Field Update: Zimbabwe Outreach
by Eric Pires

Shalom,

Our team recently completed a unique outreach to the Lemba Messianic communities in Zimbabwe.Typically, we have served Lemba communities in the form of free Medical Clinics, but due to COVID restrictions, we were not able to hold a typical outreach.  

While one door was shut, we quickly recognized the Lord swinging open another opportunity to bless His people. We spent 10 days traveling throughout Zimbabwe distributing much needed food items to the Messianic Lemba Congregational network. In partnership with Messianic Jewish Voice Ministries International Zimbabwe, we reached our goal of supplying over 3,000 families with essential items.  

It was amazing to meet with the congregants one on one.  We prayed together, worshiped together, danced, laughed, and shed a few tears with so many remarkable people. The one thing that stood out to me is that the people of Zimbabwe are ridiculously happy because of their love for the Lord! They continue to rejoice in Him while economic instability, political turmoil and health challenges due to the pandemic, shake their country. 

The distribution list consisted of rice, cooking oil and family LifeStraw filters. It was so encouraging to sit with so many who love the Lord and are standing, by faith, on His promise that He will never leave them nor forsake them! Through this two-week outreach, the Lord met their basic needs through JVMI and our partners around the world.  

As I mentioned, the distribution took us all over this beautiful country. Traveling hundreds of kilometers on some of the most interesting “roads” I’ve ever traveled. The distribution centers were often Messianic synagogues, store fronts and shaded areas under trees. We started in Bulawayo and proceeded to Mberengwa, Masvingo, Chiredzi, Chivhu, Gweru and Chitsungo. Our final day was spent distributing to three congregations in Harare. We served over 100 congregations spread out over 37 distribution centers.  

We were blessed to meet with so many people who have either served or have been a patient at one of our previous Medical Outreaches. My favorite encounter happened in Chitsungo where we held our first Medical Outreach in that region back in 2019. The son of one of our patients needed medical attention that we couldn’t meet at that clinic. We sent the family to Harare as part of our referral plan to receive the care he desperately needed. Fast forward three years, and that child’s father is now a pastor shepherding one of the nine messianic congregations that have been started since that Outreach. That is the lasting fruit produced as the Lord works through JVMI, thanks to our partners.  

This was an incredible Outreach! Our team was able to pray for and encourage so many of our Lemba brothers and sisters while distributing essential food items and LifeStraw family filters in this most challenging time. Please join us in prayer as we petition the Lord to continue to strengthen the many congregations we met with.  

Our next Zimbabwe outreach is scheduled for July 2021. We hope to conduct our first Medical Outreach in the country since 2019. Please check out our website for updates and prayerfully consider joining us on a future Outreach.

Blessings from the field,
Eric

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