• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: mission

All I need is this toothbrush 

I am blessed!

I have God who is showing me my path..holding my hand…

I have a boyfriend that loves me for who I am…and for all my faults. 

I have groceries too cook a REAL meal on my own stove again … Lasagna…tuna casserole…penne Andy and Sarah recipe.

And I have a new shiny toothbrush! That didn’t cost a fortune on an island. 





Healing Eyes

Island coincidences or a clear direction for next steps?

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 2.17.15 PM

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.

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

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.

Healing Eyes

Void where there was pain

Thousands of miles later and I am looking out at the palm trees and pink fluffy clouds again. My return to the island is very strange feeling. It isn’t happy or sad or even elated.

I feel ‘blank’

Used up…

Incomplete…

Maybe its the rush of adrenaline that has left my system or perhaps the exhaustion. All of those reasons would make sense logically based on our limited bodies. Or I could go with the other reason I feel empty.

Something happened in Africa that I can’t quite explain yet. I wasn’t excited while there, I wasn’t elated, I wasn’t even full of ideas of what to do. While there I saw a lot and felt a lot but did I really fall in love with it there? Or perhaps it was the feeling of being Alive in extreme circumstances. Was it the outpouring of love and fragility of life that fills the inevitable void?

With my eyes closed I still see her… little Billah… branded on my heart. Why am I worried about her? She is one girl amongst a thousand and I am one small person amongst a million.

IMG_3159

This room I sit in right now is clean, comfortable, even without running water I can drink from the tap or a kitchen to cook in. This still is LUXURY!

It’s not a void I feel but an ache…a deep sorrow for what I saw and those kids I touched and held in my arms. My heart is bleeding for them and I can’t erase it. I have seen too much to just turn away from that need. To see so much pain and need when our dollar can go so far and turn my face to that. When education is bountiful in the States even for the poor but in Africa its a choice between eating and learning. Working to exhaustion to survive and children and babies starve in the streets, die of diseases, malnutrition, neglect, pain…

No I do not feel a void..but finally I see a purpose…I see what was missing…and yet I am powerless to do anything measurable in today’s version of ‘success’.  It has to be small steps and little victories, showing love, and teaching compassion to those with the least. But do they really have the least? When they live so fully in the simplicity of life when we drown ourselves with gadgets, clothing, fancy toys, and trinkets.

I will start off with one goal and that is to fundraise like crazy to go back…to show compassion…to build relationships and above all invest in LIFE. My first fundraiser was a success as I really thought it would fail. However, God showed me and raised $648 out of just 25 people! That to me is amazing and he gave me a CPA that I have been praying for. Now If I keep doing this than maybe Healing Eyes will become more than a dream, a whim, a crazy idea.

It starts with the Small Step forward into the impossible.

Healing Eyes

Billah

photo (19)

 

Another letter ready to send to Billah in Uganda. My hope is that one of these letters will reach her so she knows I remember her. Thought a photo of her in each one would be a cute touch and I use construction paper to try and hide the fact that there is a photo in it so no one steals it. So frustrating that sending things over to Africa may never even reach them and if they do someone might even steal a photo that isn’t them.

But I will keep on trying with One child at a time…this is what Compassion is all about.

Healing Eyes

Fate turned into Chili?

Does prayer work in modern day life? What possibly comes from praying to something unseen?

I think not…I think are brains want to believe in something in order to not feel alone. That can be an interesting perspective right? It’s all make believe and coincidences….

Nah sorry guys but I just can’t think that way anymore. I have seen too much to sway me to the other side … and yes I do doubt and wobble around with these thoughts but after last night I again have to Let Go of my opinions and go with the flow.

I have been hoping for a CPA for several months now to help with my confusion on Math. Can I say how much I dislike math? It’s not just the numbers I don’t get but the forms and then record keeping and the possibility of screwing it all up. In a rather interesting twist of fate a CPA appeared yesterday because of Chili. Yes food again was the catalyst for the answered prayer. I think its the old ‘break bread’ with each other fable that seems to really work!

Last night was Healing Eyes first official Event and fundraiser. Prior to it I was doubting and wanting it to all disappear, my stomach was in knots about talking in front of people, I thought it was all going to blow up in my face, and I would embarrass myself. Big Sigh….but it all worked out. After I put the mic to my mouth and began spewing word after word and I started to feel the evil nerves dissipate I gained some confidence. Of course than I stammered and choked on words and cried but I got some laughs out of the audience and some tears. Perhaps one person walked away feeling what I felt and that this world needs people with that unhardened heart to see beyond the pain of ourselves and step out into the unknown.
By the end of it as the mic was put away and I stepped aside I felt utter relief it was over and my brain truly shut down. Every bit of me was gone and now others around started to help pick up and I stood there in amazement of all these people helping. It’s sooooooo cool to see people come together and even cooler when it’s something worth working for.

So I think Healing Eyes will continue on and as my Prayer for A CPA was answered in a very cool ‘God’ way I will keep letting go and letting this mysterious invisible friend take the lead.

Photos to come soon! 🙂

Healing Eyes

Compassionate flavor of life

Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow!
Dark is life’s way, for night is not yet o’er;
The long-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;
But, this I know, HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Dangers are nigh! and fears my mind are shaking;
Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;
But I am His – He knows the way I’m taking,
More blessed still – HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o’er me,
Doubts that life’s best – life’s choicest things are o’er;
What but his Word can strength, can restore me,
And this blest fact; that still HE GOES BEFORE.

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this my consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
HE GOES BEFORE! And therefor all is well.

By: J. Danson Smith

What should I fear? If my future is already known than I should be filled with peace. I am blessed with time to mourn and contemplate…some are not. Some look for ways each day to scam an unknowing person of cash while others severely need that cash but will not turn to treachery. Deciphering who is in need and who is lying is something nearly impossible. If we are to give regardless of the intention of the receiver than is that enough? It’s the act of giving that shows our heart of love and compassion for others. If it’s the act of giving and not the assurance of its use that shows our worth than is that enough? In Africa there was a lady who appeared to be in need and suffering from a loss, she wailed and cried on the ground, but it turned out later she was lying. Was the expression of love towards her for nothing when later it was spat on? Is that to prevent any further kindness to others on the chance that they are lying?

If some choose to feed others with a bad tasting ‘flavor’ of humanity than others should overwhelm them with a great tasting ‘flavor’ of compassion.

IMG_2959

Healing Eyes

Doubt but never Give In

If you go out on faith…

If you take the steps you are told to…

Will you ever get affirmation of it being the RIGHT thing to do?

YES I think so…well Now I do.

So Good news and Bad news. The good news is I feel like I have some direction again but the bad news it means the St. Croix Chapter is coming to an end sooner than expected. Also means I have a lot of work to do for my Non-Profit to flourish. But I have struggled and prayed on it and after weeks in Africa wondering what is next I think its the right choice. Plus after my unexpected conversation with a lady at an Apartment complex about leasing a place for 6ish months starting in March I am even more sure in my faith. I am taking another Leap and going to return to Michigan for 6 months’ish in order to grieve a bit more locally but more importantly to try and raise funds and make connections for the Non-Profit in order to end up in Africa in a year. Now there are so many details I could drown my mind in…like how and how much and where and how do you buy land and what will I do and who will go along with this and yada yada yada. Phew hurts my head!  But basically I know I am supposed to be in Michigan for 6 months and then after that I am supposed to find out how God is going to pull off the next major miracle…Getting to Africa.

So simply put… Trust a bit more that things are out of your control. I did it by saying ok I’ll find an apartment to come back to and Ok I’ll work on my business and Ok I’ll embarrass myself more by trying to raise funds to do the impossible.

Doubt always but Keep pushing on!!! eek!

Chili Cook off to raise funds – Feb 5th at Gaines Church in Caledonia, MI.
Be there with an empty stomach and an open heart.  

See my Healing Eyes facebook page for more details 

Came back with a scarf I bought in Soroti for her

Came back with a scarf I bought in Soroti for her

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