• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

Homesick

Today I miss my widows and children in Uganda. I have been back here for 2 months now after leaving suddenly for my health and I am going crazy. One day I want to never go back to Africa and then on days like today I want to be there so badly because when I’m there I feel I have purpose. I think the ‘Enemy’ uses comforts of false security in our abilities to keep a house and a nice car with a profitable job to make us think it’s what we want. Not that it’s bad to want those things because they serve a purpose. Money allows for missionaries to be in the country God calls them to be. Money keep projects going and food in our bellies. But money also leads to lies and stealing even when you go in with good intentions to help other people. I miss living on the edge of safety and not knowing if your safe today or tomorrow or even how you will eat that day. I miss the extreme temperatures and yes even those stupid bumpy roads that seem to go on for miles and miles.

Today I got a different medical opinion on my pain in my back, it now seems to be my neck has a nerve or a disc that’s upset. Perhaps brought on by years of stress on the cartilage and then it shifted somehow and the pain referred itself to my shoulder blade and ribs. 4 more weeks of Physical Therapy to see if that is the cause of the pain. 4 more weeks of waiting….to get better and strong enough to return to Uganda.

Twice a week my guys in Uganda call me to debrief on the week and share stories about the village and how much progress we are making there. Each phone call tells me a bit of what is going on in my absence, it really is awesome to see the work continue through the citizens there. This week I talked about pigs and profit and expenses, forecasting the future, laying out a budget, and trying to communicate to my friend there about how important record keeping is. By the way I know very little about pigs or even pig rearing…perhaps that project is just a way to build relationships for Christ and encourage a family there to learn new things. But we just had 8 new piggies born and that is a good sign.

Meanwhile back in Michigan I am working on crafts to sell at a Craft Sale December 1st, will it make money? I don’t know…I never know….but it’s something.

We need prayer for another person to join our team in Uganda from the States. I posted earlier about a job opening for a married couple or a man to live over there for 3 months or so to oversee the projects in place and also construction. If anyone out there reads this please pass that on and check out the Job Post section on this website. The person (s) would need to fundraise support to serve.

If you want to support our projects with a one-time or monthly donation check out our Support page. We can’t do this without support from you!

Healing Eyes

What we Do through Christ

Does what we do Stick?

At Healing Eyes it might seem like we keep trying different things and then change our minds and do something else but what we are doing is seeing what WILL work in Africa. Often what we think will work may not because we didn’t grow up there. So What will Stick? That’s the fun of this journey….learning along the way what works and what doesn’t. Our core value is to show Compassion to widows and orphans PERIOD! This photo is time spent with kids at the Church of Children with Pastor Matthew, he always asks me to bring a ‘Sweetie’…it’s what he calls my Guitar.

Our Tailoring Program

Giving young ladies and widows a chance for something better in life by learning a trade skill.

When grownups act badly you find creative ways around the issue to keep progress moving. That’s exactly what we did back in June of this year when we started the Tailoring program for Widows. This year the people we trusted have turned against us which now leaves us waiting on God’s discernment for what to do in Uganda. This has become a blessing in disguise because now we are working with district officials to resolve disputes and to provide safety for our work in the village. There are 5 wonderful ladies that come to the Healing Eyes home in town 3 days a week to learn how to sew, it’s an opportunity that God put in front of us last year and came to light this year through this program. 5 machines were donated by a Woman’s Small Group at Ada Bible and they are being put to work for God’s glory by these strong widows and at risk young ladies.

We have a need for more sewing machines and also help maintaining the machines. If you want to help support this program financially we would be blessed, see below for ways to Give.

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Tailoring Donations

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $150 Monthly

Healing Eyes

Fear can’t stop us

What happens when you start to make progress and see good things come from it?

Setbacks!

There are many that want us NOT to succeed and while God continues to work to make it possible the enemy is fast on our heels to try and stop us. Lately it’s been discouraging in Africa and fear has crept in on sharing the happy stories. What if a photo causes a negative effect while doing mission work? What if a photo is misunderstood? What if by sharing stories of success we end up creating setbacks in the project. So many what ifs lately but part of mission work is telling stories and sharing the successes for Christ. Other Christians need to see the impact they can make in others lives by ‘Doing’ instead of just ‘Believing’.  Doing something for another person is part of what we are called to do. Doing what God teaches and giving a helping hand to another person who may not even believe in Christ. A person who might have been taught as a child and then had so many difficulties in life that it seems why Believe in Someone that cares so little for my problems. You never know what people are thinking  or what they have lost faith in but I hope and really really pray that the work we are doing in Uganda is showing Christ in real life and how we should show compassion to others. At Healing Eyes its Widows and Orphans and its soo encouraging to see our 5 ladies in Uganda putting the effort into the program we have offered thanks to donations here in Michigan. We all are learning as we go along and everything starts out small.

Continue to pray for this ministry and if you want to step out and help us then check out our Donate page and give a little monthly or a one time gift to support the work.

 

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

The Tailoring Program has Begun

It was fun and encouraging today to welcome two widows into the new tailoring program we are testing out in Uganda!! Our tailoring teacher is a much needed blessing to the project. I’m excited to see where this takes Healing Eyes and the lives of the widows we impact. The sewing machines were donated to us by a ladies group in Michigan and I can already see how God is opening new relationships by starting this project. Thank you for supporting our widows!

 

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