• sarah@healingeyes.org

Buweboya Vision School

Exhausted and determined to build hope

What I am thankful for is a shower and a mosquito net. Really it’s the basics in life that make the difference here in Africa. For dinner I had 1 hard boiled egg, beef jerky, and 3 bananas. It’s more than some get.

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Not to sound like a broken record but I need prayers for my health. My nose has began running and my headaches won’t stop. After finishing my week of Amoxycillin I am now starting my stash of Cipro to try and combat this ailment. I just pray I don’t get a cold on top of all of this.

Regardless of how my body is doing my heart took a bit of a beating today as I interviewed some new ‘orphans’ admitted to the ‘school’. How the school can take more kids in is beyond my comprehension because they have NO buildings and the teachers aren’t even paid since parents aren’t paying school fees.  Pastor John has a big heart and can’t say no to anyone it seems. But alas I talked to some new kids and heard the same thing over and over, mother died and father is a drunkard. Or another is father died of HIV and mother is widowed and only digs in the garden. My favorite is the witchdoctor poisoned their mother in the garden, some truth behind this and also just some basic lack of medical help.

31 more kids! On top of the 31 I already had who were on the needy list. Healing Eyes will do its best but its a reality when we can’t help all of these kids  because first of all some have parents that can pay and also we need to do more than just pay for school fees. I am tired…my heart is tired..my immune system is fighting as hard as it can against sickness…and today I get more kids. Tomorrow morning I need to get up and make a list of which kids deserve a trip to the hospital for HIV testing and other health ailments and which will have to wait. One child has some diagnosis of a pancreas issue, I told her to bring her medical papers so I can see what the problem is. I’m not a Doctor though!

The rains are coming sadly which means the meager school under 2 trees is going to take a beating from the rain and mud. So in preparation I have begin ordering some wooden benches to get them off of the ground, buying some sheet metal to put a roof on the makeshift classroom of sticks, and lastly we will get the mudding started to construct 3 little classrooms until one day we can have land and REAL buildings. My hope is that this can help during rainy season and provide some relief for the time. Should cost about $250 to pull this miracle off this week. Pray Pray Pray we can work faster than usual here in Africa where snail pace time rules.

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A boy in pain and I’m helpless to do anything

The reality is that I have no words to describe the pain I felt when I saw my boy named Emma again at the school for the deaf. Healing Eyes moved him there to get a real start at an education since in the village he was considered ‘dumb and deaf’. He can partially hear but this disability left him incapable of excelling in school.

When we finally arrived at the deaf school it was so quite but the grounds were quite pleasing. The children were all sitting quietly (as they are all mostly deaf it kind of makes sense why it was so quiet). It was parents visiting day and we were the first. What pained my heart was that Emma was in much pain from a bacteria infection that caused an abscess in his armpit.

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This is a common occurrence here because antibiotics are not abundantly found and they cost money, of which many do not have the money or the ability to travel to get it. I’m not a medical expert but the nurse at the school said it was ready to be cut and the puss released. That all sounded great and rather routine to them, but I thought man that thing has to hurt! I hesitate in sharing the following video but I think it helps paint the picture for all of you who are not here feeling what I am. You won’t see Emma but you will see the school grounds and sadly hear him screaming as they begin releasing the puss. Now they didn’t use numbing medicine which is why it pains me even more to tell you that its common to not give anesthetic to ease the pain from the procedure. This is all very common! But in America we see it as wrong because we are blessed to have medicine readily available even without insurance.

Emma was walking around after and very strong boy. He will get antibiotics I am told and should be just fine. His grandmother came with and I could see he pained her to see him hurt but she tried to not show it. A very strong woman! The school looked very nice though and I am glad he has made a friend at the school too!

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The day I went I wasn’t very thrilled about travelling so far to see the boy that hardly knew me. He didn’t even smile when he saw me but I think God wanted us there to give him that compassion he needed and sometimes just ‘being’ makes all the difference in the world to someone hurting.

(Our 0ther kids who have been helped medically: Mercy had malaria, Recho has infection on her head, Sinambio needed pain killer and antibiotic from his hernia surgery)

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Thank you Supporters

From the orphan, disabled, and HIV afffected children at Buweboya Vision Junior School we say ‘Yalama Noy’ ‘Thank you’ to our supporters!

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Day of Success and Miracles

Yesterday I was in the hospital for an infection and then today well I woke up to an email from a friend saying they have $2000 for me to buy a car. Then I get home after a long day and find out another $500 is coming from another friend for the car. So in ONE day I have enough to buy a car for Healing Eyes ministry in Uganda. Wow! Prayer does work people!!!!!

So today was a day of progress and smiles. The devil might have tried yesterday to tear my body apart with infections but today God gave me the strength to persevere and adapt to my environment.  The kids were extra happy to see me and are saying my name much more these days. There shyness is wearing off finally. I was able to teach a little english and math with some worksheets I brought along and the kids found them challenging to do. As I graded them they encircled me and nearly crushed me, but it was all in good spirits. What was cute was when I first got to school Jessica asked me right away if I would teach english yet. Ah what a sweetie.

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Later when I pulled the ukulele out finally they were so excited and again nearly mulled me by there shear numbers. There is about 257 kids there now, yikes!

The uniforms also came for my 30 needy kids and we had fun handing those out. The quality wasn’t what I expected but the boost in self esteem these kids received was well worth it.

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Then we closed off with a nice lunch for the 30 kids that was provided by Gaines Church and another private donor. Such a blessing to see some fruit to our labor.

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Tomorrow I hope to bring another 2 kids to the hospital, one is a strange head disease and another is a burned foot. Pray that goes well and we get some answers for these two strong kids

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Being frugal to save more money for orphans

There has to be a reason why I have such great internet on this trip compared to past trips. I think its because each day I have important news to share and prayer requests, as well as updated news on ministry needs. Before coming I prayed for God to slow things down because I felt overwhelmed…he did it for awhile but he’s back at it again with speed.

My apartment is still not available, so that’s slow going.

However, the big ticket items are developing now and I am need prayer and support. Tomorrow I go to look at land and I pray all the proper people meet up on time and we get some answers on the accurate acreage and hearts will be open to a cheap price. It has to be cheap because as of now Healing Eyes has only a part of the money needed and needs help to reach it’s goal of $10,000 to pull this crazy impossible scheme off. We want to buy 5 acres of land in eastern Uganda to begin the vision of a school for orphans, to build up a community of widows, and to spread the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

Another new need has arisen that involves transportation. It has become too expensive to rent a car each visit to Uganda and now God has put into motion the opportunity to buy a car and he has even guided me to people I can trust to make this possible. Now this week we will being searching and I pray we can find the necessary funds to get a vehicle. We need to raise up to $3,000.

Today I have been in my room all day because of having no transportation and the heat was so bad today. To save money I have nibbled on my snacks I brought and tonight I made sure I got some protein by eating pistachio nuts and peanut butter. If I can save a little on money by rationing food then it will be worth it. I just pray I can move tomorrow into my apartment so I can not live out of 2 crates and a suitcase.

Please pray for my ears.. the pain in them keeps returning and the last thing I need is an ear infection plus a visit to a not so good hospital:(

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Unite the village for the children!

As I type my stomach is cramping in ways I didn’t know it could. I have gotten stomach pains before but this is a bit alarming. But never fear my wonderful driver got me some medicine this morning and I pray it improves. My new friend at the guest house found me ear drops and now i am hopeful the pain will stop.

Another blessing is Teacher sara is on her way no bus right now to come see me for the weekend. Hallelujah a friend!
What else can i be thankful for? um… um…I’m safe in a locked room and the staff are very nice to me. I even have arranged to take the cleaning lady from here to help me twice a week at my apartment (whenever i can even move in that is).
I also took a hot shower so that’s another plus!
Ministry side I met with the parents today at there annual meeting at the school (5 hours sitting in a plastic chair in front of everyone). It was ‘interesting’. I had to set a few things straight with the parents that I wasn’t sponsoring all there children. They had the impression I was since last time I took photos of there kids (another reason why to be cautious of photographing in the village). I was the last of the official guests to do a speech (they are big on speeches here). My stomach was near death by the time i stood under the mango tree and threatening thunderstorm. I held my bible and thought I would read from it about God trusting you with a little before giving you more but I ended up spouting out a bunch of stern words and moving my arms around passionately. I think by now they know I am not here with lots of money and that I am here for there kids and to encourage them to work hard and that they should all pay there child’s school fees and to not expect handouts. Yes, healing eyes is helping with 30 of the orphans/disabled/hiv kids but not all the kids who have parents that can work. It’s hard not to help all of them since they are struggling in poverty but money isn’t always the answer I told them. God will trust them with a little and then if they are faithful God will trust more. Sadly other white people with good intentions have caused Africans in the village to think we mean money and will fix there problems with handouts. It can be easier to just give money to fix an issue without putting long term investment in the people trying to help themselves.
Right about now a short easy fix of throwing money sounds nice as I am already homesick and lonely but I can’t give up now. The culture here won’t change in my lifetime but we have to start somewhere! Small seeds for change.
It did feel a bit like a united village at the end of the meeting. John wanted me to portray that feeling of Unity..to Unite a village to help themselves he said. Felt like a speech before going to war in the Braveheart movie really, my arms in the air yelling for change and courage to persevere during suffering.

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What ‘Going’ can accomplish

Do you know that All of you are now going to Eastern Uganda through me? Because of Healing Eye’s partners who donated I have been blessed to be God’s servant to those hurting. We are all helping to Feed, Clothe, and Teach 31 of the most needy children at Buweboya Vision Junior School.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. – 1 Corinthians 3:8-14 NIV

God said ‘Go’ a year ago and now we all are servants and soon to be the Builders.

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Not my prunes!

It’s with great sadness I must announce that sacrifices are to be made in preparation for departing this Sunday for Africa. My beloved Prunes can’t make the journey with me and so the African diarrhea will be highly probable while there. But it is for a good cause I say goodbye to my prunes because I am bringing some beautiful children’s books donated by the Theological Book Network in Kentwood Michigan. I know it’s a tough choice but as I sat looking at my 2 boxes that I can only get 50 lbs each in I thought well the kids sure would smile at the sight of colorful books.

March 13th I fly out again and begin another journey of discovery into the rabbit hole of Africa. What will I find this time? Who will I become? and most importantly what will we at Healing Eyes see revealed to us by God’s leadership?

Land? ….maybe
Laughter? …I hope so
Tears? …definitely
Worth it? …Definitely!
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We can feed 12 kids!

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The cost of going out to dinner with your sweetie can feed 12 of our kids at Buweboya. Wow!

The cost of our Sales Tax expense from the Chili Cook-Off could have paid for 12 kids to eat at school. Wow!

The cost of a pair of Gap Jeans could pay for 20 kids to eat at school for 1 month. Wow!

You get the idea by now…no matter how small you think a contribution is to our charity you are making a bigger difference than you think! Wow!

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Q&A revisted

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.

What are your projects?

Answer: Project 616 and Child Sponsorship

How do you pay for all of this?

Answer: Donations from individuals and a couple churches. Fundraisers.

When does Sarah go back to Africa?

Answer: March 13

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.

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

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