – I get annoyed. This annoyance is a red flag that my heart is not in the right place and I need some time with the Lord.

This past Sunday I scheduled a Sabbath on my calendar because I knew it was the only way it would happen. During that time God showed me my need for approval from people in order to feel good about myself. When people ask me “What do you do all day?” it makes me feel judged -like I am not doing enough. I am not blogging enough, emailing enough, meeting enough people and not sharing the C.A.R.E. Africa story enough.  Otherwise, people would know what I do all day and wouldn’t have to ask. In my quiet time God gave me Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

nice-happy-thanksgiving-day-wallpapers-1024x768In one week it will be American Thanksgiving Day. Odds are you will be around some well-meaning family members who might ask “So, what do you do all day or when are you going to get married or find a better job “ – other people’s expectations as to what you should or should not be doing in life. Remember who you are and whose you are! You have already met the approval of the only One that matters!  So sit down, take a breath and enjoy this holiday. God loves you unconditionally always!

everyone2Orphan Sunday started in a small, struggling church in Zambia. The church members had little, but the pastor believed that everyone is called to express love for the fatherless. The church responded in astounding ways, some even removing their own shoes for orphans nearby.

This Orphan Sunday our staff and children headed out to create awareness and serve in Egbe and the surrounding communities. They started at Chapel Of Blessing to speak sing and pray for all the orphans around the world. They then headed to two orphanages, Ekundayo Orphanage and Greater Grace in Isanlu. Both orphanages reminded us  how blessed C.A.R.E. Africa is.

emmaEmma spoke to the orphanage staff to remind them that the children under their care are precious and not a problem, they are of value and not of trouble, they are the next leaders in Nigeria. He spoke of  how it is not poverty that stops us from giving and caring for the orphans, but our unwillingness, and because we don’t want to share with others what God has given us. C.A.R.E. Africa enjoyed giving this Sunday instead of receiving. We pray seeds have been planted and God was glorified in these two orphanages and also in our staff and children that attended.

 

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Wow! I cannot believe we have been in America for 6 months already!

IMG_6965Jolie, what is the best thing about being back in America?
1. Air Conditioning in my school.
2. A real school cafeteria with food.
3. The dinners you cook us at night.
(She is definitely my daughter, everything relates to food!)

 

IMG_3484Jolie, What do you miss about Nigeria.
1. I miss my friends, Caitlyn and Lowena
2. I am sad I will miss SIM Spiritual Life Conference in January.

 

 

IMG_6365Cason, what is the best thing about being back in America?
1. I love American school and making straight A’s now.
2. I love how much there is to do.
3. I love having all types of food options to eat.

 

IMG_0093Cason, what do you miss about Nigeria?
1. My friend Jephthah.
2. I miss having Jollof Rice all the time.
3. Freedom to do whatever and no rules.

 

IMG_6218Lenny, what is the best thing about being back in America?
1. Love having hobbies again like hunting.
2. More activities to do as a family and couple.
3. Being around my family again.

 

IMG_4582Lenny, what do you miss about Nigeria?
1. Food, Egusi & Pounded Yam!
2. Miss the missionary community.
3. Rainy season.

 

IMG_7789Patrice, what is the best thing about being back in America?
1. Food, Food, Food and more Food! (Doughnuts, cakes, cookies, real chocolate oh my!)
2. Seeing my kids joy as they play sports and are involved in different programs.
3. Hanging out and catching up with all my family and friends.
4. The participation and involvement from family, friends and strangers in C.A.R.E. Africa!

 

IMG_2368Patrice, what do you miss about Nigeria?
1. Food, Egusi & Pounded Yam.
2. Driving around with my driver, Samuel, on all our adventures in the crazy city.
3. Jumai, who helped me clean, cook and shop.
4. Those deep conversations with like minded missionaries who lived and breathed the same trials and tribulations we did.
5. My Nigerian brother and sister, Emma and Tofunmi.
6. Having to rely on God every day to just get from Point A to Point B in anything and everything I did.

Click to see the video of Amarchi’s home visit.

Amarachi stands nervously as we walk up to her house. She has her 4 children all lined up to greet us. I immediately notice that their clothing shows age but the children are well groomed and show much respect to their mother. Amarachi’s middle girl, Damilola is 10 years old and has been accepted into C.A.R.E. Africa.

DSC_0041I ask Amarachi to share her journey with me. In the early years the family lived in Lagos where they had jobs that paid for food and school fees for the children.  Amarachi’s mother-in-law fell ill so she and her husband had to leave Lagos and move to Egbe to care for the ailing mother. Once in Egbe, they crammed all their possessions into the mother’s 20 x 16 sf room. The floor is dirt, one window, no ventilation, no plumbing, no electric, and no toilet. All seven lived in this one room for four years until the mother passed – now there are six. All six of them sleep on two foam mattresses (see picture). Before she passed, Amarachi’s mother-in-law taught her to make palm kernel oil to sell. The locals use it for skin salve and also take orally for stomach problems. The smell and texture reminded me of motor oil.

Amarachi also works with her husband who is a vulcanizer – repairs tires. Amarachi and her husband freelance a street corner where people know them to be honest workers.  They attend church as a family and are well liked in the community. She and her husband are both hard working people but the need for palm kernel oil or tire repair is not much. The need to feed and educate her children is a constant worry for Amarachi.  Her other three children will not be attending school as they cannot afford the school fees. Amarachi is very thankful Damilola has been accepted into C.A.R.E. Africa because her daughter will be well educated, looked after physically and spiritually and have a chance at a better life.

At the time of writing this article, Damilola has a sponsor but the family does not. C.A.R.E. Africa would like to come alongside the family through their church to help empower them through business and the education of the remaining children. Please consider becoming one of the families sponsors at $35 a month or $420 a year by clicking Amarachi.

If you didn’t see this blog last week…here it is again because today is the day! I don’t know if you remember, but last year for my 39th birthday, you helped me install a playground at my school in Egbe, Nigeria. It was so much fun watching your donations come in and it was one of the best birthday presents ever. I enjoyed picking out the equipment, watching it made and shipping it to Egbe from Jos. There were many challenges in all the logistics, installation and maintaining quality, but the joy in the children’s faces when they experienced their first playground….made it all worth it!!

This year for my BIG 40th birthday on October 21st,  I have a BIG request! Will you help my Nigerian daughter, Titi, with an education? If you don’t know who Titi is, click on her blog at https://plantainsplease.wordpress.com/ . She is an amazing young women who walks with the Lord and has blessed our family with smiles, belly laughs, insight, new challenges and a different outlook on life. She has been in the USA for a little over a year now studying Social Work at Lancaster Bible College, and is making straight A’s. She is the RA for her dorm while working as a writing mentor too.

titi school boardTiti raises all her own school fees, which is $16,000 a year.  She currently has an outstanding balance of $8,000 at Lancaster for her second semester school fees. You will encourage and make a big difference in this amazing young woman’s life through any amount given through this birthday donation.

Thank you so much for making my 40th birthday extra special! Click Patrice 40th Birthday to donate.

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