• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

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.

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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

Faith

Healing Eyes

Glamorous life of me

The not so glamorous side of traveling to exotic far off locations are the airports. After sitting in an upright position for 9 hours straight you just want to lay on a cold hard surface with a scarf over your head, right? I hope some day they get more couches and recliners in the Amsterdam airport. But until then I’ll have to make do with the floor this March when I fly again. That’s right the ticket is purchased and I am committed to go March to June of this year. What will I be doing this time?

Watching and learning how Buweboya runs it’s first term of school and meeting more of the kids one on one I hope. Often I go and it’s a whirl wind of business and never enough time to just ‘Be’. Well this time there will be a lot of ‘Be’ time for Sarah.

This trip is compounded more with the realization that I will be leaving my boyfriend behind and spending 2.5 months in a foreign country alone. Living with minimal comforts and figuring out how to make meals, wash clothes, and live each day without modern appliances. I know others have done this sort of thing but it’s all new to me. My last trips I had a cook or a guest house to stay in, but this time I’ll be running solo.

First obstacle to overcome is transportation. I won’t have a car this time and so I need to get from Entebbe to Tororo with prayer and I hope use the connections I have gathered on my last trips.

Second obstacle to overcome is eating. I don’t cook with a modern stove all that much as it is so I’ll try surviving on protein bars and water. Or perhaps find a cook ha!  I won’t be slaughtering and plucking my own chicken that’s for sure.

Last and hardest obstacle will be the cultural and emotional strain. Plan for this one is to Pray a lot while there!

Healing Eyes

Two Widows and 1 Orphan

from different cultures and circumstances….
Does it really matter?

Become a part of something today…Learn more about what we Believe and consider Partnering this New Year.

Compassion to othersAssist orphans and widows through self sustaining projects and educationMake a difference in the flavor of the world we live in
Healing Eyes

Compassion

 

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Compassion

Healing Eyes