• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: survival

You just need to laugh at yourself

supporting a missionary can be fun..and rewarding when you get to see photos like this. I am eating something we normally don’t serve out of a chicken. In Africa it is an honor to be given this piece of meat and even more if you’re a woman.

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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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Perseverance worked yesterday

Much better day with the kids. Hot and muggy but no tears and mean words. The kids were super lovey today. Happy feet gave me the longest hug and told me I was a good person (yes in those exact words).

I brought my bracelet maker today and the kids taught me how to make rubberband bracelets with just my two fingers. The boys actually were the ones most interested and very talented. It was a great motivator for good behavior and manners. it was quite funny, we started with about 5 kids but then when the van arrived with a huge load of kids I said, “quick pack it up before they see”. Otherwise all the kids would be grabbing and it would have been chaotic. One girl really understood me and rushed to quick hide the loom.

There was this small boy who over the week keeps finding me. He pulls out his big piece of paper I had been teaching how to make flowers on. He asks me to show him how to make a new flower each day. So cute and odd how he keeps bringing that piece of paper back to me. I wish I knew his name. He’s one of the few boys who complains about how loud it is there. He wishes everyone would stop screaming all the time.

So yesterday was awful but today was a blessing. I got hugged, loved, and treated nicely:)

The Jeep update: My Jeep is ‘running’ but it needs a tune-up now for the distributor. I won’t complain though because it would be triple the cost if it was a newer jeep. So yay this will only break me by $220. Pray that God will keep providing and doors will keep opening up.

I am thankful for free Wifi courtesy of my awesome neighbors. I am thankful for my girlfriend Renee who is going to be my roomy soon. I am thankful for the sun. I am thankful my Jeep starts. I am thankful for the kids who hug me. I am thankful the mosquitos are not too bitey. I am thankful I have gallons of drinking water. I am thankful for Becca who sends me goodies. I am thankful for Cindy who prays for me. I am thankful for my Parents who are proud of me… and I am thankful for my Olaf who keeps me company at night.

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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

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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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VBS continues

What if all that we do each day is pointless?

What if the little things could add up to more?

As much as I don’t want to refer back to me and Andy’s days trying to have kids it seems something I can’t avoid. We tried for over 8 years to have a baby and failed miserably at it. Sometimes it just isn’t meant to be and making the choice to stop is a hard one. We invested so much time and money into making a family that it became a mission almost.

Now I am almost done with my first week teaching kids at VBS. Whatever would Andy think of all this? I can’t even imagine since I can’t remember ever seeing Andy play with kids. Deep down he wanted a child but I think to not hurt me he tried to downplay it. We talked one night about how if we were to try adopting we would never have a mini Andy running around. We weighed the pros and cons of that and decided to give up the ‘natural’ way of having a family. When Andy got sick we were almost thankful we never succeeded at children. We still talked once and awhile about how if he was gone that there would be no living legacy of him. I would be left alone and no little version of Andy would be around to comfort me.

Yesterday I was feeling sick but I still started setting up the classroom with the color sheets and crayons. Sitting in the tiny kid chair reading the lesson plan and feeling sad. Then a little kid snuck in and said Hi to me and wanted to see what sneaky stuff I was up to. I told her she’s too early and needed to go eat her food. She said ok but before she left she asked me, “Can I give you a hug first?”

Was that Andy? In that brief second was he looking down at me and trying to encourage me with a hug? It’s hard living on after he’s gone, it’s hard trying to be someone different without sharing it with someone. The days don’t get easier after you lose your husband. Every night the tears come and I curl into a ball missing Andy but that darn sun still rises and still pushes me to get up.

First two days of VBS we had 12 kids, then we had 18, and then there was 21!

 

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Ministry for Kids

Your sponsorship would support:

  • Volunteer work at the Boys and Girls Club of America for the Summer Camp 2014. This includes being there to provide love and attention to the kids, arts and crafts, and going on field trips on the island with the kids.
  • When school starts up again in September I hope to split my time in between Lighthouse Missions after school program and the Boys and Girls Club of America program.

Check out the ‘Contact Me Page’ to be added to the Supporters list here


Personal Testimony

 

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Support

I’m liking the living by faith thing. It takes some of the pressure off of knowing all the answers and controlling everything. This morning I ran out of fruit snacks and I was sad but then this afternoon I got a package from a new supporter and it had…FRUIT SNACKS! Problem solved!

My first supporter mailed me two boxes stuffed full of food and goodies. Yay! Thank you Becca! This past sunday I finally put money in the offering plate and it was a bit more than I thought I could afford being jobless soon but I didn’t have change. Anyways, a friend said I wouldn’t regret it and that God would give it back somehow. So I’m not saying this was directly related but.. ‘it kinda feels like it’.

It’s gonna be ok. My new job will be learning to live by faith and sharing the story as I flounder around. Maybe eventually I’ll get my sea legs on solid ground and stop waffling.

Written on the outside of one of the boxes: Isaiah 53:4-6

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Yet we considered him punished by God, Stricken by him, and afflicted; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

To give your life to Jesus fully? Wreckless abandonment?

Be directed even if it means your heart is broken over and over again? Is that possible?

While living in a fallen world there will be sickness, cancer, death. Is it a fantastical dream to want a world where no more sickness lives?

Matthew 8:20

Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head.

Matthew 8:22

Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.

 

We can have all the plans in place prior to following God’s call, we can wait until our timing is ready. But what if all that is meaningless excuses and we must go when called…

I made a huge upheaval after Andy died and now I am on an island. None of it was easy and still it hurts. I grieve Andy! I grieve loss. It’s a great cost to follow this madness. It would be easier to go back instead of forward. Would Jesus accept any of my excuses to give up?

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psst This Way

My life the movie?! That’s what the person I just got back from seeing about volunteering said to me. Well not those exact words but basically she was excited to meet someone whose life seemed like a movie. Husband gets sick, dies, widow sells it all in search of faith, heals thru helping others, never could have kids of her own and now seeks ways to get past that pain by loving kids.

Hmm ok I guess I can kinda see the screen write for that movie.

This morning started off with a jog and pushups on a rock..yes just like a Rocky movie where I find a random rock on the beach and start doing pushups in between jogging. I am working on my physical health to clear my mind. I hear more from my invisible friend when my mind is clear.

It of course worked because I had an interesting conversation with a girlfriend after running that then led me back to something I have been procrastinating on. I’ve been running from because it’s too hard and too overwhelming to go after. Yes, I am fighting God a bit on this task he put before me. Maybe that’s why I’ve been forced into solitude because of my disobedience. But no more God! I called the person I was supposed to and will meet at 5pm with her. So you can stop punishing me while yelling into my ears to follow through on your request. Geesh already!

Great news to report, I have found my place. Well, I think I have. It has kids and a need and I start Thursday. You know how when you step into a room and it feels right, that after all the searching something clicks in your heart. Well, I think I found it. Last Sunday I had brunch with a few people, which included 3 widows, yes I say widows with pride. Our husbands might be gone but we still are alive, we still need to band together to fight grief and survive. Anyways, it was a brunch of guidance from God. He put some people I knew from a few weeks ago back into my line of site. He showed me how they just quit their jobs and went full time ministry without really much support and they are still alive. I got a contact for the Boys and Girls Club of America on the island from them. The next day I call over there and find out they are just up the hill from the Lighthouse. Funny part is I stepped outside the lighthouse and the person I was talking to on the phone stepped outside and was waving at me from the top of the hill so I could see where to go. It’s like God was finally, literally, waving at me for the next turn in my faith walk. ‘Sarah, come this way, right up the hill and then await further directions’.

Each day is a battle over worrying about money and letting go of my ‘real’ job in less than 2 weeks! The clock is ticking down and the bombardment from every direction makes me feel like a bulls eye being shot at repeatedly. All the tricks and tactics are being used to sway me from leaving my job, packing up and moving somewhere else, and throwing in the whole faith crap.

But I’m stubborn and determined to not give up.

God has every detail in place though, even though I doubt his hand in it too much, he brought me here and then over time he is putting different people around me to keep my feet on the ground. I may feel alone at night but when the sun is shining (as it does constantly) I have plenty of people encouraging me to smile.

Thanks to my landlord who has my back on the Jeep maintenance and safety of where I live. Thanks to the random people I meet when I step outside. Thanks to the woman I chatted with about volunteering and is giving me a chance to fix my ‘kid phobia’. Thanks to my girlfriend who was used to remind me to stop procrastinating and gives me a spot to jog and jump in the pool in my underwear, LOL.

Island life = let me quick throw clothes on cuz I’m always in a swimsuit, NOT! Ok yes, I might have just gotten down swimming when I had a phone call back home with my job, but in my defense it is my day off.

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Where in the World is Sarah

New plan…

50 states where is the best place to live and work?

I have to have enough followers to cover some of the states so I can get a good feel for what state would be good for me. I’m 34 so I’m at a good age to start all over. I have no kids to find a school for. This should be easy.

I got myself to an island I sure can get myself to a basic states of the United States. Doesn’t require a uhaul or even a car. Oh yea, requirement, must have mass public transportation. New York could work, not so sure about Chicago though..kinda pricey. Does Atlanta, Georgia have good public transportation I wonder?

And no I am not trying to be like Jonah and going the opposite direction I am supposed to. This is completely logical and a suitable alternative to living on an island in the Caribbean. No, it is not like a paradise everyone imagines. Really..get past a 2 week marker and its really not paradise. It gets to be rather tiny and claustrophobic. The heat is intense, the bugs are well buggy, and the prices are so insane.

No I am not ‘running’. Just re-prioritizing my location. Yea that works. God won’t notice that loop hole.

I doubt anyone really wants to hear about the mundane routine of following God and all that God stuff. It’s rather boring actually. It’s not like this morning I got up and picked up a random person on the street to take her to McDonalds because I had this squeeze on my heart and a voice in my head when I drove past her.

That’s crazy talk.

It’s not like I got some free mango’s from a guy I have gotten to know who has fallen on hard times and totally understands grief and cancer.

That’s just boring talk.

It’s not like I just swam in the ocean under a beautiful son and butterflies flittered over my head as if God was enjoying spoiling me.

That Sh**t doesn’t happen in real life.

God doesn’t try and give a grieving widow a break by showering her with sun and blue water and mangos. No, it doesn’t work that way.

I need to find another state to wander around for say 40 years in. That can totally work. That way I would eat more since it would have restaurants and a Target store.

This is how twisted my mind works. I doubt God’s love because I don’t think I deserve it. I don’t understand why I get to have beauty all around me and an ocean by my side, the sun above me, free time to think and write. All of these things I can’t fathom, why me? I watched Andy die. I was with him during the surgery, the chemo treatments, the vomiting, the feeding tube, the pain and sadness of realizing he was not going to last. I am so brainwashed that now I think I am only to see that. To always be in pain and have no time for myself. To not allow myself to be happy. I can’t be happy when I know Andy is dead. My mind will not let me indulge in such an idea. To pick up your cross and follow Jesus means to suffer constantly. Idle time makes me go mad…I need to be doing something and be busy or else I am letting others down and letting Andy down.

So let’s vote…And seriously I know I have followers and you are just dying to push the vote button and let your voice be heard! Now is your chance! Where should the wandering widow missionary wanna be live?

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