• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: surviving cancer

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

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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Healing Eyes

Glamorous life of me

The not so glamorous side of traveling to exotic far off locations are the airports. After sitting in an upright position for 9 hours straight you just want to lay on a cold hard surface with a scarf over your head, right? I hope some day they get more couches and recliners in the Amsterdam airport. But until then I’ll have to make do with the floor this March when I fly again. That’s right the ticket is purchased and I am committed to go March to June of this year. What will I be doing this time?

Watching and learning how Buweboya runs it’s first term of school and meeting more of the kids one on one I hope. Often I go and it’s a whirl wind of business and never enough time to just ‘Be’. Well this time there will be a lot of ‘Be’ time for Sarah.

This trip is compounded more with the realization that I will be leaving my boyfriend behind and spending 2.5 months in a foreign country alone. Living with minimal comforts and figuring out how to make meals, wash clothes, and live each day without modern appliances. I know others have done this sort of thing but it’s all new to me. My last trips I had a cook or a guest house to stay in, but this time I’ll be running solo.

First obstacle to overcome is transportation. I won’t have a car this time and so I need to get from Entebbe to Tororo with prayer and I hope use the connections I have gathered on my last trips.

Second obstacle to overcome is eating. I don’t cook with a modern stove all that much as it is so I’ll try surviving on protein bars and water. Or perhaps find a cook ha!  I won’t be slaughtering and plucking my own chicken that’s for sure.

Last and hardest obstacle will be the cultural and emotional strain. Plan for this one is to Pray a lot while there!

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

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

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

Love hate relationship

There is a mosquito hunting me. I can hear him buzzing in my ear and then he’s gone. One mosquito can cause so much frustration!

and that leads me toooooo…. MY JEEP

It’s a love hate relationship with my jeep. We might be on the mend again with our friendship as long as she keeps cool and doesn’t blow her lid again. Her radiator cap was the problem today and hopefully it’s snuggly secure and won’t let off steam anymore. I am going to ignore the burning smell by the driver’s side tire, hoping it was just a random smell and not the brakes or something worse.

Now that mosquito may be carrying a virus that I do not care to experience and yet it really wants to share it.

Card from my favorite girl

Today Grecia made me a cute card that I wasn’t expecting. She was very quiet and well behaved which I also was not expecting. So even though it seems everything else around me is buzzing at least today I was blessed with this beautiful card..

It seems me going to Africa is having a bigger impact than I had thought on the kids. I started going through my stuff in order to downsize a bit in order to have room to ship donations back to Michigan with me for Africa. I am always downsizing and packing, never able to stay settled long in one place. It has some positives but really hard to feel at ease anywhere. It’s preparing me for something more in life, hardening my shell as one of my past managers would have said.

Every little thing is gonna be alright!

Healing Eyes

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

Healing Eyes

A shut-in

The last 3 days I have been shut up inside my apartment living off the chicken sandwiches and Ramon noodles I had in my kitchen. I was drawn down into a pit of sorrow longing for yesterday. I had 4 gallons of drinking water to sustain me and on the fourth day of my solitude I started to run dry. It was time to step out of my hole to seek water. While out I figured I should try to get some jogging in, stretch my legs and get the blood pumping. It was already in the 80s when I started to run. I pushed myself and prayed for strength to run at least a mile; I ended up doing about 1.7 miles and nearly collapsed of heat exhaustion. While running I was reminded how in our weaknesses we are made strong. At night I cry myself to sleep sometimes when I realize how broken and alone I am. I read laminations and it comforts me. “ My splendor is gone and all I had hoped from the Lord.” “I remember my affliction and wandering…” “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” I sat alone for 3 days, I tried to seek out friends but everyone was gone. I was made to sit alone with my thoughts. I’m not gonna lie I went a bit crazy but my weakness is God’s way of shining through me. Every day I want to give up and go ‘home’. But what is home? My home is gone. Taken away from me when my husband first became sick. Now I am haunted by memories of a year ago when Andy was dead while in his body that still breathed.

“we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts…”

Can these words really mean something thousands of years later? Why does everything have to feel connected in some way. Like a big puzzle to discover.

I am living on an island, what many would think paradise. I just took my Jeep to another mechanic and now it seems the fuel injector is bad and it will be another $250 to fix. I feel my finances being slowly sucked out like the damn mosquitos that bite at my ankles. I am not supposed to grumble though so this is just a factual explanation of my current circumstances. Not at all me complaining about the difficulties of giving my life over to my invisible friend who will provide all that I need.

The after school program starts back up today so I’ll have a reason to my being here again. The irony that kids are my life line when a few years ago I couldn’t stand children. I used to run from children’s high pitched voices and ignore them when they said hello. I was walking with a friend yesterday who is very bitter about kids and was pretty rude to a little girl that came up on the boardwalk to say hi.

We can’t really change who we are but we can let our suffering refine us, as if through fire, into who we were always meant to be. The skills and abilities we have that can be used in ways we never imagined…or perhaps we have imagined but we were too scared to try because of what others might think. Most of the time what we really want seems crazy and too ‘out there’ to accomplish. Maybe that’s part of the trick that evil uses to hold us back. If it sounds crazy and seems impossible than it must be and just go with the safe path.

Horse wandering by my Jeep this morning..only St Croix

Horse wandering by my Jeep this morning..only St Croix

Healing Eyes

Choking back tears of being hated

Today I was at the boys and girls club of America and it was the first time I actually almost lost it and broke down in tears. It was starting off good, I had the handful of kids working on a craft about ‘Decisions’ and teaching them how to make the right choices in life. One little girl said she couldn’t do that craft because it had a bible verse on it and her mother doesn’t believe in that church stuff. So I dismissed her to not cause trouble.

Each day I bring my own personal crayons in since they don’t have many there and I ask them to treat them nicely and take one crayon at a time. Today I had some troublemakers and they wouldn’t listen and slowly the crayons ended up everywhere. I used it as an example of choices in life, they could choose to be nice or they can choose to be naughty and there are consequences. The crayons were put away.

Then it got bad…a group of teenagers came out to sit on a picnic table and I told them they needed to go back to their classroom since it still was Homework hour and they gave me some snotty remarks and then turned around. Few minutes later they come back out and say another teacher said it was ok to come out. Smack right on my face, I try to enforce rules that the club has and I am side swiped by another adult. It’s so frustrating to be not liked and to be treated badly. I am giving my time for free for these kids and I get nothing in return except evil looks and mockery. The teenagers than continued to be noisy and were laughing at me while I tried to keep the handful of younger kids under control. That was when all the crayon madness started and I was ready to give up. Everything was falling apart, except one boy who usually is naughty was being so nice and that encouraged me a bit.

Earlier one little girl made a comment that this was my part time job. I explained to her that I don’t get paid to be there; I actually just volunteer because of I love them. She exclaimed, “That’s impossible”, several times. Another girl said, “But Miss Sarah you have to have a job for money, it’s impossible”. I told them God said to come and take care of the kids and I listened.

Now I feel like it is all for nothing…what a waste of my time to keep giving to these kids when the staff members there don’t back me up.

My jeep was fixed yesterday but now the check engine light is on so it appears I have to bring it back tomorrow. Either way I at least could drive myself back home after my terrible experience with the kids today.
I flipped open my bible with tears in my eyes to try and see what to do and I saw this:

Blessed are you who hunger now, For you will be satisfied

Blessed are you who weep now, For you will laugh

Blessed are you when people hate you

When they exclude you and insult you

And reject your name as evil

Because of the Son of Man

Luke 6:21-22

I have a choice.. I can either swallow my Pride and go back tomorrow and take the verbal abuse for the younger kids. Or I can choose to give up. Is little Happy Feet, J’noy, Davi, Angel, Samaje, and Dilani worth it?

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