Archive for the ‘Nigeria’ Category

See the video below for an update on the work going on in Egbe, Nigeria. The school project is underway for the 152 children in our school.

#Giving Tuesday is today. Help us reach our goal of $16,500.

We have a gracious donor that is matching all gifts up to $16,500. Visit our school project donation page at https://donorsee.com/school to help us reach our goal so we can finish building our school.

We are so excited to announce that a Donor has agreed to match any donation received between now and the end of the year up to $16,500 for our school project. https://donorsee.com/school


Meet the Makens. They visited Egbe years ago and genuinely fell in love. The Makens formed an attachment to a small, five-year-old boy they chose to sponsor.  Their commitment to this child was so sincere that he graduated and is now attending university with their full support. They also support his caregiver, which is his grandmother. Their support has allowed us to help her with monthly food packages, accommodations, and provisions. The Makens are dedicated to the education and empowerment of the children and caregivers of CARE Africa and wanted to assist us in completing the construction of our school, Foundations Academy of Egbe. The Makens have generously agreed to match any funds we raise through the end of the year up to $16,500, which is half of the $33,000 needed to finish our school. 

This is an unbelievable opportunity to have our school completed. Please join the Makens and help us build our school!  Visit https://donorsee.com/school to donate

Check out the latest video of the school wall and the buildings that we will start renovating this week here.

Stony, Stubborn Heart

Posted: October 13, 2022 by Patrice Miles in African School, C.A.R.E. Africa, Missionaries, Nigeria

By, Cindy Borody
The summer of 2019 saw my last few weeks at Foundations Academy in Egbe, Nigeria.

I was busy packing up our house and attending many ‘farewell’ events for my husband and myself. I was hot, tired, and just getting through events. There was not much joy, I was in the mode that many missionaries find themselves in their last weeks serving overseas.

I was stubbornly fulfilling my duties.

It was a Tuesday morning when I found myself driving to CARE/Foundations and I was reminded of a verse in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 36:26:And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

As the school gates opened for me and I drove through I said a quick prayer ‘Lord, I want a tender heart this morning for these kids.

I greeted all the teachers and kids calling in through each school window. The replies always encouraged my heart.

As I passed by one particular class, the teacher called out my name and asked me to speak to a child that was having some behavioral challenges. The teacher told me that B* had a very stubborn heart and her work was suffering.

I called B* out of the classroom and asked her to sit with me while we chatted about what was happening. My heart broke for her as she described her feelings; I could identify. She was hot, tired, and very frustrated: frustrated with her classes, and friends.

She said, “my heart feels like a  stone.

I put my arm around her and shared that I felt the same way. She looked at me doubtfully.  I told her some of the things that I was feeling and then brought up Ezekiel 36:26.

We went through the verse slowly together.

I was so close to tears as we both agreed to hold each other accountable to this verse.

God would give us a new heart, His Spirit, and he would remove both of our stony, stubborn hearts and give us both tender, responsive hearts.

Each time I went to Foundations those last few weeks B* and I would sit together and encourage each other on how God was developing our new hearts.

I learned quite a bit from B* in September 2019.

When the teacher asked me to speak with B*, she thought I would be instructing B*. God had other plans. It was B* who taught me.

Our CARE Africa/Foundation Academy kids have so much to teach us.

Now that I am back in North America, I think of this ministry daily. They need our encouragement as much as we need theirs.

If you ever would like to know more about how you can encourage a child, staff member, volunteer, or give of your time or finances, we would love to hear from you. Email Patrice@icareafrica.org.

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

Life is a Lesson

Posted: March 30, 2022 by salako86 in C.A.R.E. Africa, Nigeria, Orphans, Outreach, People of Egbe, Prayer

By: Emma Salako

I count this life to be a lesson, that everything we achieve comes only by the grace of God and not hard work. Whatever one has, it’s for the benefit of the world, given by God to impact the lives of others. God is not selfish that he blesses us, but blesses us to also bless others, to make them feel the true love that comes from him alone. Pride is a disease that if one is not careful will destroy life, but true humility brings joy and fulfillment to the soul.

No matter how brilliant, educated, and sharp we are. That doesn’t make us complete what makes us complete is that God has chosen us as his hands and feet, and our heart of love towards humanity. We’ll be the change that the world deserves and show compassion to those who don’t have the privilege to be who they desire to become. This life is very short and no one knows when it’s all going to be over, but while there’s still breath in us we need to make use of every opportunity we got to make sure that we conquer the fear of this world. A little hand of Love and Care may be the only thing to save a life.

If only we understood what love means and how important it is to show, we would have the true meaning of life, and its impacts on people who do not have a good chance to win. Remember that none of us just became successful overnight, it was over time with love from those we never could have imagined that helped us. An act of care and love goes a long way in transforming someone’s life from worse to better. Let love speak!

I remember sitting in church as a kid in the early 90s, listening to a missionary discuss their life in Africa while flipping through a slide reel of pictures. I don’t remember anything they said, just the feeling of fear and dread that God wanted to punish me enough that one day I would have to go to Africa. That night and for years to follow, I begged God to never make me go to Africa. I’d do anything else.

Then in the spring of 2014, I felt the wind blow in a different direction. The Miles had sold all their stuff and moved to Nigeria six months prior. I felt my curiosity suddenly outweighing my fear. It now seemed as if maybe God had a gift waiting for me rather than a punishment. I wanted to visit friends. But I also felt a new and unfamiliar tug. An exciting invitation. A “just you wait and see…”

Since that first trip with Stephen in 2014, I’ve traveled back to Nigeria 3 more times, with another trip scheduled for later this year. I am now eager for each next chance to go to Africa.

When C.A.R.E. Africa first began, Patrice asked if I would attempt to sell some jewelry participants had made. Having no experience in sales, marketing, promotion, or distribution, I said, “Sure!” We bought a tent and tables. Stephen’s sister used sharpies to draw a poster board sign, and we began vending at farmer’s markets in Louisville, KY.

C.A.R.E. grew into a full-blown ministry in Nigeria with many facets, including a seamstress training program that creates numerous products including clothing, handbags, jewelry, and aprons. Our garage transformed into an “Amazon Fulfillment Center,” stocked with shelves of sorted boxes of products, market display items (many built by Patrice’s stepdad), and shipping supplies.

Miraculously those early days of stumbling through the unknowns have grown into a vibrant display, a band of faithful volunteers, return-shoppers at markets, a requested presence in missions conferences, an Etsy store, and $20k in sales for 2021.

I found my passion and purpose in that vendor booth. I could not sell just anything. But I have the incredible luck to showcase vibrant products which tell a beautiful story that I believe in with my whole heart. And I love the human element of a market: crowds of unique characters with personalities as varied as the fabric prints. It helps open my heart to the patchwork of people required to build a solid community.

As if my life managing product sales wasn’t charmed enough, in 2021 I was offered employment with C.A.R.E. as the Sponsorship Coordinator. I am having so much fun getting to know the kids and sponsors more. It is an honor to facilitate communication and relationship internationally! Sponsors are partnering with C.A.R.E. to educate, disciple, and nurture more than 70 kids in Nigeria. I update sponsors on life in Egbe including new pictures, report cards, home life, plans for college, and achievements. I also relay communication from sponsors back to Egbe staff and students.

Other facets of this role include advocating for sponsorship and monitoring financial transactions. After an end-of-year audit, we verified that 99% of child sponsorship donor dollars go directly to care and supplies for the children and their families!! Around every turn, I continue to find the efficacy and integrity of this organization are top tier.

What a thrill ride I’m on. I’d like to go back to tell little Diana she doesn’t need to be afraid; there’s so much to look forward to.

ADVOCATE * INVEST * EMPOWER * SERVE

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.