• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

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?

img_3824

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.

image1

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.

image3image2

…and so ends another long day in Africa.

nikki

Uganda Update 1/9/17

Wow what a day in Africa!

We finally received one of our missing pieces of luggage via a taxi and then boda boda delivery guy! We are still waiting on one more suitcase.

Today we visited our pigs and to our surprise the second pig gave birth to 6 piglets!! We can’t tell you how excited we are to see the initial success with this “farming” venture.

Thanks to a generous friend in Michigan, we were able to purchase a bike to help with carrying water back to the pigs. Those taking care of the pigs were very happy to receive the bike for this project because the local borehole is far away and now they can carry 5 Jerry cans full of water!

Lastly we visited the home of one of our sponsored kids and talked with his mother about sending him to boarding school. We informed her on what she needed to buy for her son. We believe the only way he will see the importance of education is if his whole family is involved and bought into the process. We asked her to buy the supplies he needs so it’s more of a team effort in hopes that receiving this education can spark a brighter future.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Donald and I are healthy and starting to get over jet lag:)

Here are a few pictures from our first days in Uganda!

image1image3image1image2image2image5image3

nikki

Frustration and Anger

This might be my last post before we fly out and after an unexpected shuffling of our luggage capacity it already feels like we are being attacked. I am thankful though that unlike last time, where I was made to unpack my luggage on the airline floors for weight restrictions, this time we at least found out Turkish Airline has even lighter requirements before leaving home. So after a lot of anger and frustration about ditching some of the things we are bringing in order to cut down on weight I am going to breathe in and out and brace myself for more.

In Africa a lot worse things happen to bubble up the anger and so if God wants us to travel lighter this time I will look at it as a blessing instead of an irritant. The Airline is not going to prevent me from bringing my teddy bear though, ha ha, he and the duck have to fly.

Let’s all pray for smoother sailing on Saturday at the airline and also an extra dose of grace and forgiveness to share with everyone we meet.

It’s been 6 months since leaving Africa and this trip has so many blessings to come out of it that no matter what the devil does do to discourage us we are on the right path and will persevere. I’m excited to see my kids again and give lil Mary a big hug and giggle as she walks in the flip flops that are too big for her tiny little feet.

img_1206

Healing Eyes

Will you help Juliet?

Everything is AWESOME when you work as a team!! 🙂 Yes I just plugged the song for the Lego’s movie in comparison to a our AMAZING progress in sponsoring our children.

We have 9 New Sponsorships!!!! 9!!! Yes that is something to SHOUT about.

I’m going to push my luck and ask if anyone out there would be willing to take on little Juliet for 1 year of education at $35/month. Her brother, Brian, was recently sponsored and it would be a shame to send him to school without his sister.

Step 1

Step 2

$ 47

You have chosen to donate $47 monthly.

CHOOSE YOUR CHILD
CONTACT INFORMATION
Personal Info

Donation Total: $47 Monthly

Your donation will automatically be deducted from your credit card monthly. Remaining balances are used to support ministry expenses.

For an additional $7 a month your donation to Healing Eyes Medical fund will help other children and families living in poverty with urgent needs such as HIV/AIDS, malaria treatment, deworming prevention, and common bacteria infections requiring antibiotics.

Healing Eyes

Emma is growing up

This is part of the job that makes the struggle worth it!

A little over a year ago I met Emma and his mother and to see the transformation take place in this boy’s smile and demeanor is completely God’s hand at work. This is exactly why we should take notice of the suffering half way around the world.

Emma is partially deaf and was thought to be dumb. When we met him he was sitting on the ground with kids half his age all around him in a kindergarten class. He didn’t hear well or follow the teacher and so everyone just thought he was dumb because he was different. Through the help of a friend in St. Croix we were able to move him to a school for the deaf and then just recently we moved him to a school with kids of various degrees of deafness and/or special needs and he’s really blossoming. Emma has a new sponsor now in Michigan and we are excited to see what the new school year will bring. Each update warms my heart and shows progress amidst so much struggle to move a few feet forward.

If you have been thinking of sponsoring but needed another reason to say yes I hope this can show the affect your giving can have in lives so far removed from our own. See our Kids here.

It’s overwhelming to look at the tremendous need and quantity of kids, even the painful task of choosing who is more needy then the other is daunting but I’ve learned God has a child in mind for everyone.

Sometimes that child comes into our life in strange ways but comes nevertheless.

Healing Eyes

Looking Back

It was 3 years ago when we became an official charity, it also was 3 years ago tomorrow when Andy died.  How did this all start and where are are we headed anyways?

Well, it was a cold winter day in Michigan 3 years ago when the worst thing could have happened. The ending of one life and the beginning of another. Then 1 year later a charity was born. Then 1 year later a village was found with widows and orphans living in extreme poverty. Now it’s 2016 and another year has passed and it’s time to really put action behind our words. We have 6 kids sponsored, 3 of them just in the past 2 weeks! We have land in Africa that needs a school building built on. All of this is impossible to dream up and even more impossible to accomplish. Where is the money coming from to build? No idea! But somehow there is a way and in 1 year it’s going to be fun to look back at what we accomplished.

This New Years Eve we head back over to Uganda and with each visit we get a little further along. We have kids to check on, land to develop, and so many untold adventures ahead of us. With our new sponsorship program we have so much to keep us busy. It’s hard to imagine that some kids can’t go to school, don’t even have enough money to eat, or even have a bandaid to prevent infections.

We need your prayers now more than ever because this next stage of Healing Eyes will be even harder than when it first began out of great loss. Now we walk further into unknown territory and need to learn how to navigate so many areas completely unknown to us. Like building a school thousands of miles away in a 3rd world country with little money on hand! Yikes!

Healing Eyes

Our newest Addition

PIGLETS

Our First litter of piglets have arrived! 4 little sweethearts:) Please pray for us as we decide how to shelter them and keep them alive until they can be weaned to sell to the market. We are prayerful this will turn into a nice little business to bring in money for the children but it will take time and patience to work between cultures and business skills.

Healing Eyes