Prayer is essential to the effectiveness of every Jewish Voice Outreach. Obstacles of all sizes threaten to impede the work we do around the world, especially in remote locations where we conduct Medical Clinics. Many times, after struggling with various problems during the day, our teams have seen the resolution come in the evening – right around the time our staff is praying for the Outreach in the morning – half a world and 10 time zones away.
Some prayer needs for our work in the field are obvious. But others may not be. Here are 10 things you can pray about when Jewish Voice takes teams to various locations in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
The practical aspects of preparing for an Outreach are so immediate that it might be easy to forget how essential spiritual preparation is. Spending extra time with the Lord in the weeks ahead of departure, hearing His voice and entrusting any concerns to Him regarding the Outreach is an integral part of the ministry once there. Pray for each Outreach Partner and staff member to begin their trip already invested in spiritual preparation so they will serve with vigor and joy each day.
Jet lag is real. Many partners have sprung wide awake at 1 or 2 a.m. with vivid thoughts and precious faces from the day running through his or her mind. Unable to go back to sleep, rest eludes them when they need it most. Pray for adequate sleep, getting in sync with local time, and for God to use any wakeful night hours to meet with Outreach Partners in special ways.
HIRED LOCAL WORKERS
Aside from approximately 40 Outreach Partners, a typical Medical Outreach also requires about 100 local workers. They are laborers, cooks, runners and translators. They help manage patient flow through the Clinic and assist with every aspect of the Outreach. Many of them are not Believers. Pray for these people to see the love of Yeshua (Jesus) in action and come to know Him as Messiah. Pray also for honesty, good attitudes, a strong work ethic and that they are supportive of what we’re doing.
A clear understanding between partners and locals is vital – in the lines, examination rooms and the prayer room. Without local translators, we couldn’t conduct Medical Outreaches. This important relationship comes with its own challenges. Sentence structure, vocabulary and accents can sometimes make it difficult to understand one another even when speaking the same language. Pray for workers to have an excellent understanding of English and for accurate interpretations and comprehension for everyone involved throughout the Clinic and prayer room.
We plan Outreaches with the weather in mind, scheduling to avoid extreme seasons. Even so, we’ve experienced disruptive storms, cold and heat. Much of our operation is conducted under open-sided tents and on bare ground. Also, thousands of people travel to the Clinic on foot and wait in the elements to receive care. Many even spend the night sleeping on the ground to maintain their place in line. Pray for mild weather, both day and night, during JVMI Medical Outreaches as well as on set-up and take-down days.
INTENSITY AND PACE
Our Outreach Partners accomplish a lot of work in a short amount of time. An intense week of ministry goes by fast, and afterward, some may wonder if their efforts really made a difference. Pray for strength and vigor throughout the week. Pray also for partners to have the assurance that, amid the blur of some 10,000 patients moving through the Clinic, their work touched individual lives in profound ways.
Seeing such poverty can be heartbreaking. And when the Clinic comes to an end, we often have to turn people away because there is more need than resources or time. It’s a challenge faced at every Outreach: entrusting to God those we weren’t able to treat while rejoicing over the thousands we did. Pray that God comforts and encourages partners as they process all that they are experiencing as He enables them to celebrate the tremendous help given to so many.
When working overseas, one expects to encounter cultural differences with the locals. New sights, foods, and customs require a spirit of grace and adaptability. It may be surprising to realize, however, that the same spirit of generosity may be necessary within the team itself, which is composed of Believers with differing nationalities, worship backgrounds and doctrinal nuances. Pray for partners to accentuate their common ground, work together in unity and have grace in the face of so many differences in the ministry environment.
Follow-up is essential to ensuring that new Believers grow strong in their faith. Local congregational leaders visit and disciple those who accepted Yeshua during the Outreach or who have questions. However, those relationships begin during the Outreach itself – in the prayer room, perhaps even in examination rooms and in seemingly “random” divine appointments amid the bustle of the Clinic. Pray for God to start developing significant relationships during the Clinic week that will lead to even more effective and widespread ministry and discipleship later.
RE-ENTRY BACK HOME
After an Outreach, it may be hard to simply glide back into normal life. Processing everything – mentally, emotionally and spiritually – takes some time. It can be somewhat challenging to know how to go back to everyday life and still carry in your heart the people and poverty you’ve encountered. Pray for Outreach Partners as they come home deeply impacted by what they have seen and the work they have done. Pray for God to help them both re-engage with their regular lives as well as live out the transformation He has done in them through their experience.
Your prayers make a difference. We need them. We rely on them, and we are extremely grateful for them.
Don’t forget to check out the detailed lists of day-by-day prayer points posted on our website ahead of each Outreach. Find them at www.jewishvoice.org/pray.
Continue to pray for these 10 specific outreach prayer needs with this helpful infographic: