• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

Philbert and Bonnie are parents

Last year we started a little project with 2 pigs in hopes that some day we would have piglets. As with anything it takes time to see results and this little pet project has been fun from the start.

healingeyes.org has new additions to the family, 5 baby piglets. This project is starting small but has big opportunities ahead. We are in search of a donor to help feed our new pigs and the adults to keep the project going until we can fatten and sell the piglets. A gift of $100 will keep our project going for 1 month.

Healing Eyes

You are going to fail often

I want to try even though I might fail.. I’ll keep on making those new mistakes as we continually hit walls, get hurt feelings, fail, get up, then fail again, get lied to, cheated, taken advantage of…and then keep on trying.

Anyone that wants to help the world and start a non-profit? I said it before but I’ll say it again, don’t do it! Its a headache, it has minimal gratification, you sacrifice more than you think, and no one will ever ever ever see how much work goes on behind the scenes to keep it going. No one will see the numerous times you get your feelings hurt by those you are trying to help. No one will understand the helpless feelings of not doing enough each time you try and try and try to make a difference. At every step you will think of stopping and throwing in the towel. The odds WILL BE and ARE against success and you will face adversity with every little change you go after. You will travel A LOT and not in first class luxury but tiny coach seats with crying babies…and you will get sick and exhausted emotionally from the drain on your life.

So why do it?!

Where is the pay out?! 

Where is the comfortable mansion at the end of the day and money in your pocket?

It won’t be there….but….through the suffering and sweat that goes into a journey of faith the rewards will be many in heaven. You can’t see it now of course so again why even try? I guess it’s pure determination, faith in the God,  and passion that drives me to keep on going and TRY EVERYTHING (like the song from Zootopia)!

We are starting the investigation of becoming a NGO in Uganda. I read a blog that said, don’t do it! Ha and so what am I doing? I am going to try and do it anyways!  By the end I’ll be a shell of a person i’m sure and near hysterical breakdown emotionally but it will create more sustainability in the project long term and benefit Healing Eyes. Plus i’ll be even more broke financially than I am now so of course it makes sense to do it…I mean if God wants it than it’s going to happen either way.

Not to be too overwhelmed but hey let’s also continue raising funds to build 2 classrooms! Need I say more on how difficult of an endeavor that will be?  When it says in the bible you will go through suffering and trials while on this earth that was not at all a lie but completely true. The estimates are coming in and it seems its about $25,000 to build 4 classrooms but that doesn’t include a borehole for water and the fence we need.

What’s inspiring to me is when I hear from a stranger they have been following my story since Andy died from cancer. That right there makes it worth it to keep trying because if someone maintains interest from the early beginnings of this journey than how AWESOME would it be to show what faith can do and let God build this dream. Not just ifs and maybes and could be’s but a real tangible school that someday a donor can touch with their very own hands. Knowing just how small Healing Eyes started from when I didn’t even believe in a God before God flipped my life upside down and started this mission.

Healing Eyes

Compassion changes lives

A little happiness on a gloomy Michigan day. We have raised $98 so far towards our cement budget of $2,100. Can you help put us over $100 before Midnight tonight? These 100+ kids really could use a roof over their heads during the rainy season. The rain there is very different than here in Michigan, when it rains there it creates rivers in the streets! With the threat of malaria from the increased mosquitos the need for a classroom with Walls and a Roof are increasingly important.

Buy a Cement Bag

$2,051 of $2,100 raised
$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $7

Healing Eyes

Want to buy a bag of cement?

In January we built a temporary classroom for the children, however, now we need to start raising funds to build our permanent classrooms. We now have a time limit because of the District inspectors who come each school term to see if we met the minimum requirements of 4 classrooms, toilet, and fence. Of course have none of those met which means we can’t get a school license. Up to now we have been operating without a license and as more and more kids come this will not be allowed much longer. So we need your help to be official:)

As we slowly gather estimates I’ll share our needs as we go along. Right now the cost of cement is something I wanted to share with everyone in hopes of raising the funds to turn our humble stick shelter into a beautiful cement building.
CEMENT costs us: $6.50 per bag and we need a minimum of 300 bags to start with. So that is roughly $1928.57 for our cement budget. With your donation you will literally be setting the foundation of a school for orphans and disabled!

Buy a Cement Bag

$2,051 of $2,100 raised
$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $7

Our Current classroom

Our tempoary classroom made with logs and sheet metal for the roofing. Eventually it will be mudded for the walls.

What we want our classroom to look like.

What we want our classroom to look like. Brick and cement structure with a strong roof to protect from the harsh weather.

Healing Eyes

Poisonous revenge

This world has a lot of unbelievable things happening in it, especially when you wake up in the cozy suburbs of the Midwest and come to find out someone you know has been poisoned out of jealousy.

We have become close to a family in Uganda over the years and I think of them as my African family. One of the eldest brothers was poisoned a few hours ago and we are praying he can survive this evil act of jealousy. I met him a couple times and he seemed nice and had a nice home in the village, sadly people are jealous of that kind of success.

I am hoping for a miracle today that this family won’t lose a brother today.  Please pray for a miracle.

Healing Eyes

Safely back in the states

Arriving back in America is always a long and tiring journey. Once back it’s filled with silence and regrets…did I do enough, what next?

Thank you for all the prayers and support these last 6 weeks while in Africa. We accomplished so much really! Right now I am exhausted and as much as I want to write some inspiring tale of the trip my brain is just refusing to be coherent, ha! so here is a link to our plans and just a couple photos of where we have come from:) Our next huge need is funds to build 4 classrooms on the land to get the district to license the village school properly, which also requires a real toilet on the land….God we need a miracle to get the funding this year.

Community

Healing Eyes

Waking up this morning after a terrible night battling a headache I dreaded getting up to face another day. A list of complaints popped into my head before even setting my foot outside the mosquito net. It is now Saturday and in my head I’m counting the days to when I fly back to the comfort of America. There is a short list of things to be completed this coming week but today is a slow day of sitting and waiting. A day of waiting can be very boring.

Do I sound grumpy?

I have learned a new trick to get the dirt off my feet and polish the roughness from my sandal worn heels. It seemed an obvious solution since in America we have those rough stones used in pedicures but I needed a child to teach me how to clean my feet. So now I am on day 3 of cleaning my feet and I’m happy to say they look white again! Take one basin and fill with water from outside and then take one bar of soap to lather the soles, find a rough edge of concrete and then scrub and rinse. Poof the dirt is gone!

During my feet washing meditation time I had a conversation with JaJa where she shared the most eerie news to me. It seems that last year in May when I was first living in this house and became sick that before she came to take care of me she heard a voice. She lives far away and the decision to come help me last year was a difficult one because it means leaving her crop behind but she prayed about what to do. She heard a whisper over her shoulder, “Sarah is my Ambassador”. She didn’t understand who said it or what it meant but later when she prayed she heard it again, “Sarah is my Ambassador”.

Last year I was so grateful when she came to help me because I was truly sick with parasites and an ear infection, she helped bring me back to health and raised my spirits when I was alone. It is reassuring to know God is taking care of me when I am in a foreign country, even when he doesn’t tell me how he is doing it. He works in whispers, those quiet moments when we ask him for help, He doesn’t always talk loudly so we must take the time to listen very carefully for that still small voice to speak the truth.

I know that today I am feeling a bit better and less pointless in being here because it seems God went ahead and told my JaJa I am ‘His Ambassador’. Perhaps you too are an Ambassador but no one has told you the good new yet…

Healing Eyes

I guess this is what I am

Shut off from the outside world and now even separated from my new husband. So strange to say ‘husband’ again after losing my first husband to cancer. Yet here I am, 6 months married, back in Africa but not a widow this time. How did this all start?

A huge storm destroyed my past self and slowly over 3 years I am now a missionary in Africa? Is that what this is? Growing up I always saw missionaries as a married couple with at least 3 kids that went to live in a far away country to share about Jesus. Then what does that make me? I am married now but I am currently alone in Africa and I’m running an unthinkable business which has no profits. I have no kids and I don’t go knocking on huts sharing the news about Jesus.

Uh oh! Does that make me a failing missionary?

Perhaps God is working on a new definition of a missionary and ever so slowly revealing it before everyone’s eyes. Can a missionary be someone who goes out into the world to show the love of Jesus through actions? Sometimes it’s what we do that impacts lives more than our words. For instance here I don’t know the local language but I hope I am impacting lives by acting with love and compassion for orphans and widows. Each time I step out into the village all eyes are on me to see what I’ll do. Each time I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me. Bring healing to a broken community polluted with alcohol and stealing by showing a different way of behaving. Finding the local people with the same heart for orphans and empowering them to change the lives of hundreds while putting aside the hunger for money. That is something God has to do because it’s impossible for me to change hearts.

This village needs prayers. Yes it’s a cliche and sometimes overly used but when you are open enough to see that prayers can be answered it TRULY is an amazing thing to see. We have a new head teacher that I pray will help weed out those undermining the project but we need a way to pay her. How God? You gave us a talented person with the heart and now it’s our faith in You to provide. Somehow we also need funding to drill a borehole for water on the new land, as well as build toilets for the children and a permanent classroom for at least 4 classes. How?!

So this is who I am now… not a graphic designer working for a great company that provided all I needed. Not a widow lost in despair over the loss of a past love. I have beaten cancer now myself and remarried to an amazing guy with the heart for the suffering too. So this is who I am now….a survivor? No, not a survivor…but a believer in an invisible friend that some people have no use for nowadays with so much conveniences in life to give us the comforts we crave without believing.

Deep down we all feel an emptiness that we try to fill but never succeed… Can you believe in someone who believes in you? He believed in me enough to plop me in what seems like the hottest, most difficult place in Uganda. He brought me out of sorrow and confusion to a life filled with hope. He gave a barren woman children in the strangest way. Now what will He do?

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Healing Eyes

Uganda Update 1/18/17

It’s been a sad night here in Africa. Donald just left to fly back to America. He has a 6 hour drive at night, and then a 3 hour wait at the airport – all before his 20+ hours of flying. Pray he makes it to the airport with no car accidents… Traveling at night is dangerous in Uganda with the over loaded semi trucks that often tip over. (NOTE: He did make it with no car accidents…thanks for your prayers!!)
Tears were shed and this night will be a sad and lonely one. At least I have the 4 kids and jaja Margaret to keep me company. God will comfort.

There is a lot to do here and there are many sacrifices to be made for complete strangers and new friends. I received a letter from the man caring for our pigs today. It was so uplifting. He wrote, Aunt Sarah don’t be discouraged here and that often people will be against our work but the few that understand want us here. He wrote he is praying for my health and wished me to not be discouraged. It was as nice surprise and I will treasure his message, especially right now as I am a stranger in a foreign land. Oh he also wrote that it must be God’s doing sending me here since not many would come here and he’s glad I did. This letter was not only an encouragement in the fact that we are beginning to build relationships and some of the villagers really value our ministry, but it also felt like God was speaking through it to just encourage me and Healing Eyes in general in the work we are doing.

I still have a list of things to do. Many won’t be simple, like finding a way to pay for our new head teacher and the petrol and another girl I want to place in boarding school. This one girl pulls at my heart because she is 13 and is at this age where men will begin tempting her with sexual favors for something as small as pretty shoes and clothes. She is extra vulnerable to choosing the wrong path, and unfortunately these situations are very prevalent here. So I desire to remove her from these influences by placing her at a boarding school I found until we can build our school. Her name is Monica, and she currently lives with her grandfather who is very old. Her parents are gone. It’s difficult to pick and choose, but right now if I can find someone too partner with us for $35 a month it would change her life dramatically.

Why do I do this? Choose a lonely path for people who don’t know right from wrong and struggle with following Jesus? Who will cheat me at any chance? Because God said help the orphans, there will always be poor but it’s what we do today that honors God and makes Him smile.

nikki

Dush, Shrubs, School Supplies

We’ve been traveling miles down dusty roads. The roads here are incredibly dusty because it’s the dry season. Translation?.. no rain in over 3 months plus the hot African Sun equals dust on dust on dust. Today we went all day without food, save a piece of bread with peanut butter on it. Due to the busyness of the day, I forgot to stop and drink any water, a regrettable mistake. However, the day was very fruitful! We bought school supplies for 5 children who will be starting boarding school. It was quite a feat to accomplish in Mbale. A town where everything is bartered for and sold at different shops lining the unsanitary roads. The smell of sweat and burning trash overwhelms the senses.

I’ve come to realize, you either love, hate, or endure this country. I am undecided as of yet if its love or sheer determination to succeed that keeps us going. Either way it is a mission that stands before us, a very insurmountable and overwhelming endeavor God has placed on our lap.

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We have been trying to find a way to mark the new land. Originally, we thought a fence was the best idea but that idea has since been defeated. The cost of materials is far too high. God is good, He showed us a better idea that is far more appealing! We will plant a hedge around the border of the land and watch it grow over the year. There is a wonderful landscaper in Mbale who will sell us the plant. Without hesitation, we put a deposit on them. When the rainy season starts in April, we hope to plant.

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…and so ends another long day in Africa.

nikki