Author Archive

Open Hands

Posted: September 27, 2022 by Patrice Miles in C.A.R.E. Africa, Orphans, People of Egbe, Prayer

By Amy Velder

Oden Ayo stands out in the crowd of the boys all dressed exactly the same at the Foundations Academy of Egbe. He has a big smile and searching dark eyes. His hands are open to help carry goods, to open doors, and to receive a hug or food. His emotions are easily seen on his face:  quick to smile and just as quick to scowl. Oden Ayo stands out in the crowd of the boys all dressed exactly the same at the Foundations Academy of Egbe. He has a big smile and searching dark eyes. His hands are open to help carry goods, to open doors, and to receive a hug or food. His emotions are easily seen on his face:  quick to smile and just as quick to scowl.

Oden Ayo stands out in the crowd of the boys all dressed exactly the same at the Foundations Academy of Egbe. He has a big smile and searching dark eyes. His hands are open to help carry goods, to open doors, and to receive a hug or food. His emotions are easily seen on his face:  quick to smile and just as quick to scowl.

He is talking. He is using his hands in big gestures and pointing. His mouth is moving, and he is searching my eyes with his eyes wide to see if I understand him, trying to understand my words.

As a veteran teacher and as a Young Life staff, I have traveled to Egbe to serve alongside others in the school. I am assigned to the Foundations classroom to observe and give feedback. Each student in this room has been unsuccessful in the regular classrooms with a standard curriculum. The students are joyful and happy to have a visitor assigned to their room. Their teacher, Mr. Emmanuel, is well prepared and uses excellent strategies for retraining. He is engaged and well-liked by his students.

Oden Ayo makes sure that I have a seat.  He offers me his paper and pencil. He smiles at me and winks. He puts his hand out for something; again, he is making sounds and moving his mouth. Mr. Emmanuel firmly and loudly calls for Oden Ayo’s attention. Oden Ayo’s eyes remain on my face, still communicating with me.

Oden Ayo cannot hear. His speech impairment is profound. Recently, CARE Africa was able to help him to get a hearing and speech evaluation in another city. Thankfully, his hearing can be improved with hearing aids. He now has a journey to retrain his mouth to form words he has never heard clearly. He will benefit from sign language school too. Oden Ayo cannot hear. His speech impairment is profound. Recently, CARE Africa was able to help him to get a hearing and speech evaluation in another city. Thankfully, his hearing can be improved with hearing aids. He now has a journey to retrain his mouth to form words he has never heard clearly. He will benefit from sign language school too.

The joy I have is overflowing that this very animated and social boy will be able to continue to develop without the frustration of being ignored and misunderstood. I am sure that Oden Ayo will be using those big open hands to learn all kinds of communication now that he has access to sign language.  Thank you for prayerfully opening your hands to give specifically to purchase the hearing aids that he desperately needs and towards the sign language specialist that will help Odun Ayo be a productive learner.

Help buy hearing aids for Odun Ayo by donating any amount towards the $1,400 needed. Click the video below.

Advocate

Posted: September 16, 2022 by Patrice Miles in C.A.R.E. Africa, Nigeria, Orphans

By Jolene Eicher

Right out of the gate, let’s understand that advocate is both a verb and a noun.   Advocate as a noun is pronounced “add-vo-kit” and as a verb is pronounced “add-vo-kate”.  You can’t be an advocate unless you advocate. 

Here are my favorite definitions of the noun and the verb: One who supports others to make their voices heard and Publicly pleading for the cause of another. 

As an aside, I also learned a new word for advocate and pay attention as you will need this for later: a tub-thumper (a vociferous supporter of a cause)

C.A.R.E. Africa chose advocate as a core value because we want to advocate for the voiceless – to speak on their behalf.  

Did you know you are biblically called to be an advocate?  

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV

C.A.R.E. Africa chose advocate as a core value because we want to advocate for the voiceless – to speak on their behalf.  

Did you know you are biblically called to be an advocate?  

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 NIV

Did you know you have not one but two personal advocates! 

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”   1 John 2:1 NIV

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV

In doing research for this article, I discovered there is an
Advocate personality type (INF) “16 Personalities(.com)” They are conscientious to the core, they move through life with a clear sense of their values, and they aim never to lose sight of what truly matters (to them). 
Advocates tend to carry around a sense – whether conscious or not – of being different from most people. – only that they sometimes feel misunderstood or at odds with the world.  They often feel called to use their strengths – including creativity, imagination, and sensitivity – to uplift others and spread compassion.

Doesn’t this describe our walk – our Christianity?  This means we are all advocates as regards our personal belief in the Son of God and love for mankind. 

What does it take for you to personally advocate for C.A.R.E. Africa?  

Well, it helps to have knowledge or background on the subject matter so you can more accurately explain our objectives. Furthermore, to advocate, you must always be ready to help the cause, provide or convey accurate information, and defend what you represent.  Are you ready and willing to come alongside us as a tub-thumper and champion the cause for the children, caregivers, and staff of C.A.R.E. Africa?!!  We desperately need you to advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

By Jolene Eicher,

Over the next few weeks, we want to share C.A.R.E. Africa’s core values with you. We hope it will resonate with similar values you use in your own life and that of your family/friends.

EMPOWER
Empower describes the process of change wherein an individual with a prior inability to choose has the access and freedom to make choices (Kabeer, 2005).

The solution to slowing poverty isn’t about how much money you can give or about inserting western interventions. It’s about providing people with the tools to build their own better future.

Here are some empowering tools C.A.R.E. Africa is providing:

EDUCATION
Over the past 7 years, we have provided orphaned and impoverished children with an education that gives them opportunities to become future leaders in their country and across the world. We equip them with biblical values and basic skillsets needed to become strong, independent young adults.

The SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
This allows some of C.A.R.E. Africa’s most promising students to continue their education through the post-secondary level. This higher education provides them with skills needed for life-altering employment so they can lift themselves and their family from the depths of poverty. Once selected, scholarship students receive full financial support including tuition, books, room and board, clothing, requirements, and health care.

VOCATIONAL TRAINING and MICRO-FINANCE
The empowerment of vocational training such as tailoring, barbering, and computer/information technology provides success in a challenging economy. It is ideal for those students who are looking for a way to become gainfully employed in a small business.

Bank loans are almost impossible to obtain. C.A.R.E. Africa provides micro-finance loans to young adults and the women of C.A.R.E. Africa. We become “the bank” and provide the loan to start and grow small businesses. Small businesses are the lifeblood of African economies and a significant way to empower those looking for a way out of poverty.

Hopefully, you can now understand why EMPOWER is the first of the four core values in the mission objectives of C.A.R.E. How we are empowering the children and women of C.A.R.E. is not much different than what we do with our own children, family and friends to help them secure a successful future.

View all empowerment programs at https://donate.icareafrica.org/projects

By Jolene Eicher

She walks to the edge of town looking for wood to chop.  If successful, she will have a load to carry to town to sell.  She will buy food for her 6-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.  It has been a while since they have had anything substantial to eat.  She was thinking about her children when it happened.  He was a young boy learning to drive a motorcycle so he could become okada (motorcyclists who carry passengers for hire).  He lost control and she didn’t hear him coming  The impact threw her to the ground causing serious injury to her body.  

I am interviewing Momma Bose (pronounced “Boice a”) on June 20, 2022 – eight months after the accident.  She still can’t turn her head without severe pain.  She tells me that she boils water to make a hot rag for her neck.  Momma Bose can no longer chop the wood that kept her family fed.  If it wasn’t for C.A.R.E. Africa she doesn’t know what would have become of them.  C.A.R.E has helped pay the hospital bills.  They have prayed for her and provided food for her son and for her daughter, Olarinde Bose, who is in the C.A.R.E. program. 

I recall when her daughter, Bose, first came to school at C.A.R.E. Africa several years ago.  She was angry and she was a bully to the other kids.  There were many conversations about what to do with this child that clearly liked no one and no one liked her.  Momma Bose proudly tells a story of a different child today.  She tells me that just this morning she witnessed Bose kneeling on her bed of flattened cardboard speaking to God in English to help her mother with the pain and not be so sad. I asked Momma Bosse why she is sad.  She tells me that she and her children are facing eviction at the end of the month.  I look around this one-room concrete floor that contains all she owns, a thin foam mat, a few pots, and some clothes and I ask how far behind in rent she is.  “Two years” Momma Bosse quietly responds.  I look to the C.A.R.E team who calculate it to be about 16,800 Niara (local currency).  We are all silent.

I ask the C.A.R.E. team what can be done.  “We can pray,” they say.  The team gathers around Momma Bose to pray for her neck pain, for new work she can do, and for God’s provision regarding the rent.  On the drive back I am thinking about the huge debt Momma Bose owes and the pending eviction.  I get out my calculator to see what the conversion of 16,800 naira is to American dollars.  My eyes cloud with tears as I stare at a number that is unachievable for this sweet momma – it is $28.00.  My heart hurts to know that I eat out lunch with my husband for an amount that would prevent Momma Bose and her son and daughter from being evicted at the end of this month. The suffering could be eased for so little an amount.  I shake my head at the wealth I never realized I have.  

Your contributions to support C.A.R.E. Africa allow them to provide for those who are sick, injured, hungry, unable to find work, don’t have the fees to attend a school or are about to be evicted.  Please don’t ever think you don’t have much to give.  For the cost of a pizza delivery perhaps you could keep a family from becoming homeless or feed a family for months or purchase a real mattress.  Whatever you can give – it is not wasted- it is like wealth for those who have so little.  Please think of Momma Bose and pray for her neck to be healed so she can be pain-free. Thank you for reading.     

From Executive Director, Patrice Miles. We are excited to let you know we were able to get donations for Mommy Bose’s rent and mattresses and have put her on a monthly food plan. Bose, her daughter, currently has a sponsor but would you consider sponsoring Mommy Bose so we can continue to keep her on the feeding plan and also empower her so she can start a business and be able to sustain herself one day? For $39 a month you can sponsor Mommy Bose’s feeding plan or you can donate towards her one-time need for empowerment of $300.

Sponsor Mommy Bose $39 a month or one time $ 468 here https://donate.icareafrica.org/sponsorships/mommy-bose

Donate any amount to Empower Mommy Bose here https://donorsee.com/project/15662

Over a year ago a C.A.R.E. supporter introduced me to DonorSee. As soon as I heard the story of the founder, Gret Glyer, and why he started the ministry, I was on board. I am including a beautiful video about DonorSee but also want to share Gret’s story. 


Gret lived in the U.S. working a job that left him feeling unfulfilled. He wanted to make a difference and leave a legacy so he made a brave move to Malawi. Gret discovered that the people of Malawi were in need of small things like straw for a roof or a uniform to go to school. Because of the value of the U.S. dollar in Malawi he could change someone’s life situation for as little as $20.


Gret started videoing the needs and sending the videos to people he knew asking for donations. He would send the donors a video of the recipient receiving the gift. In the year Gret was there he raised enough money to build a school that now educates over 300 girls. He contributed the outpouring of support to the videos he sent for the “donors to see”. Once back in the U.S. he started DonorSee with the purpose of connecting donors with worldwide ministries working with people in need.

It has been an amazing partnership with DonorSee. We have raised over $53,000 to date for C.A.R.E. Africa. Many of you reading this blog have contributed to that number. 


C.A.R.E. Africa is so grateful for this platform and we love the relationship it builds with donors in allowing them to see their gift at work. 


We were excited to enter into year 2022 with DonorSee for our large school building project. We had hoped to start construction in February but still needed significant support to begin the first phase of construction. Click on the video below to see how you can help with Phase 1 in Egbe, Nigeria and join this beautiful journey we are on.

We are so excited to announce that we have the opportunity to send items to our kids, caregivers and staff at C.A.R.E. Africa again. We have several bags that can be filled with needed items. We do our best to buy everything in country to support the local economy and Nigerian business owners. The items on our list are either hard to find our the quality is very poor and we end up having to replace the items several times throughout the year.

If you would like to help fill the bags, visit our Amazon list here. https://www.amazon.com/registries/custom/37CK4SE2YMS3Q/guest-view

Send a package to your sponsored child! Email diana@icareafrica.org for the address to send your package.

Millions of Nigerian students are disappointed every year because they cannot attend university.  Not because they didn’t study hard enough for entrance exams, but because there isn’t enough room for all of them and it’s not affordable for most. 

74% of Nigerians that apply for higher education will be denied. Only 1 out of 4 will have the opportunity to go. WHY?

The US has over 5,000 higher education institutions to service a population of roughly 319 million.  Compare that to Nigeria who has around 150 universities to service a population of 180 million people, 62% of them 24 or younger.  There is simply not enough universities  in Nigeria to accommodate the growing student population. 

If a student is accepted, the school fees can range from $1,000 to $6,000 per year, for federal, state, or private university.  For a country with an approximate minimum wage of $57 a month (about $2 a day) it is clearly impossible for most families to to send their children to university.  

We are fortunate to have six students in higher institutions in Nigeria and one in the United States.  These children are blessed to have sponsors who invest in their lives. We work very hard to obtain admittance for our children. For those who are able to gain admission we rely on our sponsors for tuition fees. A higher education gives them the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty. God’s kingdom is growing, and generations will be transformed because when you educate a child, you educate a nation. 

Please consider giving to our scholarship fund to enable more children to continue their education at https://give.icareafrica.org/careafrica/scholarship

We need more prayer warriors to join our team!

We are so blessed with 201 prayer partners. Many have journeyed with us since 2013 and many are brand new. We believe in the power of prayer and would love for you to join us too. Click this link to join our prayer team, http://eepurl.com/DZf_D

We send out prayer requests and praises two times a month and just ask that you pray alongside us and the other 201 prayer partners. You will be blessed by getting to see God’s hand at work in our ministry. We also welcome prayer requests from you. We pray for our donors regularly and would love to add any prayer requests you have to the list. You can see one of our prayer boards hanging at C.A.R.E. Africa, in Egbe.

Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Click this link to join our prayer team, http://eepurl.com/DZf_D.

Team Meetings

Posted: January 13, 2022 by Patrice Miles in C.A.R.E. Africa, Coaching, Egbe Nigeria, Miles In Missions, Nigeria, Patrice Miles

Team meetings at C.A.R.E. Africa are the core of our ministry. Weekly we have leadership meetings, staff meetings, caregiver meeting, prayer meetings and fellowship meetings. Some are on zoom, some are in Nigeria, some are in Louisville, KY.

You might be thinking, meetings, meetings, meetings….. sounds exhausting! When does anyone get anything done around there? With a consistent simple agenda our weekly team meetings restore confidence, clarity and camaraderie at C.A.R.E. Africa in one hour. Ok, maybe we go over the one hour every now and then! HAHA!

Since coming back to the U.S. in May of 2019, I have been working with nonprofits and small business to help them bring clarity and confidence to their vision. I have been helping others by using what I was taught through coaching in my real estate career and in my nonprofit. Why recreate the wheel when there are so many who have done it and got the t-shirt? Why live in chaos if you don’t have to?

God has given us all a vision for our lives and I love getting to help others grab that vision and make it a reality through systems, processes, budgets, profitability, vision, mission and care values.

If you are a nonprofit or small business owner anywhere in the world and are wanting someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off of or ask questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am an open book! I know God has blessed me so I can bless others. Email me at patrice@icareafrica.org anytime.