Posts Tagged ‘Miles In Missions’

IMG_2606Wow! Have we really been living in Africa for two years? It seems that time fly’s when you are in your sweet spot. I do not even know where to begin on how to tell you what this journey has been like for our family. The only words I can say is that God has provided everything we’ve needed along the way. He has provided a house that our whole family feels is our home. He has provided safety from snakes, severe illnesses, Ebola, kidnappings, and robberies. He has provided a stronger marriage for Lenny and I. He has provided friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life. He has provided a different perspective on life and his word. He has provided financially through supporters, as we never fell below 100% in our support. He has provided success in our ministries and he has provided Peace in a country full of unrest. Jehovah-Jireh, God will provide!

IMG_2748God has also provided a desire to remain in Nigeria until he calls us home. We do not know how many more years that will be. Since arriving we have helped revitalize and construct many areas of the hospital. Operating rooms, the men’s ward, women’s ward, maternity, pharmacy, a new guesthouse & duplex, wall around the compound, missionary housing, fencing around our water supply reservoir, and so much more. In addition, C.A.R.E. Africa was created. Through this ministry, orphans and widows in Egbe are being empowered through the Bible and education.

Egbe WorkersAs the revitalization is slowing down it is time to focus on mentorship and discipleship. The hospital was days away from closing prior to revitalization. We do not want this to happen again. Training of the Nigerian staff and finding more missionaries to say “YES” to Egbe, is the second phase of this revitalization project.


In order for us to be able to participate in this 2nd phase of the revitalization project we will need to raise additional support and go through some long-term missionary training. We will arrive in the U.S. for home assignment in mid-October. We know God will again provide for us, so we have already booked our return flight back home to Egbe for January 2nd 2016. Our home church, Southeast Christian Church, will be hosting an open house for us on Thursday November 5th at 6pm so we can share video, photos and information about our time in Nigeria. We will be traveling to over 7  different states during our home assignment to meet with supporters, go through long term training, debriefing and more so our time in Louisville, KY. will be short. Please mark your calendars now for this event so we can see you. 

DSC_9963If you are currently one of our supporters we cannot Thank you for journeying with us over the past two years! We are asking that you pray about continuing to support us long term. If you currently are not one of our supporters, we ask that you pray about signing up to journey alongside us in growing God’s kingdom in Egbe, through this revitalization project and C.A.R.E. Africa. Click on this link to sign up now, MILES IN MISSIONS. See you in October!

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.44.38 PMI am a strong woman. I have never been very sympathetic to anyone’s’ ailments or problems. I persevered through a rocky child hood and it made me who I am today. I continually pray for God to soften my heart so that I have more compassion for people during their times of trouble. I just get up and go and expect everyone else should do the same. Why think about your problems or complain about things when there is this whole big beautiful world out there? I wake every morning excited to see what God has in store for me. I have always wondered why God gave me such a strong heart. Africa has shown me why.

DSC_9946Mom’s in Egbe do not have it easy. It seems eight out ten women I meet are single mothers that have either been abandoned or widowed. Most of them have at least two or more children and are barely managing. Gift, is a widow who has been a part of our seamstress program for over a year now. Her husband died two years ago and she has been managing ever since. At the beginning of 2015 she expressed the need for her four children to attend school. When I went last week on a home care visit to see Gift, I was again amazed at the joy that so many Egbe mothers have in spite of their circumstances. As I watched Favor, her 15 year old son, boil corn over charcoal and tried to get Goodness, her youngest, to sit still for a picture, I asked Gift a few questions.

DSC_0042“How often are you getting to seamstress class every week, so you can graduate soon?”

“I haven’t been able to attend in the past few weeks. “ Gift said quietly.

“What work are you doing for money right now?” I questioned.

“I have had a few brick and stone moving jobs here and there.” she proudly told me.

“How are you able to buy food and provisions for your babies right now?”

“I am very wise with my money, Mummy.” she told me.

“Do you have any family that can help?”

“No Mummy. My father is old and I have lost track of my brothers and sisters.”

DSC_0022We are then interrupted by her youngest son named , Thankgod. He comes running past me with a wheel on a stick. He was laughing and laughing as if his toy was the best toy in the whole world. Gift smiled at him and laughed and then offered me corn that Favor had been boiling. Goodness, her youngest, stared at me as she leaned on Emma eating her corn. I wondered what she was thinking of my white skin? I wondered if this is the only meal they will have all day? I wondered if Favor always cooked the meals? I prayed in my head for God to show me what he wants me to do for this family. I was speechless as how this mom continues to smile, laugh, and love these children and God everyday.

I am also amazed at how I can go home to my revitalized house, eat my dinner with my family that fills my belly, and not think about Gift and her family in their 10×10 room with their boiled corn. How do I sleep at night in my soft bed shipped from the US and not wonder how all 5 of the Jeremiah family fit on the one mattress they have on the floor? Have I become immune to the poverty here? Is it really poverty or is it just a way of life here? My mind can play so many tricks on me and my emotions can get the best of me sometimes. Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 5.59.54 PMI am a strong woman and God built me for this bush life but I am also weak too. I cannot rely on myself to remain strong but, thank God that I can rely on him. I know God is faithful. I know he loves all his Egbe children both old and young. I know he will always give them what they need. I am only one person but he is all-sufficient. He shows up over and over again for these Egbe Mom’s…..I see it in their smiles…..I hear it in their laughter! Thank you God for making me the way you did. Thank you God for allowing me to see how weak and inadequate I am so I can see how BIG you are. Thank you God for using me!

IMG_9965“You’ve got mail!” This is one of the most exciting things to hear in Egbe. When a small package or letter arrives it is like Christmas. We always love to look at the date to see when it left the U.S. When we first arrived to Egbe over two years ago, there wasn’t any mail service. Everyone would ask us where he or she could send care packages. The looks we would get when we told people we didn’t have mail were hilarious. They just didn’t get it that there really was no way to get anything to us in the bush.

Gradually we had friends and family try to send a letter or package and it would take over 3 months to arrive. Now we are seeing it is only taking one month or less. This is so awesome for us! Two years ago if you had told me I would be getting excited over getting mail I would have laughed at you.

bolu5The best part about the mail service is now my CARE Africa kids can receive pictures and letters from their sponsors in the U.S. Bolu was our first recipient and he was sooooo excited. I cannot explain the emotions I had watching him carefully open the envelope so worried he would tear or rip it. Bolu has never received mail before and doesn’t even begin to understand how it arrived in Egbe. Once we opened the letter we read each word out loud together. We looked at pictures of his U.S. Mommy. We touched her children and grandchildren’s faces and he didn’t utter a word. He just sat there in complete awe as if I had just given him a bar of gold. It was one of those priceless moments I will never forget. I am so honored to have been the one to share this experience with Bolu. I am so thankful for all my U.S. CARE Africa child sponsors and the Miles family supporters. Your donations have allowed me to be here in Egbe to share Christ’s love to boys and girls like Bolu through something as simple as a piece of mail.

If you sponsor a CARE Africa child and would like to send them mail or even if you don’t sponsor a child but would love to send a letter or small package for one of them, please feel free to. Cason and Jolie, my own children, would also love to hear from you and I promise any child you send to will write back and send it all the way from Nigeria.

Mail to;
ECWA Hospital Egbe
Attn Patrice Miles C/O (Childs Name)
5 Hospital Rd
Egbe, Kogi State Nigeria.

If you would like to sponsor a child please email me at

DSC_9795Every Wednesday morning I wake up knowing that prayer rounds at the hospital are in the evening at 7pm. As I drink my coffee and have my quite time with the Lord I think of all the patients at the hospital that I will get to meet and pray with that evening. I wonder if any have not heard of Jesus or what Yoruba greetings I can say to put a smile on their face. Then my day begins. By lunchtime I am already starting to feel the effects of the heat and the many directions I have been pulled since I woke. Why am I so tired already? At 1pm an espresso normally solves the problem and I get my second jolt to finish the day strong. By dinnertime, I am thanking God for Shola, who has dinner ready. I don’t know what I would do if I had to cook as well. 7pm comes so quickly. Why am I so tired? Maybe it is DSC_9805because I didn’t remember to drink water to replace all the sweat my clothes now carry? I sit with my family at the dinner table with my belly full and try to think of a million reasons not to go on prayer rounds. I am so tired and I have given so much already today to so many. I just want to shower this sweat off of me and relax in my PJ’s. Many times my flesh wins and I stay home. This past Wednesday God called me to the rounds. “Come on kids, Let’s go!”

I love our trek to the hospital in the dim hour of the night. There is enough light to see but not enough to watch for snakes. We turn on our flashlights and begin our trek taking in God’s amazing revitalization project as we walk. The new buildings and bright lights are a breathtaking view at night.

DSC_9802We meet our group of prayer warriors in the outpatient waiting area. We split up into male and female groups and then head off to the wards. My group’s first stop is an elderly lady who has eye surgery tomorrow. She is a Christian and tells us she prays 3 hours everyday. We pray with her and bring a smile to her wrinkled face. Next-door is a small girl with TB (Taye). Dr Jen has already starting talking to the patient’s caretaker (Radijat) who is her sister. Before I knew it we are in the middle of witnessing to a non-believer. Jen handled every question great and explained the gospel perfectly. This M&slim believer went from telling us what the K@ran says to wanting to know how she can find Jesus. We spent the rest of the night with her and never made it to another patient’s bedside.

DSC_9518We walked away that night filled with amazement but questioning how we would help these M&slim women come to know Jesus because they couldn’t read anything but Arabic. Suddenly Jolie says, “Mommy I have the Evangi cube from SIM.” My sweet baby girl had been by my side quietly observing and heard everything and wanted to help. I told her it was a great idea and asked her if she would want to come back down after school the next day and share the cube. I expected my shy little girl to say “NO”, but she immediately said “Yes” with a big smile on her face. The next day after school she came running through the door and said, “When are we going the hospital Mommy.” I was completely blown away. I fought tears of joy in my eyes, as I knew it would make her uncomfortable.

DSC_9517We went down and put a mask on Jolie to protect her from the TB and entered the room. Through an interpreter we found out that Radijat had accepted Jesus that morning after a dream she had where Jesus came to visit her. We were so excited to hear her vivid dream and that Jesus was now a part of her life. We asked if Jolie could share Jesus with her little sister, Taye and she said yes. Again I fought back tears as I watched my 9-year-old share the gospel to a small thin sick girl. I heard her talk about sin and heaven and how Jesus is the only way. She had no fear and spoke with confidence as the interpreter repeated everything in Yoruba. Once she was finished she handed Taye a teddy bear and gave her the cube. We told Taye she could take it with her to share with her family back home.

DSC_9520Thank God for prayer rounds! So many times I am too tired for God but thank goodness he is never too tired for me. I came to revitalize a hospital so the Doctors and Nurses could have a safe place to spread God’s word. I am simply God’s hands and feet backstage that just gets everything ready for the superstars. He puts people in my path everyday to show me I am a superstar too. Today was one of those days! I never would have thought he would use my blonde sweet baby girl to grow his kingdom at such a young age. He can use you too if you will let him. Come and join our team in Egbe. Please prayerfully consider coming to serve short term or long term in Egbe. If that isn’t what God is leading you to, then consider financially supporting our family as long term missionaries and/or becoming one of our prayer partners. God’s isn’t looking for your abilities he is looking for your availability!


DSC_9529Currently Radijat and her sister Taye have been discharged from the hospital but cannot pay their bill which is over N100,000 ($500). If you feel led to help with the bill email me at

Click Egbe Hosptial to ask more about volunteer and mission opportunities.

Click Miles In Missions to support our ministry in Egbe.

Click Prayer Partner to become one of our prayer partners.


Saturday we will have lived in Egbe, Nigeria for 3 months. I feel like we have lived here forever. Everything is so familiar now and comfortable. Our cross cultural teachers told us the honey moon stage ends around month 3-4. I am praying we will continue the honeymoon for years but I am realistic. We have all had a few emotions lately about missing home so I thought it would be fun to make a list of what we miss about home and what we love about Egbe.

1.Miss Dori and Kokomo cuz they don’t bite. (Bingo our Nigerian puppy nibbles on her feet.)
2.Miss my cousins cuz they are really really fun.
3.Miss our home church cuz here it’s long and I don’t understand them. 4.Love how nice the people are here in Egbe.                             5.Love our house b/c I thought it would be a bad one like the green one at the gate with the washing machines in it, but it’s not, it’s a good one!

1. Miss family too. Loved living with my Dad and Minette the months before we left and the long conversations on their deck. Miss my moms hug when it had been a few weeks since I had seen her.                                                2.Miss celebrations. Every month was a birthday or cookout or get together. Miss the conversation with siblings and friends on what is going on in their lives. Miss the food, especially getting to bake the cakes and cookies.       3.Miss a delivery pizza & STARBUCKS!                                             Homeschool            4.Miss Southeast Christian Church. We get to hear the sermons but we miss out on the worship. I keep praying someone will lead them to record the worship too.                                                                5.Love the Yoruba people and community. I have never seen so many friendly smiles and waves in my life. Everyone here wants to help us and love on us.                                                                                       6.Love homeschooling. The flexibility and getting to find teachable moments in everything we do. I want to strangle Jolie at least 2x a week but I have loved getting to know how she ticks.                                   DSC_28447.Love all the ministry opportunities everywhere we walk. Watching my kids lay hands on an HIV positive women and pray for her. Seeing them make friends with a boy who has been at the hospital with his mother for 3 weeks to making HELP cakes with orphans is something words cannot describe.                                                                               8.Love my home. I cannot begin to describe how grateful we are for the revitalization teams hard work on our home. I have to step out side the compound daily to remind myself I live in Africa.                                9.Love all my new Nigerian friends from Shola to the girls at the guesthouse, the guards, workers and HELP center friends. They all take care of my family in so many ways.

Lenny                                                                                                                                                Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 11.49.33 AM      1. Miss the changing of the seasons. Fall temperatures and hunting season.  2.Miss family and friend parties like our Harvest Party.                                    3. Miss Lowes Home Center where you could get anything you needed for construction work at anytime.                                                                        4. Miss good roads with no gallops (pot holes).                                        5. Miss good Mexican food.                                                                         6. Love family machine (motorcycle) rides. Patrice and Jolie to town and Cason in the bush.     photo-15

7. Love the much slower pace of life and my calendar not full every second of everyday. Giving the freedom to be spontaneous as everyday is an adventure.                                                                            8. Love seeing progress with the hospital and workshop guys


Cason                                                                                                                                                         1. Miss holidays with family in particular Thanksgiving at my cousins house in Charlotte and Gatlinburg.                 2. Miss Kripsie Kreme doughnuts and taking friends there after sleepovers.

3. Miss going to Poppy’s house and getting slushies with him.

4. Love all my friends and catching lizards with them even thought they end up killing half of them.

5. Love playing pingpong and the dogs at the orphanage.

6.Love my dog Bingo.

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.

HELP EgbeWhen I think of an orphanage I always think of the movie Annie. The song “It’s a hard knock life for us,” rings in my mind. Nigeria has changed that picture for me. Most of the orphanages are called care centers, not orphanages. The children in these homes have parents but the parents either sold them and the child was rescued or the parents gave them up because they were too poor to feed them or too sick to take care of them.

HELP Egbe GirlsThe kids and I have had the pleasure of getting to know these children over the past few weeks. Cason normally hangs out at the ping pong table with the boys while Jolie and I hang out with the girls. We play games like duck duck goose, I see something you don’t see and more. We just love to be with them as they are some of the most happiest little girls we have been around. They have so little but yet find so much joy in everything we do together. Their smiles are contagious. Check out the video below and you can see for yourself how much fun they are.

HELP Egbe Nigeria Care CenterThe HELP care center is just a small part of what this organization does. They also have a widows ministry, outreach program, micro finance, agriculture and more. In 1999, some medical missionaries moved to Nigeria with their children. During their years in Nigeria, they fell in love with the people and culture of Nigeria, particularly the Fulani.  After their return to the United States in 2005, HELP West Africa, Inc came into existence. Check out their site by clicking HELP. I don’t know what God has planned for my kids and I at the center but I know that the joy I experience when I am there is so fulfilling. I am looking forward to getting to know these girls and their stories as we spend two years in Egbe.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 11.38.19 AMPray for Cason Jolie and I to be a light for these children. Pray for God to use us in any way he sees fit at the center or in any other part of the HELP ministries. Pray for the staff at the center. They are amazing and need Gods strength daily. Pray for the other ministries within HELP to grow and spread Gods kingdom. Pray for the Starns family that is coming to live at the care center in January for 6 months. We are so excited about their arrival and know God has great plans for their time in Egbe.

“Eu karo, Sunday!”

Mount Baldy Egbe Nigeria6am every morning we are awakened with 2 sounds. One is Sunday raking our yard (sand), and the second is the moto bike of the guard coming for shift change. I grab my flashlight and scan the floors for visitors before I put my feet on the tile. You never know what might be waiting to say good morning to you. Potty break is first and the saying is, if it is yellow let it mellow and if its brown flush it down. Water from 6am-10am and then again 6pm-9pm. So normally Lenny hasn’t left any surprises for me in the mornings. HAHA.

Next is coffee! The question is, is their electric or not? Seems lately, not. I warm water in the kettle on the gas stove and then pour it over the coffee grinds in our coffee maker. Cason and Jolie Laundry in Egbe NigeriaThen for some quite time I view out the back at Mount Baldy. The sun starts to rise and I get to listen to some of the most interesting animal sounds as I read my Bible.

Next is turning on the generator if the electric is out. I have limited time for water and the  laundry has to be done daily b/c everyone is so dirty and stinky. Once a load is going I go and tickle some kids awake. Next is a warm shower if the electric has been on at night. If no hot water then no shower for me as I have not been brave enough yet to take a cold one. I try to fit cleaning dishes in also as the water will be off soon. Once everyone is ready we head to 8am devotionals.

Cason and Daddy head to the workshop with the guys and Jolie and I head to the volunteer house with the gals. This is one of my favorite times of the day. The girls sing some of the most beautiful songs and they love to shake their bum bum. Check out the video below. 

At about 8:30am Cason walks back to the house and eats breakfast with Jolie and then we start school. School seems to be ending right at or before 12pm. Then we get to eat lunch with Daddy!

Egbe Nigeria FriendsAfter lunch I currently am playing house maid. The floors have to be swept daily as the dust is amazing. Mopping at least every other day. Laundry that is hanging outside has to be brought in a folded. After house duties I get to sit for a little bit and check out what is going on in your lives on Facebook, check emails and make my to do lists. Normally by 2 or 3pm we are free to do whatever we want but can pretty much guarantee a small visitor will be looking for Cason or Jolie to play with.

This is wear I am in prayer for what God wants my children and I to do to serve him. We love to visit the hospital and say hello to the patients. We have also visited the orphanage and are praying about how God could use us there too. There is so many opportunities to serve here. Please pray for God to show us which opportunity is best for our family.

Jumping the Fence to Run

Jumping the Fence to Run

Next is 5pm work out time. MWF is Egbe running club with anyone that wants to run in the bush together. This is so awesome and miserable at the same time. Beautiful surroundings but oh so hot and exhausting.

6pm is dinner which we are in love with the food here. Normally something spicy with rice. Right now we have been blessed with getting to eat with the volunteers. That ends this weekend and we will be on our own. I am hoping to have house help start working next week. Please pray for the lovely lady that ends up joining our family.

Washing Feet in EgbeAfter dinner we get to relax and play on our computers or veg out. Bedtime is normally at 9pm and the kids must wash their feet and brush their teeth before bed.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our daily routine. We are challenged daily with being in an environment that we know nothing about. We just keep on taking steps not fearful of looking stupid or making a mistake. We ask a lot of questions and are leaving the big stuff like snakes, malaria and financials to God. We are still in need of $200 in monthly support to be 100% funded. If God has put it on your heart to support a ministry over seas click here, MILES IN MISSIONS.

As you are watching this we are probably in route to Egbe. This is a quick video we put together to say Goodbye.

God takes dust and make beautiful things. Our family is a perfect example of that and so are you. When you are praying for our family in Africa remember this and ask him how he can use you too? He can make beautiful things everywhere, even in your own backyard!

We love you all and tried to get everyone on the video, sorry of we missed you. Thank you for all the love and support that you have shown our family.