Archive for the ‘Orphans’ Category

Update on Return Trip to Nigeria

I have had so many people ask me when I plan to return to Nigeria now that international airports are opening. Our visit in June was cancelled due Covid-19 and my team and I have been anxious to reschedule. The most recent COVID testing and quarantine protocols for travelers arriving in Nigeria requires:

  1. We must provide the airline with proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result administered within 5 days of departure to Nigeria. The airline will deny boarding of any passenger who does not have said proof.
  2. We must register and upload PCR test results to Nigeria’s online International Travel Portal.  We must pay via the online portal for a Covid-19 PCR retest in Nigeria to occur seven days after arrival at an approved lab.
  3. At the airport in Nigeria we will undergo mandatory health screening and must present evidence of negative pre-boarding PCR test results and evidence of payment/appointment for a repeat PCR test in-country.  Our passport biodata page including our passport picture will be forwarded to all COVID-19 PCR Sample Collection Centers.
  4. Mandatory eight days of isolation.  Present ourselves for repeat Covid-19 PCR testing on day seven.  Once we have received a negative repeat PCR test the quarantine is lifted.

We would have to travel to the small town of Ilorin for our repeat Covid-19 PCR tests 7 days after arrival. The four hour drive to Ilorin is over difficult roads that are frequented by robbers. We have no experience with anyone obtaining a PCR repeat test in Ilorin so have no idea what the challenges might be. We have heard from other missionaries about delays in getting their repeat PCR test results performed in better run and larger cities. Two weeks of our time in country are tied up meeting all the testing and quarantine requirements – and that’s only if there are no problems along the way (no “wahalla”).  Unfortunately, in my experience, it is unlikely this will be a smooth process. It is not a risk I am willing to take nor put my team through at this time. You can pray Nigeria does away with this in country Covid-19 PCR retest so our team can visit and encourage our children, staff and caregivers and bring much needed supplies.

 

Update on School Resumption

We were so excited to get the news last month that schools could finally reopen. It was challenging to get the needed resources like face masks, hand sanitizers and other COVID-19 requirements, but God provided and we are open!

The children were very excited to return. However, we found that the homework packets and the small amount of interaction we were allowed with the children have left the kids behind academically. Thankfully, Nigeria decided to start the school year with the original third term that was missed due to the COVID shutdown.  Repeating the third term should help catch the children up but there are still many challenges that we face.

Starting Nov 1st, the first term of the new school year will begin, and things will hopefully return to normal. Pray for our teachers and kids to persevere and that this pandemic will not have a negative effect on any child’s educational foundation.

Enjoy some of the smiling faces returning to our school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For over three years I have sought a way to create prayer partners for my kids at C.A.R.E. Africa. We have been blessed with financial sponsors for all but a few of the children; however, a child can never have enough people praying for him or her. 

I have seen many miracles while on the mission field in Nigeria, but I have also seen much evil. Our C.A.R.E. Africa children face so much oppression in their environment on a daily basis. They need the prayers of devoted Christians asking God to place a hedge of protection around their bodies, minds and hearts. These children are the next generation and need prayerful help in living out a life of faith in Nigeria. 

God gave me a vision for a Prayer Card that I have carried in my heart for several years. I just needed to design it, print it and distribute it. Now that I am stateside, I have less challenges and more resources for time consuming projects like this. Can you imagine my excitement when the vision for these prayer cards recently became a reality? Now, God just needs to help me find 7300 Prayer Warriors – that’s 100 prayer partners per child!

Do you have a small group, a bible study, church, neighborhood community, organization or workplace that would consider praying for the future of these children? 

If so, please let me know and I will send you as many Prayer Cards as you can distribute. Each card has the child’s name and picture along with a few personal details to help get your prayers started. 

Help me find 7300 prayer partners for our 73 children at C.A.R.E. Africa!

Make this dream come true and email me at Patrice@iCareAfrica.org 

Have you ever thought about volunteering for a non-profit?
Could you spare a few hours a month to make a difference in the lives of 73 children?

MW2C8181In Egbe, the majority of C.A.R.E. Africa children do not know their birthdays. Generally, with a little research, we are able to discover their birth date but there are times we simply have to give a child a birth date. Birthdays are not celebrated  in Nigeria the way we CELEBRATE in the Western world. Only the “wealthy” are able to purchase a small cake for their child and sometimes a present. When C.A.R.E. Africa children have their first birthday celebration complete with a present and cake it is very special to them.  Our goal is, on their birthday, every child in our ministry would receive a present and a small cake to share with their extended family.

 

So, back to our earlier discussion about volunteering.  Here’s your chance!  We have created a new volunteer position called Birthday Advocate.  This volunteer would spend a few hours a month helping us make our kiddos birthdays special.

IMG_4114This volunteer position is virtual and can be done anywhere in the world with reliable internet connection. We would provide you with the data to keep track of all the birthdays.  At the beginning of each month you would make a list of each child with a birthday in the following month and reach out to the sponsor/s of each birthday child.  You will ask if they would like to send the birthday child a present or have us purchase a birthday package in Nigeria for their child. There will be a point of contact at C.A.R.E. Africa for you to communicate which children will need a birthday package/ cake purchased.  Once the child receives their birthday package our staff will send you a picture and/or video of the child opening their present which you would forward to the child’s sponsor/s.  It’s an easy task with such a great reward.

Help us create some smiles and lasting memories for these precious children by becoming our new Birthday Advocate.  I am ready to greet you and teach you all the fundamentals.  I look forward to hearing from you soon! Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org

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So many of us have experienced a COVID-19 cancellation. Graduations, weddings, birthdays, funerals, proms, camps, vacations, and so many other life events. In Egbe, Nigeria the case has been the same. We have all suffered in so many ways from this pandemic.

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 4.19.45 PMIt has been encouraging to see people think outside the box of ways to celebrate these life events amongst the social restriction. I have seen car birthday parades through neighborhoods, small intimate outdoor weddings, online funerals and graduations, at home proms with a few friends and vacations in state at locations that you normally may have never visited. We have all had to really get creative to find ways to adapt.

care booth 7Diana Beville (Etsy store manager), Tofunmi Salako(Operations Manager in Egbe) and myself are also trying to do the same for C.A.R.E. Africa. All of our yearly large exposition events were cancelled due to COVID-19 and moved to online platforms. We had scheduled expo booths in Northern KY, Dallas Tx and Louisville, KY that would normally generate around $15,000 a year in sales of our handmade products from Nigeria. Our ladies in our seamstress ministry work so hard to create these beautiful products. The income they make helps them support their families and put food on the table so we were deeply saddened to not be able to participate in these events.

We started to think of how can we could get creative and help these ladies sell their goods without having a booth set up for people to come and see and touch the products?

How about a C.A.R.E. Handmade Empowerment Package?

You can pick any amount $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more and we will put together a package of handmade goods from our ladies that equals that amount.

You can;

  1. Wrap them up as a gift for Christmas or to appreciate a teacher or a co-worker.
  2. Resell these items at a small at home party, church, bible study or online through social media.
  3. Give them away with a C.A.R.E. Africa Etsy info card to friends and family to help us create awareness of our Etsy store and ministry.
  4. Be a secret neighbor and leave a gift on a front porch.

You will be empowering women in Nigeria while also creating awareness of C.A.R.E. Africa and putting a big smile on someone specials face.

one year

Our Seamstresses

What do you think?

Are we thinking outside the box?

If you think it is a great idea and would love to help us keep these ladies in Nigeria busy click Empowerment to make a general donation and make sure to write in the memo Empowerment Package. You can also always visit our Etsy store at www.CareAfricaStore.com and purchase all your Christmas and or appreciation gifts.

When I returned to America over a year ago and decided to run the ministry stateside for two years, I thought I had everything planned out. Then Corona hit and all my plans were put aside. I was already wrestling with how I would continue to keep donors excited about supporting my work and the ministry while not having pictures and stories of my life in Nigeria to share. I was encouraged when a fellow stateside missionary said “Patrice, your location does not determine your calling!” I loved this and am able to testify that his words were true!

Okikiola is a recent story that reminded me that my location does not determine my calling. If you don’t follow us on Facebook then you wouldn’t know about this beautiful little miracle girl. Her story in Tofunmi’s words are below.

okiI got a call on the 9th of May 2020 from Okikiola’s Mum. She was ill and was taken to the hospital and they needed her hospital card. I was down with Malaria myself and could barely stand on my feet but it was on the weekend and so the office was closed. I gathered all the strength and my husband took me to the office to get the card.  My mum dropped it at the hospital for me since I was so weak and I thought it was just fever and headache, besides, the mum said she was going to call when they left the hospital later in the day.

True to her words, she did call but not to tell me they were home but that Okiki would be spending the night in the hospital.

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On Sunday the 10th, the mum called me again in the morning crying and could barely speak up enough for me to understand clearly, but I could make out words like oxygen and seizures.  I went back with Emma and on getting there, I was as scared as I can ever be. There were tubes all over her, from her nose to blood transfusion and IV and even a catheter. She also was on oxygen and I could still see her shaking as an aftermath of the seizures. Her eyes were half-open but she was in a coma. Her lips were swollen and bloody from biting them and there was her mum at the corner crying.

She was so tiny on the bed and I felt so helpless. I asked from the mum what the doctors had said, and she said they told her it was cerebral malaria, the worst kind of malaria to get. I wanted to help her more but all I could do was pray and be hopeful, which myself and Emma did before we left that day.

So, our journey to the hospital twice a day to pray and check in on Okiki started. After 27 IV’s, which made every part of her body swollen, she opened her eyes. The mum called immediately, and I rushed there as soon as I could. She was sitting in a chair but still barely conscious as she did not even know I was there.

okidischargeI don’t think we have ever prayed for anything in CARE Africa as strongly as everyone prayed for Okiki during that time. She continued to get better and at visits with her she began to talk and tell us she was ready to go home because she had a church program to do and was tired of being in the hospital. God answered our prayers and she left after 11 days in the hospital. It was all a miracle from God.

She is fine now but still has to be going to the hospital for frequent checkups and they say her blood is still a bit short but we are trusting the Lord. She has started coming to school again and even shared her wonderful testimony with her friends at CARE Africa.      

I was so blessed to be able to communicate stateside with Tofunmi, Emma and all our donors and prayer warriors during this scary time. I know we had over 300 people praying all over the world for this little girl. Even her sponsor was able to contribute to her hospital bill, so the family wasn’t left with this burden. It truly was an amazing example of how the body of Christ can work globally. Everyone got to watch God work a miracle!

Your location does not determine your calling. You can also make a difference globally by investing in one of our kids futures. Visit give.icareafrica.org to see all the children in need and sign up to a part of our family today!

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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?”

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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!

 

 

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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!

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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/.

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#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!