• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

Hello America..again

It’s so awesome to see how God is working and even growing Healing Eyes support family.

I am sitting here alone writing thank you notes to those who gave over the last 3 months either regularly or spontaneous one time gifts towards the mission. Some of the most amazing gifts were given while serving in Africa. By both donors and the people in Uganda we serve.

footWhile there I got sick more than half of the time but we still persevered through the trials we faced. The local people weren’t always the nicest and even cheated me a few times. The people who drink the local brew all day were oblivious to their children with numerous wounds, many wounds weeks old and highly infected.

 

 

 

meetingThe community was still indifferent to the project Pastor John was trying to do and were turning on him because they thought he was just being greedy and seeking land for himself. We pulled a community meeting together and cleared up some of the rumors going around about what I was doing there and what the project was. The project simply is to buy land, build a real primary school for orphans and disabled, build a small clinic, and build up a community of widows forgotten amidst the HIV epidemic that wiped out many families.

 

IMG_1630We also have planted the seeds for theology training with the local pastors by sitting down one hot afternoon to talk about T.U.L.I.P and Pre-destination.

 

Did we succeed? YES! the district leaders pressured a man to sell us land and to even explain to the villagers why this project will help them. The leaders pleaded to show me more kindness and to look after my safety while there. The widows met and hopefully will be starting up a small savings group to try and create their own loan network. The  kids were treated and have started to learn basic first aid. Lastly, I am over my stomach illness, ear infections, and diarrhea. Hallelujah!

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Thank you for joining us on this story and praying for Healing Eyes and me. Please continue to follow the story as the rest of the year enfolds and I go back and forth between countries to raise money and awareness of how bad off most of the world is. Our monthly support is an encouragement when just a year ago it was about $50.

support

We still need more monthly partners as the need in Uganda grows and also, well, I need to start getting serious about how to feed myself and pay for gas and my car insurance. Eventually I will be in Uganda long term and its crucial to go with support of friends and family here to keep God’s work going over there.

Thank you again

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The Land is Purchased

The land is officially ours! Thanks to many prayers, donations, and the Lord, Healing Eyes has officially purchased soil in Uganda that will house a primary school, library, and clinic. It’s been an incredibly difficult but rewarding journey of trusting the Lord. I can honestly say that the only way we were able to finally purchase this land was because it is the Lord’s will.  We faced much opposition but the survey stones have been laid and the land is now ours!

Donald placing the survey stones!

Donald laying the survey stones!

Sarah and Jon laying the stone!

Sarah and Jon laying the stone!

Following the purchase and laying of survey stones, we let loose back at the school. We introduced some new games to the kids. Although none of them had ever heard of football or duck duck goose, the kids loved it! Later, kids began to come up to Sarah and show her their wounds. Sarah has become quite the medic. Countless children came to Sarah, pointing out wounds and thanks to the medical supplies brought by Donald, it was no trouble to bandage up all of the kids. Hopefully we will be able to use antibiotics soon too, but we aren’t a clinic… yet 🙂
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It was another jam-packed, but joy-filled day, and God continually provides strength to get the job done. Praise God for answered prayers, and pray for continued direction and energy.

 

nikki

African Widows

Sometimes I can’t take photos of what I experience and often my words can’t even express the logic here but I’ll do my best. Widows here have it bad!

I was visiting a young widow who lost her husband unexpectedly last week in the nearby village since one of her children attends the school we are partnering with. It happened to be the day the clan family was gathering to discuss her future. What I learned was sickening and as I am here longer and longer I am seeing why the culture is the way it is and why change is so hard here.

The men were meeting to discuss who would care for the widow. At first that sounds rather nice of the clan but this is the hard truth of it. The man who will be chosen can have the option to marry her if she accepts but most likely because of the fear of AIDS neither will agree. This then leaves the widow the right to stay on the land but the man will not feed her or the children. So what does she have for options?

The clan woman can meet and persuade her to find a man who she can sleep with for food, exchange sex to survive. Now this widow is a Christian, which means she might not go for this option. If she doesn’t choose this path she could return to her native village and hope someone will care for her with a little food, however, she might not bring her 4 children with. Now another choice is find someone to marry, however again this is difficult because Christians fear AIDS and non-believers do not care about getting AIDS and would rather just not know. This means she fears marrying again. Now if she does find a man that man most likely will not take her 4 children and so those children now will be abandoned to perhaps a clan aunt or grandmother but this doesn’t mean they will be fed.

So if you’re a young widow here you have pretty bad odds of surviving…Starve, have sex, or marry and leave your children.

 

Another sickening reality here is if you’re a young girl reaching age 14 or 15 and you have grown up with no help and little food you will begin ‘playing sex’ with older men in order to get enough money to buy a simple thing like menstruation pads and/or a bit of food. These girls will not care about getting AIDS because no one here wants to get tested and fears the stigma that attaches to it. If you are a widow and your husband dies from AIDS they will try to hide it by turning to alcohol before the man dies so that people will say he died from drinking.

nikki

One Day Miracle

Good news is in just ONE day I have $600 pledged for the land we are buying for a primary school/clinic/library ($3,000 to needed). Can YOU help make today another ONE day miracle by pledging any amount to help buy the 5 acres of land in Manafwa district of Eastern Uganda? Just imagine what we can pull off in a short amount of time to show a modern day miracle.

Why? your help with aid our efforts to purchase land for a primary education school that assists total and half orphans in Uganda. We also hope in the future to have a little clinic with quality medical care. We also aim to build a library for local pastors and students to gain access to books.

It’s easy to do…You can either email Sarah with your pledge OR use the form below to make an instant donation. All donations are tax deductible, Healing Eyes is a 501c(3) organizations.

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Rotten toe

Today I cleaned Martin’s foot again before taking him to town to see a doctor. The toe smelled of rotten flesh and the flies were many. I tried too explain to the kids this is what happens when you don’t tell an adult of a wound, that you could lose a toe! The nail was later cut off and the puss squeezed out of his toe. Tomorrow I bring him again to have it squeezed and iv antibiotics.
Today I also had one of my boys at home vomit and had a high fever, he has severe malaria. He feared infection and ran but I forced him to do it… Sigh.. We then took a boda back home in the rain since my driver went to fix the car.

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Tired..Hot..Stressed…Dirty..Overwhelmed…and…and….utterly…helpless.

BUT 2 days straight without being sick!! YES!!!!!

I wish I was a photo person but sadly I never remember to take photos and when I think of it the circumstance isn’t appropriate to pull out my iphone to snap a photo. So much of what I am trying to do here is not make it an impersonal relationship here where I just photograph all the sick and suffering people in Africa. We all know people in Africa have it rough and kids are starving and people are poor…we get it really. There will always be poor people and rich people. What’s ironic is being a poor american in a country where people think I am rich. Ha! If they only realized who I really was.

Sigh…today I went to tell a girl and her grandmother her medical condition is not looking good and I have little options for them. Educating the girl on being safe and staying away from boys to prevent pregnancy which most likely would cause more pressure on her already enlarged spleen. Teaching the grandmother to look after her girl and to not overwork her on the farm. Telling her uncle to be a good caregiver and counsel the children to tell HIM when they have wounds. You have to think opposite here because a grown up doesn’t really mean a good caregiver for a child that already doesn’t know basic hygiene and medical care (like bandaids and infections).

Lastly my land saga goes on and on and I follow the breadcrumbs God shows me along the way. Slowly he veers me to another land today that is of the same landowner but a better choice. Why can’t God just show you the first option and then make it happen? Instead of going to and fro while being cheated and lied to and then told half information to then end up with the same land owner and a better piece of land. Now I just need the money to appear in 2 weeks in order to buy the said land. $4,000 should cover it and then Healing Eyes has a stronger commitment in the realm of helping orphans and widows. I am not trying to rush into anything I in fact wish for a slower pace because I am out of my league here. At home I have 4 kids and a Grandmother and a Driver I am feeding, I just paid for 2 hair cuts ($2) for 2 of the kids. Back in Michigan I have just little ole me to care for….seems kinda appealing right about now.

Missionaries don’t always like there jobs! They can’t possibly enjoy the constant strain of living in another culture? and the constant begging of money from them while they themselves have to get help from others they know to survive.

My rambling ends here…if you want to know what your support does in Africa? It helps Sarah not go crazy and it helps Sarah sit in a mud hut while showing adults how to clean a basic wound and apply a bandaid to a wounded child. It also helps pay for fuel to pick up an abused girl half naked who I just found out was most likely already raped by some motorbike guys from Kampala who then just dumped her in Tororo after a witchdoctor most likely told the mother to have her daughter raped to cure the mental disease.

Your support and donations shows compassion to all sorts of people that most would walk away from because it’s just too hard to help sometimes. Thank you for helping me show God’s love to the forgotten children.

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Save me from my enemies

“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him (her), and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard, then you will call , and the Lord will answer.” Isaiah 58:7-9

It’s amazing to see ancient scripture come alive in day to day life. Maybe in my case a bit more extreme day to day life but still its amazing to see words on paper acted out in real life.

Such as the naked girl that was wandering the streets and we stopped to ‘clothe’ her and to give her shelter. Yes the shelter is in a poorly managed mental health ward in a government hospital but she is getting some attention and safety. She now has some medicine, which I am assuming is to treat bi-polar and/or early Parkinson disease. But I only am basing that on googling the drugs because I haven’t seen any real diagnosis because that would be logical. What also is logical is to not have to go to the pharmacy in town myself to buy the medicine to then deliver to the hospital to have a person I am paying to take care of my patient. But what do I know?

I clothed a naked girl and I am feeding the poor. So then why is the light not breaking like the dawn yet? And where is this healing the bible talks of? So I am calling Lord for your answer now and await patiently for you to intercede on my behalf as the enemies encircle my every movement and plot to take me down.

Yes I have some evil people lurking in the darkness that are plotting evil lies against me in order to try and thwart this entire project for orphans. Their first attack is to counter my first step towards buying land. They are doing there best to stop me and I shed some tears today BUT I am not giving up and I really do think some good will come out of all this and some pretty amazing land will be produced. I am asking God for you to be my ‘rear guard’ and answer ‘my call’. I’m sure you will…could it be tomorrow…please?

In the meantime perhaps some encouragement and a break in the darkness would be also appreciated.

Everything isn’t all gloom and doom here, I have been taking care of many children with their wounds and teaching them some basic first aid by each day changing there bandages and applying iodine and some ointment to seal the wounds. As much as I dread hospitals and waiting and waiting and waiting I do kind of like going to my kids straw huts and pulling up a stool and taking out my basket of bandages to make them smile and so some modern magic on there wounds. I even have a nurse at a clinic that gave me some freebies and hopefully can get some deworming tablets for me. I am by NO means setting up a clinic but if I have a kid who needs me I just can’t say no. The bible really says you should look after orphans and widows even if everyone around them is plotting to stop me. Which I still do not understand because me helping can help them and yet they still don’t get it in this village. So I also ask you God to please introduce some logic here too.

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You are tomorrow

In an effort to keep everyone informed of my needs for Healing Eyes and the 200+ children in the community of Manafwa District an unexpected thing has happened. I have been praying for a few days now about land and if it was to be or not and if I should trust a man named Kemelsh or not and also why Kemlesh doesn’t return my phone calls about land I thought he found.

Well today while sitting at the clinic with a child getting his wound cut out and cleaned I got a call that someone has died. This someone was the mother of a family attached to another piece of land I was considering. I have decided to move away from the man named Kemlesh and now see about pursuing this new land opportunity brought on by a death. I know crazy and sad but is it a nudge to take another step forward in committing to Africa? eek scary!

But this week might be pivotal on Healing Eyes Future and the future of so many children that aren’t even taught basic skills like hygiene and not stealing and lying from someone. Children that see there parents and adults around them lie and cheat to each other to benefit themselves instead of the children. All because the adults learned it from another adult as they grew up…generation after generation which now leads to today.

I need your help to break the cycle of wickedness and cheating happening in these five villages where one Pastor has a heart for orphans and disabled amidst such evil. Since being here I have been cheated out of a laptop and lied to my face by one village. I have confronted the village on this in a sermon one sunday. I don’t know what will happen but I did my part.

Charles my new deaf boy who I need support to place him a nearby school for the deaf in June. If you have a heart for the deaf please visit our Donate page.

I need your help to help each of these kids that are breaking my heart with each wound I find neglected. Even the widows are stolen from when there houses are destroyed. The grownups are nearly beyond our help but the children they might have a chance if somehow we can step in and teach christian morals, the love of Christ by our actions, primary education, and health risks to them. Tell them don’t play in the mud and diseased water filled with parasites. Teach them to find an adult when they cut themselves the first day to get a Tetanus shot before its too late. To teach the young ones HIV is not sycle cell disease and that HIV is not a death sentence. Teach the girls they are not sex objects to be sold into a child marriage to an older man. Teach them that even after trauma they can have a chance to be something. Teach the men to not choose alcohol as a way to die to save the widow from disgrace of HIV. SOOOO many opportunities to make your hard work in America count for more in eternity than in these FLEETING moments on earth.

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Join me in each tear I shed for a child i have to say, “i can’t help you because it’s too late but I can show you compassion and love”. To feel the gut wrenching pain of a 10 year old girl while restraining them for their wound to be disinfected and cut into with no anesthesia because the medical attention here is lacking but maybe some day there can be a better option in a tiny little village on the border of Uganda and Kenya founded by compassion and the salt of the earth – Christians like you!

 

Currently I am short $4,000 to purchase land. Please help reach each of the kids I find and even the mentally delirious naked girl walking through town while everyone just turns a blind eye because they grew up themselves surrounded by suffering and depravity with no one to teach them of another way.

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Awake in bed with anxiety

Been awake since 3:30am from a stupid cold. Of all things! From staph infections in my ears to bacteria/parasite in my stomach and now beaten by a stupid cold!

I’m laying awake with worry after worry about money and how in the world i’ll keep this non profit going when I am in Michigan. How will I pay for my driver to stay in my house and keep working with the pastor here. How will I feed him? How will I keep mending the wounded children I keep finding. What if I am not here and another child gets an infection and then loses there leg from that infection because no adults here will have knowledge to get them a simple bandaid! The cost for public transport is too much to take a child to the hospital and even at the hospital if your not aggressive in demanding treatment people are just turned away, they don’t know they can fight back and demand service. However, when the said Government hospital doesn’t even keep medicine on hand to treat patients how can anyone even survive. I know I can’t fix all these issues and its one child at a time but I still lay awake with worry.

The money seems to just be evaporating in petrol to go to the village and hospitals. My meager food budget is wearing on me and all this stupid living expenses for myself are draining. So many people are relying on me for answers and I have none. The joke is on them because they think I have money! ha! If they only knew it was day by day I am dependent on you my readers and followers at churches and anonymous donors to keep this whole project afloat.

and so I lay awake! with a runny nose and pounding headache after just getting over stomach issues. What’s next? The bubonic plague? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised by some outbreak in a rare disease and I catch it. Never have I been sick so much within 2 months.

Top this all off how will I find help for the missing naked girl I found on the street? The hospital she is in now just sedates her from running away in stead of getting a doctor to see her! I admitted her on a holiday and now still no doctor has seen her!!!! Seriously! How can anyone expect to get medical help here?! Plus I have to try and find someone each day to feed her because nurses don’t do that type of work, instead nurses just wonder around and do nothing. I pray the person who is just there taking care of her aunt will be honest with the money I gave her to buy small bits of food for my patient while I can’t be there.

This is all sounding rather complainy I’m sure so I’ll end on a good note. My widow Agatha has a new roof thanks to you! and a burn on her hand I pray is healing with basic first aid I am trying to do but I have no idea if I am doing it right but it’s better than nothing. I am fearful of getting a disease myself when I treat these wounds but I use gloves so I should be covered…they look at me with awe when I pull out tape and ointment!

housefixed2 housefixed

Agate the widow whose roof was blown away had a large wound from a fire a week ago. She wasn't going to have me do it because she needs to farm but I insisted.

Agate the widow whose roof was blown away had a large wound from a fire a week ago. She wasn’t going to have me do it because she needs to farm but I insisted.

Healing Eyes

Compassion doesn’t stop at religion

A muslim and a christian both have the heart of compassion and were good Samaritans in Uganda today. First let me tell you how but my day started off with a bit of do-it-yourself first aid in the village.

I brought my handmade first aid kit complete with nearly everything to bandage a wound just in case any child came up to me with a burn or cut. Of course one by one they showed up and I treated about 4 of my kids with burns from a fire to cuts from trees. These wounds left alone would become infected and surely cause serious complications for their future, their is no hygiene or disease education here..

After a morning of bandaging children we headed back into town and that’s when we saw her.

A young girl walking naked on the side of the road as we returned to town at 2pm. We went past and I had this sinking feeling we must turn around. We see crazy people often but she was naked! I tell my driver we have to help. He says no…i almost agree but I say what would Jesus do? We have too try to at least put her clothes on or she will be raped. We turn around and once she sees me she runs. We get in the car and Chase her. We try again and she runs. We then decide too follow on foot. I yell for people to stop her but no one cares. Finally a group of men help and we hop on two motor bikes and Chase her through the town, thru alleys and roads. I yell for a kid too stop her. We almost have her cornered when she finds large rocks and throws them at me. So we chase her again and finally a man who owns a tailoring shop restrains her.
At the police station they send us across the street and then they send us back and then they send us back again after being stern we must help her. Finally we took her to the main hospital and insisted they refer us too a mbale private hospital that can actually treat her and not throw her back on the street.

We arrived safely in mbale with the girl, about a 45 minute drive, and brought her to the psych ward of the hospital. It was dark by now and a crazy lady greeted me, she was actually very nice but at first scared me by grabbing tightly to my arm in the dark. The nurses had to sedate our missing girl and she struggled immensely and even spit at my driver. But my new muslim friend held her down tightly and we were so blessed tonight to have met him and to see such a caring heart in another African here.

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As we sat with the girl until she fell asleep I talked to the man about his religion a little and we found a commonality between us and that was, suffering. We are tested in life by suffering and its our faith in action that shows true humanity.

So now my missing girl is sleeping in mbale and I am back in Tororo and tomorrow I’ll have to go back and feed her food (hospitals here do not provide food) and hopefully the doctor will have an answer to her sickness in the head as well as figure our her identity. She talked a little bit and said she was from Kampala and took a motor bike and walked the rest of the way but not sure if this was delirious talk or truth.

Tomorrow I have to go redress the wounds in the village too… Yikes too much to do!!!

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