Archive for the ‘SIM’ Category

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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#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! 

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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.

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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!

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

Words and pictures cannot describe the fruitfulness of our 1st trip of 2020. God used all of us and the gifts he has given us to encourage all the kids, caregivers and staff at C.A.R.E. Africa and Foundations Academy. Take a peak below and pray about joining us on my next trip in June. Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org for more details.

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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For our sport outreach this month we invited a team from the town of Ilorin to a match. I have had a relationship with this team for a long time. They have always wanted to come to Egbe to play a match but due to finances they have been unable to make the trip. The entire team is M*slim. I have deeply felt God wanting me to build a stronger relationship with this team. So after much prayer we decided to use our sports outreach funds to finance their trip to Egbe. Twenty-five came including coaches. Only two people on the team were Christ!an.

 

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We were able to get them accomodations and feed them. We had a movie night and discussions about life matters. We all shared and I was blessed to share Chr!st with everyone. We played football and the game ended 1-0. I believe our loss allowed them to see God in us as they felt loved and not cheated. Saturday morning we all trained together and prayed. Indeed it is one of my best days this month. Some of the players agreed that we should create a group to be encouraging each other. None of them were judged because of their religion. I was able to give the coach a Bible, the Fellowship of Christ!an Athletes Bible, and the team agreed to use it. I believe a door of fellowship has been opened and look forward to God’s plans for the Ilorin team. Please join me and keep this team in your prayers during this Christmas season as we all continue to share about Chr!st’s birth with our family and friends, the real reason for celebration!
Emma Salako
Donate to our Sports Outreach Programs by clicking Sports Outreach