• sarah@healingeyes.org

Author Archives: Healing Eyes

We want you!

The Healing Eyes.org mission in Uganda is looking for a new team member(s) who are willing to work abroad for up to 3 months or more serving widows and orphans. We are seeking someone, or a couple, who have some of the following skills: construction, agriculture and livestock, tailoring, business management, leadership, or project management. We are open to a single male or a married couple; due to the housing arrangement, we cannot take on single women. Team member(s) must be able to work in hot temperatures and modest living conditions. We will provide safe and clean housing, water, including a flush toilet/electric/internet and local transportation. Team member(s) will need to fundraise to pay for airfare to and from Uganda Africa (usually between $1,000 and $1,800) as well as meals (usually between $5 and $10 per day) and any extra living expenses.

As we look to expand our Healing Eyes team abroad, we want to find partners that follow our same core values of compassion for others and helping without harming the established culture. The person or couple will be involved in supporting our self-sustainable projects in the village, supervising workers, light construction, and building relationships with villagers.

If God is pulling at your heart to go out of your comfort zone, this can be a great opportunity to live in a foreign country and experience a different view on life. We promise it will open your eyes and heart to a world bigger than the comforts of home.

To learn more contact Sarah Hendriksen at sarah@healingeyes.org I would love to chat about this new opportunity and how you can help the ministry.

Healing Eyes

Grounded

I’m grounded for awhile but the ministry continues on in Uganda even in my absence. Our pilot tailoring program has been progressing for over 3 months now and the ladies are diligent in coming to learn and making some pretty nice things.

Forces are working against us to slow and frustrate the ministry and now with added health burdens we are slowing down in our work but not stopping. God has blessed us with people in Uganda working alongside us and he has blessed us with resources to keep moving on the projects we have started, tailoring and pigs. The 18 kids in boarding schools are showing signs of improvement and are adjusting to a new life of education and seeing God’s love work in their lives.

Often we get stuck on the negatives happening in a project and lose sight of all the good that’s happening. Yea we haven’t broken ground yet on an official 4 classroom building but we have broken ground on relationship building. The children in boarding schools  are slowly seeing how we want to help them and shower them with the love they deserve. These kid’s caretakers and parents get to experience a partnership in their child’s education and see the benefits of working together. It’s never a fast thing to change lives and its definitely not easy to say No to just handing out freebies when doing so is instant gratification and soooo much easier than tough love.  All our kids in boarding school know there parents are working with us to put them through school and we pray over time the results will be what God wanted all along. Love and Compassion for his orphans.

So as we wait and ponder what’s next and go through some personal surgeries for physical healing God has it all under control in His time, even if it seems slooooow on this end.

Prayers as we move along and find our way in Uganda…relationship building…and the right way to impact lives for Christ.

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Healing Eyes

Prep time is the worse

The prep work that goes into staining an old and dirty deck is a lot! At first I thought it would only need a power wash and then I could let it dry and stain it. Wrong. I needed to clean it first, which I thought would be an easy spray on wash off technique. Wrong. It took trial and error to get it right as I did it, one board at a time, very slowly to not splash the cleaner on the other boards. At first I wanted to give up because I saw spots everywhere where the cleaner had bleached the board too early, thinking it ruined the wood. But I didn’t want to give up and was determined to perfect the art of cleaning. So I had to go back one board at a time, slowly rinsing the solution and not touching the others so it would have enough time to clean the board with its super powerful ingredients. Two days later the deck is prepped and ready for the stain, the final touch of perfection to make it shine and protect it from the elements.

It was satisfying work to clean the deck but a lot of unwanted extra effort. Maybe that’s what life is like….I want the end result but putting that extra unwanted effort into it slows me down. It seemed straightforward to just go to Africa and help people. I thought of course they would want help and if I just did something I would be accepted and it would be a happily ever after story. Of course I knew Africa was a hard country to navigate and a lot of corruption but I still thought it could be done if your just honest and hard working.

If only there was an instruction label for missionary work, a warning or caution label.

Then again I didn’t read the warning label carefully on the cleaner I used on my deck which later I saw stripped some of the color out of my clothes.

Africa (Uganda) is still in the prep work phase and needing a lot of cleaning to get the ground ready for development. Right now we are seeing small glimpses of hope with the tailoring program and the widows prospering from that. We are seeing our 18 kids in boarding school studying and growing each year from the opportunity given to them. We are seeing the value of the struggle with parents and caretakers to have them stay involved with their children by them buying school requirements for their kids and participating in their education. We even have some piglets that were sold and the money going back into the project. However, it’s not as we imagined it to be and it’s not without it’s downfalls and disappointments. When people we trusted turned on us and projects are stopped because of thieves its very sad but it’s all part of the prep work. The cleaning, washing, scrubbing, power washing and sanding to have a good start is important and part of the journey.

Don’t give up…even if your beaten and tired….Blessings come out of the struggle.

Healing Eyes

Machines Upkeep

It takes a lot of work to keep our 5 sewing machines up to speed and working properly. What a strange feeling to be happy about needing to do maintenance again on our sewing machines because it means they are being USED! Yay! our 5 ladies keep coming each week to learn how to sew and we pray this is the beginning of a project that will change lives for the better.

What is it all about?

6 months training for widows to learn how to Sew and hopefully find jobs in or around the village. Then they can support their children without any outside help and have confidence in their own abilities.

Healing Eyes

Exciting new changes

By teaching someone a new SKILL we can bring about change in the lives of many for generations to come. We have started to try out a tailoring program to help widows get back on there feet and support themselves. By starting small we can begin to see seeds of hope already take hold in the lives of 5 widows we are working with in Uganda. Each day these ladies come and learn how to sew skirts, pants, uniforms, and shirts which we hope someday will turn around and support there families.

What is our end goal?

In 6 months we will have 5 ladies in possession of a new skill that can be put to work immediately in local towns or in the village itself. The children will benefit directly because it now means the mother can support their child without any need for child sponsorship. We want this to be self-sustainable and create a way to enable widows to take charge of their own lives.

Over time children we sponsor can be replaced by other children in need, because their mothers have the skills to provide and pay school fees for their own children.

Healing Eyes

Perspective on growing up

Gaining perspective on life through the eyes of an adolescent girl in Africa. One of my kids is a wonderful young lady who has grown over the past 2 years I have known her. Each time I see her I reminded about what it means to be a girl in Uganda and the simplest things I take for granted are so important in her day to day life. Living off only 4 rolls of toilet paper every 3 months is a reality we have a hard time understanding in America. Or that her parents won’t buy her the feminine napkins she needs and so one of the items I provide her are a handful of lady products. So each time I pack up to leave Uganda I go through my things and place them in ziplock bags for her to add to her stash of supplies. What a different life over there. I first became aware of this unthought of things when she wrote me a small note saying please can you get me Tea leaves and Pads before going to boarding school. I remember that day clearly because I was irritated by all the last minute things I needed to purchase for kids we were sponsoring.

Part of what we do is encourage the caretakers to buy school requirements and slowly they are understanding we are serious about their part in raising their children. It always happens though the day I drop kids off and I see one toilet roll not there or a missing bed sheet, sugar, soap. It’s very difficult not buying everything for a child that needs it but I know that the mothers can afford some of these things and must participate to show the children their education matters to them.

When my child handed me that note asking for Tea and Pads I was taken back a bit and felt stupid for being irritated by all the demands on me. This girl just needed bare necessities of life and had no one else to turn to.

Can you ever remember a day when you asked someone for help and felt embarrassed to do so? It takes a lot to ask for help sometimes and sometimes I forget to slow down and see the need right before my eyes.

Healing Eyes

Pigs are Growing

Our pigs are growing in the village and we couldn’t be happier to see the success of our first sustainable project to stop poverty.

Healing Eyes

Broken but not Dead

Our car was damaged last week in an accident involving a tree and heavy rain. Thankfully no one was injured in the crash. We are blessed to have the car fixed and ready to begin work again so quickly!

The next couple months would have been quite difficult without a functioning car but God is good and we can continue on with what God has planned for Healing Eyes in Uganda. We are starting up an exciting program for widows that we hope will better their lives and create some income for them to support their children. More details to come once it’s underway.

Our children in boarding school have grown to 19 kids this coming second term. It’s amazing how we started with just 1 child 2 years ago and now have 19 to look after! In order to concentrate on the children’s welfare and education we are suspending taking on more sponsorships until our construction project is completed. Our biggest needs now are monthly partners to support the current projects at Healing Eyes as well as donations to the construction project. It’s these ongoing partnerships with individuals and churches that allows us to maintain and start self-sustainable projects in the village and to support monthly living expenses to be God’s hands and feet in Uganda.

Healing Eyes

Blessed by others

We were blessed with a donation today of 15 Study Devotional to minister to the widows in Uganda! This will be a great opportunity to reach out to more ladies for Christ and build up the relationships we need in the villages surrounding our land. I can’t wait to get back over there and start finding homes for these books to bring encouragement to the ladies there. It was also shocking to find out that Ada Bible Women’s group has raised enough money for us to purchase 3 more sewing machines to start up our tailoring program. Who knows what else God has planned for Healing Eyes but it’s true that when one door closes another will open and right now this path we are on is exciting to see new people partner with us. Now Healing Eyes has a pig project and in time, and lots of prayer, we might just have a small training program to teach widows how to sew as a way to support themselves.

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Healing Eyes

Pigs are Growing Up

Our piglets are growing up slowly in Uganda. We had two separate litters over the year and another on the way. We hope to expand to a different breed this summer which grows bigger and sells for a higher cost at the market. Even though one of our adult female pigs died a couple weeks ago it’s still encouraging to see these new lives grow up and create income. It is taking longer than planned to breed and sell in order to stop buying pig feed but we are hopeful it will pick up this summer.

The goal is to keep a steady cycle of piglets and adults sold to market for money and that should feed the pigs and also have some profits left over to put back into the community.

Healing Eyes