A Tribute to Mama Angie

02/19/21

Beautiful friend. Prayerful encourager. Selfless. Humble. Gracious hostess. Prayer warrior. Hero.

 
These are just some of the words used to describe Reverend Angie Myles, who passed away on January 28th, 2021 at the age of 78.            
              
Reverend Angie Myles, also known as “Mama Angie,” was the former Country Director for our ministry in Sierra Leone. She was also Sierra Leone’s longest-serving Country Director, serving from 2002 until her retirement in 2013.  
 
Mama Angie had a huge heart for children and everyone in the Children of the Nations family. She provided pioneering, visionary leadership in her role as Country Director. She helped provide a warm, loving home to over 100 children living in our Children’s Home and established the Ngolala ministry site in Upper Banta with the slogan, “Banta for Jesus, the City of Light!”
 
She continued to serve children throughout her retirement through her Godly Seed Bible School, as well as through her ministry with the United Methodist Church and on the boards of The Shephard’s Hospice and Women in Crisis. 
 
We send our condolences to her family, the hundreds who knew her as a mother and grandmother, and all who will mourn the loss of one of the saints. 
 
 
Here are some thoughts and memories shared about Mama Angie:
 
“During one of my trips to Banta, Angie invited me into her house (she was living there at this time). While we were talking, one of the girls came in briefly and then left. Angie said to me ‘She is living with me right now. Sometimes when I see one of the children struggling immensely, I invite them to live with me for a while. For her, she just needs this right now.’ She was so selfless, always looking out for the best for each and every child, seeing them for exactly who they are and what they need… and then meeting that need. She met the needs for hundreds and hundreds of children, it’s astounding to think about.
 
And a funny memory – when she visited the United States, I was driving her to a house party and she said, “My doctor told me I need to eat like a bunny. Lettuce. Lettuce. Lettuce. More Lettuce. It’s not satisfying at all. :) We definitely ate more than lettuce at the party, and had a great time doing it.”
 
-Kristen B
 
                                       Mama Angie and Kristen 
 
 
“I have no personal story of Reverend Angie, but what I do have is letters and photos and love from a lovely young lady that I have sponsored in Sierra Leone for many, many years. It warms my heart and touches my soul to know that a woman like Angie is who Children of the Nations is surrounding our children with. ‘I will remember that I was raised by a selfless and humble woman who became a mother not only to me, but to so many others that I call brothers and sisters,’ is one of the most beautiful things a supporter of Children of the Nations could ever read. Thank you.”
 
-H. Lazos
 
 
“Mama Angie is one of my heroes. I got to meet her on my first trip to Africa. I was part of a 12-intern group from Seattle Pacific University spending 2 months living in a guest house next to the Children’s Home in Marjay Town, Sierra Leone. Mama Angie was the Country Director, and even though she lived on the top floor of the guest house, we didn’t see her much. Our internship schedule was very full, with little downtime during the day. I remember one afternoon about a month into the trip, we were supposed to be taking Krio language class, but I was feeling a bit discouraged about some things and skipped out to go find a balcony and do some journaling. Mama Angie found me and asked, ‘Fraser, why are you not with the other interns?’ I said, ‘I was just feeling down a bit and was doing some journaling.’ She came over and sat down next to me. ‘What do you have to be down about?’ she asked, genuinely curious. ‘Well, I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. Some of my friends are already getting jobs.’ She smiled a big smile. ‘Oh Fraser, you do not need to worry. You can let those worries go. God has a plan for your life. He is going to take care of you.’ She talked to me for about 15 minutes and helped me see a bigger view. There was a bigness to Mama Angie: her voice, her presence, her love, her ideas, her belief. 
 
On my trip to Sierra Leone in 2009, Mama Angie had just returned to the COTN campus after being away for several weeks. I was in her office setting up a video camera on a tripod to capture some film of her for a new video I was making about the meals we packaged in the USA and shipped over for the children to eat. She had called in the grounds crew to her office while I was setting up, 3 men came in and stood in front of her desk, hats off. Mama Angie started in on them. ‘What is this? I go away for a few weeks and I come back and all the grasses have grown up around the campus. I cannot even see COTN–Sierra Leone anymore! Where is it? It has been swallowed up by the grasses!’ I sheepishly looked up at her and said, ‘Would you like me to leave and come back later?’ ‘No, Fraser, you are fine, keep setting up,” and she went back to berating the grounds crew. After we had finished filming, I walked out of her office and sure enough, there were 5 or 6 men with machetes hacking down grass.”
 
-Fraser Ratzlaff
 
                                       Mama Angie and Fraser
 
 
“I would describe Rev. Myles as a warrior—a prayer warrior, a spiritual warrior, who was willing to go wherever God called her. She was confident in God’s anointing power. I’ll never forget some of the many battles that we prayed through all the way up until her retirement. Hundreds came to know Christ and were baptized both in Freetown and in Banta. 
 
Angie also loved to laugh and her ability to find joy even in difficult times was inspiring. She had such compassion for those around her—recognizing both the efforts and struggles. She had a keen insight even when not a word was spoken and she knew how to encourage others to keep the faith, do their best, and rest when it was needed. 
 
Mama Angie—you have lived a life that has inspired so many. You have helped us all to dream big dreams and have big faith and we are so grateful to have been a part of your journey here on earth.” 
 
-Chris and Debbie Clark
 
 
“We really lost one of the great ones! She had more passion for children than anyone we ever knew. Especially the orphans and any other kid with extreme needs, especially where she lived in Sierra Leone. We witnessed her many times correcting bad behavior and demanding the kids respect themselves and others by how they looked and behaved. We know you all know that, but it can’t be overstated.
 
She preached with such great passion and pure scripture came out of her mouth boldly. She clearly knew God’s word and it stirred you to get excited about it when she spoke. She was tenderhearted yet firm. She was a great leader that allowed you to do your work as long as you were reliable and showed passion and respect. But you always knew she was paying attention to how you did your work. 
 
During the 12 years we got to travel to Sierra Leone with COTN, we will never forget all our encouraging talks. Or the walks to the church on Sunday giving our arm as support.  Or her stories of perseverance during the rebel wars. Or how she worried when us Americans would go out into the bush and then be so relieved when we returned like our mom would. Or the powerful prayers from her over our lives, especially when it was time for us to return to the USA. She gave her life to the Lord in ways most will never do. She chose to stay in Sierra Leone where life is not always easy because that is where God wanted her. And she always took care of her family, not to mention the thousands of children that benefitted from her care. 
 
Her laugh and smile will be forever in our minds. 
 
We will miss you Mama Angie. 
 
See you in heaven.”
 
-Dave and Tanya Spoon
 
                                       Mama Angie and Dave and Tanya Spoon