• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: Believe

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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Healing Eyes

What ‘Going’ can accomplish

Do you know that All of you are now going to Eastern Uganda through me? Because of Healing Eye’s partners who donated I have been blessed to be God’s servant to those hurting. We are all helping to Feed, Clothe, and Teach 31 of the most needy children at Buweboya Vision Junior School.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. – 1 Corinthians 3:8-14 NIV

God said ‘Go’ a year ago and now we all are servants and soon to be the Builders.

Healing Eyes

When life isn’t as we want but as He wants.

“I am a stranger in a foreign land and quite worn from it. My time here feels like an eternity indeed! I long for home even though my home is gone. Where do I belong, Oh God, where do I call home? I feel lost in a sea of people, in both lands I am not at ease. Torn from my life, in grief I now live, longing for the day long passed.

When my husband held me at night and morning. But gone is he and I remain to wander the earth in mourning – but for how long will I roam? Is there hope for me? Can I ever smile again and feel safe?

My soul feels like dust and my bones are weak, if only you would save me from my grief and restore my splendor to what it was and more. Let my teachings not be in vain and don’t leave me in the shadows of death. A life bearing fruit again, where my education is used and I can prosper in my works.

I will praise you in the evening and praise you in the morning and wait in hopeful expectation for the plan you are artfully displaying before my tearful eyes. Let me see your beauty and not become bitter or angry at my circumstances but see beyond them knowing you are at work to rescue me.”

 – A widow cries for the past, journal entry from June 6, 2015 while serving in Kenya Africa (Sarah a missionary).

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

Healing Eyes

Who..What..Where..

Who are You…and Who do you want to be?

2 years in the making and we are growing! How do we grow? With a lot of patience and faith to connect others with a dream and a passion to help orphans and widows. With a handful of dedicated supporters I can honestly say I feel like we are on the right track and the Healing Eyes team is growing.

What are we about?

It used to just be about Sarah’s story and a rediscovery of faith in God. For 2 years that small seed has been nurtured and spread across the world but now it’s more than One seed. Compassion is changing lives by connecting with more and more people who also want their life to be about something more. To make a difference in the flavor of the world and see what comes out of a little faith in God.

Healing Eyes has connected with orphans and widows in Eastern Uganda, we see a chance to put a little effort into a plan to grow that relationship and bring education along with hope to hundreds of people. We see a school full of children that need a chance. We see widows abandoned and struggling in need of a chance. We see despair in the eyes of the forgotten and abused. We see God wooing our hearts back to a simple solution….to show love in its pure and simple form.

In return each person that partners with Healing Eyes will see a piece of them live on and know even the smallest steps can make a difference in eternity. Enjoy the ride and live beyond our abilities!

Who are we now?

Our Board of Directors has grown and become stronger with 4 dedicated individuals: Cindy Smith, Donald Hendriksen, John Steele, and Shawn Pearce. We have had volunteers participate in 2 annual fundraisers: Chili Cook-Off and Whoa Benefit Concert. We have had another missionary join a mission trip in December: Jacob Burnside. We have local friends in Africa working closely with the children and providing for their needs, as we begin to establish our presence in Uganda for 2016. We have partnered with a handful of churches in the Grand Rapids area to share the mission and gain support: Gaines Church, Family of Christ Church, Sycamore Community Baptist Church, and more to come.

Continue to pray for Healing Eyes this year and consider partnering on a monthly or one-time basis to stay involved with the mission. Sign up here

A little glimpse at our past and how we began…

 

Healing Eyes

Feeding the Children

One of the steps we are taking with Buweboya is to provide meals at the humble school under trees and grass roofs. Since the school was started by Pastor John he has been scraping by with little and the children ‘persevere’ through the mid day sun without food. There are about 31 of the most needy children that we are trying to focus on as we begin this journey with the pastor there.

In December we left behind a small amount of money to test the waters of trust and communication. We didn’t know the estimates to feed the children and so we took a leap of faith.

It’s not going to be easy and there will be set backs but for now we have been notified that some posha and beans was purchased to start school lunches. I wish I was there to see it and verify everything is moving smoothly but this is where we want to put the responsibility on the leaders there. Why? Because we can’t just go in and ‘fix’ or ‘run’ the show…but we can walk alongside them and encourage them to keep trying.

We are short however in feeding all 31 of the kids and we ask for your help in raising another $162 to at least get this lunch program started off right.

 

Healing Eyes

But its not how I imagined it

Often we complain about a life we wish we had and do everything the opposite of what God had in mind.  We ask Him to fix our lives and do this and that, but maybe all along he is trying to help but we refuse because its not done the way we think it should be. This is what I have been asking for. A life that’s full of adventure, travel, and not spent in routine each day. I’ve asked him to send me to Africa and to move the pieces of my life around to accomplish this goal. I want to help widows and orphans, build something larger than myself and comfort others in pain. To use my loss to further His plans for me. I think it was about a year ago when I started praying for that.

Since that time I have been to Africa 4 times, found a village with widows and orphans, been connected with people in Africa that can be touch-points over there, and He even answered my prayer about a place to live in Michigan while I am going in between countries. So if I lay out all the pieces it seems God has been answering prayers and quite sneakily moving the pieces around to accomplish my first said wish which was to be in Africa.

Human nature then kicks in and I regret my first request because to continue this mission it means sacrificing my comforts and my ideas. Now logically if I really trusted God I wouldn’t even worry about making sacrifices because it ultimately accomplishes the request to be in Africa and live a life of adventure and un-normal existence.  So why am I so conflicted?

It all comes down to TRUST! Do I trust Him to take care of me in a remote country where the danger level goes up and my comfort level goes down? Safety net gone along a very skinny tightrope. Will he catch me?

That’s the gamble in my human brain. But all shouldn’t matter when my soul will live on even after this short time on earth and why not live it to the extreme?! Why settle for less than what I want.

 

Healing Eyes

Merry Christmas and Thank You for Praying

As I find myself in a bit of transition again I think how blessed I am. This past year has been very eventful with 3 successful trips to Africa and real direction for Healing Eyes I finish off the year with 1 more trip to Africa. The season is changing and snow is coming and I am thankful for everyone who has prayed for me, supported me financially, and been an encouragement to me during my grief and upheaval in life. The non-profit is gaining momentum and I can’t deny God behind it all even when I begin to doubt.

So what have we accomplished this year?

Started a relationship with a pastor in Manafwa District (Eastern Uganda near Kenya) who has a school for impoverished children.Started the first steps towards surveying 2 acres of land in order to build a real school building and develop the community.Helped bring 5 kids the gift of education by either sending them to an established boarding school and/or seeing to there immediate physical needs through support from individuals in Michigan.Strengthened our board of directorsConnected with new churches in Western Michigan

 

So what do we plan for 2016?

Live in Africa for 4 months starting in March.Start a pig farm to support widows and orphans in Eastern Uganda.Grow our partners to build a primary age school.Find resources to build a library and develop a discipleship program for local pastors.Start a bible study for widows in Eastern Uganda and be God's hands and feet through compassion.Find sponsors for the 199 children attending Buweboya vision junior school.

IfIMG_8101 you want to help support the ministry one-time and monthly donations can be made online or by mail by sending a check made out to Healing Eyes to 3250 Dawes Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508. All donations are tax-deductible and you will receive at the end of the year for tax purposes.

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Healing Eyes

Pigs in the horizon

If I knew 5 years ago that I would be about to buy some baby bigs in Africa to try and create a self-sustaining income for a community of widows in Eastern Uganda I would most likely think that was a joke. Seems the joke is quite real and this Friday I will be taking off to Africa yet again with cash to purchase 3 baby pigs, 1 boy and 2 girls, for the widows to raise up and begin a pig farming enterprise. Possibly the most unforeseen plan I could imagine but that must be why its perfect!

Now what to name the little piglets…

Thanks to the help of some friends in Michigan we have 2 drinking fountains out of PVC pipe tailored for pigs to bring with, which should put the farm a cut above the other farms by providing accessible water that has little waste. We also found the plans for it on another blog that has some great photos on how to make one yourself. So now with a little more of God’s direction we shall find the pigs, install the watering fountains, vaccinate, and plant the virtual seeds for the village to start earning some income for a school. Phase 1 of God’s plan…now if only I could figure out why there is a little voice saying we need more than 2 acres of land to start. I guess the next couple weeks might reveal the answer to that one!


12189398_10154339308958012_3635350358924692823_oWelcome

our newest member on this crazy mission who will be accompanying me on this trip in hopes of finding answers he is looking for, Mr. Jake! Seems familiar as I think it was back in January when I was first starting out in Africa and seeking what I was looking for. Who knows what he will find but we are so HAPPY to have him come along and see what’s in store for him.

Jake comes from a church in Michigan that I was connected with through a friend at my former employer Steelcase. A lady I never even knew when I was working at Steelcase but felt touched by my story and began following this very blog and praying for me and the journey I was on. If it wasn’t for her I would never have met the church or the pastor and his son Jake. So it takes time to find where God leads you but if your slightly patient he will connect the dots. Jake is in college currently but he has served in Uganda several times and his heart wants to be NO where else after he graduates. He worked at Rafiki Foundation in Kampala for 6 months and has many children there that call him friend. Thank you for coming along and being willing to help ‘the least of these’ by making a different in the ‘flavor’ of the world we live in (Mark 9:50)


 

 

 

Healing Eyes

Radically change the life of another

Imagine

radically changing the life of a child living in extreme conditions in Manafwa Uganda. You can help us be God’s hands and feet on earth through improving their circumstances by providing better education, medical conditions, nutrition and even encouragement. We ask you to come along side us and support the mission by becoming at $35 per month partner; because together, through Christ, we can do it.

Another way you can help is through one-time donations to help build a school. The community has been wiped out by aids, malaria and extreme poverty, producing many orphans and widows. Be a part of building a school and library as a witness of the love of Jesus. You will also help empower the widows to see past their current poverty and become self-sustaining through equipping them with agriculture and other business instruction.


One School Building with 4 classrooms = ~$24,000
One Borehole = ~$8,000
Toilets with 4 stalls = ~$4,000

Healing Eyes

Returning to the familiar and finding its changed

Does it seem strange to you that life continues when you lose someone? Everything that was is no more and things that are similar are completely different yet the same. To all the widows out there I’m sure you can relate. Today I joined a gym to try and build up my strength for Africa as well as emotional stamina the physical is just as important. My husband and I went to the YMCA when he was going through cancer, it helped with his strength and constant nerve pain from the surgeries. Now I am going to a different gym but even though its not the same place and he is gone now it still is similar to what was. The weight lifting machines are there and the indoor track mimics the other but this time it’s a new memory. Perhaps new memories are what is important when moving on in life after tragic loss. The new memories don’t push out the old but instead fill in the cracks of the shattered life left behind. Perhaps over time those memories will create a beautiful mosaic of filtered light that blends the two lives into one.

I have to make another sacrifice for this new found hobby, no more internet. Trade in the wifi for some exercise to save $19.99 a month from Comcast. Every penny counts to stretch out my time as a ‘missionary’. It was a bit humbling when filling out a form about income when I scribbled a big zero in for annual salary. Slightly insane when today I counted up the kids in uganda that I have given my resources, time, and love to. Total tally is up to 199 little faces and 3 others in another village. It should scare me knowing I have no income and I’ll be homeless come March while packing crates to move to Africa to live a very very very sobering life. All with the knowledge that my boyfriend will be staying behind and I’ll be solo for months in a far far far away land. Is that the beginning of a book? Once upon a time in a far far far away land lived a small girl with 199 children plus 3 who thinks it possible to feed them all.

Flip the story on it’s head and it should read.

Once upon a time there lived a God who picked up one shattered life and plopped it in a far far far away land to live among the least of these. Burst into song, shout for joy, because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.

Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants will dispossess nations
    and settle in their desolate cities.

 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
    Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
    and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
 For your Maker is your husband—
    the Lord Almighty is his name

Healing Eyes