• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: grief

pain revealed

We never post the sad photos on Facebook…. Only the happy ones because seeing pain hurts.

Cancer kicked off this non profit and cancer is refreshing the pain behind it. Yet compassion is the real Heart behind it all.

I am experiencing the other side of cancer as the patient. I now feel the sadness that my first husband felt as he took pain killers to numb the physical pain. He disappeared while he was alive and hid his grieving from me until he could no more. His story was different than mine, my cancer was caught early and didn’t spread to the other organs. What scares me is the pain is similar…. Did I show him enough Grace during it all?

Compassion for those we see suffering. Even in a world where social media hides the real images of life. The real view of living is through tear strained eyes with moments of laughter. Choosing to let joy overcome the sadness.

Yea ok I lost a part of me and now I lay on my back for hours in pain but other people I know also are losing more. Losing a chance to learn that people do care and that human nature doesn’t have to stay evil from birth. To teach a child as they grow about the basics of morals and helping others.

Be the salt of the earth! Make a difference, stand out.

Show real photos of life and let others see what is hiding behind a veil of smiles.

We still have many kids who want to learn. One is deaf and we are looking for $35 a month for a year to keep him in school.

Charles my new deaf boy who I need support to place him a nearby school for the deaf in June. If you have a heart for the deaf please visit our Donate page.

Charles my new deaf boy who I need support to place him a nearby school for the deaf in June. If you have a heart for the deaf please visit our Donate page.

Another child is so smart with much potential but has no one to support him. $35 a month for a year can touch his life.

Simon Pushing the wheel barrel

Simon Pushing the wheel barrel

All the monthly donations go towards keeping the 32 kids school fees paid, feeding 32 of them, development for the new land, medicine, hiv testing…. And supporting those who keep this mission alive.

Ministry Support

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Donation Total: $35 Monthly

Partner in Confidence: Safe and Secure.. Your personal information is encrypted and transmitted without risk using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization making your donations tax deductible (receipts mailed at the end of each tax year)

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Donation Total: $125

 

Thank you

Sarah…. Founder

Healing Eyes

African Widows

Sometimes I can’t take photos of what I experience and often my words can’t even express the logic here but I’ll do my best. Widows here have it bad!

I was visiting a young widow who lost her husband unexpectedly last week in the nearby village since one of her children attends the school we are partnering with. It happened to be the day the clan family was gathering to discuss her future. What I learned was sickening and as I am here longer and longer I am seeing why the culture is the way it is and why change is so hard here.

The men were meeting to discuss who would care for the widow. At first that sounds rather nice of the clan but this is the hard truth of it. The man who will be chosen can have the option to marry her if she accepts but most likely because of the fear of AIDS neither will agree. This then leaves the widow the right to stay on the land but the man will not feed her or the children. So what does she have for options?

The clan woman can meet and persuade her to find a man who she can sleep with for food, exchange sex to survive. Now this widow is a Christian, which means she might not go for this option. If she doesn’t choose this path she could return to her native village and hope someone will care for her with a little food, however, she might not bring her 4 children with. Now another choice is find someone to marry, however again this is difficult because Christians fear AIDS and non-believers do not care about getting AIDS and would rather just not know. This means she fears marrying again. Now if she does find a man that man most likely will not take her 4 children and so those children now will be abandoned to perhaps a clan aunt or grandmother but this doesn’t mean they will be fed.

So if you’re a young widow here you have pretty bad odds of surviving…Starve, have sex, or marry and leave your children.

 

Another sickening reality here is if you’re a young girl reaching age 14 or 15 and you have grown up with no help and little food you will begin ‘playing sex’ with older men in order to get enough money to buy a simple thing like menstruation pads and/or a bit of food. These girls will not care about getting AIDS because no one here wants to get tested and fears the stigma that attaches to it. If you are a widow and your husband dies from AIDS they will try to hide it by turning to alcohol before the man dies so that people will say he died from drinking.

nikki

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.

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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

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

You know your on the right path when you hear the word Free

Can you believe that today I had my own little miracle happen? God takes care of widows and today after spending almost 3 hours at the mechanic to get my oil changed he worked his magic. Free! the $40 it was supposed to cost was on the house today because they took forever trying to find an oil filter for my car. But wait! It doesn’t stop there! My next visit is free too!

So I have no income and give away what little bit of money I do have, but at least my oil change was taken care of today and tomorrow:)

My salary is paid with long waits of patience opportunities and unconventional ways of supplementing a ‘normal’ income. Yea it’s not the most comfortable or risk free way of living but it beats paying $40 I didn’t have today for routine car maintenance at a place I hadn’t visited since Andy died. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?! Perhaps my utility bills will randomly get lost in the system.

Healing Eyes

Simon says

Hi!

His mother poisoned his father and than left him and his brother in 2012. He really likes reading the bible.
He told me his favorite subject in school is Science. Although I doubt it, he told me he likes the color red, but that was after several kids before him told me the same answer.

What I remember about him was one afternoon I was sitting with a group of kids reading the bible and when I stopped to pause (because my stomach was ill) and picked up reading again he corrected me on where I left off in reading. He had been leaning over my shoulder the entire time following my reading of a Psalm. The font was very small but he was so intent with what I was reading he picked up on every word I spoke!

Healing Eyes

A corrupt system

As we grow our needs grow which is why now is the time to Ask for Help. The year is ending and many are turning there minds to Christmas and giving. If I could ask for one thing it would be to have another year to able to go where God says and Do what he says, which means Sarah needs Support. This has weighed heavy on my mind for sometime and I am reminded by others that Sarah needs help to. But each time I see the kids in Africa I think I can squeeze one more kid out of government school into a private school where they may have a chance to get out of poverty. The government ‘free’ schools are 100+ to 1 teacher and they say they are free but on my last visit I learned kids go hungry. Why? The fee for breakfast and lunch may be paid by a parent but since the majority of parents pay nothing then there is never enough porridge and beans purchased for the kids to eat that do pay. It is a system corrupt and broken.

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At another area in Uganda we hope to help build a school for orphans, impoverished, and disabled children. The Building Goal page shows our progress towards making that dream come true.

My biggest announcement is I am moving To Africa March 1, 2016 for 3-4 months to start. I have a place to lay my head and shelter. It is my hope to work with the people there and learn daily problems and successes as we work towards our building goal. I might even teach some english.

This can’t become possible without Partners in prayer and financially. If you have time to look at the Donate page and want to join our team in some way, please consider coming alongside us by helping me find each kid who needs compassion.

Healing Eyes

Widows in need feel the same as me.

Tears fall from my heart today and I am overwhelmed by grief and loss. Our society teaches us to hide the pain and as a result those in need hide and are helpless for attention. When we expose ourselves to being vulnerable we are at our lowest yet highest point of help. While in the village I met with widows…we put out a word of mouth call for all widows to come hear from a Mazungoo (white foreigner). I expected 15 ladies but instead 70 came and 2 men. As I sat in the wooden chair in the grassy field near a mud hut I thought, ‘Seriously?’

I talked for 2.5 hours straight! With 2 translators by my side I slowly spoke words foreign to me, words I still have no idea how I came up with. God knew what to say that day and he knew how to pull those embarrassing tears right out of me for all to see. Somehow I tied those tears into the speech about not being ashamed and that tears release the pain of loss. At some points they all clapped after I said something that touched their hearts, so amazing to see words in action after waiting so long for God to use me like I thought he would. It felt so like a sermon in the woods that day and living out the abundant life promised to us. If only it was possible to be abundant without fear and doubt threatening the foundation of it all.

I shall remember that day forever.

Can we make a change with faith?

Healing Eyes