Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

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.

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

When I found myself back in Canada after our time in Egbe Nigeria had ended, I found myself feeling a bit lost. 

My husband and I had ministered overseas for over 20 years. Those had been years filled with great blessings, and a few challenges. One of the greatest blessings for me was my involvement at C.A.R.E. Africa and Foundations Academy in Egbe. Each week I would find myself wrapping arms around both the kids and the staff. I loved walking into each classroom and coming alongside the educators that were so dedicated to their profession. I counted it a privilege to be called ‘Mommy Cindy’ and many were adopted as ‘my kids’. 

During my time at Egbe, I was introduced to Patrice Miles and Emma Salako. Patrice and Emma had a God-given dream for C.A.R.E. Africa. I watched and prayed during the early years as the Centre progressed and the desire for a school was birthed. I was thrilled when asked if I could teach/mentor at the School.

Knowing the staff and children by name became very important to me. It was so much fun going to Market and hearing my name called and kids would come running to the White Mommy with no fear.  

Late 2019 we found ourselves flying back across the ocean to Canada to settle back with our family, kids and grandchildren, but a part of my heart was left In Egbe.  

How I would miss this very special place! 

A few months after landing in the Great White North, I found myself asking ‘What Would You Have Me to Do?’ during my times with Jesus. C.A.R.E. Africa was still tugging at my heart. I kept praying…

    God does know the desire of our heart. 

Soon after praying, I received word from Patrice asking if I would consider doing Bi-Monthly calls with staff members with Foundations Academy Staff. I jumped right on this…Yes! 

It has been close to 2 years now, every other Thursday morning (providing we have good network) I have the PRIVILEGE of talking to a different staff member over WhatsApp.

We laugh, sing, cry, share struggles of being an educator in Nigeria and pray! Lately we have begun doing video chats, the calls always end with joyful tears as I get to see my fellow colleagues in Egbe. What joy. 

God does know the desire of our heart. 

When we returned to Canada, I had no idea how I could still be involved on a consistent basis with C.A.R.E. and Foundations Academy Egbe. 

God knew my desire and He answered.

One of the many things we try to teach our kids at C.A.R.E. Africa is to give back to the community. Our teenagers, just like Western teenagers, are so focused on their own lives that they forget the world  is full of hurting people with bigger problems.

This month, ECWA Hospital Egbe, gave permission for our teenagers to serve their hospital patients. Our teenagers distributed biscuits, eggs and other provisions. They also prayed for the patients and gave them some words of encouragement. In addition, we were able to raise some money to give to the ECWA Hospital benevolent fund which helps patients that cannot afford medical care.

If you would like to learn more about our sister ministry,  ECWA Hospital Egbe, visit https://egbehospital.org. This ministry is always in need either short or long term missionaries to serve in the clinical and administrative departments of the hospital.

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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“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. 

 

In less than a month I will be headed back to Nigeria. It is impossible to contain the joy I feel! I can’t wait to spend time with my team encouraging them in the tireless work they do.

Last Import - 405 of 581My mother, Jolene Eicher, will be joining me for her third trip to Nigeria. She will be busy interviewing and documenting the stories of several of our caregivers, our children and our C.A.R.E. Africa staff.

IMG_1380 2Ashley Beebe, a school teacher, will make her eighth trip to Nigeria. She will work with our teachers at Foundations Academy Egbe. We will be packing a lot into this short trip.

 

We need your help!!

Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 8.34.33 AMWe will host a back to school party with the theme “What Would Jesus Do”. Our goal is to help the kids remember in the new school year to model Jesus in all they do. To always be kind, gentle and patient and not lie, steal or cheat. We are taking rubber bracelets stamped with W.W.J.D. for them to wear to remind them each day – “What Would Jesus Do”. We will also provide each child with a backpack, some school supplies, sandals, underwear, socks and more. Can you help us collect new or gently used backpacks from anyone you know? We also need K-12 boys boxer briefs, girls underwear, sports bras, belts and white crew socks (above ankle). Monetary donations would also help us purchase needed items and/or cover any baggage fees. 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. 

Any monetary donations can be given to our general fund at give.icareafrica.org or checks can be made payable to CARE Africa and mailed. Email me at patrice.miles@sim.org for our mailing address.

The kids love school and are always excited to receive their new school supplies. Thank you for all you do!

DSC_0226This is a great prayer letter that Carmen Marflak sent out. She is currently serving at Egbe Hospital for one month. This is her 5th time to Egbe Hospital. She makes a great observation that there is so many opportunities to serve in Egbe. Medical being the biggest need but anyone can come on a mission trip or serve short or long term and find a place to be God’s hands and feet because there is ministry going on all over the Egbe community. For more information about all the opportunities to serve email jos.sta@sim.org or visit www.egbehospital.com .

Monday, the 16, started out with a full day of surgeries. All day long, I kept watching the clock because I knew we were not going to be finished in enough time for AWANA’s at C.A.R.E. Africa. There was a prayer in my heart all day, for the Lord to “speed up” the surgeon’s hands. Well, God answers prayer! We sent the last patient back to the ward at 3:30; I ran back to the guest house, took a 2 minute cold shower, put on street clothes, grabbed the salvation bracelets, and walked out the door as Emma was driving up to get me.

DSC_0209We had a great time at AWANA’s. There were not the 190+ kids there; there was only about 170 because it was raining and the roads and walking paths were very slick and muddy. The silence in the room was also a miracle. I walked in with the children laughing and talking, noisy!!!!!. Emma raised both his arms and said silence! You could have heard a pin drop. And they remained that way until I was finished telling the story of how Jesus died for our sins, makes us clean and whole inside, helps us to grow in our faith, and prepares a place for us in Heaven. It was an exhausting day, but so exciting and rewarding!

Every Tuesday at 2:30, Dr Jen (one of the SIM missionary doctors) leads a hospital Womens Bible Study. Change of shift here in Nigeria is 2:15. So several of the women from each of the departments come regularly to this Bible Study. For the last 3 months they have been going through the Book of John. Last week they were in chapter 12. So, fortunately, last week, those of us in the OR were finished by 2:30 and could actually make it to Bible Study. There were 14 of us last week. It is a pleasure to listen and answer their questions, and see the eyes light up when they grasp what God is trying to teach them. It is a joy to hear of their struggles and how God has answered prayers. It is also a real treat for me to build a relationship with the other women in the hospital, as well as the ones I work with every day in the OR.

DSC_0521These last 2 weeks in the OR have almost been overwhelming. My first day in the OR was the 11th and I have actually had 1 day off (Sunday, the 22). Tuesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be clinic/office day for Dr Fabruce, with no surgery scheduled on those days. So I am scheduled for lectures for the family practice residents, the Anesthesia trainees, and for the nursing students. But, even on those days, there have been so many emergent patients come through ER, that we have been working late into the evenings. Between all the trauma patients (motor bike accidents, walls collapsing on families, machete fights), the C/Sections, the appendectomies, perforated bowels and the snake bites, we have done very few elective/ scheduled procedures. On Monday, Wed, Friday, we normally start out with 3-4 scheduled procedures, but by the end of the day we have done between 5-7. All last week and this week, the only anesthesia providers have been Jummy and me. Evelyn is on maternity leave, Rebecca and Adeola are both on vacation. We have been getting a little weary by the time we finish the day. But God is good and gives us both a restful sleep at night. I am reminded of

Psalms 3:5 and 4:8, I will lie down and sleep, I wake again because the Lord sustains me.” And “In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety”

DSC_0383 (2)Last Wednesday, a team of mothers and their teen children (10 altogether) came from my home church (Live Oak Christian Church) in Bluffton, SC. They experienced a lot of flight cancellations, and lost luggage (the last of their luggage arrived last evening), but they have been serving over at C.A.R.E. Africa all week; painting the school, doing VBS, making home visits to the sponsored children, visiting the HIV clinic. It has been a joy to have company!!! I am usually alone in the guest house. I don’t get to see them much, because I am finished with breakfast and in the hospital before they get to the dining room. Many evenings, I have missed dinner because of late cases, but the times that we have shared together have been good; hearing what they have done, and the stories of the C.A.R.E. Africa children, helps me to realize that there is another world out there in Egbe, that I rarely get to see. Mission service here in Egbe entails a lot more than just the hospital; God’s Word, Love, and Compassionate service is being made known throughout the community by cooperating groups and missions. It is exciting to see how God works in other areas besides medicine!