Posts Tagged ‘Nigeria’

Brothel Ladies, Blessing is on the far right.

Brothel Ladies, Blessing is on the far right.

Meet Blessing. While I was in the US earlier this year a few of our missionaries on the ground stumbled onto a brothel in the town. They met several times with the prostitutes there and built some relationships. A local Pastor, Pastor Wale, came alongside them and was able to get a few ladies to leave the brothel. The church  found them places to live for free and even gave them money to help start small businesses. Blessing was one of the ladies that choose to leave the brothel.

When I arrived back to Nigeria in May, Pastor Wale asked if he could enroll Blessings’ two children in CARE Africa. Currently the children lived in another town with grandma and he wanted to reunite them with their mother.  Without a guarantee of an education the pastor was concerned for the boys. We immediately said yes and the next week Blessing was reunited with her two boys

Blessing right after being reunited with her two boys.

Blessing right after being reunited with her two boys.

The following Saturday she came to CARE Africa. When she walked in the door she started crying and begging us to take the kids from her. “Please take my children! This is too much for me!” She said the money she was making selling beans and rice was just not enough to support her and the two boys. She said that everything was much harder than she had imagined it would be. We explained to her we were not an orphanage and prayed with her. We prayed for God to give her the strength to handle her new life and not revert back to the old one.

A few weeks ago I went to check on Blessing and the boys. We sat and talked about the upcoming school year. Once all contracts were signed and everything was understood by all parties I asked how her business was doing. She said it was still the same but she was managing. I asked her if now, a month later, she still wanted to give Friday and Samuel to me and she laughed and said “No”. I told her how proud we were of her for managing and not going back to what she knew and what was easy.

Last week at back to school meeting at CARE Africa.

Last week at back to school meeting at CARE Africa.

I then asked her what she needed to help her business do better. She said she needed to be able to buy in bulk.  If she could buy more than just a days supplies she would have more profit and thus could invest more into her business. Emma  and I started calculating what a whole bag of rice would cost and all the supplies she would need and it came up to N17,000 ($80). I opened my planner and showed Emma what I had written on my to do’s for that day. “Deposit N18,500 from craft sales from volunteer team.” The day before I had sold N18,500 in crafts from CARE Africa to a recent team that visited Egbe. I love it when God shows off! I asked Emma if he felt like we needed to talk about it more or if he felt led to go ahead and help her. He just smiled and said “It looks like we are just suppose to go ahead and do this.” God’s timing is so amazing.

Emma explained all this to Blessing in Yoruba to make sure she knew all the events that led up to her getting this money. I wanted her to understand how none of this could have been a coincidence. Emma explained how God planned for us to visit her that day and to have this money in our pocket from sales yesterday. I looked her in the eyes and said “God loves you Blessing! He thinks you are special! He has chosen you!” I loved getting to see the shy smile on her face as I spoke these truths to her. You could just see in her face that no one had ever told her this.

Samuel on the Left and Friday on the right.

Samuel on the Left and Friday on the right.

I am so blessed to get to watch God change lives in Egbe. Thank you for continuing to support Miles in Missions and CARE Africa so we can continue to show God’s love to people that have never been shown love. God loves you! He thinks your special! He has chosen you!

Friday and Samuel are Blessings’ children’s names. Friday is currently sponsored but Samuel is not. If God is leading you to help Samuel, click CARE Africa and sign up to send Samuel to school for only $35 a month.

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Samuel pounding yam!

Jamaica Mission TripA little over a year ago my life was changed by going on my first mission trip to Jamaica. It seemed that I heard God speaking so clearly when my cell phone was off,  I had no Internet, and I had no agenda for the day. I write to you today because I am excited about the possibility of leading mission trips to Egbe, Nigeria. Having this opportunity to  watch God work in peoples lives is so exciting!

Samaritans Purse VolunteersCurrently, Samaritans Purse is the main contributor to U.S. visitors in Egbe. These volunteers come every two weeks with construction skills that they use to help the revitalization project. In addition to the construction project, we now have the desire to start hosting large teams to do ministry inside and outside of the hospital walls.

Egbe TeamI know running large teams every month could be stressful on myself, but I envision so many benefits from it as well. The opportunity to see U.S. lives changed by a new outlook on life, ministries in Egbe helped, people’s eyes opened to the hospital and its needs would be tremendously gratifying. I see all the benefits, but am in prayer to see if it is Gods will. Does he want this? I will be spending a lot of time putting it all together. Things like forms, schedules, costs, ministry options, etc. still need to be created. I will be dependent on God’s help to put all the pieces together because I cannot make this happen on my own. I feel like a little girl who is showing her Daddy a picture that she has drawn and then waiting for him to tell her how beautiful it is while putting it on the fridge.

Egbe Volunteers I have high expectations of myself and admittedly, I can sometimes take on too much. I am sure there are many of you reading this that understand my pain. God has saved me from myself many times by not giving me what I want. I am thankful for that when I look back and see how he saved me from something that would have overwhelmed me or not worked out, but in that moment it was hard to be thankful. His will is always better than mine and it may or may not include my desire to see U.S. teams meet the beautiful people of Egbe. I am just going to have to wait and see. Lets all together watch and see what he does….. lets watch him show up and show off however that looks! How about you? Are you excited to see God show up and show off in your life no matter how that looks? If you have any interest in coming on a mission trip to Africa to serve the people of Egbe, no matter what your skill set is, click Egbe to email me.

Egbe Friends

Hillary and Courtney at our house on Pizza and cookie night!

As I was excitedly collecting different odds and end snacks from my cupboard, Shola was pulling hot cinnamon rolls out of the oven. I put several of  them in a ziplock bag. Two young missionary girls, Courtney and Hillary, arrived last week at HELP care center. They are staying for six months and were craving some US food. I know how quickly you start to miss your comfort foods and American things so I wanted to deliver some Joy to them.

I rushed out the door with all my goodies thinking is would only take me 10 minutes at the most to get to HELP. We had a dinner to be at at 6pm so I had to hurry in order to get everything done. I dropped Shola at her house because it was on my route to HELP and then I stopped at the supermarket and paid my bill. Once at HELP I was on a mission to deliver the goods. I found the girls and walked right passed John the coordinator and Uncle Charles who watches over the boys. Uncle Eman who also helps with the boys was sitting with the Courtney and Hillary and I didn’t even say anything to him. He greeted me after I had been talking to the girls for a few minutes and seemed a little hurt. We started to head to the car to get the box of goodies and Hillary stopped and greeted John the coordinator as we passed. He looked at me and said “You didn’t greet me?” His tone sounded hurt and it then hit me of every mistake I had just made in the past 15 minutes while on my mission to bring Joy.

Egbe Nigeria ClockWhen I dropped Shola off I greeted her children but there was a younger man there and I didn’t greet him or even find out who he was or his name. At the supermarket, I said hello but that was it. I didn’t ask the owner how she was or how her children were. At HELP I pulled in and barreled my way past everyone on my mission.  Some of you in US may be saying, “What’s the big deal?” In Yorubaland greetings are a very big deal. I had just left a trail of disrespect and unkindness on my mission to deliver Joy.  I started to wonder how many times in the US I did this same thing. How many opportunities did God put in front of me to build relationships and my task was more important?

I used to get frustrated at African time, but now I am starting to understand it. If I am late 15-30 minutes my host will understand. That 15-30 minutes will have been used to be a light to people and  relationships will be deepened.

I know I am forgiven but it still pains my heart to know the impressions of the “busy American” I had left on the hearts of these people. God is helping me to remember that everything I do all day even the mundane things like paying a supermarket bill have His name written all over it. I am to be a light everywhere I go not just when my calendar says it is ministry time. I used to get so mad at people that were late. Now I am thinking African time isn’t so bad if God gets to touch people along the way. God please help me to slow down and see the opportunities you put in front of me everyday to be a light for your kingdom.

RXYes this was the question I received when talking to the physician assistant at my allergists office. I really didn’t know what to say except….”Are you joking?” I had called to request them to change Cason’s prescription for his inhalers. We needed to stock up on them as they do not sell inhalers in Nigeria. She wasn’t very helpful or understanding of our upcoming trip and ended our conversation with “They don’t have a Walgreens in Africa?”

I had never really thought about all the things we relied on until I had to pack it all up and move it across the globe. Medications are the hardest thing to come by in Africa. We will be taking a two year supply of all meds and 2 nebulizer machines just in case one bites the dust.

Once we started talking to friends on the field we found out a few of our favorite foods Marketdidn’t exist in Egbe either. Peanut butter, coffee and chocolate……oh no! There is a grocery store, but as you can see it is very limited. We were told we can order American food items from the lady that owns the grocery store. They take a few weeks to get to her and it is very limited. They mentioned Pringles being a commodity. There is no rhyme or reason to what flavor you get, but they can be ordered.

I know once we arrive and are immersed in the community helping the locals, orphans and SP workers, these things will not hold the same value to us. However, now standing on the other side of the globe and having taken for granted all of these wonderful things….I am in preparation mode.

We shipped over 30 lbs of coffee beans, 20 jars of peanut butter and 12 packages of chocolate chips among other things. The chocolate chips will be melted but we have been told to throw them in the freezer, then just chunk off with a knife what you need. HAHA, never thought I would be saying that. So, when you drink your coffee in the morning, make a PB&J sandwich or eat some chocolate….enjoy it and realize that you are very blessed to even have the opportunity to consume those items.

Thanks to our current 39 financial partners, visas and plane tickets for August 15th are in the works. We still need a few more people to partner with our ministry in order to be 100% funded. We are currently in need of 4/$100 partners, 9/$50 partners 9/$25 partners and 4/$10 partners.

We are excited that we now have 180 prayer partners! We still need more people to partner with us in this area too. We are wanting 400 prayer partners before we leave in August.

Do not let this blog leave the impression we are not ecstatic about this journey God is taking us on. We are so excited words cannot even begin to express it. I just felt that if the PA didn’t know there wasn’t a Walgreens in Africa…maybe you didn’t either.

Here are a few ways you can join this ministry. Click one option below:
1. Support this ministry monthly
2. Pray for the ministry
Still have questions about becoming a partner. Click here Miles In Missions

Sunset Safari

Sunset Safari

We are so excited that Mollie Younger, owner of Pinot’s Palette has blessed us with our first fundraiser event. Wednesday April 17th at 6pm supporters will be instructed for 2 hours. Each person will receive a canvas, paint and brushes. At the end of the evening they will leave with a masterpiece, Safari Sunset. While painting our family will get to mingle and and pass out snacks. This should be a fun event and our family cannot wait to get to see everyone. Click on the following link to RSVP as we only have 60 spots. Pinot’s Pallete St Mathews. pinot's palette

Our departure date is less than 4 months away! Our home is SOLD and we move April 28th. In May we will be taking items down to our container in Ft Lauderdale that will ship to Nigeria. We will be shipping foods we cannot live without (coffee, peanut butter), household items, clothes, furniture and more. It will take almost 3 months for the container to reach Egbe. June we will spend the entire month in the hills of North Carolina for cross cultural training. In July we will be back in Louisville finalizing packing and saying good bye. August we are off and will not step fool on American soil for 21 months.

We are currently 40% funded and will not be able to leave in August unless we are 85% funded by the first of June. This event and many others will help us reach our goal. We cannot wait to get to Egbe to help the Nigerian people and the Egbe Hospital. There are so many ways you can support us and help the people of Egbe;

  1. Attending the Pinot’s Palette event
  2. Volunteer to make snacks for the Pinot’s Palette event
  3. Allow us to come and share our journey with your Bible Study group or office.
  4. Become a financial partner with us. DONATE HERE
  5. Become one of our 400 prayer partners. Email me to be added to our prayer partner list at Patrice@MilesInMissions.com

Egbe Nigerian HomeWell its not official so we are trying not to get too excited but….Check Out Our New Home!! It is so nice to have a vision of where my children will sleep, our family will enjoy a meal with new friends and where we will sit and study God’s word with others. Our family has experienced an emotional roller coaster the past two weeks, so this news from the field was so exciting. We are driving back from Charlotte where the entire family was in missionary training. While there my Father was admitted to the hospital for aggressive chemo therapy for a rare lymphoma cancer and brain tumor. Lenny received a phone call that his grandfather was given a week to live.  Our Louisville home received a full price contract. Yes, all of this in 2 weeks. Needless to say when Abby Anderson, who is on site at Egbe sent me the email saying that House #10, the Pharmacy house, could be our next home….we were revived and excited. God seems to give us just enough light everyday to take the next step in this faith walk. Even though it isn’t guaranteed to be our new residence, I am already placing my furniture and dreaming of visitors knocking at the door.ourhousefron2

Please continue to pray for our family as the countdown is starting. There is still so much to do and support to raise.  In the month of April we will be packing up the house and moving in with parents, making final transitions out of jobs and  presenting to multiple Bible study groups asking for support. If you have a Bible study group or work group that we could come and spend 15 minutes with showing a quick video about the project, we would be so honored to have that opportunity.

Egbe Living RoomlivingroomEgbe Nigerian kitchen Egbe Nigeria Master BedroomBedroom 2 in Egbe NigeriaEgbe BathroomEgbe Nigeria ShowerEgbe Nigeria Toilet

SIMGO 2013

SIMGo Spring 2013 team heading to different locations all over the world!

When you think of missionaries, what is the first thing you think of? I used to always think, “Someone who needs money.” Yes this is true as we cannot help people without the support of our financial partners, but this isn’t God’s sole purpose for this calling. He doesn’t just want physical needs met. He wants our spiritual needs met as well. So many wonderful people I come across say they are so sorry they cannot support us right now because of their financial situation. My response is always the same. “You can support us through prayer!” “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” Luke 10:2.

As you can see in the picture above a few peoples faces are whited out. This is for their protections as they are heading to countries were they could face persecution or even death because of their faith. As we head to Nigeria in August we are heading into enemy territory. Satan does not want us there. We will need prayer for our marriage, our children, our health, days of travel to get to the site and our sanity. Once there we will need continued prayer for our ministry to the Nigerians, re-building of the hospital our family transitioning into home schooling and God’s leading with our involvement with the local HELP orphanage. Will you pray for us? We need 400 prayer partners that will receive a weekly email from us with prayer requests. Will you please consider being one of our prayer partners now and for the next 2 years. Please email me Patrice@MilesInMissions.com if you would like to become a prayer partner for our family.