Archive for the ‘SIM’ Category

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.

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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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#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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Before frontfront2

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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.