• sarah@healingeyes.org

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Adopting full circle .. a memoir of the past 2 years

Can traveling the world over bring back a loved one? Nope
Can helping others bring back a loved one? Nope
Can remembering what life was like and allowing a small smile sneak through bring back a loved one? Yup

December 15, 2015 will be the big 2 year mark for the passing of Andrew Stacilauskas and he is never far from my thoughts. This blog/website has morphed into Healing Eyes and it all started back when we were trying to adopt a domestic infant baby because all efforts to create a homemade one kept failing. I have left behind that story of pain to move on to a story of life and what a journey it has been. Back when Andy and I were trying to have a child I remember that amazing day when we were successful and I screamed out, “Andy, I’m pregnant”! Then I saw the ultrasound and heard the heartbeat. Andy never got to hear it but he was so happy to hear about it when I said it was so real. All the thousands of dollars had paid off. Then it all fell apart one night when I had a terrible nightmare of losing the child, I woke up scared and Andy tried to calm me. That very day we lost the baby. Andy stayed home from work and comforted me like he always did. That loss changed us.

Why do I mention this years later?

Perhaps loss in all its forms has a way of changing us and creating a new improved version of ourselves. When all is taken away you see through different eyes and the unsurmountable seems that much possible because you have nothing left to lose. I think in the bible it references losing your self to find yourself, the real person God knew all along that you could be.

Missing a husband really stinks and shopping for groceries alone really stinks. So many things about being a widow really stink. But Andy I finally am a mother…just not quite how we envisioned it to happen. So all those years ago when we started this blog/website to raise funds to adopt a child has come full circle because today I am again asking for strangers to help me ‘adopt in spirit’ hundreds of children.

I am sorry if it seems I am always asking for money but the more kids God brings me keeps raising the need and I don’t want to die knowing I could have asked one more time to recapture my dream.

The total goal of $45,000 is to purchase land and build the first school building in Eastern Uganda for a school of orphans, disabled, and impoverished children in a village surrounded by Widows. First phase is buying the land before the end of the year!

Healing Eyes, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Western Michigan. If you would like to partner with Healing Eyes on a one time or monthly basis, please make your checks payable to Healing Eyes, Inc. and mail them to 4160 Blue Heron Dr SE, Apt 302, Kentwood, MI 49512. 

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”.

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What can I do?

A picture can share much more than words and as I am still jet lagged from travel it might be all I can share right now. My mind is scrambled and my body is depleted. What is left of me is a small shell of who I was and God knows what’s to come of it all. I’ve seen a lot over the past 4 weeks and I have had my heart ripped out, blown up, trampled, lifted, squeezed, and overwhelmed during it all.

What can I do?

I am not in control first of all and second God only knows what he’s going to do with all of this new information collected while in Africa.

The number one need is LOVE and Compassion to about 200 children and what appears to be 100 widows in the village. I went, I saw, and now I want to share with everyone what God is anxious to lay on all your hearts.

Stay tuned for more…and pray for Healing Eyes

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Why should you care?

Scared to Death…Saturday is FASTLY approaching and somehow I have to show up confident and NOT a basket case to talk for 10 minutes in front of who knows how many people.

What am I talking about?

The WHOA Benefit Concert is THIS Saturday at 6pm at Family of Christ Church. Two amazing local bands are playing and one of them has taken over the entire planning…THANKFULLY! What do I have left to do but PRAY and pull my photos together in order for God to touch hearts in 10 minutes of me babbling on about Africa.

Why should you care?

Don’t…there are tons of other organizations doing huger relief efforts than me and they are experienced in doing it. A sure thing investing money in them. BUT what if we aren’t investing MONEY into Africa but instead we seek to invest in COMPASSION and LOVE? Could that me the niche for Healing Eyes that is sorely needed? To NOT throw material things at a problem but instead throw God, Love, and Compassion to those in need? It’s not physically tangible at FIRST but if you could see the smiles and the ripple effect of unselfish love given in order to just Build a Relationship. Later on the buildings and supplies can come but in truth we first need to just add that ‘flavor’ to the world and see how God can twist it into HIS plan. If that plan means buildings and supplies down the road than great…let HIM do it and not US.

All God wants is willing participants in HIS Plan and If Healing Eyes and little Sarah can be a partner to his plan and see what happens that HOW awesome would it be to connect more people in the GRAND scheme of HIS.

Join us This Saturday for MUSIC and fun. Should be some pizza slices to purchase and of course you get to hear a bit more about what Healing Eyes is up to with Project 616

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Who are We?

What is Healing Eyes all about?

Check out the About page to learn more and remember to share with a friend.

Is your heart open to the possibility of partnering with us and have that one-on-one connection with a small ministry? Check out the Partner With Us page to learn how.

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Want to Partner in Prayer and Support?

Can’t make it to the Benefit Concert September 19th? Still want to support Healing Eyes work in Africa and bring compassion to a child who desperately needs it? Want a more one-on-one experience with helping missions and seeing what your donation actually goes for?

I can tell you this that Healing Eyes is not like other non-profits and not like all the other humanitarian relief efforts. We are purely about bringing compassion, hope, and love to a child screaming out for attention when all around is loss and despair. These kids aren’t just faces on a poster, they are kids I have met in person and some I have even built a friendship with. Soon I will be going back to Africa to seek out what we can do for a tiny school far off the beaten track. To see what the need is and to validate the need is genuine, and above all just to meet people I meet along the way that God puts in my path. It can be as simple as a hug and a smile to that child being forgotten on the dusty red road. Either way now is the time to consider partnering in pray and support for my passion laid on my hear that I can’t seem to shake. I have seen too many wide eyed children with dried tears on there faces and the look of hope on there face that someone will see them and come back to play. It’s as simple as playing with a child and teaching them about God’s love and the Love we all need to show to each other.

Help bring the Flavor back to the world we live in and join me on making a difference in a life. One tiny little life at a time. When I returned this last time to Uganda and saw little Billah running down the hill to greet me again my heart was shaking. Tears were rolling down her face and her little hands were shaking in my shaky hands. What a blessing that comes from difficult times and what hurts is I know there are hundreds of other kids like her that are worse off and are not as lucky as her to know God is listening.

If you want to donate $8 for a Ticket to the concert but not show? That’s ok! I’ll still stand up for an empty auditorium with a smile, knowing I already have your support in spirit.

Follow this link and click the PayPal button to make your $8 count. You won’t regret it…you will begin a journey with me as I share stories of who I meet and how your partnership changes lives. I’m not a big company and I get none of the money, every penny goes to the ministry’s efforts to getting a foothold into Africa.

Healing Eyes

The lie of the ‘phase’ argument

I have often wondered if this time of my life is a ‘phase’ or a ‘season’. Often strangers and friends have said to me that perhaps it’s just a phase I have to go through and then things will go back to how they were. It’s all fine and dandy to have such a spiritual high in life and then return to what is normal. I’m re-reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and have run across a passage in it that illustrates such a quandary I find myself in repeatedly.

“A direct attack on his faith..persuading him that ‘his religious phase ‘ is just going to die away like all his previous phases? The mere word ‘phase’ will likely do the trick. You keep him well fed on hazy ideas of Progress and Development and the Historical Point of View, I trust, and give him lots of modern biographies to read? The people in them are always emerging from Phases, aren’t they?”

There was one distinct time I remember while in Africa and after I just found the school near the border of Kenya and Uganda. I had just spend about 4 weeks in Kenya and not all of it was a blessing like most think will happen when serving God. Often we never see the blessings that come from our labor but we have faith some good will come out of our strife. My health was poor and my spirits were low but I was hopeful God would still follow through on his promise to show me the widows and orphans he kept speaking of to me. It was an amazing story of how I found the school and if you care to read it again you can follow this link, Coincidences lead to truth.

But it was that very night after being blessed by God that the devil or evil one, however you want to label that unnerving feeling, decided to slither on it and put doubts in my head. He used some other foreigners visiting the area to put the word ‘phase’ into my heart. One lady said to me, ‘maybe it’s all a phase in your life and you can go back to graphic design, but it’s great your doing what your doing’. Just like that the familiar doubt creeped back in and I went to bed crying and with a tight chest full of doubt and fear.

Maybe I am crazy!

Maybe I did go too far in all this hope and faith crap and now I am stuck in the middle of Africa with no one to bail me out. Literally alone in a jungle sleeping in a tent with the realization of how stupid all of this was. Since something like this happened before I tried to repeat words in my head, ‘No it isn’t a phase and that I experienced too many coincidences to not see them as miracles and guidance from God’. I like proof and God did give me proof that day and so I pushed back the evil thoughts of doubt and phases to eventually fall asleep in the pitch-black darkness of the night.

You see it’s right when we learn something new or get closer to affirmation that God exists and that our purpose in life is simple. The evil will creep in and stomp on those hopes the instant we find answers to that small voice in our hearts. In Africa it is a full frontal attack on people because they don’t have all the comforts of modern civilization to lull them into a ‘normal’ life of ease. I never want to return to thinking that ‘religion is all very well up to a point’. Neither do I want to fall into the habit of thinking my religion is better than other religions when life comes down to Love and Compassion! Not taking what is given to us at face value in the bible and questioning it all and reading it and willingly asking God to explain it to me with any method he chooses. If it’s by throwing me in a third world country with only faith than I’ll do it because that is living…that is truly seeing faith in action…and it is about bring ‘flavor’ to the world we live in and not mediocrity. Likewise God can use people in modern life to make a difference in those around them even if its by living vicariously through those God says, ‘Go’, to.

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Can you help make this all happen?

This is insane and beyond possible. But I believe it IS POSSIBLE! When was the last time you BELIEVED in something when no one else did? When did you wave your hands in the air and beg for others to be excited like you? When did you see a vision and no on else did until it was proven to be possible?

When did you have to do something uncomfortable but found the strength to pull it off?

Now I like facts and sound instant gratification with proven results. Holding a benefit concert with unknown possibilities should be nerve racking BUT I know it’s going to work out because it already is. What?

I have a venue and I have a team of volunteers ready to pull it off. Need more proof that this is more than a whim and a lame fundraiser? Ok! I’ve collected several silent auction items all by walking into businesses and asking even though it made me extremely uncomfortable and scared. Sometimes we have to STEP out on a ledge and jump to see what happens…and Sometimes when we do it may just surprise us all.

So! Keep on believing and Keep on dreaming because I’ve seen it happen too many times where things just FALL into place. Although everything around us may crumble and life gets smashed on the rocks by the waves of grief and loss we still can find those calm moments where a bit of Hope shines through.

Why does this Whoa Benefit Concert matter? Because we all need to show support when others are beaten down and cast aside and because it’s time to Support Healing Eyes and move this Project 6’16 forward in a BIG way. So come on out September 19th and experience a MIRACLE and hear some good music. You may even catch a bit of the PASSION behind this mission of a little widow and some little orphans far far away.

The cover charge is a DONATION of $8-$10 and we do hope you can help change some lives by participating in the launch of Project 6’16!

Healing Eyes

Feeling judged by others

When you make the decision to go to church there are a lot of things that deter you from following through. I don’t know about you but I know I couldn’t stand going to church for many many years when I was married. Few factors played a role in this fear of churches though. One being it feels like when you first walk in everyone stares at you and is judging you on your appearance and your morals. They don’t know you and you don’t know them but in your head you can feel the judgment piercing your thoughts. You may go there with some built up pain over life and events and feel as if anything you have done is far worse than what any of these other church goers have done, again judgment sinks in.

Second, you know you’ll listen to a sermon about something that may or may not cause you to cry. Which means others will now stare at you some more as you feel more and more isolated from those around you. Then not only do you feel judged but then you are judging others because you are thinking they must be better than you because they go to church all the time. And why aren’t they crying if you are crying, their has to be something wrong with you then.

Maybe no on else thinks like this?

I am starting my day today with hope. Ironic as saying that just now reminded me of the baby we lost that was named Hope and how Andy’s last words was he was going to take care of her in heaven. The past can never truly escape us but we can choose to live in the Now and let go of past pain and guilt, otherwise, life will be rather morbid and angry.

I start today with Hope. Hope for the benefit concert. Hope for little Billah in Uganda. Hope for Healing Eyes. Hope that somehow I’ll get some shampoo as my hotel size samples has exhausted itself.

If you fear churches but still want to come to the benefit concert than trust me when I say there will be no boring sermon and no judging stares. It’s a building full of people who have the same curiosity over life very far way and what we all should have a desire to do, helping orphans and widows who have reached the end of their hope in a series of unfortunate events.

Can’t make it on Sept 19th because your out of state? You still can support Healing Eyes by donating $8 for an absentee ticket. that is about 28,600 shillings in Uganda and would pay for one night lodging in October when I return to those orphans and widows in a distant land.

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Healing Eyes

Can it be as easy as saying Yes

Don’t judge an event by it’s cover and never doubt that when God says DO something that he won’t follow through.

What do you think of when you hear Benefit Concert or orphans in Africa?  Lots of cliche’s I bet and also completely over done publicity on needing to help the starving in Africa. I know it’s real and I also found photos of kids starving and all the hopelessness there too overwhelming to even think I could do something. Well that was 3 years ago back when life seemed simpler.  But life can still be SIMPLE, really!  If we just take a moment to view one child who captures our hearts and then connect with a few more as we open our hearts to more we can see how plausible it is to help the helpless. Orphans are supposed to be cared for and widows should step out and take charge. Through our weakness God can shine through and do all the work.

Case in point..

Tonight I met with some awesome people about the benefit concert. Never met them before and was going on a leap of faith it would turn out beneficial and that it was the right direction for Healing Eyes. I even ordered the post card mailers with there address on it for the venue before meeting them. Leap of Faith here we go.

What happened?

Well I was shown again how small I am in the grand scheme of things and that God already had it covered. I sat back and listened to this group of professionals plan out each part of the event, down to permits and parking and even filling holes in the grass. I just had to share my passion and my story as to why I am doing all of this and sit back and let God do what he had already laid ahead of me. Silly Sarah…worrying about how impossible a concert would be. It’s all taken care of and is definitely a GO!

If you want to see miracles than just come on by Sept 19th from 6-8pm and hear some good music and listen to me share my passion again for what we found in Africa to sink our teeth into as a non-profit. It really is amazing and so not me behind it all.

I’m just a little widow who gave it all up to find my first love again after my life was taken away…finding it amidst one small girl by a waterfall and hundreds of orphans luring me back home.

Go To Whoa a Benefit Concert  to order your ticket and sit front row to a miracle in the making

Healing Eyes

Take a chance on the impossible

If life is a series of events than who can say each moment is supposed to be happy and free? If hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life then should we always HOPE for more? Can we hope for more than we feel worthy of and why does every step forward feel more impossible than the previous?

You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid…

Is the bible a nice ‘story’ or a test of our faith?  For too long I have played it safe on this blog and have censored my constant questions in my head. It may seem I have it all figured out and my faith is strong but I am reminded daily how I forget easily what faith is. Right now I am censoring my own thoughts so I don’t jinx somehow the results of success. If i begin to doubt myself than others will and then the whole thing falls apart. Power of Attraction!

Are the most successful people always confident in themselves and only ATTRACT success?

Do photos of sad kids ATTRACT hope or despair? I have a longing that Healing Eyes won’t crumble and that it will grow stronger. Longing to help the neglected and forgotten. Longing to see hope return to these little EYES.

…longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

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September 19 6-8pm join Healing Eyes for it’s first Annual Whoa Benefit Concert. Location: 1100 Henze Road
Comstock Park, MI. Discounted tickets now for $8 or suggested donation of $10 ($25 family) at the door.

Take a chance on the impossible

Click the photo above to donate today

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