• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: suffering

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.

Healing Eyes

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.

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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.

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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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Exhausted and determined to build hope

What I am thankful for is a shower and a mosquito net. Really it’s the basics in life that make the difference here in Africa. For dinner I had 1 hard boiled egg, beef jerky, and 3 bananas. It’s more than some get.

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Not to sound like a broken record but I need prayers for my health. My nose has began running and my headaches won’t stop. After finishing my week of Amoxycillin I am now starting my stash of Cipro to try and combat this ailment. I just pray I don’t get a cold on top of all of this.

Regardless of how my body is doing my heart took a bit of a beating today as I interviewed some new ‘orphans’ admitted to the ‘school’. How the school can take more kids in is beyond my comprehension because they have NO buildings and the teachers aren’t even paid since parents aren’t paying school fees.  Pastor John has a big heart and can’t say no to anyone it seems. But alas I talked to some new kids and heard the same thing over and over, mother died and father is a drunkard. Or another is father died of HIV and mother is widowed and only digs in the garden. My favorite is the witchdoctor poisoned their mother in the garden, some truth behind this and also just some basic lack of medical help.

31 more kids! On top of the 31 I already had who were on the needy list. Healing Eyes will do its best but its a reality when we can’t help all of these kids  because first of all some have parents that can pay and also we need to do more than just pay for school fees. I am tired…my heart is tired..my immune system is fighting as hard as it can against sickness…and today I get more kids. Tomorrow morning I need to get up and make a list of which kids deserve a trip to the hospital for HIV testing and other health ailments and which will have to wait. One child has some diagnosis of a pancreas issue, I told her to bring her medical papers so I can see what the problem is. I’m not a Doctor though!

The rains are coming sadly which means the meager school under 2 trees is going to take a beating from the rain and mud. So in preparation I have begin ordering some wooden benches to get them off of the ground, buying some sheet metal to put a roof on the makeshift classroom of sticks, and lastly we will get the mudding started to construct 3 little classrooms until one day we can have land and REAL buildings. My hope is that this can help during rainy season and provide some relief for the time. Should cost about $250 to pull this miracle off this week. Pray Pray Pray we can work faster than usual here in Africa where snail pace time rules.

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Healing Eyes

What ‘Going’ can accomplish

Do you know that All of you are now going to Eastern Uganda through me? Because of Healing Eye’s partners who donated I have been blessed to be God’s servant to those hurting. We are all helping to Feed, Clothe, and Teach 31 of the most needy children at Buweboya Vision Junior School.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. – 1 Corinthians 3:8-14 NIV

God said ‘Go’ a year ago and now we all are servants and soon to be the Builders.

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.

 

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What would YOU do when faced with an impossible situation?

It only takes one step to impact change and sometimes it comes in the smallest packages. Little Rose burned herself on porridge and no one tended to her wound. But how could they when even they have no where to turn for help. The clinics set up to help them for free charge fees when they should not. The cost of a taxi to town is beyond there payroll.

What would you do when you have no options?

I am just thankful we were there when she burned herself in order to take action and get the antibiotics needed. None of that would have been possible without those silent helpers who donate a little here and there to help us help others.

We are a small charity for sure and finally getting our feet wet with a more specific purpose. To help these children out in a village located in the Manafwa district outside a city called Tororo. The school was started a few years back with the hope to provide a safe learning environment for the orphans, disabled, and impoverished children in the area when the Government school wasn’t fulfilling that need. So yes we are small and yes we are just learning the ropes but IMAGINE what we can do with ONE child at a time shown that bit of COMPASSION we are led to do. So let it begin with little Rose receiving that compassion and attention she needs.

Thank you my new partner in this big journey ahead.

Check out the ‘Our Kids’ page to see other children we are helping through this ministry of compassion. Your gift of $35/month goes to help those with the least and furthers my, Sarah’s, dream to bring great joy out of great suffering. I am not searching anymore for where I belong or what I am to do…

We are to build a school of compassion and help anyone who is blinded by pain

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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.

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.

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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.

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Imagine a breathe on fire

How is it my place to question where I am led to go?

How is it my place to doubt?

When all around me I see pain and suffering…can I turn a deaf ear to it’s call?

When the time comes to go and leave behind all that I love can I say No? Or perhaps delay until it makes sense to all?

What if life was more than we imagine? What if life was in a girl standing quietly in the shadows…

Waiting quietly in repose

Waiting quietly in repose

Close your eyes and imagine…breathe in the stagnant air filled with the smell of bodily fluids and fecal decay…the dry dusty air burns your eyes as tears roll down your stained face. Now imagine each day the same … Waiting …. Waiting… For more…for something to break the cycle of pain. Open your eyes…your heart and realize it’s still the same today and that girl is waking up in the shadows with no change.

Do you fear?

Do you wonder what the “least of these” see each day? Unimaginable! But have hope because each of “these” smile more in a day than those with the Most!

Who is that?

Perhaps in suffering comes something more…the gift of love.

Healing Eyes

The girl in the golden dress

A little girl dressed in gold snuggled up to me without me knowing. She giggled at her sneakiness.

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A beautiful widow married 34 years shared her story with me. One of the few who spoke English. My new prayer friend who encouraged me to live.

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The kids surrounded me after walking off the bus. Yelling Mazungoo Mazungoo! (White person)

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For more photos please visit the healing eyes Facebook page

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