• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: kids

Ministry for Kids

Your sponsorship would support:

  • Volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of America for the Summer Camp 2014. This includes being there to provide love and attention to the kids, arts and crafts, and going on field trips on the island with the kids.
  • When school starts up again in September I hope to split my time in between Lighthouse Missions after school program and the Boys and Girls Club of America program.

Check out the ‘Contact Me Page’ to be added to the Supporters list here


Personal Testimony

 

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Healing Eyes

Everything is Awesome

A Boy sits across from me and taps me on the shoulder, he says, “My name is Eddie Smith, will you remember me”? I look back shocked, “Yes, now that I know your name is Eddie I’ll remember you”.

My chest feels like its been opened up and my heart and all my vulnerabilities are exposed. Like its been in a deep thaw for years and God is pouring hot water on it, burning off the hardened shell and then taking a sledgehammer to it.

The sledgehammer was when Andy died in my arms. Now it’s a little hammer every few weeks that’s wacking off the thin shell that keeps hardening back over it.

Today I was at the Boys and Girls club all day. I didn’t pack a lunch and didn’t bring enough water so I am shocked I survived until 3pm, but I did! Where to begin? It was very awkward at first as I stood around aimlessly wondering what I got myself into. Eventually all the kids were brought inside and then the manager called out my name, “We have a new volunteer today, Miss Sarah. Sarah come over here, we want to bless you”.

Bless me? What is this crazy mumbo jumbo stuff but I was not in control and I went with the flow. I held my hands out with palms out as the whole group of kids and adults started to Bless the fact that I was there and that me being there was important to them and that it made a difference. They then did a very loud ‘HooRah’ at the end. I won’t lie I got choked up and almost cried. That was the first smack on my heart with the hammer.

I ended up in the 5-9 year old room where I met Eden (which was Eddie, he goes by both names). I think he tells people Eddie until he likes you, than he is Eden. The first boy who talked to me right when I went thru the door was Dante, no idea what he said but he was happy. Then there was Kalina, Frank (who I called Fred and they laughed), and Qui’nyah (such a pretty name). I read books to the few kids crowded around me and had them read back some of the words. Played some games and really just felt so out of my element (but secretly liked it).

Outside for snacks and lunch I sat at a picnic table with boys. Very odd since usually its girls I’ve been around. Eden was there and he has a temper I soon realized. Jackie (pronounced not like it looks, he’s a boy) who is really creative and was playing with some jenga blocks, he was making a fort and zombies were attacking it. I later filmed his debut movie of the zombies attack and got them to sing the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song from the Lego movie. During all of this Eden kept losing his temper and I think he was testing me. Kinda like one special girl at the lighthouse. Then I went on the field trip to the bowling alley. Now by this time all the high school kids that volunteer from the states during summer camp  had left (they did the morning shift). Others thought I was with them since I was white and young but nope, I am solo volunteer.

While waiting for the vans to take us back after bowling Eden was really clinging me to all of a sudden and asking me questions. If I had any kids, a husband, how he died, what age was he when he died, when did my baby die, pretty much all the questions adults are afraid to ask. He made me sit next to him on the bus so I must have made it thru some door where he trusted me more. It’s so odd, sometimes it feels like kids don’t see me but off and on at the bowling alley they kept saying hi and smiling. Was I now more credible than the others that come in the morning? I don’t know what God is up to but I feel like an odd duck amongst everyone, no matter how I look at it I don’t blend in well.

Another thing that happened at the picnic table with the boys was a discussion about God and how you get to heaven. So weird how that conversation got started but it was so surreal.

I noticed though that the kids are so used to having there photo taken and as I looked around in the morning I noticed all the high school volunteers from the states were snapping photos. Do these kids think that is all we are about? They come and come and take photos and then move on with there life. By helping are we just making the kids feel like they are only worth a photo opportunity? Too soon to tell I suppose. But I can’t help but remember Eden saying “will you remember me?”

Healing Eyes

psst This Way

My life the movie?! That’s what the person I just got back from seeing about volunteering said to me. Well not those exact words but basically she was excited to meet someone whose life seemed like a movie. Husband gets sick, dies, widow sells it all in search of faith, heals thru helping others, never could have kids of her own and now seeks ways to get past that pain by loving kids.

Hmm ok I guess I can kinda see the screen write for that movie.

This morning started off with a jog and pushups on a rock..yes just like a Rocky movie where I find a random rock on the beach and start doing pushups in between jogging. I am working on my physical health to clear my mind. I hear more from my invisible friend when my mind is clear.

It of course worked because I had an interesting conversation with a girlfriend after running that then led me back to something I have been procrastinating on. I’ve been running from because it’s too hard and too overwhelming to go after. Yes, I am fighting God a bit on this task he put before me. Maybe that’s why I’ve been forced into solitude because of my disobedience. But no more God! I called the person I was supposed to and will meet at 5pm with her. So you can stop punishing me while yelling into my ears to follow through on your request. Geesh already!

Great news to report, I have found my place. Well, I think I have. It has kids and a need and I start Thursday. You know how when you step into a room and it feels right, that after all the searching something clicks in your heart. Well, I think I found it. Last Sunday I had brunch with a few people, which included 3 widows, yes I say widows with pride. Our husbands might be gone but we still are alive, we still need to band together to fight grief and survive. Anyways, it was a brunch of guidance from God. He put some people I knew from a few weeks ago back into my line of site. He showed me how they just quit their jobs and went full time ministry without really much support and they are still alive. I got a contact for the Boys and Girls Club of America on the island from them. The next day I call over there and find out they are just up the hill from the Lighthouse. Funny part is I stepped outside the lighthouse and the person I was talking to on the phone stepped outside and was waving at me from the top of the hill so I could see where to go. It’s like God was finally, literally, waving at me for the next turn in my faith walk. ‘Sarah, come this way, right up the hill and then await further directions’.

Each day is a battle over worrying about money and letting go of my ‘real’ job in less than 2 weeks! The clock is ticking down and the bombardment from every direction makes me feel like a bulls eye being shot at repeatedly. All the tricks and tactics are being used to sway me from leaving my job, packing up and moving somewhere else, and throwing in the whole faith crap.

But I’m stubborn and determined to not give up.

God has every detail in place though, even though I doubt his hand in it too much, he brought me here and then over time he is putting different people around me to keep my feet on the ground. I may feel alone at night but when the sun is shining (as it does constantly) I have plenty of people encouraging me to smile.

Thanks to my landlord who has my back on the Jeep maintenance and safety of where I live. Thanks to the random people I meet when I step outside. Thanks to the woman I chatted with about volunteering and is giving me a chance to fix my ‘kid phobia’. Thanks to my girlfriend who was used to remind me to stop procrastinating and gives me a spot to jog and jump in the pool in my underwear, LOL.

Island life = let me quick throw clothes on cuz I’m always in a swimsuit, NOT! Ok yes, I might have just gotten down swimming when I had a phone call back home with my job, but in my defense it is my day off.

Healing Eyes

Why do I have a guitar?

The day started without one and now I appear to have one in my possession.

I have learned about 3 cords that I think I still remember and my fingers are a bit numb and red from pressing on the wires. 

Guitar

It all began because this morning I was filled with grief. Sometimes the grief comes in waves and drowns me. I am learning to admit to my weakness of grief and seeking help from God to navigate thru it. It seems today the answer was ‘Guitar’. So sure why not I’ll try it…if all else fails at least I can say I know 3 chords.

You know how sometimes you know you need to share your feelings but you don’t want to. Most of the time you just shove them back inside and suffer thru your day? Well this morning I decided not to do that. Instead I unloaded on a friend about the stabbing pain in my heart that comes with losing a partner. I lost my partner, my life line, my strength for all of my adult life.

Yesterday I found out the manager of the condo house sits until November. That was a bit saddening to hear because now I am alone in this little building by the Sea. Yes, the other building is just a few feet away and my other friend lives there but one thing you come to realize on the island is that things seem farther way than they appear. Something about the heat that slows you down and makes things seem faaaaar away. Anyways, I was sad and again felt like God wants me to be alone in order to to teach me to lean on him. Why does God have to be so greedy? What makes me so special that he wants me all to himself? Grrr I scream because I really am lonely at night. The waves crashing on the surf is quite nice but it doesn’t hold me at night. I suppose I will have to start to learn to accept my solitude and enjoy the ride.

Today was a long day and filled with so many unexpected blessings. I decided to take a mini half day vacation and went to the beach. Yes yes a beach! How Cliché! But this one is the far end of the island and is very secluded. Don’t fear I did not go alone because that would be slightly dangerous. I tried snorkeling again, I am not a huge fan of it but I am on an island so I should give it a shot. A sting ray decided to visit me and that freaked me out a bit but I survived.

photo 1 (2)

After my beach/hike escape I found out that it was the last night for the kids club at the church. This meant I could find Gracie one more time. I went expecting to just be happy finding Gracie and instead God put another lady into my life again. She was a nice lady I met when I first came to the island, we shared some tears the last time. I was sitting in the white plastic chairs and she walked in, at first she didn’t recognize me but then a flash of recognition lit up her eyes. ‘Miss Sarah!’

We sat down and caught up a bit and she confessed something to me that made me laugh right out loud. ‘Sarah, I have to confess, and it might sound bad but I prayed for a white friend.’ That just made me laugh and smile so loudly. I said right back to her, ‘You know I also have always wanted a black friend’. So funny even now thinking back to that conversation on how straightforward that was.  She also happens to be my neighbor, it seems she has a house very close to my new place. So odd how when you least expect it you get a little blessing you never expected or asked for. So perhaps I won’t be so lonely.

At the end of the kids club the little girls hugged me and swarmed around me on the way to the church van. One girl asked if I lived here and I said that I moved to the island. She seemed happy about that. Another girl said she wanted to stay with me and they all walked close to me to the church van. When we got to the van a girl said she didn’t want to go home but I said come to church on Sunday and i’ll see you again. God knows why these kids want to see me again…they must be really craving love to need me. If I can make a bit of difference in there lives by just showing up then that’s enough reason to stay here on the island. I don’t know how but if God wants me to learn something and sacrifice my comfort for others than why not.

Tomorrow I am going to get up super early to see the sunset from the West end of the island. Should be amazing!  I don’t know what my future is but right now I am exhausted and feeling ‘ok’. This faith walk is exhausting, if you ever get bored in your lives and want to step out than be ready for a lot of ups and downs because God likes to be unpredictable and sometimes illogical.


 

Prayer request: I really need to get some wifi at my place and stop using my phone as a hotspot. It’s convenient but really limiting to my blogging.

bible lesson ball

 

Healing Eyes

Long day on da island

This evening I had a very sudden burst of grief overwhelm me. It’s been at least a week since that’s happened. I saw a man that was skin and bones , literally , not exaggerating. It brought back painful images of Andy’s body being ravished by starvation. His first started the month before we learned he had cancer. He lost 30 pounds in a month! After his stomach came out he began losing more. After his final chemo rounds it just kept getting worse. The month of his death he was so frail. To hug him was to feel bones protruding under his skin. He walked slowly and bent over a little. He just looked sluggish and confused. When your so close to someone sick you see it but you also kinda don’t see it because it’s a slow progression.

I drove home in the dark crying and repeating , “Andy was that skinny, Andy was that skinny”.

I miss Andy. I ache for Andy.

I dreamt last night about him. He was not healthy in my dream. He rarely is:(

Prior to my melt down I had a good day. The kids last day of after school program at the lighthouse. They were extra extra loud and crazy. Little Gracie was up and down on emotions. She has a hard time with anger I notice. Also she craves attention and will do odd things to get it. I think she is testing me to see what she can get away with. I of course am a push over and have a hard time getting her respect. In the end I did get her to apologize to me in return for her fruit snacks. It’s so weird being around kids. I’m getting better though. It’s sad it’s summer vacation now and my practice with kids will lessen:(
There was one point today where Gracie noticed I had my bracelet on still that I made with her. She asked why I had it still. I said it was because I made it with her. This was during her anger spell and she wouldn’t apologize for misbehaving. So then the other girl with us said how awful it was that Gracie was being mean when I just said how important my bracelet was. Then Gracie seemed to understand more that she should be nicer.

I have a lot to learn about kids. But that must be why I’m here. One of a few reasons at least.

Tomorrow I pack my two totes up and move to my one bedroom apartment. I’m pretty excited about that…but also scared I’m splurging too much on myself. But it seems God wanted to spoil me this time and I need to not fight him on it.

 

 

 

 

Healing Eyes

Peaceful

I was angry when Andy died.

I was angry when Hope died.

I was angry when Adoption failed.

But this morning as I awake on the island at my friend, Beth’s condo by the Sea…I hear the waves crashing on the rock wall and the wind blow the palm tree on the window. I smile! I smile so wide because the pain is easing. The tears are slowing and my heart is thawing. I am not as angry as I was about losing Andy. I am not as angry as I was for losing Hope. How can I be when I have a new love that is slowly taking hold where all the empty was. The dark pit that consumed me and threatened to pull me under is getting smaller and smaller. Tomorrow I could easily fall back in, or the next day, or the next day after. I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself! Right now I realize how much God loves me…it’s crazy to say after so many years of living my own life. Living for myself and feeling the need to control the outcome of life. 

Let go to live!
Let go to BREATHE!

I have kids now. I was motherless but now I have several kids that like me.. dare I say Love me? Last night at kids club Gracie ran to me and latched onto my waste. Literally! She wouldn’t let go. I was walking around with an 8 year old girl strapped to my waste. It was nice to be hugged even if it still is a bit odd for me to surrender to a love of a child. Maybe it was God hugging me thru Gracie saying it will be ok Sarah. stop worrying about tomorrow or even today…isn’t it enough that you’re here doing what I asked you to? Let me work on your heart and teach you a new skill. Or perhaps its an old skill buried way down that I suppressed…maybe I’ve known how to be a kid all along.

The kids were playing on the field and Gracie and I went down there. Well I mean I walked down there with her attached to my waste. I tried to encourage her to play with the other kids but she refused. She is very stubborn! hmm reminds me of another person i know, Me. The other girls called out my name, Miss Sarah! A very small girl named, Magalina, hugged me:) She always falls asleep during the lesson, perhaps from the heat or maybe its because she is so thin and tiny.

I’m going off island for a week and I am sad about that. I just was getting comfortable and adjusting and now I have to be ‘business Sarah’ again. The look on Gracie’s face as I said I was going away for a week touched me. The look on Carla’s face when I said I would be gone on her birthday made me sad. It’s nice feeling wanted even if it is such a small thing that I bring to their lives. However, I think they like knowing someone loves them and wants to be around. It seems people come in and out of their lives often and they never know who is sticking around long term. I pray that God will keep me here a bit longer to build those relationships up and to learn all their names…maybe watch them grow a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not setting up roots here, but maybe just maybe I am learning some new skills about kids that I can take wherever I land. 

 

Healing Eyes