• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: africa

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! 

Healingeyes.org
Healing Eyes

A wedding flower from a girl who has little to give 

The other day I colored some pictures for a couple girls I’ve been teaching and wrote them an encouragement letter. I snuck it to them and told them to read when they got home. Today I got replies from them…and one of them drew me a flower, a Wedding flower. What a coincidence on this day, 15 years after marrying Andy on a beautiful summer day at the age of 20. Now I’m 35 and widowed and a girl in Africa gives me a wedding flower!

She also wrote this, “compassion, obedience, generous, sharing and helping others. Even through sharing your experience is a great part of LOVE. Sharing of wisdom and knowledge is most important thing.”

That from a young girl in high school. On this day. During this stage in my life. And when healing eyes is founded on the mission of compassion and empathy.  

Healing Eyes

Faith appeared 

I met a Girl named faith when first arriving. The name was pretty and I didn’t put it together in my head as to why it struck me. Until later in the day after sitting through a long ceremony on a hard chair did I see why God put the word ‘faith’ in front of me. He was trying to tell me have faith Sarah even if you feel tired frustrated and sick. 

I’ve been concerned about land and purpose and needing answers I wasn’t prepared for this next bread crumb. 

A man I met my first day here who was giving the land to the ministry I’ve been serving with while here decided to seek me out. Now understand my first meeting with him I was jet lagged. Now this second interaction I was feeling ill and drained from the day too. Perhaps God wants to step in when I am at my weakest to show off. 

The reason why this man found me sitting alone was because I wasn’t playing soccer with the others and the kids were occupied elsewhere. So the moment was just right. He asked me again what I was wanting to do in Africa. I stuttered and eventually spit out the insane idea I had. Then I basically admitted I’m clueless and have no idea how to accomplish this. 

He has connections with locals and other organizations and his non profit aims to Connect others and give help where needed to orphans and widows. 

If I had been with the kids I would’ve have not talked to him. The meeting was arranged by God. 

His passion is to help educate families about how to have healthy babies and also preventing young girls from getting pregnant. He also tries to help widows find ways to support themselves and there children. Perhaps some of what he said was just to hook me but I can’t deny a lot of it seemed too aligned with what I’m trying to find. I can’t deny God had a hand in this meeting. 

Top it all off and he knew about the waterfall In Uganda and has ways to inquire about the need there and available land.

My eyes were on land but it seems it’s being redirected towards a possible relationship with this other organization that came out of nowhere. 

Healing Eyes

A gimme gimme mentality

I am sickened by what I see in the future generations here. The damage done by white people coming in and giving freebies to the children over the years has created damaged relationships. Even if the gifts were given with good intentions the consequences of those actions has caused severe harm to the self esteem of future generations. 

How can children grow up to be successful when they see themselves as helpless and poor. Only deserving of handouts. What hurts more is that I am in a way aiding in this continued mentality of relying on white people to fix there situation for the better. 

I am sickened by my own heritage. Embarrassed by those who came before me. 

When the Mazungoo drive in with there good intentions of helping others the locals wave and greet with smiling faces. It’s as if we are celebrities when In truth it is broken and entirely messed up. We get puffed up egos by being welcomed so easily and leave feeling important. They are looking to the wrong source for help. It’s only within that change can happen. Confidence , self esteem, and reliance on there own abilities and talents to succeed. We are interfering with that opportunity by our presence in matters beyond our reach. Locals must see locals creating change and not a van full of Mazungoos coming and going while smiling and waving. 

All that said I still love these kids and see potential if only the Mazungoos would stop giving freebies in the wrong situations. Think hard first about what that handout will do to the future of the kids ability to rely on themselves. 

Healing Eyes

Can fear drive faith?

I would like everyone to take a moment of silence and see life through a different lens for 5 minutes. If you were told to just blindly trust something you can’t see in hopes that you would still eat and have shelter but you didn’t know how, would you feel comfortable doing that? Would it be easy to just say ‘ok’ and have no anxiety or fear about it? What if you had under two months to get a large sum of money together in order to spend time with orphans suffering in a far off land? But you believed it was possible and knew up until the final hour you would be provided for….(periodically you would freak out and run but generally speaking you would hold steady).

Today I just saw it come true…the promise was kept…and I have nothing to worry about in regards to finances for this mission because the Post Carrier just dropped off the final miracle on my final day to get the money all together. I drove to one church and found a check placed under a rock and then I came home and saw the postal carrier depositing the other check in my mailbox earlier than expected. So YES, I now truly have the entire funds needed and promised to me back when I decided to Believe it’s possible and Asked for help from others.

A friend asked me today, “Wouldn’t it seem like it should get easier the more you go?” “Yet it seems it only gets bigger and scarier the more you decide to follow”. Why is that?

I might be wrong but I think it is because…

If we don’t fear relinquishing control how can we grow perseverance.
If we never fear than wouldn’t it be too easy to give things up for God. And then how would we grow in trust?
If we are supposed to turn over anxiety and fear to God then how can we if we don’t have it to begin with?
If it gets easier the more we trust than how can we learn from suffering, if we never feel it because we numbly go along trusting God because we know he knows best. But then later we can reflect and learn and grow from knowing why we were afraid at the time but that then allows us to connect with each other in the common fear of fear.
Those who don’t believe in Gods love will think us dumb sheep who do what the master says to do and hence think we are stupid. When they are hurting and think they must be alone since Christians make it look so fake and unreal because they think we are without worry and real fear.
Even if we do as the ‘boss’ says to do but show our weakness of fear than we are in effect showing to others we are too weak and can’t do it alone. But since we show it we than prove Gods message to rely on him even when we are weak and scared. Be scared but still go!! Because that’s how he proves the plan all along.
If I ever lose fear and tears when going I might start to think I’m in control and don’t need God because it’s no big deal each time I go.
Kind of like a catch 22! Give fear over but still requires to show it?
Healing Eyes

An elephant will fit in my carry on right?

Maybe I went a little bit overboard on last minute things for Africa….In all fairness most of the cost is teaching materials such as flash cards and bible stories for kids. Yes I may have spoiled one girl a bit that I don’t really have a firm plan on seeing quite yet…but I know I’ll see her and I want to be prepared when I do. It can’t be that hard to get a car and cross the border into Uganda to find little Billah by the waterfall, I mean I can find my way back to that spot as long as I can get a car and possibly a partner in crime to venture off.

So this is the goodies for Billah..and yes there is an elephant and he/she doesn’t have a name yet but I’ll think of one I’m sure:)
Did I go a little overboard on her? hmmm well considering I don’t see her much and a lot of it is for her schooling I think I am ok with the spoiling. Calculator, Geometry Set, Pencils, Sharpeners, colored pencils, pencil bag, match workbook and of course Girlie Stickers.  I think that will give her a well rounded education and a touch of compassion and love.

IMG_3867

Next pile are some necessities of tutoring and some cute little erasers for the school kids. The story books are for a bit of relationship building by maying some story telling opportunities:)?

IMG_3868

Lastly a Big Picture Bible book for those crowds of kids at the medical clinics that need some attention. Last time I had my ukulele and the kids sat around as I played, I’ll also have that this time but I thought why not mix in some storytelling here too. It has very colorful pages and some chance to share why I am there and that they are loved a ton.

IMG_3869

So now How will I get this in my luggage? very very carefully and with expert Tetris skills:)

Healing Eyes

Keep fighting the good fight

Some days pass by with nothing but waiting and others fly by with a whirl of activity. Such as this morning where I decided to write up an update letter and proceed to lick 57 envelopes to mail out to people for prayer support. Hopefully none of the glue puts a premature end to my life.

I’m trying to rationalize in my head what each day means and what I am to do..and then my head starts to hurt. Ever wonder why some are born with a handicap that makes them more dependent on others and as a result there life appears simpler. While others are born with the capacity to analyze everything in order to make each day completely productive and possibly complicated.

Can there be a balance?

Is that what the bible talks about with seeking Peace in letting go of anxiety and worry?

Are brains really capable of shutting down that ‘worry’ button?

Sometimes…Yes…but often the mind replays scenarios and memories on constant loop until madness sets in. Maybe I am crazy? and I am the only one who feels this way….

6 more days until I leave again and set out on Africa Adventure #2. This one feels more uneasy, traveling alone, running across airports, living with my mind when all distractions are removed. Completely and utterly in God’s hands to keep me going.

Keep Fighting the Good Fight

IMG_3856

Healing Eyes

A child dies in Soroti Africa

My heart hurts for a baby I never met…Another blogger just shared a story about a child that died in Soroti. When I was in Africa in January I went to Amecet and visited, it is a temporary home for babies and children who are found abandoned and/or in need of medical attention. I didn’t stay there long, only an hour, but they do some amazing work there. Below is the story of the child who passed away..


On 20th of November 2013, a very small, 2 week old baby was brought to us by the Probation Officer of Cortido. It was a Karomajong baby. Sabine was very small and weak, both parents had died and her sisters tried to care for her. It was not easy, we struggled for every gram she gained in the beginning. But we had Hope for her. Janneke and me used her picture even for our Christmas card in December 2013,

DSC07813.jpg copy sabine

We felt that Christ had come to earth also for children like Sabine. It gave us Hope for her!! And we saw a steady growth, she started to develop and we were so happy with that. she stayed longer with us than baby’s normally do, Sabine lived in Amecet for more than 7 months. by that time she was doing very well, smiling and everybody loved her. But our mission is to bring the children back to their families, and the family of Sabine wanted to care for her again. So we had to let her go…. a child belongs in his/her own family and there is where Sabine belonged. But it was not easy and we had some fears, because there was no mother in her family anymore…..Sabine went back to her family on July 3, 2014.

11182697_946229985408632_5770931317510927638_o

Last week we got the message from the Probation officer that Sabine got ill and that she passed away, just 2 days ago. We were shocked and sad, but when I think about the picture from Sabine on our Christmas card (picture above) than I realize that she is now in good hands, the best hands!

Healing Eyes

When I can’t it must be the right path

When you look at someone crying what do you see?

When you look at someone screaming what do you see?

Why do I do what I do……simple…….because it would be crazy to NOT do what I do. I met with a friend over a smoothie at Starbucks today and she said I am not crazy. That going off to Africa isn’t crazy but actually quite appropriate. If I didn’t do what I do that would be a worser fate than settling for what I have been programmed to think as the right thing to do. Confused?

When I reach the point of … “I can’t” than it must be the right path to take because than it isn’t me doing it anymore but my invisible friend. The hard part comes when you think know one else understands or is with you on this decision. A decision that really is a no brainer because it’s what we are supposed to do. Bring Flavor to the world we live in and be Different…be compassionate…be empathetic…and to just BE.

I am looking to the left of me and I see my mattress sitting on the floor in my bedroom…its an irritant really that it’s on the floor and feels like college all over again. Looking for a platform bed but not wanting to spend the $150 on one if in a year I won’t need one. Looking at my couch that’s only a couple months old and think why did I need that….to feel normal? Everything can be gone again and it doesn’t matter how hard I hold onto it… Kind of like life, we can hold on to it so tightly but still lose it in many ways.By walking past that person in need that was crying silently inside and too afraid to show it. By walking past that child screaming on the inside but too afraid to express it.

What do you See when others cry? You should see you in their pain and let go of the walls that we put up to protect ourselves from connecting with another’s life.

Healing Eyes

My tiny little brain

Conversation with another widow about feeling the loss years later. It’s a common theme, a hole left behind after losing a spouse and the pain never truly leaving.

Who knows how long this will all last but at least by serving others it does ease the pain and bring purpose back to life. Selfish? Maybe…

Something must be going right though since I am only $100 away from the $5,000 goal I set a little over a month ago to fully fund the next trip to Africa. This trip will be yet another step towards finding out where I belong. Or perhaps how I can be used through others to help widows and orphans.

Maybe I am looking too big picture with my tiny brain. Yesterday I was put along a path to talk to two ladies about my mission work and following God through faith as far away as Africa. I thought yesterday would be merely a final trip to the beach with the kids from the Lighthouse, some fun in the sun and breaking up fights. Instead I talked to a widow I had crossed paths with numerous times but never conversed with and one of the mother’s joined towards the end. I shared photos and stories of my time in Africa and tried my best to share the burden laid on my heart to help others and follow the bread crumbs God has laid out for me.

So I think I have the tendency to look too far ahead on my path. There is a need to look closer in order to see who is watching and listening for a chance to be heard in this very vast world.

Who is Watching? Who also wants to be heard?


Only $100 to go and I’ll have all the money raised for the Kenyan Mission Trip to tutor orphans and explore a possible partnership with an organization already established there.

Donate Button with Credit CardsHealing Eyes is a 501c(3) Non-Profit Organization based in Western Michigan. If you would like to partner with us on a one time or monthly basis, please make your checks payable to Healing Eyes, Inc. and mail to 4160 Blue Heron DR SE, Apt 302, Kentwood, MI 49512. All donations are tax deductible and a statement will be mailed to you for your records. Thank you. If you don’t have a PayPal Account Don’t Worry it’s not required  look to the bottom left side after clicking the Donate button, where it says “Don’t have a PayPal Account”.

Healing Eyes