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Tag Archives: mission

Random filled day

Trying to make sense of my day and it’s not really coming together in my head. I decided to visit the school that I call “evil”, since I hadn’t been there all week. So I prayed and read the bible for some strength to face the school. I got on the piki piki and made the trip over. When I got there the school was not open. The kids were off until Monday. Great! So now what?

Well I saw the little kids at primary school in the school yard next door. So i decided to just go over there. I said bye to the piki piki guy and walked over…past two cows. 

Eventually the kids saw me walking over and came running over. The circled me like before. Than we sang and goofed around with the ukulele. I then thought maybe I should introduce myself to the principal and has the kids lead me. I found an adult and asked what can I do to help. He just said, “well you are already playing with the little ones so keep entertaining them”.  

So ok…again I randomly show up at this school and just make it up as I go. We went to the field and I remembered I had construction paper in my bag so I figured let’s make birds and giraffes out of origami. I sit down which then makes the kids come closer and crushed each other. About 50 kids I think and I’m squeezed in the middle of the cluster. I just decided to go with it and made a bird out of paper. I had the kids answer a question in order to get the bird. One girl raised her hand and answered it correctly when I asked Where was Jesus born, so she got the bird. I had to scream over there voices but it was working. So I made a giraffe and asked Who was Jesus’s mother. Another kid answered and got it right. Since many kids were getting crushed I stood up and tried to form a circle. By now more kids showed up and circle was huge. The kids sang and clapped songs. I taught them one new song, “my God is so big”.

Then I remembered I had a fairy tale book in my bag and so I tried having them read out loud. Many were too shy but some took the bait. 

The bell rang and classes started so I followed my gang of kids and settled on a room with about 20 kids. Sat down and waited for a teacher. No one showed. Sooooo I guess I’ll teach English and grabbed a book and started going over past tense words. This was kind of like last time I showed up and taught impromptu. No adults greeted me or stopped, one guy watched a bit and the kids were very quiet then. He waved me to continue. 

Eventually it was lunch time so I followed the kids outside. They were walking home to eat. So I ended up sitting by the road and waited for a ride back. A bunch of kids kept me company and I sang for them. Thank goodness for my ukulele!!

My ride showed up and I found out they were going to run errands and visit the doctor soooo I didn’t want to do that. The next town I found a taxi and crammed in (I knocked my head hard on the door frame) and my butt was kind of tilted up against the metal side and a bar dug into my hip. But it was cheap transport ! Then I got to town and had a piki piki take me home. 

I couldn’t have planned this day. But it was fun with the small kids and teaching English. Yet again I don’t know how I was bold enough to take over a class and sing in a field. But that’s what happened! There was a small girl crying at one point so I hugged her and I hope that was my purpose for being there at that unexpected moment. Another girl’s shoe was untied and I tied it, I think she was shocked and scared of me. 

I hope Billah is getting love back in Uganda. I wish I could be with her now encouraging her…maybe a random mazungoo will visit her school like me and hug her for me. 

Healing Eyes

Is that a pineapple in your purse?

As I walked across the border again, this time alone and after a few taxi hiccups and a mile walk thru Uganda to reach Kenya …I thought something is wrong with this picture. Then I realized this is perfectly normal to walk along the dirt road with cars and bikes buzzing by while I carry my ukulele on one side and my small bag on the other. Dodging semi trucks and onlooking people yelling mazungoo. Yup perfectly normal !

I spent three days in Uganda visiting Billah and her family by the waterfall. It was the highlight of my visit to Africa. I was sick but when I arrived the sickness left and I felt right for the first time in 5 weeks here. It was hard to go but I found out a lot about myself and my faith. Even got the answers I needed from God. He likes to wait until the last week to reveal his master plan. I can say this … It does involve orphans, widows, and yes it’s in Uganda and you can see Kenya from it. Is it land to buy? Nope! But it’s better and I feel very good about this direction.

More to come later. After I recover from being crammed into multiple taxis and yes, some even had people hanging outside the door. I can’t even explain how insane public taxis are! It’s like your cattle being herded without the ventilation. 

Oh pineapple?! My companions I met at the border after they went to Kampala and I went to mbale came back with a purse with pineapple in it. Uganda has the best pineapple! So not only were we crammed in taxis with 20 other people we had pineapples, bananas, ukulele, and bags. It’s definitely a disadvantage to have hips!

Healing Eyes

Street performering in Africa

Sick again this morning on day whatever in Africa. My stomach feels twisted and angry this morning. I am starting to think it correlates with the days I go to Mugomari school (the evil feeling one). Once on the way there my stomach calms and I pray for strength to not fall off the motorbike this morning on the dirt roads. These roads are indescribably rough. The closer to the school (about 30 min ride) the kids start appearing on the road from nearby schools. They light up and cheer me on. So that helps. 

Once my foot steps onto the school grounds behind the iron gate I instantly feel like bolting. No one greets me and I walk across the long lawn to the staff room. I smile and shake hands and then start to figure how do I get into the classrooms. If I don’t work fast I’ll be stuck in a chair staring at the walls. Soooo with my trusted ukulele in hand I leave and head to a classroom. I end up with some kids and sing for them and they laugh at me while I try to dance. It’s funny to see a white girl dance. So this is good…I am not letting the darkness keep me down. 

Until….

I try to get some students to teach graphic design too and only can get 4 kids brave enough to try. It was not a success. There isn’t much need for me at this school at least structurally. The staff don’t know how to interact and the kids are usually in a lesson so the need for a tutor is pointless. But personally these kids need attention and some joy in there life. 

I again ended up walking over to the primary school where it is brighter. I see kids in the distance in some sort of orientation or presentation. So I walk across the field, alone, to some kids and ask how they are. That’s all it takes here and I have a huge gathering. Soon I am ushered to another area where a speaker is talking, it turns out to be an assembly for exam results with 7 local schools. I sit down with the kids and listen. 

Then…the speaker calls me up!! I end up hanging out awards and congratulating kids who are top of the classes. 

The land is split by a bar wire fence and its night and day between the two schools. But I survived and I think I made some smiles along the way. 

Oh the best part was waiting outside the gate for my ride. Some village kids saw me and so I pull my ukulele out and start playing for them. Got them singing Somewhere over the rainbow. The adults on the street laughed at me but its ok…I just own my oddness at this point. Is it that odd to see a sole mazungoo on a back road in Africa in front of a school just start singing with kids? Maybe but I like to think it wasn’t me but someone else (God) who gave me the courage to street perform. 

Healing Eyes

Why can churches be so painfully uninspiring

Crisis of faith. Heaviness on my heart. More questions than answers at this point on where Healing Eyes goes from here. Unless a miracle happens soon I may be giving up on this mission. I know I didn’t expect a clear direction while here but it would be nice for more assurances than doubt while here. 

A rooster crows. A goose quacks. The minutes drag by and I can only think of escape. 

Went to a catholic mass today that possibly has caused me to want to go back to Agnostic beliefs. It was painfully long and all in Swahili so I had no clue of what they were saying. Then they sang songs over and over. I am human and sadly I complain. Forgive me for my honesty. But if that is religion I want nothing to do with it. Why do you think people turn away from religion … Could it be churches? Don’t kill the messenger here but after this morning I am not a religion fan. I always strive for honesty on this blog even if it sounds harsh. Is this blog too blunt? Should I censor my heart more? 

Yea maybe.  But would it be an interesting read still?

Let’s see what is a positive note I can share? Ah my ringworm is clearing up lol!! 

If you pray and if you don’t consider saying one for me this week to not lose hope on the last legs of this trip. Don’t pray for safety or health instead say this, “Please let sarah find the beauty around her she is supposed to see and show her the path to take.” “Bring the kids to her in hundreds and help her see Billah again.”

Lastly….

“Tell her if she is supposed to keep going in Africa and if not make it crystal clear to her as to what job is next.”

Thanks everyone. 

Healing Eyes

I wish for comfort and stability but instead I get a turkey

Why am I in Africa? There is a cozy apartment back in Michigan calling my name. It has water and a toilet and even a washer/dryer. What does it accomplish traveling all the way over here to interact with others who don’t understand you? Cultural differences and uncomfortable situations daily and hourly. Why do people sign up for this abuse? Crap…I’m one of those stupid people. 

Honestly … I want to leave. Truly… I want to run. Freakin get me out of here is what I want. 

Does it matter what I want? Or am I supposed to die to self and give of my desires to serve others? Ugh…I’m cool with more of a balanced approach ha. Give me ice cream and I’ll give an hour of my life. Could that work? Please!!!!!

Where am I leading with this rant….

I just finished using two buckets to wash my laundry and hang them to dry while 5 geese and 2 turkeys attacked me. The twisted side is I actually felt good about washing my clothes. Finally I got to do something alone and independently! I did something!! Then I mopped my floor and began writing letters to some girls I exchange notes with at the school. I added some stickers to “girly” them up. These girls have no fathers and are disliked by there mothers. One girl is on her own because she couldn’t handle the abuse. Sometimes when a woman remarries the new husband will treat her kids badly and so the kids are forced out. 

I’m not doing much here but I am spending time with teenagers who are suffering. When I get back to Michigan I don’t know what to do with my life. But maybe it’s not up to me and my invisible friend is in control. I want comfort and independence but my hands are tied…for now. 

Healing Eyes

Meeting between demons and a widow

Do you believe in coincidence or fate? 

Yesterday I had hoped to visit the school called mugomari where I felt uncomfortable at. I feel drawn there even though I feel evil there. But those plans fell through and were moved to today. On arrival I felt a bit uncomfortable but soon I was led over to the primary school next door where hundreds of elementary age kids are taught. I took my ukulele in hand and walked over and soon I was surrounded by kids. A nice neat circle of blue dresses and shirts with dark faces crowded around the only white girl. I started to play and sing Somewhere over the rainbow and taught them to sing with me. It was the pick me up I needed before confronting the evil that lay beneath the grounds of the high school. 

After music time I was lured into a classroom to teach English to the small children. Compared to American kids you can’t imagine how attentive they were. These kids want to learn!!! So I took there book and started to stutter through a lesson plan. No adult came by to aid or confirm it was ok…so I just did it. 

The day progressed and I soon was ushered back over to the high school. Past the barb wire fence that divided the schools and into the depths of my fears. I am a skeptic first of all but I am learning that there are forces at play here I can’t explain. The feeling on this side of the fence is entirely different than you can imagine. As the day wore on my headache began and I felt worn out. I can only handle breathing this air for short periods. 

I did enjoy my time with the older kids and they genuinely care. I think they just have no outlet and are oppressed. I sat in on a religion class and guess what the lesson was? Demonic possession !! I kid you not ! Coincidence or God speaking plainly to me? These school grounds are damaged by some ill will for sure and it will take time to heal. During class I tried to lighten the mood by asking questions and making the kids laugh at my curiosity. Quite fun to stick out and not care what others think of me these days. 

I went in with the purpose of the kids and stuck to it..I wandered from class to class to engage others. I even took a piki piki (motor bike ) to get there today on some bad muddy roads. I loved it! Piki piki is the only way to travel. 

My conversations with the kids on religion after class was delightfully fun. They asked bible facts and I said I had no clue. They laughed but I followed it up with why I like Jesus. My relationship with him and how I prayed before coming and explained how I prayed the kids would be nice to me and I would have strength. One girl said “sarah you are strong!”

I had a day of independence and freedom and I dare say I thrived because God helped me do so. Perhaps I have found my element .. The countryside here on piki piki is beautiful and the children once uninhibited by adults are truly beautiful. 

On a side note. I asked the teacher of religion if he believed in demons and Jesus and he said not really. He could go either way and isn’t a firm believer. He is a skeptic. So that means an Agnostic is teaching kids about Christianity on demon possessed lands. Irony? 

Healing Eyes

Anniversary of change and loss

What happens when a shy widow meets 30 kids in a classroom to teach English vocabulary? An opportunity to stretch myself….whispering kids…and an occasional hand clapping to get there attention. Part way through teaching new English words I noticed some sleepy heads and changed tactics. I had them write on the blackboard. One boy was very shy and so I went easy on him but others I forced up and tried to encourage them with smiles. It was lots of fun and after English they learned the ukulele. They also insisted I sing for them. So I stood in front and bashfully sang Somewhere over the rainbow. Then I taught them the words and we sang together. I would love to share the video but perhaps when I have better wifi šŸ˜‰

It’s been a long journey to get to this point and each day I am saddened by what I lost before arriving at this point. I miss my career and miss feeling important and successful. I try to explain to the kids my ‘job’ and I feel stupid for what I gave up to do this. I can’t even articulate in a way they understand because it sounds crazy to me! 

Selling everything while grieving and then moving to an island and now serving in Africa. When I am not a chipper missionary like they are used to. I stick out and don’t smile and wave enough. Instead I silently wait for kids to find me (and they do) and then I talk to them and find out maybe I can connect with them in unusual ways. Even yesterday I explained compassion and empathy to some students. They had no idea what they were. So I used my story as an analogy to explain how I can empathize with death and widowhood. I think they understood. 

I never thought I would enjoy talking with older kids but something changed in me and now I am so at ease with them. 

I still miss my boyfriend terribly at the same time as grieving my husband. So odd…but being a widow is proving to be a tiring thing for me. I miss my soulmate and still question why me and why this and that. Why do I love again and still love my deceased husband. Why do I like kids now. Why did I give my job up. Why do I doubt and fear. Why Africa?!?! 

Tomorrow would have been my 15th wedding anniversary. Normally I eat a fancy dinner but this year I’ll be having rice and peanut butter. Plus I’m in Africa following something I don’t understand. 

For photos check out our Facebook page. 

Healing Eyes

Faith appearedĀ 

I met a Girl named faith when first arriving. The name was pretty and I didn’t put it together in my head as to why it struck me. Until later in the day after sitting through a long ceremony on a hard chair did I see why God put the word ‘faith’ in front of me. He was trying to tell me have faith Sarah even if you feel tired frustrated and sick. 

I’ve been concerned about land and purpose and needing answers I wasn’t prepared for this next bread crumb. 

A man I met my first day here who was giving the land to the ministry I’ve been serving with while here decided to seek me out. Now understand my first meeting with him I was jet lagged. Now this second interaction I was feeling ill and drained from the day too. Perhaps God wants to step in when I am at my weakest to show off. 

The reason why this man found me sitting alone was because I wasn’t playing soccer with the others and the kids were occupied elsewhere. So the moment was just right. He asked me again what I was wanting to do in Africa. I stuttered and eventually spit out the insane idea I had. Then I basically admitted I’m clueless and have no idea how to accomplish this. 

He has connections with locals and other organizations and his non profit aims to Connect others and give help where needed to orphans and widows. 

If I had been with the kids I would’ve have not talked to him. The meeting was arranged by God. 

His passion is to help educate families about how to have healthy babies and also preventing young girls from getting pregnant. He also tries to help widows find ways to support themselves and there children. Perhaps some of what he said was just to hook me but I can’t deny a lot of it seemed too aligned with what I’m trying to find. I can’t deny God had a hand in this meeting. 

Top it all off and he knew about the waterfall In Uganda and has ways to inquire about the need there and available land.

My eyes were on land but it seems it’s being redirected towards a possible relationship with this other organization that came out of nowhere. 

Healing Eyes

A gimme gimme mentality

I am sickened by what I see in the future generations here. The damage done by white people coming in and giving freebies to the children over the years has created damaged relationships. Even if the gifts were given with good intentions the consequences of those actions has caused severe harm to the self esteem of future generations. 

How can children grow up to be successful when they see themselves as helpless and poor. Only deserving of handouts. What hurts more is that I am in a way aiding in this continued mentality of relying on white people to fix there situation for the better. 

I am sickened by my own heritage. Embarrassed by those who came before me. 

When the Mazungoo drive in with there good intentions of helping others the locals wave and greet with smiling faces. It’s as if we are celebrities when In truth it is broken and entirely messed up. We get puffed up egos by being welcomed so easily and leave feeling important. They are looking to the wrong source for help. It’s only within that change can happen. Confidence , self esteem, and reliance on there own abilities and talents to succeed. We are interfering with that opportunity by our presence in matters beyond our reach. Locals must see locals creating change and not a van full of Mazungoos coming and going while smiling and waving. 

All that said I still love these kids and see potential if only the Mazungoos would stop giving freebies in the wrong situations. Think hard first about what that handout will do to the future of the kids ability to rely on themselves. 

Healing Eyes

Can fear drive faith?

I would like everyone to take a moment of silence and see life through a different lens for 5 minutes. If you were told to just blindly trust something you can’t see in hopes that you would still eat and have shelter but you didn’t know how, would you feel comfortable doing that? Would it be easy to just say ‘ok’ and have no anxiety or fear about it? What if you had under two months to get a large sum of money together in order to spend time with orphans suffering in a far off land? But you believed it was possible and knew up until the final hour you would be provided for….(periodically you would freak out and run but generally speaking you would hold steady).

Today I just saw it come true…the promise was kept…and I have nothing to worry about in regards to finances for this mission because the Post Carrier just dropped off the final miracle on my final day to get the money all together. I drove to one church and found a check placed under a rock and then I came home and saw the postal carrier depositing the other check in my mailbox earlier than expected. So YES, I now truly have the entire funds needed and promised to me back when I decided to Believe it’s possible and Asked for help from others.

A friend asked me today, “Wouldn’t it seem like it should get easier the more you go?” “Yet it seems it only gets bigger and scarier the more you decide to follow”. Why is that?

I might be wrong but I think it is because…

If we don’t fear relinquishing control how can we grow perseverance.
If we never fear than wouldn’t it be too easy to give things up for God. And then how would we grow in trust?
If we are supposed to turn over anxiety and fear to God then how can we if we don’t have it to begin with?
If it gets easier the more we trust than how can we learn from suffering, if we never feel it because we numbly go along trusting God because we know he knows best. But then later we can reflect and learn and grow from knowing why we were afraid at the time but that then allows us to connect with each other in the common fear of fear.
Those who don’t believe in Gods love will think us dumb sheep who do what the master says to do and hence think we are stupid. When they are hurting and think they must be alone since Christians make it look so fake and unreal because they think we are without worry and real fear.
Even if we do as the ‘boss’ says to do but show our weakness of fear than we are in effect showing to others we are too weak and can’t do it alone. But since we show it we than prove Gods message to rely on him even when we are weak and scared. Be scared but still go!! Because that’s how he proves the plan all along.
If I ever lose fear and tears when going I might start to think I’m in control and don’t need God because it’s no big deal each time I go.
Kind of like a catch 22! Give fear over but still requires to show it?
Healing Eyes