• sarah@healingeyes.org

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Too Many wounded children

What can one person do after opening a huge can of worms in Africa? Beats me but I just did today. I brought back the 2 boys who were staying with me after their treatment was finished for the 3 days. Then I asked the pastor to take me for a walk to see the other villages past the swamp before the rainy season comes. He laughed at first and was shocked because Mazungoos don’t ‘foot’ it (walk), they only ride around in cars. So it was quite a sight today as I walked with Rev John from hut to hut and jumped a small river in the swamp to make it to the visiting village. I decided why not look for wounded children as we go and take them to the clinic as a group. You see there are many children with wounds on there feet and legs from farming (digging). They accidentally hit themselves with the hoe or sharp objects and then never seek medical treatment because of the cost. So now the villages all know Sarah is taking wounded children to be healed. Oops.

WARNING: Some of the photos are a bit graphic.

One girl I found is 8 years old and has been injured since November 2015 from a nail she stepped on. We took her and her brother to the clinic in Tororo. We also found 2 other boys along the way.

One boy (14 yrs) has a wound a month old, another boy (8 years) just sliced his foot on an iron sheet last Friday and the oldest boy of 19 has been injured for 3 years. All have wounds I know where and how to treat.

Sadly the truth here is that the treatment is a bit painful. The girl I had to restrain while they took a razor blade to cut out the bad tissue to open the puss to release the infection. It took me and one other man to hold her down while I tried to insist she be given Novocain for the pain but it turns out that was worse than the cutting because village kids FEAR needles and she fought back. We both cried as I put almost all my weight down on the girl to keep her from moving. All of this while they treated the other boy next to her and so she now sees him screaming from an IV needle, which makes it all worse.

bleedingOutThe 8 year old boy with a sliced foot I met in the morning and his foot was covered in a bandage that was entirely red from blood. When I came back an hour later to take him they had already brought him to the government clinic, which is a very BAD idea. So we rushed to find him but it was too late they had put stitches in without any medicine or cleaning of the wound. They stitched it and then set him away with Tylenol and NO antibiotics. The boy screamed and ran away from me and we tried to put him in the car to take him to the REAL clinic in town. Once at the clinic I tried to hold him tight as they cut the stitches out and cleaned the wound out and let’s just say he is a fighter.

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The 14 year old boy had I think the worst wound and so I sat next to him and held him down as he had his leg disinfected with iodine and then a razor blade used to cut the bad tissue out down to the flesh, about a 2 inch circle of flesh. We both cried and shook as I tried to keep it together for the boy.

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The 19 year old man had the worst infection but I did not see how they handled him because I had reached my limit of suffering.

I couldn’t pay the bill today because I had to use my last shillings to buy food until I get to the ATM again. I actually said to the Africans, I have NO MONEY left for any one else. I am at my end!

Now I have 4 kids again and the 8 year old boy is just screaming to go home and I am screaming to Go home too! No thank you’s and no appreciation for an agonizing afternoon and I still don’t know why me because each clinic visit opens my wound of staying by my husband’s side as he went through treatments and was in so much pain. Here in the village there is no treatment and no one to bring medicine and I fear the next days will bring a gauntlet of more children with wounds I can’t fix. Even Jesus had to run away when too many people came to be healed…There is too much need here and I just want someone to hold me tonight.

If you can help Healing Eyes out tonight with a donation of any amount to help our medical fund it would be a blessing to these children and me because more are coming and I can’t say no 🙁

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A day off from the crowd

After a day of disappointment and anger I turned to my little book of devotions and it says, “God is Someone You Can Rely On”. Even though my enemies are growing and they are plotting behind my back, even though I do not know my enemies from my friends here I can trust in One.

Then I flip to another page it reads, “God is your protector”.

Psalm 63:7

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Today I am going to hide in God’s shadow of his wings and wait for the evil to pass over me. Those who are threatening me will be taken care of and I will wait in the darkness because perhaps what’s on the other side is far more treacherous.

To reaffirm this even more I flipped to Psalm 25 and it reads:

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God. Do not let be put to shame, nor let my enemies’ triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse…

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish…See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they ate me! Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame for I take refuge in you.

I am hiding today and trying to regain some glimmer of hope that I should continue with this journey because right now all I see is darkness and deceit surrounding me. Maybe with each good thing I bring I will be faced with a double dose of evil each time. If so, then I fear I am not strong enough to withstand what may come next. The purpose of starting this charity and life change was all based on compassion and seeing past pain and yet I cannot see how any of that will ever change hearts in the darkness that is covering this village. It will not be by my strength that heals hearts there but I put my hope in my invisible friend who was there with me since my husband died.

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Exhausted and determined to build hope

What I am thankful for is a shower and a mosquito net. Really it’s the basics in life that make the difference here in Africa. For dinner I had 1 hard boiled egg, beef jerky, and 3 bananas. It’s more than some get.

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Not to sound like a broken record but I need prayers for my health. My nose has began running and my headaches won’t stop. After finishing my week of Amoxycillin I am now starting my stash of Cipro to try and combat this ailment. I just pray I don’t get a cold on top of all of this.

Regardless of how my body is doing my heart took a bit of a beating today as I interviewed some new ‘orphans’ admitted to the ‘school’. How the school can take more kids in is beyond my comprehension because they have NO buildings and the teachers aren’t even paid since parents aren’t paying school fees.  Pastor John has a big heart and can’t say no to anyone it seems. But alas I talked to some new kids and heard the same thing over and over, mother died and father is a drunkard. Or another is father died of HIV and mother is widowed and only digs in the garden. My favorite is the witchdoctor poisoned their mother in the garden, some truth behind this and also just some basic lack of medical help.

31 more kids! On top of the 31 I already had who were on the needy list. Healing Eyes will do its best but its a reality when we can’t help all of these kids  because first of all some have parents that can pay and also we need to do more than just pay for school fees. I am tired…my heart is tired..my immune system is fighting as hard as it can against sickness…and today I get more kids. Tomorrow morning I need to get up and make a list of which kids deserve a trip to the hospital for HIV testing and other health ailments and which will have to wait. One child has some diagnosis of a pancreas issue, I told her to bring her medical papers so I can see what the problem is. I’m not a Doctor though!

The rains are coming sadly which means the meager school under 2 trees is going to take a beating from the rain and mud. So in preparation I have begin ordering some wooden benches to get them off of the ground, buying some sheet metal to put a roof on the makeshift classroom of sticks, and lastly we will get the mudding started to construct 3 little classrooms until one day we can have land and REAL buildings. My hope is that this can help during rainy season and provide some relief for the time. Should cost about $250 to pull this miracle off this week. Pray Pray Pray we can work faster than usual here in Africa where snail pace time rules.

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Thank you Supporters

From the orphan, disabled, and HIV afffected children at Buweboya Vision Junior School we say ‘Yalama Noy’ ‘Thank you’ to our supporters!

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Day of Success and Miracles

Yesterday I was in the hospital for an infection and then today well I woke up to an email from a friend saying they have $2000 for me to buy a car. Then I get home after a long day and find out another $500 is coming from another friend for the car. So in ONE day I have enough to buy a car for Healing Eyes ministry in Uganda. Wow! Prayer does work people!!!!!

So today was a day of progress and smiles. The devil might have tried yesterday to tear my body apart with infections but today God gave me the strength to persevere and adapt to my environment.  The kids were extra happy to see me and are saying my name much more these days. There shyness is wearing off finally. I was able to teach a little english and math with some worksheets I brought along and the kids found them challenging to do. As I graded them they encircled me and nearly crushed me, but it was all in good spirits. What was cute was when I first got to school Jessica asked me right away if I would teach english yet. Ah what a sweetie.

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Later when I pulled the ukulele out finally they were so excited and again nearly mulled me by there shear numbers. There is about 257 kids there now, yikes!

The uniforms also came for my 30 needy kids and we had fun handing those out. The quality wasn’t what I expected but the boost in self esteem these kids received was well worth it.

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Then we closed off with a nice lunch for the 30 kids that was provided by Gaines Church and another private donor. Such a blessing to see some fruit to our labor.

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Tomorrow I hope to bring another 2 kids to the hospital, one is a strange head disease and another is a burned foot. Pray that goes well and we get some answers for these two strong kids

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Unite the village for the children!

As I type my stomach is cramping in ways I didn’t know it could. I have gotten stomach pains before but this is a bit alarming. But never fear my wonderful driver got me some medicine this morning and I pray it improves. My new friend at the guest house found me ear drops and now i am hopeful the pain will stop.

Another blessing is Teacher sara is on her way no bus right now to come see me for the weekend. Hallelujah a friend!
What else can i be thankful for? um… um…I’m safe in a locked room and the staff are very nice to me. I even have arranged to take the cleaning lady from here to help me twice a week at my apartment (whenever i can even move in that is).
I also took a hot shower so that’s another plus!
Ministry side I met with the parents today at there annual meeting at the school (5 hours sitting in a plastic chair in front of everyone). It was ‘interesting’. I had to set a few things straight with the parents that I wasn’t sponsoring all there children. They had the impression I was since last time I took photos of there kids (another reason why to be cautious of photographing in the village). I was the last of the official guests to do a speech (they are big on speeches here). My stomach was near death by the time i stood under the mango tree and threatening thunderstorm. I held my bible and thought I would read from it about God trusting you with a little before giving you more but I ended up spouting out a bunch of stern words and moving my arms around passionately. I think by now they know I am not here with lots of money and that I am here for there kids and to encourage them to work hard and that they should all pay there child’s school fees and to not expect handouts. Yes, healing eyes is helping with 30 of the orphans/disabled/hiv kids but not all the kids who have parents that can work. It’s hard not to help all of them since they are struggling in poverty but money isn’t always the answer I told them. God will trust them with a little and then if they are faithful God will trust more. Sadly other white people with good intentions have caused Africans in the village to think we mean money and will fix there problems with handouts. It can be easier to just give money to fix an issue without putting long term investment in the people trying to help themselves.
Right about now a short easy fix of throwing money sounds nice as I am already homesick and lonely but I can’t give up now. The culture here won’t change in my lifetime but we have to start somewhere! Small seeds for change.
It did feel a bit like a united village at the end of the meeting. John wanted me to portray that feeling of Unity..to Unite a village to help themselves he said. Felt like a speech before going to war in the Braveheart movie really, my arms in the air yelling for change and courage to persevere during suffering.

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I Made It

Hello everyone (habari)

I am writing to you all from Ugandan soil. I’m currently in Tororo, the main city in which I’ll be staying. The last few days of travel have been filled with difficulty and frustrations. The difficulties first began in the airport in Chicago where I was forced to unpack all of my belongings due to the new KLM weight restriction. It was awful and cost me a huge fee because my bag that was supposed to be a carry-on was now considered a third bag. The devil was let loose and tried to test my resolve. I nearly gave up had it not been for my fiancé who stood strong and spoke truth to combat my melt down. It helps to have a supportive guy who loves me and the work in Africa that we want to do together. So, after much tears, we made it through the airport goodbyes. Once arriving in Africa, there were less difficulties. Everything went pretty smoothly besides a delay the next day, but that was typical Africa time.

Today I’ve been sick, but I made an attempt to make it through the day. I mattress hunted by the border of Kenya for cheaper prices. I also bought a fan. Finally, I went to the school around 4pm and was met by the children who were eagerly awaiting my arrival. They then proceeded to serenade me. I gave some encouraging words to them and they clapped. After that, the pastor and I talked some business. I topped off my day by bringing a small girl to the clinic. (The clinic is a shack in the village trading center that has one lady who trades with pills.) The girl had a swollen finger that was paining her. In Africa, almost every sickness is thought to be Malaria, but this young child does have Malaria (this was found out because the lady checks everyone with a blood test). So, we will be treating her with two ailments on a child today. Luckily, we caught the finger soon. Otherwise, it would have swollen more and busted open with puss and the fingernail would come off. Catching Malaria early was incredibly lucky, and the pills only cost $2 rather than the $21 dollars one would pay in town! The medical situation here is messed up and leans more to people dying rather than easy fixes..

Highlight: This little girl did remember me when she first saw me and giggled for the first time which in turn brought me a smile! 🙂

Unfortunately, I am still waiting on my house… Can’t move in until Saturday they say. But based on what I saw I’ll be shocked if they finish construction by then… again… African time.

Thanks for your prayers… Please keep them coming as the loneliness is strong and it’s still 2.5 months until Don comes to visit me.

Sarah

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Not my prunes!

It’s with great sadness I must announce that sacrifices are to be made in preparation for departing this Sunday for Africa. My beloved Prunes can’t make the journey with me and so the African diarrhea will be highly probable while there. But it is for a good cause I say goodbye to my prunes because I am bringing some beautiful children’s books donated by the Theological Book Network in Kentwood Michigan. I know it’s a tough choice but as I sat looking at my 2 boxes that I can only get 50 lbs each in I thought well the kids sure would smile at the sight of colorful books.

March 13th I fly out again and begin another journey of discovery into the rabbit hole of Africa. What will I find this time? Who will I become? and most importantly what will we at Healing Eyes see revealed to us by God’s leadership?

Land? ….maybe
Laughter? …I hope so
Tears? …definitely
Worth it? …Definitely!
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We can feed 12 kids!

feedTheKids

The cost of going out to dinner with your sweetie can feed 12 of our kids at Buweboya. Wow!

The cost of our Sales Tax expense from the Chili Cook-Off could have paid for 12 kids to eat at school. Wow!

The cost of a pair of Gap Jeans could pay for 20 kids to eat at school for 1 month. Wow!

You get the idea by now…no matter how small you think a contribution is to our charity you are making a bigger difference than you think! Wow!

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Q&A revisted

Is this a non-profit you started or another organization you joined?

Answer: It’s a brand new 501c(3) non-profit that Sarah started after becoming a widow at 33, it was started in 2014 and became an official 501c(3) 1 year to the date from the passing of Sarah’s husband.

What do you do?

Answer: Support a ministry team to train and educate the local leaders on how to administer the school and provide support for widows and orphans. Provide quality Christian education for orphans and impoverished children by constructing a school building. Provide meals to children who would normally go without. Support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of widows and struggling families. Assist in community development.

What are your projects?

Answer: Project 616 and Child Sponsorship

How do you pay for all of this?

Answer: Donations from individuals and a couple churches. Fundraisers.

When does Sarah go back to Africa?

Answer: March 13

Do you have enough money to build a school and buy land right now?

Answer: Nope but we have faith.

How many times has Sarah been to Africa?

Answer: 4 in the last year

Is this an orphanage?

Answer: No it is not. The children go home each day to stay with caregivers or parents if they are alive.

Do you find homes for the orphans?

Answer: No there is no adoption program. The orphans are cared for by the village and grandparents.

How many kids are you trying to help?

Answer: About 200 kids currently learn under the 2 shade trees. There is no school building and the teachers are volunteers from the community. We want to buy land and build a school some day.

Do you feed the kids?

Answer: We are setting that up now for the 31 most needy children. It consists of Posha and Beans, a staple in Africa. But we still need help from donors like you to keep it going.

How does this affect me?

Answer: It doesn’t but it might be shocking to learn most of the world lives in extreme poverty and lacks common comforts like clean water, regular meals, quality education, and shelter. Long term what happens in Africa can play a part in our life here as we become more global and the pain of others impact our lives here.

What can I do to help?

Answer: Pray and consider donating monthly to help ministry costs which includes: financial help for Sarah (founder and missionary), feed and teach the children. Share with churches and pastors, volunteer your skills in grant writing or fundraising experience. Or just contact us to start asking more questions

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