• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: kids

The consistency in the Smalls make a difference

This is one of the ways a monthly donation helps with the ‘smalls’. If it wasn’t for steady contributions of one certain lady I wouldn’t be able to keep bringing fun crafts to the kids in St. Croix. Even though I am not on the island and preparing a trip to serve in Africa my heart doesn’t stray far from those girls at the Lighthouse. I can’t want to see the kids again in April and bring them these fun crafts to create together.

It starts with one or two open hearts and lots of Prayer.

Thank you Cindy for helping unfold God’s plan.

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Healing Eyes

I know Who I Am!

I love KIDS!!!! Yes I DO!!!!!

My husband would be flipping out right now and amazed at the transformation. Years of never having kids and trying to have kids hardened our hearts. But Now GOD has done a miracle…and I love kids! Which leads me to Missing the kids I fell in love with.

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That’s why I can’t help but run back to see them:)  No I’m not moving back to St. Croix but I sure am gonna love seeing them in a month and giving each one a huge hug! I wanted to see them before school was out and now since I am going to Africa this May I needed to push the date up.

I’m coming End of April to hug each one and embrace who God made me…how he finally used fire and pain to win be back. How he made me smile and enjoy being vulnerable around kids…feeling stupid and awkward. I don’t have kids of my own and never will but I am finally for the first time in my life COMPLETELY ok with that because more are the children of the desolate woman.

Come May of this year I’ll be with even more kids and living in poverty but at the same time feeling the most Rich I have ever felt. I will see things that will bring me to tears and break me even more for the years ahead in this ministry. I am ready for it! Bring it ON! Bring the impossible my way and show me how to build that home for neglected kids in Africa. Why NOT?! The impossible is way more possible when it’s not my idea. This week I have learned something about myself and it was through another breaking point God used on me, did it make me sad and feel hopeless.. YUP! Did it make me feel like I am not worth it and not good enough for the task? YUP! But who cares because I know that for years upon years I have felt incomplete and alone. But finally I don’t feel alone anymore! It’s finally happening.. I am becoming who I always thought I would be. A MISSIONARY!

Great song…that sums it all up!

I KNOW WHO I AM

Healing Eyes

Island coincidences or a clear direction for next steps?

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Sitting on my couch (yes I have a couch!) and playing my ukulele…waiting on God…waiting on what’s next…stressing…

The usual sort of morning for me!

Check my email and see a link to short term missions and after looking at job postings for graphic designers and feeling this icky feeling in my stomach about NOT wanting to be a graphic designer anymore. A feeling of hopelessness creeped in and fear of what am I supposed to do NOW that I am in Michigan working on my Non-Profit. So I gave up the job search surfing and flipped to looking at orphanages and trips to Africa…needs out there for tutors and willing hearts to serve. Looked at Southern and Eastern Africa…found one in Kenya. Never really wanted to go to Kenya but it is close to Uganda where little Billah is living by that beautiful waterfall. It read “Tutors Needed in Kenya to Assist Primary and Secondary School–May 19-June 30, 2015”. Ok maybe that’s something I can inquire about…it has Tutor in it and its longer than a couple weeks stay abroad. No sooner do I click ‘more information’ do I get a phone call from California. I almost didn’t pick it up because first of all I don’t like talking on the phone and secondly it was a weird number. But I answered it anyways. It was the guy needing a tutor in Kenya! So that was fricken fast!

Let’s list the coincidences in this phone call for prosperity sake:

  1. He lived on an island before
  2. He wasn’t a ‘missionary’ type person
  3. Same beliefs and values on what it means to follow God.
  4. Understood me when I said it’s about ‘Human Touch’ and ‘Relationships’ in Africa. That the lack of eye contact when young can lead to lack of empathy and also the pure understanding of compassion for life. Children need love pure and simple..they need touch…they need eye contact…and they need to know they are loved by God and some crazy White person (mzungoo) too.
  5. Lastly…the school is pretty close to Uganda where little Billah lives and maybe I could see her again in the mountains.
  6. Oh and…another connection with a Non-Profit in Africa which is what Healing Eyes needs.
  7. Ha one more..I needed to tighten up my business plan for area churches in order to raise money. So perhaps God is filling in the blanks for me.

Pray for direction.. Pray for Peace…and pray that this is the right choice for me and Healing Eyes to go with next. Tutoring in Kenya for 6 weeks with Commit Ministries.

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One child at a time even miles away is possible…

From money raised at the first fundraiser for Healing Eyes I am happy to share we are sponsoring our first child’s education in Uganda. It isn’t much and may seem small but it only takes One to make a difference and start change. So for the next 12 months Healing Eyes will be able to sponsor One child…and who knows maybe the future will bring more needs to our eyes.

Praying for even more abundance and opportunities to open up for Ivan (pictured below) as he starts 5th grade.

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Healing Eyes

Darkness in the closet

Laying curled up in my closet I realized that families in Africa Live in this size of a shack!!! My closet is more comfortable than some of there homes. That’s just wrong!!! Why should I ever feel sad about my circumstances ?!? I can at least get up and make change.
That’s what healing eyes needs and wants to do ! One small closet at a time…one home..one family at a time.

It’s time we all step out of our comforts and see the pain thru these children’s eyes and there huge smiles when someone SEES them.

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Healing Eyes

Now what do I do … Island to Deep freeze

There is doubt in decisions made by anyone. It is natural to do One thing and then Doubt it was the correct one. Maybe life is made up of those decisions and doubts but maybe there is always that lingering One true truth. That one thing that as much as we want it to not be the right decision because of the outright impossibility of it actually coming true. So we put up stable walls and security around us to live each day safely but at the same time limit ourselves from living largely. How can we live abundantly but also safely? It’s not possible because no matter what fate can tear those walls down and leave you far from safe and far from a feeling of stability.

What can I do? I am building up some security and stability in order to be in a place that can hopefully raise funds to do what Healing Eyes wants to do in Africa. At the same time it’s going to be a temptation to stay where its clean, safe, convenient, and you can have electricity 24 hours a day with a simple flip of the switch. When the power goes out here you know it will come back on soon but in other areas of the world it can be days.

This blog has been a journey from a personal story to adopt domestically…to cancer…to missionary..and now it’s Healing Eyes. A Non-Profit raising money to bring compassion and empathy back to the children of Africa, to help neglected and impoverished children by not just helping but building relationships and teaching what love is by DOING it. How can I keep sight on that while living in a place completely opposite to the living conditions there? How can I share with others what it’s like there to gain supporters to join? I guess I can’t. But maybe my invisible friend has some sneaky plan to show me how small I really am in this plan.

Rough plan for the next 6 months:

  • Raise money to fund another trip to Africa.
  • Build up the compassion and relationship fund.
  • Meet with the new CPA.
  • Sponsor education for a handful of kids in Africa.
Healing Eyes

Travelers Beware

To those who wished they live a life of travel and adventure. Don’t! It’s not really everything we dreamed up as a child…it’s the most stressful anxiety riddled life to pursue. Why? Well easy…take this photo for example that now has my belongings packed in it again, all the vacuum sealed bags with clothes and a very thin pillow all compressed into 2 containers that I pray are under 50 lbs each.

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Following God sometimes means being ready to Go when he says Jump. So now I jump and get on another fricken plane, leaving behind very precious little girls and boys.

What also isn’t glamorous about travel is traveling alone! Yes as a widow You now are faced with the realization that you have to pack all the bags and You have to carry them to and fro. Myself being kinda petite (5’4″) I don’t have the biggest muscles for the job but again another downfall of being alone after being used to a partner for 13 years. Never take for granted that husband at your side ladies, even when they aggravate you and irritate you to death.

Finally, why traveling isn’t what you dreamed of as a child….the airports. Need I say more?! Being moved around like cattle and crammed into small spaces with who knows next to you. Crying babies, loud talkers, and yes the kicker right behind your seat. All flying is a Bus in the Air except you can’t have the breeze on your face and no stopping at that truck stop.

Did I scare you off from being a traveler and adventurer yet?

Alas, I can’t deny there is some sense of freedom and abundance to this life, even with all the negatives. Meeting new people and seeing what you are capable of out of your comfort zone. Adapting to change more easily. And if you are me it’s those kids smiles when they light up each time I return from a trip…yelling… “Miss Sarah is back!!!!!!!” Then they squeeze my waste and tackle me.

I don’t want to leave the kids God! But I must…I have to see what could come of a blossoming relationship in Michigan and I must build support for Africa where thousands of kids could use some compassion and perhaps selfishly I could use all those tiny little hugs.

Healing Eyes

Day before the Last Day

My Lighthouse Girls will forever hold a special place in my heart.
I hope to come back to see them again if God directs our paths together again.

Healing Eyes

Moments Add Up

“Sweet kids are dying. Which means the future is dying. And if the future is dying we won’t have a future.”

Words from a small boy at the Boys and Girls Club of America after I talked to him about kids in Africa. The kids yelled out, “yay Miss Sarah is coming with”! As I crowded into the club van with them. That was the first time they did that…perhaps being gone and the coming back impacted them a bit more than I expected.

One of the girls screamed and ran to hug me when I got to the club…what a sweetie…she missed me.

Another boy told me he heard from the Lighthouse Kids that I was back and he decided the next day he was going to run to the Boys and Girls club to find me.

The kids were so inquisitive about the kids in Africa and how they lived. There little faces showed so much concern over the kids in Africa not having shoes or clean clothes. Each kid was shocked that the many of the kids didn’t wear shoes. They asked about what I did there and if I had fun, what the kids ate there. One girl asked me, “Miss Sarah do they have playgrounds in Africa?” That was a first time for that question, I told her no not really, that costs too much money. She was saddened by this and asked more questions about how sick the kids were and how sad it is that they are dying.

The boy that said ‘Sweet kids shouldn’t die’ said the solution could be more Testing for diseases and more medicine. I asked him what about Love…he smiled and said yea that’s important too.

We went to the playground, my first time going with them there, and played on the mary-go-round and slides. I was acting like one of the kids and screaming on the mary-go-round as we took turns spinning it.

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I will miss these kids … perhaps they will never know how much they helped me this past year. Kids can really do big things if we let them. Just making bracelets for kids in Africa allowed them to see what other kids lives were like through the photos I shared with them. My one favorite boy was collecting photos the other kids dropped on the ground and putting them in his bag for safety. He is such a giving and caring boy. We sat together at the end of the day and he shared his valentine candy with me, I asked him if he had a valentine and he blushed and said, “yeah”.

If our lives our made up of moments than each of those little moments sitting on the steps or in the playground with those kids talking about moments in their lives than it was worth losing it all to find them.

Healing Eyes

Torn between two worlds of Need

A transition between what has helped me move through grief and find the new person in me that I never knew existed to the person I used to be. The need to gain closure on who I was with Andy and what Andy meant to me while being pulled by new faces in Africa. So many faces that I don’t know what to do with when viewed in its enormity of the cause. If I step back and look at just the ONE child and the need to Go again to find that One smile amongst thousands of faces. When here on St, Croix I have seen those smiles and formed a love for these kids that I have grown attached to. The looming goodbye is wearing at me and I fear it’s the wrong choice. I know I have to go and it’s already laid out for me, just some small things like selling the Jeep and a mini refrigerator before packing again. However, today I saw the girls again and one girl in particular hugged me so tight. I will miss her the most and a week from now I will cry tears on that plane as I leave this life behind. It seems I am crying a lot on planes these days! I never knew I could like kids and even handle more than an hour with them. That I was capable of being loved and now I am saying goodbye to it. Why open my heart to something to say goodbye? Today I shared Africa with the kids and explained the need there. That many kids have no water or food and are starving…that they have nothing and make only $1 a day sometimes. The kids were rather quiet during this and I think they felt my pain of going and the pain I felt for those kids on the other side of the world. It’s a bit frustrating when I see kids understand more clearly what suffering is and show more interest in Africa than adults. Is it that curiosity that as adults we lose? Lost in our own problems and stresses of life that curiosity has no place? On a strange coincidence we had cake at the Lighthouse and my birthday is Sunday. I like to think the ‘Sarah Lee’ cake was for me but it was only a coincidence. Today I told the kids I was leaving and it made me sad. I find it a strange coincidence that a homework assignment about predicates summed up the afternoon. (see number 4 and 5 in the photo) photo 3   I happily handed out the donations from the church back in Michigan to the girls. They really like getting spoiled and I think the boys class is jealous.

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