• sarah@healingeyes.org

Africa

Being tested with Patience and Endurance

What we do now will affect our eternity. That’s what I at least keep reminding myself as I am bed ridden for another day from an infection in Africa.

We helped 5 kids last week with wounds on there legs and feet and shortly after sending them home I fell ill with an abdominal infection.

I can’t lie I am feeling pretty down in the dumps and wishing to go home but if a little infection stops me NOW what does that say about anything bigger later on?

Persevere

What if trials are a way to prepare you for something more and if we don’t endure we will never know what ‘could have been’.

At least that’s my rationale for the current situation of Healing Eyes and myself.

All around there is wickedness and deceit and every step I take forward I am pushed back farther. Last Sunday I confronted the village about some lies and wickedness going around while I preached at their church. Each Sunday I am visiting churches that Pastor John takes me to and we do our dog and pony show. I sing and preach and then he follows up with a summation. Last Sunday I got too choked up while singing Amazing Grace and made a fool of myself by crying in front of everyone. Then I proceeded to talk about Ezekiel 33-35 while my body was fighting the recent infection.

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Monday I went back and did some first aid on the kids I returned home since they are not keeping there newly patched up wounds clean. Now today I am on day 2 of laying in bed, too exhausted from not being able to eat anything of substance and in too much pain from the stomach cramps.

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No words of inspiration on this blog entry today…but perhaps a bit of reality of serving in a third world country where you are most definitely a foreigner!

Healing Eyes

Too Many wounded children

What can one person do after opening a huge can of worms in Africa? Beats me but I just did today. I brought back the 2 boys who were staying with me after their treatment was finished for the 3 days. Then I asked the pastor to take me for a walk to see the other villages past the swamp before the rainy season comes. He laughed at first and was shocked because Mazungoos don’t ‘foot’ it (walk), they only ride around in cars. So it was quite a sight today as I walked with Rev John from hut to hut and jumped a small river in the swamp to make it to the visiting village. I decided why not look for wounded children as we go and take them to the clinic as a group. You see there are many children with wounds on there feet and legs from farming (digging). They accidentally hit themselves with the hoe or sharp objects and then never seek medical treatment because of the cost. So now the villages all know Sarah is taking wounded children to be healed. Oops.

WARNING: Some of the photos are a bit graphic.

One girl I found is 8 years old and has been injured since November 2015 from a nail she stepped on. We took her and her brother to the clinic in Tororo. We also found 2 other boys along the way.

One boy (14 yrs) has a wound a month old, another boy (8 years) just sliced his foot on an iron sheet last Friday and the oldest boy of 19 has been injured for 3 years. All have wounds I know where and how to treat.

Sadly the truth here is that the treatment is a bit painful. The girl I had to restrain while they took a razor blade to cut out the bad tissue to open the puss to release the infection. It took me and one other man to hold her down while I tried to insist she be given Novocain for the pain but it turns out that was worse than the cutting because village kids FEAR needles and she fought back. We both cried as I put almost all my weight down on the girl to keep her from moving. All of this while they treated the other boy next to her and so she now sees him screaming from an IV needle, which makes it all worse.

bleedingOutThe 8 year old boy with a sliced foot I met in the morning and his foot was covered in a bandage that was entirely red from blood. When I came back an hour later to take him they had already brought him to the government clinic, which is a very BAD idea. So we rushed to find him but it was too late they had put stitches in without any medicine or cleaning of the wound. They stitched it and then set him away with Tylenol and NO antibiotics. The boy screamed and ran away from me and we tried to put him in the car to take him to the REAL clinic in town. Once at the clinic I tried to hold him tight as they cut the stitches out and cleaned the wound out and let’s just say he is a fighter.

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The 14 year old boy had I think the worst wound and so I sat next to him and held him down as he had his leg disinfected with iodine and then a razor blade used to cut the bad tissue out down to the flesh, about a 2 inch circle of flesh. We both cried and shook as I tried to keep it together for the boy.

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The 19 year old man had the worst infection but I did not see how they handled him because I had reached my limit of suffering.

I couldn’t pay the bill today because I had to use my last shillings to buy food until I get to the ATM again. I actually said to the Africans, I have NO MONEY left for any one else. I am at my end!

Now I have 4 kids again and the 8 year old boy is just screaming to go home and I am screaming to Go home too! No thank you’s and no appreciation for an agonizing afternoon and I still don’t know why me because each clinic visit opens my wound of staying by my husband’s side as he went through treatments and was in so much pain. Here in the village there is no treatment and no one to bring medicine and I fear the next days will bring a gauntlet of more children with wounds I can’t fix. Even Jesus had to run away when too many people came to be healed…There is too much need here and I just want someone to hold me tonight.

If you can help Healing Eyes out tonight with a donation of any amount to help our medical fund it would be a blessing to these children and me because more are coming and I can’t say no 🙁

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Feeling Outnumbered

Helpless in Africa or just beginning to realize the terrible fact that we are out numbered my kids and drunkards.
Now I just need to hide out from my enemies a bit longer and kick butt tomorrow in the village with fixing huts lol. Yesterday at the destroyed home of agatha there was one guy and 15 kids standing on the fallen tree. I stood there thinking ok let’s fix this house now. But realized oh we need men and oh they are all drinking alcohol down the road and my only guy is half blind and I’m a small lady. So God what miracle will you work for me this week?

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Widows home destroyed in the night

After a storm comes the clean up and sadly in my little village in Africa one of the widow’s I know there has been hit hard. Her house was destroyed by the strong winds and heavy rains in Eastern Uganda. The roof blew away first and then a large tree collapsed the smaller room where 15 children and adults were huddled in during the storm. Luckily by the grace of God they moved to the larger house after the roof blew off just in time to escape the tree that fell. If they had not moved they would have certainly died, and faced the same fate of another family who lost a life during the storm.

Agatha is aagatha humble widow who opened her home to us on several occasions and cooked us a traditional African lunch.
I’m estimating $100 for the roof if anyone can help me help a widow in need. I would like to get her some new clothes and supplies that the storm destroyed if possible but need the extra funds to do so. Any amount of support would be a blessing to her and the many children she cares for in the village.

 

 

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Healing Eyes

A day off from the crowd

After a day of disappointment and anger I turned to my little book of devotions and it says, “God is Someone You Can Rely On”. Even though my enemies are growing and they are plotting behind my back, even though I do not know my enemies from my friends here I can trust in One.

Then I flip to another page it reads, “God is your protector”.

Psalm 63:7

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Today I am going to hide in God’s shadow of his wings and wait for the evil to pass over me. Those who are threatening me will be taken care of and I will wait in the darkness because perhaps what’s on the other side is far more treacherous.

To reaffirm this even more I flipped to Psalm 25 and it reads:

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God. Do not let be put to shame, nor let my enemies’ triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse…

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish…See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they ate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame for I take refuge in you.

I am hiding today and trying to regain some glimmer of hope that I should continue with this journey because right now all I see is darkness and deceit surrounding me. Maybe with each good thing I bring I will be faced with a double dose of evil each time. If so, then I fear I am not strong enough to withstand what may come next. The purpose of starting this charity and life change was all based on compassion and seeing past pain and yet I cannot see how any of that will ever change hearts in the darkness that is covering this village. It will not be by my strength that heals hearts there but I put my hope in my invisible friend who was there with me since my husband died.

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Exhausted and determined to build hope

What I am thankful for is a shower and a mosquito net. Really it’s the basics in life that make the difference here in Africa. For dinner I had 1 hard boiled egg, beef jerky, and 3 bananas. It’s more than some get.

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Not to sound like a broken record but I need prayers for my health. My nose has began running and my headaches won’t stop. After finishing my week of Amoxycillin I am now starting my stash of Cipro to try and combat this ailment. I just pray I don’t get a cold on top of all of this.

Regardless of how my body is doing my heart took a bit of a beating today as I interviewed some new ‘orphans’ admitted to the ‘school’. How the school can take more kids in is beyond my comprehension because they have NO buildings and the teachers aren’t even paid since parents aren’t paying school fees.  Pastor John has a big heart and can’t say no to anyone it seems. But alas I talked to some new kids and heard the same thing over and over, mother died and father is a drunkard. Or another is father died of HIV and mother is widowed and only digs in the garden. My favorite is the witchdoctor poisoned their mother in the garden, some truth behind this and also just some basic lack of medical help.

31 more kids! On top of the 31 I already had who were on the needy list. Healing Eyes will do its best but its a reality when we can’t help all of these kids  because first of all some have parents that can pay and also we need to do more than just pay for school fees. I am tired…my heart is tired..my immune system is fighting as hard as it can against sickness…and today I get more kids. Tomorrow morning I need to get up and make a list of which kids deserve a trip to the hospital for HIV testing and other health ailments and which will have to wait. One child has some diagnosis of a pancreas issue, I told her to bring her medical papers so I can see what the problem is. I’m not a Doctor though!

The rains are coming sadly which means the meager school under 2 trees is going to take a beating from the rain and mud. So in preparation I have begin ordering some wooden benches to get them off of the ground, buying some sheet metal to put a roof on the makeshift classroom of sticks, and lastly we will get the mudding started to construct 3 little classrooms until one day we can have land and REAL buildings. My hope is that this can help during rainy season and provide some relief for the time. Should cost about $250 to pull this miracle off this week. Pray Pray Pray we can work faster than usual here in Africa where snail pace time rules.

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Healing Eyes

A boy in pain and I’m helpless to do anything

The reality is that I have no words to describe the pain I felt when I saw my boy named Emma again at the school for the deaf. Healing Eyes moved him there to get a real start at an education since in the village he was considered ‘dumb and deaf’. He can partially hear but this disability left him incapable of excelling in school.

When we finally arrived at the deaf school it was so quite but the grounds were quite pleasing. The children were all sitting quietly (as they are all mostly deaf it kind of makes sense why it was so quiet). It was parents visiting day and we were the first. What pained my heart was that Emma was in much pain from a bacteria infection that caused an abscess in his armpit.

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This is a common occurrence here because antibiotics are not abundantly found and they cost money, of which many do not have the money or the ability to travel to get it. I’m not a medical expert but the nurse at the school said it was ready to be cut and the puss released. That all sounded great and rather routine to them, but I thought man that thing has to hurt! I hesitate in sharing the following video but I think it helps paint the picture for all of you who are not here feeling what I am. You won’t see Emma but you will see the school grounds and sadly hear him screaming as they begin releasing the puss. Now they didn’t use numbing medicine which is why it pains me even more to tell you that its common to not give anesthetic to ease the pain from the procedure. This is all very common! But in America we see it as wrong because we are blessed to have medicine readily available even without insurance.

Emma was walking around after and very strong boy. He will get antibiotics I am told and should be just fine. His grandmother came with and I could see he pained her to see him hurt but she tried to not show it. A very strong woman! The school looked very nice though and I am glad he has made a friend at the school too!

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The day I went I wasn’t very thrilled about travelling so far to see the boy that hardly knew me. He didn’t even smile when he saw me but I think God wanted us there to give him that compassion he needed and sometimes just ‘being’ makes all the difference in the world to someone hurting.

(Our 0ther kids who have been helped medically: Mercy had malaria, Recho has infection on her head, Sinambio needed pain killer and antibiotic from his hernia surgery)

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Thank you Supporters

From the orphan, disabled, and HIV afffected children at Buweboya Vision Junior School we say ‘Yalama Noy’ ‘Thank you’ to our supporters!

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Day of Success and Miracles

Yesterday I was in the hospital for an infection and then today well I woke up to an email from a friend saying they have $2000 for me to buy a car. Then I get home after a long day and find out another $500 is coming from another friend for the car. So in ONE day I have enough to buy a car for Healing Eyes ministry in Uganda. Wow! Prayer does work people!!!!!

So today was a day of progress and smiles. The devil might have tried yesterday to tear my body apart with infections but today God gave me the strength to persevere and adapt to my environment.  The kids were extra happy to see me and are saying my name much more these days. There shyness is wearing off finally. I was able to teach a little english and math with some worksheets I brought along and the kids found them challenging to do. As I graded them they encircled me and nearly crushed me, but it was all in good spirits. What was cute was when I first got to school Jessica asked me right away if I would teach english yet. Ah what a sweetie.

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Later when I pulled the ukulele out finally they were so excited and again nearly mulled me by there shear numbers. There is about 257 kids there now, yikes!

The uniforms also came for my 30 needy kids and we had fun handing those out. The quality wasn’t what I expected but the boost in self esteem these kids received was well worth it.

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Then we closed off with a nice lunch for the 30 kids that was provided by Gaines Church and another private donor. Such a blessing to see some fruit to our labor.

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Tomorrow I hope to bring another 2 kids to the hospital, one is a strange head disease and another is a burned foot. Pray that goes well and we get some answers for these two strong kids

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All Moved In

After a week I am now in my new apartment. It was quite an accomplishment! 10pm Uganda time we moved in under the veil of darkness – and it wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, the bed wasn’t complete yet, so some guys were sawing and hammering for an hour… Everything is slow here!
My mosquito net is the wrong size (too small) so I am now half under it with pillows holding it down, and the varnish on the bed frame is giving me a headache. However, I am happy to say I have a lot of steel between me and the outside, as well as, steel padlocks on my steel doors and I am bolted in snug as a bug in jail. I have many many keys and feel like I am in Alcatraz prison.
My shower was nice even though the design is quite bizarre:)

Today in the village we looked for land and had some good luck..
I also found one of my kids was sick so since I have a car still we took her right to the clinic immediately! Had I not had the car she wouldn’t have made it to the clinic because it is too far. We found out she has malaria. So she now has medicine and I pray she heals quickly. It’s so amazing how in America such a thing as this trip to a clinic is taken for granted. Here the distance and cost for transport prevents many from getting to a clinic. If God hadn’t put Healing Eyes in touch with this village than each child we help wouldn’t know compassion.
This makes me smile and justifies the insane heat, lonely nights, steel cage, and absence of meals.

Goodnight to all and remember today as you rest your head on your pillow that a little girl is in a grass hut feeling a bit better knowing God is caring for her thru our prayers and Action taken to be here in Africa

Sarah

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