• sarah@healingeyes.org

Author Archives: Healing Eyes

Buckle up John

seatbeltDo you take for granted knowing how to put a seatbelt on?

My friend in Africa who has started a school for the orphaned, disabled, and impoverished children in his village had never worn a seatbelt. On my last trip we showed him how to ‘buckle up’ and we all had a good laugh. Just think what life is like without wearing a seat belt! Trusting God each and every day for everything…

Maybe we look too hard for that ‘Seat Belt’ to wear each day to keep us safe from life when we can lose everything even if we are buckled in.

Healing Eyes

Unfortunate accidents leave 2 of our Kids injured

Andera and Simon Peter are two kids in the Buweboya community who have had a bit of bad luck lately. Andera was bitten by a snake and is recovering. Simon Peter has hurt his chest after falling from a Jack Fruit tree, it is unknown if he has any serious injuries because they are unable to get X-rays at a clinic due to the distance and cost. Please pray for these kids to recover and start school. The information I receive is over email currently but I am looking forward to being there March 13 to see in person how the children are and how we are progressing at the school.

andera

simonPeter

Healing Eyes

Widows everywhere can relate

Adjustments everywhere and all the time…the life of a widow living a very odd life. When I get comfortable in one spot I move again and then shortly after I move again. Why? God works quite clearly when my comfort is taken away and his work begins. Yesterday I moved to a new home in the country while I am in America and even though it’s not what I wanted to do per se I was still thanking God for finding me a new home and providing help to move my couch. I thanked him for the hot shower and roof over my head, for my couch and bed in now located in one room, and I thanked him ALL night long as I lay wide away listening to every single creak in the floor boards and creepy footsteps above my head.

The life of a widow….solitude after 14 years with a man at my side. Time may heal a great loss but it sure does mess up your ‘normal’.

James 1:27…Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I know I’ll be ok as the years pass by and the memories fade of my husband. New memories will appear and many more losses will happen until I am no longer here on this earth. One thing for sure is I’ll look after other widows and orphans in there distress because I understand what those lonely dark nights feel like and the tightening around ones heart as they relive each past memory over and over. The best part is that we can all look after orphans and widows together, while on this earth, by taking a chance on a little non-profit called Healing Eyes founded out of loss and a reawakening of what is important in life. Compassion pure and simple.

Compassion can change lives and we can show you how by partnering with monthly support. Join us for an unbelievable adventure into Eastern Uganda where a village of orphans, widows, and impoverished children are surviving each day.

Ministry Support

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $35 Monthly

Partner in Confidence: Safe and Secure.. Your personal information is encrypted and transmitted without risk using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization making your donations tax deductible (receipts mailed at the end of each tax year)

Healing Eyes

Q&A

Is this a non-profit you started or another organization you joined?

Answer: It’s a brand new 501c(3) non-profit that Sarah started after becoming a widow at 33, it was started in 2014 and became an official 501c(3) 1 year to the date from the passing of Sarah’s husband.

What do you do?

Answer: Support a ministry team to train and educate the local leaders on how to administer the school and provide support for widows and orphans. Provide quality Christian education for orphans and impoverished children by constructing a school building. Provide meals to children who would normally go without. Support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of widows and struggling families. Assist in community development.

How do you pay for all of this?

Answer: Donations from individuals and a couple churches. Fundraisers like the upcoming Chili Cook-Off.

Do you have enough money to build a school and buy land right now?

Answer: Nope but we have faith.

How many times has Sarah been to Africa?

Answer: 4 in the last year

Is this an orphanage?

Answer: No it is not. The children go home each day to stay with caregivers or parents if they are alive.

Do you find homes for the orphans?

Answer: No there is no adoption program. The orphans are cared for by the village and grandparents.

How many kids are you trying to help?

Answer: About 200 kids currently learn under the 2 shade trees. There is no school building and the teachers are volunteers from the community. We want to buy land and build a school some day.

Do you feed the kids?

Answer: We are setting that up now for the 31 most needy children. It consists of Posha and Beans, a staple in Africa. But we still need help from donors like you to keep it going.

How does this affect me?

Answer: It doesn’t but it might be shocking to learn most of the world lives in extreme poverty and lacks common comforts like clean water, regular meals, quality education, and shelter. Long term what happens in Africa can play a part in our life here as we become more global and the pain of others impact our lives here.

When is your next fundraiser?

Answer: February 19th at Gaines Church we are holding a Chili Cook-Off and Silent Auction. Come learn more!

What can I do to help?

Answer: Pray and consider donating monthly to help ministry costs which includes: financial help for Sarah (founder and missionary), feed and teach the children. Share with churches and pastors, volunteer your skills in grant writing or fundraising experience. Or just contact us to start asking more questions

Healing Eyes

Who..What..Where..

Who are You…and Who do you want to be?

2 years in the making and we are growing! How do we grow? With a lot of patience and faith to connect others with a dream and a passion to help orphans and widows. With a handful of dedicated supporters I can honestly say I feel like we are on the right track and the Healing Eyes team is growing.

What are we about?

It used to just be about Sarah’s story and a rediscovery of faith in God. For 2 years that small seed has been nurtured and spread across the world but now it’s more than One seed. Compassion is changing lives by connecting with more and more people who also want their life to be about something more. To make a difference in the flavor of the world and see what comes out of a little faith in God.

Healing Eyes has connected with orphans and widows in Eastern Uganda, we see a chance to put a little effort into a plan to grow that relationship and bring education along with hope to hundreds of people. We see a school full of children that need a chance. We see widows abandoned and struggling in need of a chance. We see despair in the eyes of the forgotten and abused. We see God wooing our hearts back to a simple solution….to show love in its pure and simple form.

In return each person that partners with Healing Eyes will see a piece of them live on and know even the smallest steps can make a difference in eternity. Enjoy the ride and live beyond our abilities!

Who are we now?

Our Board of Directors has grown and become stronger with 4 dedicated individuals: Cindy Smith, Donald Hendriksen, John Steele, and Shawn Pearce. We have had volunteers participate in 2 annual fundraisers: Chili Cook-Off and Whoa Benefit Concert. We have had another missionary join a mission trip in December: Jacob Burnside. We have local friends in Africa working closely with the children and providing for their needs, as we begin to establish our presence in Uganda for 2016. We have partnered with a handful of churches in the Grand Rapids area to share the mission and gain support: Gaines Church, Family of Christ Church, Sycamore Community Baptist Church, and more to come.

Continue to pray for Healing Eyes this year and consider partnering on a monthly or one-time basis to stay involved with the mission. Sign up here

A little glimpse at our past and how we began…

 

Healing Eyes

Compassion changes lives

My hands are tied and as much as I want to be in America I need to be in Africa. Here we are used to instant replies to emails and constant communication over text and voice but in Africa it can get a bit sporadic. It’s frustrating when I need to see in person the status of the school and the kids but this means I have to Go.

Part of starting a non-profit and building a relationship with an entirely different culture is the patience opportunities and trust building exercises. Add to that the fact that many organizations misuse donated funds and donors are leery on trusting fledgling organizations I feel like I am up against impossible odds. When all I want to do is run over to Africa and see the kids and learn there stories but I can’t just do that when I have to play several different roles in keeping Healing Eyes alive and getting funds. All of this while grieving my dead husband and waking from a night full of nightmares and memories of my past that cause an aching stab in my heart. Meanwhile I know as much as I want to throw money at the problem in Africa it won’t fix anything because it all comes down to Compassion changing lives. Tricky part is we are in a ‘money’ society and so money can get the material needs necessary: food, education, medical. The hilarious part is in Africa they think I have money growing on trees but truthfully I don’t even have money coming in to support myself doing this.

Why am I even doing this?!

IMG_6875-0Because of faces like Phen and William and the realization that most of the world doesn’t have safe drinking water or food without feces in it which leads to an outbreak of Cholera (which is happening in Sironko district near Billah’s home). My eyes can’t close to what I have been shown….but I really want to erase what I have seen because it means, well it means I could go back to who I was even though that isn’t true either. Is this the battle of all missionaries? What happens when you are a widowed missionary?

What have I seen?

Imagine a place where kids are running around everywhere. Now imagine some are 9 years old and they are carrying another baby on there back, not there child but a random child. Now see a widow with nothing and with her husband gone she now has to carry on planting a crop in the hot sun for a harvest that will bring in little. She has let’s say 5 mouths to feed. Now put all of that in a culture where men have more authority and where even the men make barely anything for income. This isn’t woman’s rights outcry but basic human needs outcry.

IMG_1935Now imagine a 8 year old girl with a burned wrist and she has to listen to the pharmacist explain dosage and takes the medicine, she is now responsible for everything said and taking the pills and applying the cream. Oh and she also has to continue with chores which include: chickens, babysitting, cooking, bathing, collecting firewood, farming, and school work. All of this in the hot sun, flies swarming, animal feces, and little drinking water. This will truly bring up a resilient young lady who is humble and quiet but if she never sees who God is through Action than it might result in a child lacking emotions, feelings, empathy, compassion, and incapable of sustaining healthy relationships.  All because she was taught only to fend for her materials needs in a harsh world lacking any understanding of compassion and love.

How can I keep being Compassion in Action? …..
With support from You!

 

Healing Eyes

You just need to laugh at yourself

supporting a missionary can be fun..and rewarding when you get to see photos like this. I am eating something we normally don’t serve out of a chicken. In Africa it is an honor to be given this piece of meat and even more if you’re a woman.

Ministry Support

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $35 Monthly

Partner in Confidence: Safe and Secure.. Your personal information is encrypted and transmitted without risk using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization making your donations tax deductible (receipts mailed at the end of each tax year)

Healing Eyes

Feeding the Children

One of the steps we are taking with Buweboya is to provide meals at the humble school under trees and grass roofs. Since the school was started by Pastor John he has been scraping by with little and the children ‘persevere’ through the mid day sun without food. There are about 31 of the most needy children that we are trying to focus on as we begin this journey with the pastor there.

In December we left behind a small amount of money to test the waters of trust and communication. We didn’t know the estimates to feed the children and so we took a leap of faith.

It’s not going to be easy and there will be set backs but for now we have been notified that some posha and beans was purchased to start school lunches. I wish I was there to see it and verify everything is moving smoothly but this is where we want to put the responsibility on the leaders there. Why? Because we can’t just go in and ‘fix’ or ‘run’ the show…but we can walk alongside them and encourage them to keep trying.

We are short however in feeding all 31 of the kids and we ask for your help in raising another $162 to at least get this lunch program started off right.

 

Healing Eyes

Keep your eyes on Me

Why are you afraid my child? You put too much worry on the storm ahead and problems you see approaching at all turns. Keep you eyes on Me and not on the fears you perceive. Have I not taken you this far and accomplished so much in only a year of giving your trust over to Me? Oh you of little faith….Open your eyes and see what’s coming your way! It is a beautiful and frightful sight to behold but with each step and obstacle removed it will become clearer and you go along.

March 13… it’s coming… are You ready?

waterfall

Healing Eyes

But its not how I imagined it

Often we complain about a life we wish we had and do everything the opposite of what God had in mind.  We ask Him to fix our lives and do this and that, but maybe all along he is trying to help but we refuse because its not done the way we think it should be. This is what I have been asking for. A life that’s full of adventure, travel, and not spent in routine each day. I’ve asked him to send me to Africa and to move the pieces of my life around to accomplish this goal. I want to help widows and orphans, build something larger than myself and comfort others in pain. To use my loss to further His plans for me. I think it was about a year ago when I started praying for that.

Since that time I have been to Africa 4 times, found a village with widows and orphans, been connected with people in Africa that can be touch-points over there, and He even answered my prayer about a place to live in Michigan while I am going in between countries. So if I lay out all the pieces it seems God has been answering prayers and quite sneakily moving the pieces around to accomplish my first said wish which was to be in Africa.

Human nature then kicks in and I regret my first request because to continue this mission it means sacrificing my comforts and my ideas. Now logically if I really trusted God I wouldn’t even worry about making sacrifices because it ultimately accomplishes the request to be in Africa and live a life of adventure and un-normal existence.  So why am I so conflicted?

It all comes down to TRUST! Do I trust Him to take care of me in a remote country where the danger level goes up and my comfort level goes down? Safety net gone along a very skinny tightrope. Will he catch me?

That’s the gamble in my human brain. But all shouldn’t matter when my soul will live on even after this short time on earth and why not live it to the extreme?! Why settle for less than what I want.

 

Healing Eyes