• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: pain

Hope and Joy

….perhaps I need to make a sign that says Pain and Suffering.

Beauty and pride….Plain and humble

….perhaps I need to learn the lessen of … KNOW IDEA.

Progress in Africa is slow but really encouraging because they are doing the work and I am not. They have the tools to clean wounds and a car to travel to the village. Maybe that is what God wants right now while Sarah heals from cancer. It just seems too darn ironic that I would get cancer when that was what started this non-profit.

Patience and pain go hand and hand. This is a blog and a business but I have to share last night I was in incredible pain all night and found no comfort until I took a few more pills. Yet we are told to pray to God for peace and relief. Where was he last night? Watching and letting me experience suffering because that is just what I have to do right now.

Right now my new husband of 5 weeks must sit back and helplessly watch me cry in pain with no power at all to fix it. What an intense stress to put on a new marriage but we are relying on God in the middle of it. He is the only one that can see past all this Pain to where the healing lies.

Healing Eyes….Letting go of the pain and seeing past it in order to allow the Healing to begin or in my case continue. So I have to put my words where my mouth is, or do as I say and not say as I do? Seeing past beauty of what I was to the beauty that is ahead and the future of the mission in Africa where when I go back I can connect more with those in physical pain. I have known the emotional side but now I will have learned another lessen of pain….both are awful and I feel such sympathy for anyone going through cancer and grief.

Let go….and find yourself.

See past the pain…is my Hope and Joy

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The invisible is important

What is most important is what we can’t see…the invisible

When we say goodbye to those we love by our will or God’s will then what’s most important is what we can not see. Tomorrow the sun will rise again and we won’t see that loved one smile or cry. We won’t see because of our overwhelming pain the flowers still blooming and the blue skies gleaming, yet our hearts will silently crave to see again that beauty.

When we love we experience what life was made for and why God set out to create such beauty all around us. Even if we don’t believe their is a God behind it all we can feel that invisible love all around us and find comfort that even in great pain and small losses here and there tomorrow a rose will bloom again.

In Africa right now a child is getting ready for bed on a straw mat or spot of dirt brushed clear of sticks. Even if you give them a foam mattress they will choose the hard ground because it is what they are used to. Given comfort or deprived of it a child knows little difference when it is their common routine. So right now a child is laying down for bed and may or may not rest their small head on a pillow. He or she is looking up at the stars and wondering what will tomorrow be like, sadly many are going to bed hungry and will wake in the morning to maybe some hot tea and go off to school where they will persevere all day until a few get beans and posha to last the day. If one is very unlucky he or she might try stealing a mango and get caught and caned by their own father.

What’s important in life is the invisible….we are all loved by that unseen friend and our prayers are heard by him..if only we would ask for compassion and love to truly mean something again.

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What to do with this all?

Reality sets in that this is for real and the finality of it all is a heavy burden. This blog has come a long way since I started it for when my first husband and I wanted to adopt. Then it shifted to Cancer. Then it shifted to Grief. Then it shifted to a Non-Profit to help others. Now I don’t know what to make of it because I can’t quite shift it back to cancer and grief! That wouldn’t be very professional since it a website to learn about the work we are doing in Eastern Uganda.

Healing Eyes is about helping those in pain see past their pain and once they do their eyes will open and the healing can begin. It’s the meaning behind the name! We are working with a village in Uganda to set up a small school and clinic to help widows and orphans in a community. 200+ kids need help….

Now we have run into a little bump along the road and gives us a left turn back to cancer. Why? It makes no sense and yet I have to try and spin it in a positive faith based fuzzy happy feeling in order to cope. God can use all of this for his good. Ok…..why does it hurt so much to admit now I have cancer and I will never have a child of my own.

Yes, I have 200+ kids in Africa. Yes I can have surgery to remove the tumor. Yes its curable. Ok….but that’s all Science and logic speaking. Our hearts don’t work that way. The heart feels innumerable amounts of pain when diagnosed with a terrible disease like cancer. Put any words around it you like and its still Cancer.

So everyone from the first days of this blog that watched it start with hope to be dashed by death and then to be reborn again. I don’t know what to say other than its an eventful journey at least and you’ll never know what happens next.

Healing Eyes is not ending but will somehow turn all this around to show God’s handiwork and somehow see past the pain for healing to begin.

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Naked girl returned to her village

The young girl we found walking naked on the streets of Tororo is now returned to her home many miles and hours away from where we found her. It is a bittersweet story and the ending isn’t really a happy one but we had few options to choose from. We discovered she was from Mokono, which is 100 miles from where we found her walking alone.

The story if fuzzy and not all parts are verified but we believe the family didn’t want her and so they gave her to a witchdoctor who then gave some very bad advice. I’m not sure how much I should share to protect her privacy but I’ll just say she had a very difficult journey and most likely is traumatized for life from it.

We found medication for her which may or may not be the correct medicine but she isn’t violent anymore. No idea if they medicine will continue because it costs money and the family doesn’t appear to have any.

My driver who brought her home is a Godsend and got the police involved who then forced the family to take her back. Again not the best scenario but we are not equipped to handle this type of situation and right now her best option is to be back at home and I pray God watches over her. This is one of those cases where I have no idea what is the best but at the time when I saw her on the street naked the right thing to do was to save her before any other men could harm her further.

If you ever go to Africa or hear stories about it you are faced with these situations every day and you will lose sleep over what is the correct thing to do and how do you fight such evil in the world. No easy answers but one thing we should do is be compassionate to our neighbors and show love, the rest is in God’s hands…and those hands are pretty big.

Healing Eyes

Hello America..again

It’s so awesome to see how God is working and even growing Healing Eyes support family.

I am sitting here alone writing thank you notes to those who gave over the last 3 months either regularly or spontaneous one time gifts towards the mission. Some of the most amazing gifts were given while serving in Africa. By both donors and the people in Uganda we serve.

footWhile there I got sick more than half of the time but we still persevered through the trials we faced. The local people weren’t always the nicest and even cheated me a few times. The people who drink the local brew all day were oblivious to their children with numerous wounds, many wounds weeks old and highly infected.

 

 

 

meetingThe community was still indifferent to the project Pastor John was trying to do and were turning on him because they thought he was just being greedy and seeking land for himself. We pulled a community meeting together and cleared up some of the rumors going around about what I was doing there and what the project was. The project simply is to buy land, build a real primary school for orphans and disabled, build a small clinic, and build up a community of widows forgotten amidst the HIV epidemic that wiped out many families.

 

IMG_1630We also have planted the seeds for theology training with the local pastors by sitting down one hot afternoon to talk about T.U.L.I.P and Pre-destination.

 

Did we succeed? YES! the district leaders pressured a man to sell us land and to even explain to the villagers why this project will help them. The leaders pleaded to show me more kindness and to look after my safety while there. The widows met and hopefully will be starting up a small savings group to try and create their own loan network. The  kids were treated and have started to learn basic first aid. Lastly, I am over my stomach illness, ear infections, and diarrhea. Hallelujah!

landowners

 

Thank you for joining us on this story and praying for Healing Eyes and me. Please continue to follow the story as the rest of the year enfolds and I go back and forth between countries to raise money and awareness of how bad off most of the world is. Our monthly support is an encouragement when just a year ago it was about $50.

support

We still need more monthly partners as the need in Uganda grows and also, well, I need to start getting serious about how to feed myself and pay for gas and my car insurance. Eventually I will be in Uganda long term and its crucial to go with support of friends and family here to keep God’s work going over there.

Thank you again

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Too Many wounded children

What can one person do after opening a huge can of worms in Africa? Beats me but I just did today. I brought back the 2 boys who were staying with me after their treatment was finished for the 3 days. Then I asked the pastor to take me for a walk to see the other villages past the swamp before the rainy season comes. He laughed at first and was shocked because Mazungoos don’t ‘foot’ it (walk), they only ride around in cars. So it was quite a sight today as I walked with Rev John from hut to hut and jumped a small river in the swamp to make it to the visiting village. I decided why not look for wounded children as we go and take them to the clinic as a group. You see there are many children with wounds on there feet and legs from farming (digging). They accidentally hit themselves with the hoe or sharp objects and then never seek medical treatment because of the cost. So now the villages all know Sarah is taking wounded children to be healed. Oops.

WARNING: Some of the photos are a bit graphic.

One girl I found is 8 years old and has been injured since November 2015 from a nail she stepped on. We took her and her brother to the clinic in Tororo. We also found 2 other boys along the way.

One boy (14 yrs) has a wound a month old, another boy (8 years) just sliced his foot on an iron sheet last Friday and the oldest boy of 19 has been injured for 3 years. All have wounds I know where and how to treat.

Sadly the truth here is that the treatment is a bit painful. The girl I had to restrain while they took a razor blade to cut out the bad tissue to open the puss to release the infection. It took me and one other man to hold her down while I tried to insist she be given Novocain for the pain but it turns out that was worse than the cutting because village kids FEAR needles and she fought back. We both cried as I put almost all my weight down on the girl to keep her from moving. All of this while they treated the other boy next to her and so she now sees him screaming from an IV needle, which makes it all worse.

bleedingOutThe 8 year old boy with a sliced foot I met in the morning and his foot was covered in a bandage that was entirely red from blood. When I came back an hour later to take him they had already brought him to the government clinic, which is a very BAD idea. So we rushed to find him but it was too late they had put stitches in without any medicine or cleaning of the wound. They stitched it and then set him away with Tylenol and NO antibiotics. The boy screamed and ran away from me and we tried to put him in the car to take him to the REAL clinic in town. Once at the clinic I tried to hold him tight as they cut the stitches out and cleaned the wound out and let’s just say he is a fighter.

medical

The 14 year old boy had I think the worst wound and so I sat next to him and held him down as he had his leg disinfected with iodine and then a razor blade used to cut the bad tissue out down to the flesh, about a 2 inch circle of flesh. We both cried and shook as I tried to keep it together for the boy.

woundcutting

 

The 19 year old man had the worst infection but I did not see how they handled him because I had reached my limit of suffering.

I couldn’t pay the bill today because I had to use my last shillings to buy food until I get to the ATM again. I actually said to the Africans, I have NO MONEY left for any one else. I am at my end!

Now I have 4 kids again and the 8 year old boy is just screaming to go home and I am screaming to Go home too! No thank you’s and no appreciation for an agonizing afternoon and I still don’t know why me because each clinic visit opens my wound of staying by my husband’s side as he went through treatments and was in so much pain. Here in the village there is no treatment and no one to bring medicine and I fear the next days will bring a gauntlet of more children with wounds I can’t fix. Even Jesus had to run away when too many people came to be healed…There is too much need here and I just want someone to hold me tonight.

If you can help Healing Eyes out tonight with a donation of any amount to help our medical fund it would be a blessing to these children and me because more are coming and I can’t say no 🙁

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Not my prunes!

It’s with great sadness I must announce that sacrifices are to be made in preparation for departing this Sunday for Africa. My beloved Prunes can’t make the journey with me and so the African diarrhea will be highly probable while there. But it is for a good cause I say goodbye to my prunes because I am bringing some beautiful children’s books donated by the Theological Book Network in Kentwood Michigan. I know it’s a tough choice but as I sat looking at my 2 boxes that I can only get 50 lbs each in I thought well the kids sure would smile at the sight of colorful books.

March 13th I fly out again and begin another journey of discovery into the rabbit hole of Africa. What will I find this time? Who will I become? and most importantly what will we at Healing Eyes see revealed to us by God’s leadership?

Land? ….maybe
Laughter? …I hope so
Tears? …definitely
Worth it? …Definitely!
Healing Eyes

Feeding the Children

One of the steps we are taking with Buweboya is to provide meals at the humble school under trees and grass roofs. Since the school was started by Pastor John he has been scraping by with little and the children ‘persevere’ through the mid day sun without food. There are about 31 of the most needy children that we are trying to focus on as we begin this journey with the pastor there.

In December we left behind a small amount of money to test the waters of trust and communication. We didn’t know the estimates to feed the children and so we took a leap of faith.

It’s not going to be easy and there will be set backs but for now we have been notified that some posha and beans was purchased to start school lunches. I wish I was there to see it and verify everything is moving smoothly but this is where we want to put the responsibility on the leaders there. Why? Because we can’t just go in and ‘fix’ or ‘run’ the show…but we can walk alongside them and encourage them to keep trying.

We are short however in feeding all 31 of the kids and we ask for your help in raising another $162 to at least get this lunch program started off right.

 

Healing Eyes

But its not how I imagined it

Often we complain about a life we wish we had and do everything the opposite of what God had in mind.  We ask Him to fix our lives and do this and that, but maybe all along he is trying to help but we refuse because its not done the way we think it should be. This is what I have been asking for. A life that’s full of adventure, travel, and not spent in routine each day. I’ve asked him to send me to Africa and to move the pieces of my life around to accomplish this goal. I want to help widows and orphans, build something larger than myself and comfort others in pain. To use my loss to further His plans for me. I think it was about a year ago when I started praying for that.

Since that time I have been to Africa 4 times, found a village with widows and orphans, been connected with people in Africa that can be touch-points over there, and He even answered my prayer about a place to live in Michigan while I am going in between countries. So if I lay out all the pieces it seems God has been answering prayers and quite sneakily moving the pieces around to accomplish my first said wish which was to be in Africa.

Human nature then kicks in and I regret my first request because to continue this mission it means sacrificing my comforts and my ideas. Now logically if I really trusted God I wouldn’t even worry about making sacrifices because it ultimately accomplishes the request to be in Africa and live a life of adventure and un-normal existence.  So why am I so conflicted?

It all comes down to TRUST! Do I trust Him to take care of me in a remote country where the danger level goes up and my comfort level goes down? Safety net gone along a very skinny tightrope. Will he catch me?

That’s the gamble in my human brain. But all shouldn’t matter when my soul will live on even after this short time on earth and why not live it to the extreme?! Why settle for less than what I want.

 

Healing Eyes

Simon says

Hi!

His mother poisoned his father and than left him and his brother in 2012. He really likes reading the bible.
He told me his favorite subject in school is Science. Although I doubt it, he told me he likes the color red, but that was after several kids before him told me the same answer.

What I remember about him was one afternoon I was sitting with a group of kids reading the bible and when I stopped to pause (because my stomach was ill) and picked up reading again he corrected me on where I left off in reading. He had been leaning over my shoulder the entire time following my reading of a Psalm. The font was very small but he was so intent with what I was reading he picked up on every word I spoke!

Healing Eyes