• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: surviving

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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All Moved In

After a week I am now in my new apartment. It was quite an accomplishment! 10pm Uganda time we moved in under the veil of darkness – and it wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, the bed wasn’t complete yet, so some guys were sawing and hammering for an hour… Everything is slow here!
My mosquito net is the wrong size (too small) so I am now half under it with pillows holding it down, and the varnish on the bed frame is giving me a headache. However, I am happy to say I have a lot of steel between me and the outside, as well as, steel padlocks on my steel doors and I am bolted in snug as a bug in jail. I have many many keys and feel like I am in Alcatraz prison.
My shower was nice even though the design is quite bizarre:)

Today in the village we looked for land and had some good luck..
I also found one of my kids was sick so since I have a car still we took her right to the clinic immediately! Had I not had the car she wouldn’t have made it to the clinic because it is too far. We found out she has malaria. So she now has medicine and I pray she heals quickly. It’s so amazing how in America such a thing as this trip to a clinic is taken for granted. Here the distance and cost for transport prevents many from getting to a clinic. If God hadn’t put Healing Eyes in touch with this village than each child we help wouldn’t know compassion.
This makes me smile and justifies the insane heat, lonely nights, steel cage, and absence of meals.

Goodnight to all and remember today as you rest your head on your pillow that a little girl is in a grass hut feeling a bit better knowing God is caring for her thru our prayers and Action taken to be here in Africa

Sarah

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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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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!

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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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You know your on the right path when you hear the word Free

Can you believe that today I had my own little miracle happen? God takes care of widows and today after spending almost 3 hours at the mechanic to get my oil changed he worked his magic. Free! the $40 it was supposed to cost was on the house today because they took forever trying to find an oil filter for my car. But wait! It doesn’t stop there! My next visit is free too!

So I have no income and give away what little bit of money I do have, but at least my oil change was taken care of today and tomorrow:)

My salary is paid with long waits of patience opportunities and unconventional ways of supplementing a ‘normal’ income. Yea it’s not the most comfortable or risk free way of living but it beats paying $40 I didn’t have today for routine car maintenance at a place I hadn’t visited since Andy died. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?! Perhaps my utility bills will randomly get lost in the system.

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My friend who keeps asking to make flowers

Heat exhaustion

It was a very hot day today and more than once I thought I would pass out. In this kind of heat it’s hard to concentrate and remain patient. Funny that God is continuing to test my patience with staying financially afloat for the kids. Several times he has the kids ask me about if I get paid to help them. They assume that I do since I am an adult and I show up. When I tell them that I am here to volunteer and show them love they are shocked every time. They scream, Impossible! I like that reaction even though deep down I am fearful of how I’ll keep this up. Today, however, God decided to remind me that he’s in charge and that as long as I keep listening it will be ok. Most likely i’ll have a one time donation coming in soon from a church and also Andy’s social security disability has been approved and I’ll see some of that soon. Perhaps more details than I should share but how can I share the entire story if I never tell my readers the moments where my invisible friend comes through for me!

My prayer for more crafts for the kids is also coming true thanks to some ladies back home who are helping out. Those sort of blessings make me smile:) and I know the kids will smile too…such as my aspiring Flower artist at the club.

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I’m tired a lot still from the heat and today marks the 10 month anniversary of Andy passing away but I won’t give up quite yet. Just keep leaving the bread crumbs and I’ll follow…just please please give me a roof to stay under and some food to stay alive for the kids. So funny! Me and kids! Makes no sense even still!!!!!

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Abundance with little

I am truly blessed! Living an abundant life of simplicity. I just finished a delicious dinner of chicken and mac & cheese with a corn on the cob, I totally splurged! After a few hours at the Boys and Girls Club I needed it though. Today I was with 7th and 8th graders trying to teach them about computers for the Digital Literacy Program. Exhausting and rewarding. At one point while on my knees talking to one of the boys and going through his answers on the computer. The talk turned from computers to a pep talk about believing in himself. He kept saying ‘I’m dumb, I am stupid’. I told him if he keeps saying that it will become true and he needs to say ‘I am smart’ over and over again.  He basically was a disruption the entire time by goofing off but I am not giving up on him yet.

Before class started I pulled my ukulele out. I debated heavily on if I should bring it or not but I gave into my potential embarrassment and brought it anyways. A little girl was playing outside by herself and so I asked God that if he wanted me to show it to her that he make the first move. Soooo he did… the girl came over to me and asked me if she could play on the computers and I said no.. but I have something cool to show you. It turned out her dad has musical tendency and she likes the guitar so I showed her some chords on the uke and she was doing C and A chords in no time. Then other girls started to show up and I taught them a bit while talking about life and how my husband died and that I don’t have kids (yes the girls started that conversation with their questions).


 

This week I chose to start reprogramming how I think. When I start to feel insecure I remember this:

“Now you are my friend, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me, I chose you.”
John 15:15-16

When I start to doubt and think what I am doing is crazy I remember this:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Prov 3:5-8

And when I am clouded by my own problems and end up blind to what’s around me, I think of this:

Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that is where the action is.  See things from His perspective. Col 3:2 

Enough Scripture talk! I have ran 3 times this week and I got free French Toast twice! What more do I need?! Free breakfast, good conversation, and exercise to clear my thoughts.

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Registration for kids program filled up fast

Registration for the After school program at the Lighthouse. I am in charge of the 3-6th graders and it filled up fast! Most are returning kids from last year. We were up to 9 yesterday with 1 spot left and I was praying it would be filled by one very special girl! Her mom showed up today and took the spot, yay!!! Then I gave in to one more returning kid so I’m a bit over capacity but it’s ok…it’s nothing like the Boys and Girls club of 15 + kids in a small hot room.

Next week Tuesday Miss Sarah’s class starts and we shall see who really teaches who over the next months.

As always I need prayer for strength and perseverance. Between two clubs my week will be quite exhausting but I can handle it, the business world of politics and drama prepared me for this (kinda). Screaming kids compared to screaming coworkers hmmm…ya no worries:)

I am so thankful for the donations I have received to help with my mission. I almost have enough collected to pay for my October rent and I know God will somehow provide the rest.

You can Join my supporters mailing list here if you want to join.

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Choices in grief

Life is full of choices and decisions to live. Those who have experienced great loss can choose to live in that past or be bound by the chains of grief. There are times when those chains serve a purpose, forcing us to face the evil face of grief and cry those tears loss. Then there are times to accept what loss has done to us and be strong. When our strength fails it’s time to rely on other people, let go of our pride and humble ourselves before others and show our vulnerabilities.

Today I experienced all of those feelings and by the end I went so dark into the pit of despair that I feared I would suffocate. But then I took the life line God was throwing at me, he forced me to see my weakness and do something I stubbornly fight against. I reached out to other people for help, I cried out in my pain for a ear to listen to the guilt I carry. God knew my burden was too much for this frail heart to take and he sent me angels today. So many voices today gave me hope and insight into the web of guilt I have choked on. I have learned that in my solitude I am twisting my thoughts into a tiny little prison of guilt. For a moment I broke free in talking to others and seeking help from my therapist. I am weak, I know many think I am strong for flipping my life upside down but I am so frail.

My most precious moment today was when on my second day helping at the Boys and Girls club I saw this look in the kids eyes as they opened up to me. It was madness all around, me and 15 kids with severe A.D.D., and I was teaching them. ‘Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah, help me with this or can I go to the bathroom, I’m thirsty, help me next, help me’. It’s hot and the mosquitos are hungry and I have these 3rd and 4th graders looking to me for guidance. At that moment I wished I could clone myself because I am darting here and there trying to help each kid, frustrated when I had to leave the behaved ones to read on their own. One boy who was working so hard on his homework, quietly, comes to me for help a couple times but each time another kid interrupts. My heart! My heart aches! Why for so many years did Andy and me hide from children, why did we harden our hearts? Kids surrounded me today and I saw how hungry they were for knowledge. They are so far behind in comprehending words and I am just making up ideas on the fly to reach them. The staff today even saw me use discipline and assertiveness to keep the kids attention, I got a thumbs up from one of the teachers. I got on bended knee with one boy in the library and explained how important it is to understand what he reads and not just race through a book. He looked at me, he looked at me with an eagerness to try!

Assembly at Boys and Girls Club

Assembly at Boys and Girls Club

I think of Andy and I smile because he has to be laughing his ass off at this. Me of all people, working with children and adults, instead of hiding behind a computer in an office. Oh Andy, I wish you were here to change with me, that your heart could be healed like this. Andy you would have made a great father. Perhaps you got your wish and are in heaven taking care of little Hope.

Angel Fruit Cake, Andy's Favorite

Angel Fruit Cake, Andy’s Favorite

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