• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

Do you see the forest or the trees? 

 

Vision and the mission get confused a lot as we move forward. How do we make it easy for people to participate in the mission by seeing the vision of the founders. All said and done it comes down to what the heart feels and what the eyes see. Do you feel something missing in your life? Missing in your walk in faith? Do you see a glimmer of excitement and possibilities in what the world offers you?

We have a purpose that’s both too exciting and too big for us to undertake alone and that’s where we need you to trust us with the empty spot in your heart today. That sense of wanting to do more with the resources given to you but not knowing how that sometimes leaves a tinge of sadness on your mood.

Do you see the forest or the trees today?  It’s easy to see a bunch of trees all together to form a forest and miss that one tree standing to the side in need of a little watering. No matter where you go in the world you see the same things. A bunch of trees (people) all trying to be noticed in a crowd. One day a bunch of kids played football for the first time and screamed and yelled and laughed for hours in the hot son. A small good deed but in that kid’s life for ONE day they could escape from the hunger and neglect of their reality. All those small moments add up to a blessed life but none of it is possible without each of us saying yes to the question. That question is can You help put to use your resources today and catch a glimpse of a vision where orphans can feel noticed, neglected can get an hour of attention, and the wounded can get a bandaid put on with a touch of love mixed in.

 

AnneWoundOne day a girl of about 11 years walked several kilometers to find an adult to clean the gaping hole in her leg that was festering for a month. She had a mother but the same story we hear every day is the mother is too poor to pay for treatments, or the father is too drunk to take notice, or even worse the child was never taught to SEEK help when HURTING.

Healing Eyes was founded out of pain and loss, it has gone through many ups and downs on what it’s trying to accomplish and where it needs to be. Buy land, build a school, take in children, so many earthly things to be done.

One reoccurring theme is to just BE there and SHOW compassion to those hurting even when we don’t have all the answers. Make Love your Aim in life ~1 Corinthians 14:1.

If you feel empty today and want to experience a blessed life please consider giving what God has already given you. We can build something today that’s bigger than us. ~2 Corinthians 9:11

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Naked girl returned to her village

The young girl we found walking naked on the streets of Tororo is now returned to her home many miles and hours away from where we found her. It is a bittersweet story and the ending isn’t really a happy one but we had few options to choose from. We discovered she was from Mokono, which is 100 miles from where we found her walking alone.

The story if fuzzy and not all parts are verified but we believe the family didn’t want her and so they gave her to a witchdoctor who then gave some very bad advice. I’m not sure how much I should share to protect her privacy but I’ll just say she had a very difficult journey and most likely is traumatized for life from it.

We found medication for her which may or may not be the correct medicine but she isn’t violent anymore. No idea if they medicine will continue because it costs money and the family doesn’t appear to have any.

My driver who brought her home is a Godsend and got the police involved who then forced the family to take her back. Again not the best scenario but we are not equipped to handle this type of situation and right now her best option is to be back at home and I pray God watches over her. This is one of those cases where I have no idea what is the best but at the time when I saw her on the street naked the right thing to do was to save her before any other men could harm her further.

If you ever go to Africa or hear stories about it you are faced with these situations every day and you will lose sleep over what is the correct thing to do and how do you fight such evil in the world. No easy answers but one thing we should do is be compassionate to our neighbors and show love, the rest is in God’s hands…and those hands are pretty big.

Healing Eyes

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!

landowners

 

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

www.healingeyes.org/support

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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.

Healing Eyes

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.

Healing Eyes

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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