• sarah@healingeyes.org

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The difference 1 year can make

I am reading my old journal from St Croix and one year ago as I prepared to leave to return to Michigan I wrote this…

“It will be ok. I will give you more children than you can imagine. Be ready when I call and go when I say to. Study my word and prepare your heart and faith. Support will come in ways you can’t imagine quite yet. Go to Michigan and then wait. St Croix will still be here and the kids are watched over. You did what you needed to do now go.”
“Sarah trust me in the coming months. It will be hard but each change will be easier for you to adapt. I am training you for mobility and travel. Teaching you when to go and when to stay. Molding your heart to withstand storms to lean on me. Planning is no more. It’s now My time to shape you . Trust me to lead you and don’t let go of my hand.”
“Pain is my gift to you my child. With it comes wisdom and great responsibility. Leadership and the willingness to do my work. No more working for others or yourself…. You will work for me”

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.

And now it’s a year later and I’m in Africa suffering with the least of these and those who want to do me harm… And there are more children than I can count.
Does God mean what he says? Hmm maybe…

nikki

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.

Healing Eyes

My little friend amongst the waterfall

There is a beautiful country where people are struggling to see past the pain.

There is a beautiful country where arms are open wide for the love of compassion.

There is a country where you can see a glimpse into the past of what life was like before all the technology and modern conveniences we take for granted daily. For example…a toilet! Yes that simple porcelain seat in your cozy bathroom that allows for a private and comfortable hygiene luxury.

After spending 3 weeks in Africa I appreciate the Toilet and its abundant availability in the States. I didn’t mind sacrificing my comfort by hovering over a small crack in the ground while flies buzzed around…I didn’t mind always carrying toilet paper with me…But I am so grateful for the clean toilets awaiting me back in Michigan.

Of course running water already has been a sacrifice I’ve learned while living in St. Croix. Drinking tap water is an amazing luxury in the states. Having hot showers that come out of pipes is so delightful.  It was fun learning how to use a jug of water to pour into a basin to then pour over myself in order to bathe…that was humbling.

I am discouraged…I can not tell a lie…I have doubts…I have fears…and yes I do almost want to throw in the towel.
Can I admit that?

What now? 3 weeks away from what I had grown accustomed to while in St. Croix. 3 weeks tour of Uganda in order to try and see what am I ever to do next? I drove myself mad with that question! Simply mad! I even cried and stressed and got angry about not knowing. What the Hell am I to do with my tomorrows?!

Towards the end of my tour…after breaking free from the group I arrived in a more secluded area of Africa. It was after a very long drive on terrible roads and a slight detour (cough cough got lost). It was beginning to rain and the sun was setting, we didn’t know where we were and were desperate to find the place we were looking for in the mountains. The skies cleared and a rainbow appeared in the distance…directly over where we needed to go. Yes a fricken Rainbow! Ahh I like signs and symbolism but this one seemed too cliche. At the end of this rainbow was CiSiyi Falls and a little girl named Beela. She was tiny and giggled and was very shy…I instantly fell in love. We giggled at eachother and I played the ukulele for her…she shyly danced in the moonlight. That night I was blessed abundantly! Was this the place I searched for? The place I am to eventually stay at? Was it a dream? How can I go back?

So many questions and fears.

But little Beela is still there giggling away amongst the waterfall and perhaps a bit happier having met 2 mazungoos (what African’s call White people) from a far off land. I’ll write to her and hope one day we will meet again.

So what’s next? Well I think St. Croix chapter is nearly finished and now I must face some lingering grieving in Michigan while building up my non-profit company by raising money to go back to Africa. Buy land and begin an unconventional ministry there.

Healing Eyes

Quotes from: Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby

“When you trust that God always gives his best, you will devote your heart to whatever assignment God gives because you know in that role you can experience everything God has in his heart for you.”

“When God gives you a directive you can be sure he has already considered every factor. ”

“When your life is centered in Gods’ activity, he will rearrange your thinking. God’s ways and thoughts are so different from yours that they will often appear wrong, unloving, or impossible. You will often realize that the task he assigns is far beyond your power or resources to accomplish. as soon as you recognize that the job appears humanly unattainable, you need to be ready to believe and to trust him completely.”

—————————–

One night I asked for more.
One night I asked for it all to end.
One night I asked to save me from the pain.
One night I screamed out, “I give up, take my life!”

and

One day God said, ‘Ok’.

One day at a time is my motto ever since Cancer. Now more than ever it is becoming clearer as to how important that saying is. Today I purchased heavy duty tupperware bins to pack just enough clothing and necessities for the new direction in my life. From a house packed full of things and 4 cars in a driveway I am reduced to 2 tupperware bins. When I made the decision to follow the unthinkable .. become childlike in my trust of God’s plan for my new chapter in life I never thought it would mean this. Each day I am faced with imposing doubt of what used to be precious to me. To surrender it all, risk it all to find a bigger purpose in life…oh what madness..but what if by chance faith can win. To have fear is to doubt..how can I doubt the one who wants the best for me, he wouldn’t send me away if it wasn’t a path that would eventually lead to the best for me. Yes there will be pain, ups and downs, trials, but oh what sweet victory to truly live! Find the beauty in the rain, the sun, the simple act of breathing, appreciating each blessing every day as if it were my last. To not live in limbo of the future…without worrying about each imposing day ahead of me..can we all not live like that? Trapped by our own worry and doubt of a future we can’t control.

Step out with me to see a world full of hope and a touch less sorrow. The pain of our past and present will always remain but to seek ways to be happy amidst the storms of life, now that’s worth doing. Finally a challenge worth accepting.. 34 years in the making (with a 13 year intermission of love and life lessons)!

So what am I up to? Well I have eluded to it in my previous posts..something about God’s calling and a remote island. Putting the pieces together? In April I will be leaving my home, friends, and family to follow a small voice inside that says, ‘Go’.  Leave behind what is familiar and have faith in the impossible…
Walk with others strong in their faith, learn to live a simpler life and stop trying to DO everything and control each day. God doesn’t always give specific details of his plan but nudges you in the right direction. I have been given a nudge to help out at Lighthouse Ministries, BE around others in need, BE around God’s love, and BE with children. Along the way if my skills in technology, design, and leadership can be used than by all means God will make it happen. If I am hungry or need shelter than God will provide it. If I am sad or in pain than God will be there to hold me. All of this is foreign to me, and yet it feels so right to trust .. to give up controlling since I have learned thru much suffering and loss that its futile to fight God’s will.

I have started a fundraising website again but this time instead of going to just heal from Andy’s loss… I am going to follow a dream, an awakening of my heart and soul to God.. what madness it is:)  God brought me out of my comfort zone to show me love he can only give to a broken heart.

I will be staying at a wonderful lady’s house again, in a quaint room with showers from the rain that falls from the heavens. My belongings will be simple and my diet will be limited (I never was a good cook…kinda lazy on that front). My income will be cut in half while I attempt to still work online. My puppies will be staying with a family member and thanks to prayer I will not have to separate Yoshi and Miko from each other. The rest of the details will work themselves out each day as I lead up to my flight.

Andy can you believe it!? Out of great pain will come great hope! It’s going to be ok…

Donate here: Fundraising Page

Healing Eyes
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