• sarah@healingeyes.org

Transition

What! No change of airline fee!!

This will sounds miraculous and insane at the same time! Today was a hard day, yesterday was another hard day, and the day before that was really hard. But today, holy cow! I prayed like crazy and I asked others to pray for my heart today and it really works! Seriously! No Kidding! I feel my relationship has hope and I have a hope to grow myself through pain. I think Healing Eyes still has a shot with helping Billah get her school fees paid. Healing Eyes gets to make a birthday wish come true for two special girls on St. Croix. Plus I know Healing Eyes is going to Africa in October and no amount of enemy attacks is going to stop it.

Everything isn’t all honky dory and rainbows yet but I am not an emotional wreck curled into a ball in my closet crying like I thought maybe I would be. I had made a decision this morning to cancel a flight to St. Croix and then I decided to try and get it back but usually that means your screwed with fees. But after a 40 minute phone call and being told I’ll have to pay $277 in fees to do it they came back on the line and said we did it for free! That is unheard of! Really!

I’m sorry but for skeptics out there about God and prayer and compassion and grace and all that bible stuff. Seriously! God is great! and he really does forgive and he really does love! The lady at Orbitz was hard to hear but I love that woman and her name was Elise (my middle name is Elisabeth and I go by Elisa with my boyfriend)! She was used today by God to bless me and I want to dance around the building and jump for joy….or is it the saying ‘On fire for God’! ?

Ok sorry…i’ll try to tone down on the Hallelujahs but I can’t help it!

Word of advice for anyone on hold with customer service…be patient…be kind..and don’t get aggravated…it pays off to be nice to others!

Healing Eyes

A sweet girl named Karen

karenKaren was a girl with over the top excitement. Each day I would hear her scream out my name with a little trill in her voice. Sarah!!!!!! There was one day where she pulled me aside and got very quiet, it was the day after I wrote her a little letter to encourage her. She told me the letter brought her joy and it seemed she wanted to open up about something but couldn’t.
We sat alone for awhile and giggled softly about silly things.

She said in a letter to me that her mother wasn’t very nice to her and it’s hard on her. I told karen she should still love her mother even if she is mean to her because perhaps she is just upset at life in general and not at her daughter.
I don’t know what life is really like for her at home but I do know she was the sweetest girl I met.
A bit bossy but aren’t all sweet girls a bit demanding ha

Healing Eyes

A sweeter tasting truth than what you can buy here

Look at a banana…is it yellow and curved? Does it not look the same as a banana you could find anywhere in the world? Once you look inside it also looks exactly the same as a banana here or there…HOWEVER…something is different once you taste it. One is sweeter than the other, one is closer to the origin than the other, and one is living in conditions entirely different than the now transplanted piece of fruit.

Now look at a Faith lived out in Michigan and Faith lived in Africa. When you first arrive at the airport in a foreign country it will look the same as anywhere else. Does it not have signs and lights just like anywhere in the world? Once you look inside it has chairs and people running to destinations just like any airport here or there…HOWEVER…something is different once you TASTE it.

Stepping outside you will see odd people and odd smells, cars on the wrong side of the road, farther out you will see odd trees and strange surroundings. Go farther and start living as they live and that is where you will finally see how Faith lived here is vastly different than faith lived in Michigan. Often faith in the States is superficial and not tested. How can I say that? Because my faith here is weak, no sooner do I return than I already doubt everything and want to give up. I can flip a switch and have reliable power, turn the faucet and water comes out that I can drink! No bugs on the floor, risk of ring worm is low, and I have a car with roads that actually can take me somewhere I mean to go. There are jobs that will pay money regularly, and supermarkets that have what I want when I go inside them. How can I have faith in the invisible when I can easily obtain what I see right now!

Why should I chose one life over the other? This one seems more alluring and comfortable, many people can live like this and its perfectly fine, we have to have people living like this in order to help others not living like this. So I have a legitimate case as to why it would be ok to get a job in the normal sense and live comfortably.

I tasted radical faith. I tasted a Sweeter faith just like that oh so fresh banana that melts in your mouth. I just ate a banana here and it is bland and boring. I lived for 6 weeks in a 3rd world country and was miserable most of the time, if I re-read my journal I am complaining and asking to die more often than I am exclaiming happiness, joy, and warm fuzzy rainbowness. I do remember talking on the phone one day exclaiming I am not coming back, I have found my place and its perfect, you’ll have to come here to see me again. Then the very next day I was screaming to come home and was tired of no hot shower and lack of control over my own whereabouts. It was that ONE DAY where I tasted the sweetest poison and I can’t shake it. Borne out of suffering and perseverance to get there and I found what I was looking for there…but then I had to say good bye to it. Each day in Kenya I had barely any control over what I was doing and rarely did any tutoring like I thought I would in the schools. Often the days would be just staring at a wall for hours and occasionally being in a classroom. I learned patient endurance and faith that what I sought was going to appear. I saw why I was in St. Croix for a year and the patience I learned there was extremely helpful in preparing me for this. Tricks I picked up in my boredom there was used to keep me at peace numerous times in kenya. It has all been preparation for the next thing so that it was more of a gradual removal of familiarity and comfort so not to shock me to death. God doesn’t ask us to shock ourselves to death by submission but instead he asks to just let go little by little until you have nothing left to cling to and can be like that sweet banana growing closer to the vine and picked at just the right time for harvest.

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Healing Eyes

Rafiki Yangu forever and ever

When we first met I saw a leader in the making…a young lady that possessed a strength only born out of suffering. She shouldn’t be pitied or even looked at as a victim. NO! She is someone who at first introduction would make you think…what was her life like that made her have such strong and imposing eyes. As we got closer with each visit I saw her eyes soften and the beautiful woman emerged from within. How can two different personalities connect so easily? Maybe it was that similar attribute of pain buried within that sparked a connection. As we talked more through ‘passing notes’ to each other I learned more about her life and she in turn gave me so many inspiring words. She is still in high school but I could have sworn she was a girl full of years no child should ever have to earn.

“Look at the birds of the air. They sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not more value than they. Believe in God he will help you in ways of difficulties that you are passing through he will make it be lite.”

“If you have desired to follow Jesus NO Turning back anymore… You were chosen to be my friend forever and ever even if it is in difficulties or in every thing that God made for us.”

If I can somehow share stories of hope and love as I journey through life and also maintain a living by going where God sends me than I will. To make friends like my sweet Josephine forever and ever because God put her in that location at that time to catch my eye to encourage me more than I ever encouraged her than so be it. Can’t life be that simple? To hear the birds in the trees and see the children in pain and know I am in that place I should be…just in time to share words with someone in need. A young lady who is living alone on a mountain, far away, going to school each day to someday be a policewoman. She has no family capable to show her the love and attention kids her age crave but what does she do…SHE LIVES!

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Healing Eyes

Time in a bubble

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The world moves so slowly now and all I see are manicured lawns and greens and yellows everywhere. Time stood still while I was gone and all that I left behind still sits neatly in its place. The home I once knew still is gone and the soulmate I once held in my arms is still at rest. Yet….I am not at rest. I see the birds playing in the trees outside my window and I think..I feel as if this world is not for me anymore. Try as I may and as much as I want it to be I still can’t find him in it….he is gone…and I remain.

Again I learned to slow down in Africa. Again I learned to not be in control in Africa. Again I saw many eyes staring at me as a stranger in their land. They graced me with there concept of time and now back in the States I must adapt back to this concept of time. A world where time means everything and cramming as much into ONE day is crucial if not vital to existing in it.

Back in Africa I left a young girl behind in a boarding school. She has a small little bunk bed and a little elephant to hug at night, but I felt such sadness leaving her behind again. She is not my daughter, I shall never have one of those. She is not family in the normal sense, She is thousands of miles away tucked away in a little mountain village hopefully not turned away by lack of funds.

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Back in Africa there is a young lady with such strength children her age in America should learn from. She lives alone, abandoned and forgotten to many, yet she smiles and keeps on living. Many other young ladies with no one to care for them keep walking up that mountain to go to school not every knowing what impact they have on those they meet. I shared time with them…time in a bubble….

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My luggage is all unpacked and I am doing laundry with such luxury, a Washing Machine. I had a can of Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup and was mesmerized by the simplicity of making it. The few bits of food in my cabinet that I have to eat..I wonder how I’ll keep eating each day. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. I wonder so many things.

I am spoiled, I am fortunate, I am alone, but I think I won’t call myself a Widow anymore. Instead my new name will just be Miss Sarah the fortunate to have met so many hearts in Africa that showed me what’s important.

Healing Eyes

Random filled day

Trying to make sense of my day and it’s not really coming together in my head. I decided to visit the school that I call “evil”, since I hadn’t been there all week. So I prayed and read the bible for some strength to face the school. I got on the piki piki and made the trip over. When I got there the school was not open. The kids were off until Monday. Great! So now what?

Well I saw the little kids at primary school in the school yard next door. So i decided to just go over there. I said bye to the piki piki guy and walked over…past two cows. 

Eventually the kids saw me walking over and came running over. The circled me like before. Than we sang and goofed around with the ukulele. I then thought maybe I should introduce myself to the principal and has the kids lead me. I found an adult and asked what can I do to help. He just said, “well you are already playing with the little ones so keep entertaining them”.  

So ok…again I randomly show up at this school and just make it up as I go. We went to the field and I remembered I had construction paper in my bag so I figured let’s make birds and giraffes out of origami. I sit down which then makes the kids come closer and crushed each other. About 50 kids I think and I’m squeezed in the middle of the cluster. I just decided to go with it and made a bird out of paper. I had the kids answer a question in order to get the bird. One girl raised her hand and answered it correctly when I asked Where was Jesus born, so she got the bird. I had to scream over there voices but it was working. So I made a giraffe and asked Who was Jesus’s mother. Another kid answered and got it right. Since many kids were getting crushed I stood up and tried to form a circle. By now more kids showed up and circle was huge. The kids sang and clapped songs. I taught them one new song, “my God is so big”.

Then I remembered I had a fairy tale book in my bag and so I tried having them read out loud. Many were too shy but some took the bait. 

The bell rang and classes started so I followed my gang of kids and settled on a room with about 20 kids. Sat down and waited for a teacher. No one showed. Sooooo I guess I’ll teach English and grabbed a book and started going over past tense words. This was kind of like last time I showed up and taught impromptu. No adults greeted me or stopped, one guy watched a bit and the kids were very quiet then. He waved me to continue. 

Eventually it was lunch time so I followed the kids outside. They were walking home to eat. So I ended up sitting by the road and waited for a ride back. A bunch of kids kept me company and I sang for them. Thank goodness for my ukulele!!

My ride showed up and I found out they were going to run errands and visit the doctor soooo I didn’t want to do that. The next town I found a taxi and crammed in (I knocked my head hard on the door frame) and my butt was kind of tilted up against the metal side and a bar dug into my hip. But it was cheap transport ! Then I got to town and had a piki piki take me home. 

I couldn’t have planned this day. But it was fun with the small kids and teaching English. Yet again I don’t know how I was bold enough to take over a class and sing in a field. But that’s what happened! There was a small girl crying at one point so I hugged her and I hope that was my purpose for being there at that unexpected moment. Another girl’s shoe was untied and I tied it, I think she was shocked and scared of me. 

I hope Billah is getting love back in Uganda. I wish I could be with her now encouraging her…maybe a random mazungoo will visit her school like me and hug her for me. 

Healing Eyes

Is that a pineapple in your purse?

As I walked across the border again, this time alone and after a few taxi hiccups and a mile walk thru Uganda to reach Kenya …I thought something is wrong with this picture. Then I realized this is perfectly normal to walk along the dirt road with cars and bikes buzzing by while I carry my ukulele on one side and my small bag on the other. Dodging semi trucks and onlooking people yelling mazungoo. Yup perfectly normal !

I spent three days in Uganda visiting Billah and her family by the waterfall. It was the highlight of my visit to Africa. I was sick but when I arrived the sickness left and I felt right for the first time in 5 weeks here. It was hard to go but I found out a lot about myself and my faith. Even got the answers I needed from God. He likes to wait until the last week to reveal his master plan. I can say this … It does involve orphans, widows, and yes it’s in Uganda and you can see Kenya from it. Is it land to buy? Nope! But it’s better and I feel very good about this direction.

More to come later. After I recover from being crammed into multiple taxis and yes, some even had people hanging outside the door. I can’t even explain how insane public taxis are! It’s like your cattle being herded without the ventilation. 

Oh pineapple?! My companions I met at the border after they went to Kampala and I went to mbale came back with a purse with pineapple in it. Uganda has the best pineapple! So not only were we crammed in taxis with 20 other people we had pineapples, bananas, ukulele, and bags. It’s definitely a disadvantage to have hips!

Healing Eyes

Street performering in Africa

Sick again this morning on day whatever in Africa. My stomach feels twisted and angry this morning. I am starting to think it correlates with the days I go to Mugomari school (the evil feeling one). Once on the way there my stomach calms and I pray for strength to not fall off the motorbike this morning on the dirt roads. These roads are indescribably rough. The closer to the school (about 30 min ride) the kids start appearing on the road from nearby schools. They light up and cheer me on. So that helps. 

Once my foot steps onto the school grounds behind the iron gate I instantly feel like bolting. No one greets me and I walk across the long lawn to the staff room. I smile and shake hands and then start to figure how do I get into the classrooms. If I don’t work fast I’ll be stuck in a chair staring at the walls. Soooo with my trusted ukulele in hand I leave and head to a classroom. I end up with some kids and sing for them and they laugh at me while I try to dance. It’s funny to see a white girl dance. So this is good…I am not letting the darkness keep me down. 

Until….

I try to get some students to teach graphic design too and only can get 4 kids brave enough to try. It was not a success. There isn’t much need for me at this school at least structurally. The staff don’t know how to interact and the kids are usually in a lesson so the need for a tutor is pointless. But personally these kids need attention and some joy in there life. 

I again ended up walking over to the primary school where it is brighter. I see kids in the distance in some sort of orientation or presentation. So I walk across the field, alone, to some kids and ask how they are. That’s all it takes here and I have a huge gathering. Soon I am ushered to another area where a speaker is talking, it turns out to be an assembly for exam results with 7 local schools. I sit down with the kids and listen. 

Then…the speaker calls me up!! I end up hanging out awards and congratulating kids who are top of the classes. 

The land is split by a bar wire fence and its night and day between the two schools. But I survived and I think I made some smiles along the way. 

Oh the best part was waiting outside the gate for my ride. Some village kids saw me and so I pull my ukulele out and start playing for them. Got them singing Somewhere over the rainbow. The adults on the street laughed at me but its ok…I just own my oddness at this point. Is it that odd to see a sole mazungoo on a back road in Africa in front of a school just start singing with kids? Maybe but I like to think it wasn’t me but someone else (God) who gave me the courage to street perform. 

Healing Eyes

Piki piki

Hello all from Africa….still !
It has been a trying few days of patience opportunities and lack of freedom I am accustomed to in caring for myself back home. Thankfully I think things are smoothing out as my tutor companion who is 21 is playing the role of daughter to our host and I get the freedom I am used to (to a point). 

Today I took a piki to kwirini school. I was driven by car to a gas station where we negotiated a price for a piki piki and then I was solo for the day. Hallelujah! Piki piki is the way to travel. At the school I sat in a class in history and the teacher disappeared and I was invited by the kids to teach english. No text books by the way. Soooo I pulled out my book called Wind in the willows and made up a lesson on English literature. The kids read out loud and I explained words. One boy named Alvin was quite a comedian. Then I shocked them by insisting they right a short story of there own and be creative. They just need to use 3 of the new words and the characters are a mongoose and a hen. They aren’t used to a mazungoo giving assignment. I prefer to challenge them instead of just entertain them. 

Then at lunch time I snuck in to a secret spot some Girls go for lunch and shared my lunch. Soon the new piki piki driver arrived and the kids laughed at me on a motor bike. I’ll say this driver was far faster than the other and I feared a little bit as we went down the mountain. 

As we drove I realized something. I am most content and at peace when I am alone and fending for myself. Thrown into a classroom to perform while little brown eyes stare at me for direction. That is my element… That’s where God is leading me. The country is beautiful and the roads are awful but if I am are free i can finally see little waterfalls cascading down the sides of the road…and little kids screaming mazungoo as I pass by on a motor bike. 

Health wise my works are getting slowly better. I’ll be on meds for a month. My lungs r a but icky so prayer they don’t worsen would be good. But I am well and still alive!

Have a blessed day! 

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Healing Eyes

Why can churches be so painfully uninspiring

Crisis of faith. Heaviness on my heart. More questions than answers at this point on where Healing Eyes goes from here. Unless a miracle happens soon I may be giving up on this mission. I know I didn’t expect a clear direction while here but it would be nice for more assurances than doubt while here. 

A rooster crows. A goose quacks. The minutes drag by and I can only think of escape. 

Went to a catholic mass today that possibly has caused me to want to go back to Agnostic beliefs. It was painfully long and all in Swahili so I had no clue of what they were saying. Then they sang songs over and over. I am human and sadly I complain. Forgive me for my honesty. But if that is religion I want nothing to do with it. Why do you think people turn away from religion … Could it be churches? Don’t kill the messenger here but after this morning I am not a religion fan. I always strive for honesty on this blog even if it sounds harsh. Is this blog too blunt? Should I censor my heart more? 

Yea maybe.  But would it be an interesting read still?

Let’s see what is a positive note I can share? Ah my ringworm is clearing up lol!! 

If you pray and if you don’t consider saying one for me this week to not lose hope on the last legs of this trip. Don’t pray for safety or health instead say this, “Please let sarah find the beauty around her she is supposed to see and show her the path to take.” “Bring the kids to her in hundreds and help her see Billah again.”

Lastly….

“Tell her if she is supposed to keep going in Africa and if not make it crystal clear to her as to what job is next.”

Thanks everyone. 

Healing Eyes