• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: recovery

Unfortunate accidents leave 2 of our Kids injured

Andera and Simon Peter are two kids in the Buweboya community who have had a bit of bad luck lately. Andera was bitten by a snake and is recovering. Simon Peter has hurt his chest after falling from a Jack Fruit tree, it is unknown if he has any serious injuries because they are unable to get X-rays at a clinic due to the distance and cost. Please pray for these kids to recover and start school. The information I receive is over email currently but I am looking forward to being there March 13 to see in person how the children are and how we are progressing at the school.

andera

simonPeter

Healing Eyes

Returning to the familiar and finding its changed

Does it seem strange to you that life continues when you lose someone? Everything that was is no more and things that are similar are completely different yet the same. To all the widows out there I’m sure you can relate. Today I joined a gym to try and build up my strength for Africa as well as emotional stamina the physical is just as important. My husband and I went to the YMCA when he was going through cancer, it helped with his strength and constant nerve pain from the surgeries. Now I am going to a different gym but even though its not the same place and he is gone now it still is similar to what was. The weight lifting machines are there and the indoor track mimics the other but this time it’s a new memory. Perhaps new memories are what is important when moving on in life after tragic loss. The new memories don’t push out the old but instead fill in the cracks of the shattered life left behind. Perhaps over time those memories will create a beautiful mosaic of filtered light that blends the two lives into one.

I have to make another sacrifice for this new found hobby, no more internet. Trade in the wifi for some exercise to save $19.99 a month from Comcast. Every penny counts to stretch out my time as a ‘missionary’. It was a bit humbling when filling out a form about income when I scribbled a big zero in for annual salary. Slightly insane when today I counted up the kids in uganda that I have given my resources, time, and love to. Total tally is up to 199 little faces and 3 others in another village. It should scare me knowing I have no income and I’ll be homeless come March while packing crates to move to Africa to live a very very very sobering life. All with the knowledge that my boyfriend will be staying behind and I’ll be solo for months in a far far far away land. Is that the beginning of a book? Once upon a time in a far far far away land lived a small girl with 199 children plus 3 who thinks it possible to feed them all.

Flip the story on it’s head and it should read.

Once upon a time there lived a God who picked up one shattered life and plopped it in a far far far away land to live among the least of these. Burst into song, shout for joy, because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.

Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants will dispossess nations
    and settle in their desolate cities.

 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
    Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
    and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
 For your Maker is your husband—
    the Lord Almighty is his name

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A corrupt system

As we grow our needs grow which is why now is the time to Ask for Help. The year is ending and many are turning there minds to Christmas and giving. If I could ask for one thing it would be to have another year to able to go where God says and Do what he says, which means Sarah needs Support. This has weighed heavy on my mind for sometime and I am reminded by others that Sarah needs help to. But each time I see the kids in Africa I think I can squeeze one more kid out of government school into a private school where they may have a chance to get out of poverty. The government ‘free’ schools are 100+ to 1 teacher and they say they are free but on my last visit I learned kids go hungry. Why? The fee for breakfast and lunch may be paid by a parent but since the majority of parents pay nothing then there is never enough porridge and beans purchased for the kids to eat that do pay. It is a system corrupt and broken.

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At another area in Uganda we hope to help build a school for orphans, impoverished, and disabled children. The Building Goal page shows our progress towards making that dream come true.

My biggest announcement is I am moving To Africa March 1, 2016 for 3-4 months to start. I have a place to lay my head and shelter. It is my hope to work with the people there and learn daily problems and successes as we work towards our building goal. I might even teach some english.

This can’t become possible without Partners in prayer and financially. If you have time to look at the Donate page and want to join our team in some way, please consider coming alongside us by helping me find each kid who needs compassion.

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Wanna build a snowman?

Flying over the ocean and over the horizon is MY island. It felt different returning again. This time it will be for 4 weeks and then Christmas break. How do I feel?

  • Exhausted
  • Mediocre
  • Sad

But I have a new friend for Olaf, it’s Christmas Olaf! My boyfriend’s attempt to encourage me to not be a Christmas Scrooge and give xmas spirit a chance. I still say BaHumBug but maybe slightly kinda excited to see what it could be like to enjoy it again. 1 year after Andy died…Smile for Andy’s sake.

Christmas Olaf to try and make me like Xmas

Christmas Olaf to try and make me like Xmas

I am back to my solitude and ‘faith‘ journey. While in Michigan I was blessed to talk at Gaines Church, also met with some friends from Ada Bible Church while eating PANERA. Met with my board members to talk about fundraising and laugh about how crazy it is to be starting a non-profit. Hired my lawyer to write my Bylaws. Lastly, bought some kids supplies for the..well..kids of course. First trip where I bought stuff for others and not me. All in all it was a successful trip ministry wise.

For my journey as a ‘widow’ I am going to start not calling myself that so much and instead consider that as a ‘time’ in my life that got me to this point. Yes it defined me for a bit but now, I have to move on while still loving the memories of Andy. I need to try living and finding happiness. So I did that by dating my boyfriend and talking about life and stuff and giggling and being silly together. Attempted being care free a bit and to NOT feel guilty for smiling. Built a snowman, although a very small and pathetic one, still a snowman! Small steps towards seeing what happiness can be after death.

Two very small ones...but I tried. It was cold!!

Two very small ones…but I tried. It was cold!!

Fundraising

Last but not least.. A friend is selling Poinsettias for Christmas and some of the money goes towards helping my mission out. Currently I am volunteering at Lighthouse Missions and planning a trip to Africa in January for 2 weeks. Money raised will help me fund this life of mine. Sorry, only available to Michigan folks. If your interested this is more info Poinsettia Sale 2014

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Lost Memory of my Husband

Sweet Andy 

Found a video from a year ago… God I miss your kiss!

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Boing Boing..Jump

My day wasn’t supposed to be all kids but it ended up being that way. I am floundering around and each day it seems I never know what will happen. Today I was with the kids at the club all day and we went to the beach for most of it. As usual I was awkward when I first arrived and shy around the kids.

The staff members talked to me more today, yay! I’m making progress in being accepted.

Then little ‘Happy Feet’ came by and she is so full of life. She has 3 names but today it was mainly Happy Feet. All day she was my little shadow, from bouncing around to being a fish she rode in the water, this little girl kept me jumping. By the end of the day she was tired and grumpy and laid on my lap crying. I taught her lessons on sharing food with others, being nice, how to work a camera, and finally she taught me love. There is a boat we have to take to the beach we bring them to and at the end of the day she got on the first boat back to the mainland while I was on the second. When I got off she was waiting for me, she was explaining to the staff member she was waiting for Miss Sarah and pointed at me. She said she loved me and missed me. As if I had been gone long since it’s just a 2 minute ride in the boat.

Whatever did I get myself into?

They have offered me a staff position when school starts, possibly teaching computers in the lab (it’s a tiny lab so nothing high end). Also seems I may have a graphic arts opportunity in creating a promo flyer for future donors. Today God has thrown more ideas at me and I am spinning. So many kids and I have no idea what to do.

Pray for discernment on this coming school year…it seems I have too many options on what to do.

 

Healing Eyes

Earning My Stripes!

Take that leap and go out and live trusting God! Do it! I dare everyone to try it….wow….but don’t expect instant results. It really is a minute by minute commitment to not give up. I’m glad today I stuck it out and went with God’s direction, as much as it confused and scared me.

For some reason God wants me to learn to drive Jeep and crawl up steep scary inclines. For some reason God wants me to learn to public speak by being a tour guide. For some reason God wants me to lose that shyness and let loose with other people. Today I went on my second training with driving Jeep. Now when I say ‘driving Jeep’ I need to clarify what I mean. It will involve being happy and showing a lot of patience and diligence. It means not getting angry when the Jeep breaks or when I am tired from the heat. It means performing for a group of 4 guests per ride and selling the island and its beauty to them. It means letting my needs come last. It also involves driving up some damn steep hills and learning about teamwork to the extreme.

I thought today I was going out alone with the teacher but there was another newbie driver and I had to show him what to do when first looking over the Jeep. Need to check 5 things in the engine and survey the undercarriage for any broken parts. Then we picked up a second driver who used to drive for the company and he turned out to be a bonus in my learning experience.

I picked the same Jeep as before and we were off. 7 hours later I am finally home and exhausted. To sum it up on the way back up the road to the tide pools and being the one to drive while the other 3 guys watched me, I failed getting up the hill and then the Jeep died. The gas line had a leak and the entire tank was dry. Now cell phones don’t work so well out in the bush so me and the second driver walked back down to the tide pools (the ocean) to try and find a signal. Luckily we got thru and a Jeep was on its way with gas (the owner of all people). A nice dip in the Tide pools while waiting was a must! As well as pleasant conversation about life and food. He is also a chef and he asked me how my husband died and I explained how food became our enemy. It’s so refreshing to talk about Andy and cancer! He might cook some meals for me and show me the restaurants that have great food. One thing he said to me was, “We need to not have you being all depressed anymore”.

Some time later help arrived and then the true fun started. I wasn’t getting off that easy from making my first successful trip up that hill. So I have 3 guys telling me how to do it and I am getting scared and frustrated at myself. One of the drivers in training bailed out the back of the Jeep, lol he just has no guts it seems when the Jeep slightly tipped a bit, it made for a good camaraderie experience with the other two guys on the drive back. They assured me that I have more ‘balls’ then that guy and to not worry.

Did I make it?! I sure did! The Jeep stalled a lot but I finally pressed the gas and sucked up my fears (with a little help of a tool box behind my back to support me from falling back in the seat) and drove that Jeep up that incline.

So the owner of the company and his son both had so much patience with me and I learned what true teamwork is today. They didn’t give up on me, and thank you God for giving me the strength (stubbornness) to not give up.

A great day of smelling exhaust fumes, sweating, African killer bees, and conquering one of the inclines on the trail. Maybe, just maybe I earned some of my stripes today!

When God wants to give an abundant life to someone he doesn’t joke around. I’m in the Caribbean volunteering to work with kids and I get to have a piece of Andy back with being around mechanics and learning to drive. Andy loved teaching me how to drive…he loved playing cars with me.

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Uno

Uno is the card game of choice for the kids at the club. I was a hit since I had a new deck of cards and would play for hours (I mean hours!). Slowly the kids are realizing I am going to be around for a while and they wander up to me while I am sitting at the picnic table. Today’s conversation jumped from if God can die to Jesus Dying on the cross and then finally me explaining the deck of cards were Andy’s but he died before he could play them. Kids are really great listeners.

Another kid read me several books (one was a joke book and the other Berenstein bears) and then later we played Uno for hours. He was a soft spoken kid and a nice change from all the screaming I normally receive. The two girls in the video came by later to play and normally they scream during Uno but I explained this was ‘quiet Uno’ and they respected my request. Each time I go back I don’t know what to expect and I am nervous and hesitant to go but then the kids surprise me and slowly accept me.

The bathroom is broken there so everyone stateside appreciate those flush toilets…the porty johns get very hot in the middle of the day.

Healing Eyes

Ukulele

When I first learned the Ukulele I thought I would never be able to sing while strumming. But now after hours and days of practice I’ve done it! Little by little I got the hang of it.

I wonder if that is what life can be like. Diligence and persistence to learn new things and to stretch oneself beyond what was thought possible.

Maybe that’s why God picked me…put me in these circumstances…knew my stubbornness…and is gonna take advantage of the gift he gave me.

Today I had my first Jeep lesson with Tan Tan tours on the island. Let me say this, being a driver is not just driving a jeep! Holy crap its gonna be like Jeep boot camp. I need to check all the fluids each time and look for broken parts on the Jeep before going out. (The radiator overheated going up the Tide Pools road and I got stuck, I guess no one makes it the first time. I later found out he set me up and he knew the radiator was gonna overheat and he wanted me to experience it)

I will have to learn facts about St. Croix to share with riders and also get them to love me by the end of the ride. So my people skills will be rigorously improved, maneuvering a Jeep over rough terrain, and then mechanic skills will be improved. If my goal is to someday be working in a third world country for neglected kids I think working at Tan Tan will help build my patience and diligence required. From drunk to high maintenance vacationers I should learn to work with a lot of personalities from this training opportunity and flush out that whole introvert personality. When I agreed to God rebuilding my life I never thought he would be so creative in his methods.

Before

After

Healing Eyes

A Small Life

The approach to raise $5,000 for 5 months of service on the island wasn’t the right approach. Well it felt right at the time, thinking of how will I make it after quitting my reliable paid salary job. Every two weeks I got a check that would let me buy food and pay for lodging. It was a very enticing lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong…I miss it terribly! That was one of my passions that is now gone. The laptop is in the FedEx box waiting to go back to Michigan.

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I just finished listening to another sermon from Ada Bible. For some reason last sunday’s and this sunday’s keep resonating with me. From the Ant Power to now the Barb Wire discipline. Over last week I would remind myself to be like an Ant, be consistent and diligent even if it was hard. Every morning drag myself out of bed even if I didn’t want to. Eat food even when I don’t want to. Now today I am reminded its the Slow and Steady commitment I am after in my life. My blog is the most consistent thing in my life. It’s always been there for me. I consistently update it even if I don’t like what i’ll write about or how it might affect others. I try to be raw in my writing even when it sounds depressing. Life is broken!

Yesterday I got a gift from someone I never met in Michigan but talked to over email. I am realizing its not My journey now, it’s everyones journey. For the people that can’t pick up and just go, sell everything, live off faith, be a free spirit…that isn’t something everyone can just Do. Inside us all is a passion to make a difference, to touch lives, and to make an impact. Not like what I am doing is that impactful, half the time I feel like I am failing and I see no fruit from my labor. Perhaps when little Divani at the club says, “you came back”, makes a difference in my perspective. It’s not just those moments that make my heart feel good, actually my heart leaps when I see friends and strangers joining me in this adventure. The adventure to live life to the fullest and to not wait for my life clock to run out. Andy didn’t know he was going to die at 34, if he had then he would have lived more abundantly. I want others to feel this amazing gift of compassion, denying self, and pain for others.

It’s the sum of the smalls that wins hearts. It’s the sum of the moments that make a life. It’s living beyond what we think is possible that makes it all worth it. I want to live a resilient life by longing for more than what this broken world can give me.

Yesterday God gave me another $60 thru one of his family members. My Paypal account was empty from paying rent and then he filled it back up with $60.

Everyone can’t have their Mountain top experiences. Life altering moments that rip everything away and we are left to start all over. I pray that not everyone gets that wake up call. It’s not pleasant and it scars you. Every morning I need my eyes constantly reopened to what is around me. I hate being slow at things! I hate being patient! I want everything Now and then act on it. My lesson to learn is patience and resilience. Doing great things over and over again!

It really is the smalls 🙂

 

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