In late May, dozens of Jewish Voice staff and volunteers made the long and difficult journey to Gondar, Ethiopia, for a JVMI medical clinic outreach. The response was truly remarkable. Thousands of people came for help, many of them walking for hours and hours—or even days— to receive medical care and spiritual healing. Many of them had never before been seen by any kind of doctor. Many of them came to us because they had nowhere else to turn for help.
They are people like Tseley, a mother who supports her two young children by crafting and selling traditional scarves and other handmade items. Her eyesight is vital to her ability to work and provide for her family. She made a grueling two-and-a-half- hour cart ride each way to get treatment for her eyes. She received immediate relief after our doctors performed a trachoma surgery to help with chronic infection and returned later to the clinic for a more detailed and involved cataract surgery. Instead of losing her ability to provide for her family, Tseley can continue to craft and sell scarves because partners like you reached out to this precious lady in the love and name of Yeshua and met her need.
Her story was repeated again and again over the course of the week. A mother brought her six children so that they could be treated for diseases caused by drinking contaminated water. An 87-year-old man who needed glasses came so that he could enjoy the remaining years of his life with sight. A cataract patient came who had been turned away by the local hospital. Another man walked three hours each way to have eye surgery; he was able to see for the first time in 20 years.
Each story was a little different...and yet they are all the same: people in urgent need with no source of help or hope until the Jewish Voice clinic arrived. That is why they travel for many hours to reach us; we bring hope and a light in the darkness. As great of an impact these clinics make on the thousands who come for help, they also touch the lives of our team and partners in a powerful way.
Each Jewish Voice clinic is made possible by the prayers and gifts of God’s people...and by those who give their time to go. From the doctors, dentists, and eye surgeons using their skills and training to heal the sick to the young people sacrificing their time to serve, every member of the team receives enormous benefits from the experience of the clinic.
In Gondar, we were joined by a number of partners who had been part of these clinics before, but we were also blessed by the presence of new faces. For 20-year-old Hannah Cruz from Michigan, the experience was eye opening. She told us she wasn’t really sure what to expect, but after a week spent helping sick children, many of whom are suffering from life-threatening illnesses caused by things we never have to worry about, she was very grateful that she made the journey to Gondar.
Hannah said, “It just made me realize how blessed I am. Coming on this trip was definitely worthwhile and something God called me to do. I would tell [someone thinking about coming on an outreach] to not be scared. I feel like everyone should be open to it. It makes me feel good to see others being helped. I’m just really glad that I came.”
Though our team has returned from Gondar, the needs go on, and we will return there again and again to reach out in the name and love of Yeshua. When he preached the Gospel to Cornelius, Peter said, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him”(Acts 10:38 NIV).When we hold one of these clinics, we are walking in His footsteps, doing the work that He began. This is our privilege and our responsibility.
For nearly 50 years, Jewish Voice has been on the front lines of the battle to take the Good News of Yeshua to the world. Now, as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary with a special “Prepare the Way” campaign, we are more thankful than ever for friends who have stood with us through the years and made it possible for us to reach and touch the lives of so many all around the world. Our commitment in the coming year is to:
- Prepare the way for the return and restoration of the Jewish people to the Lord and to the land of Israel
- Prepare the way of the Lord who will return in glory to Jerusalem as the Jewish people proclaim Baruch HaBa b’Shem Adonai! (“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”)
- Prepare the way for the Nations and the Church to worship the God of Israel in Spirit and in truth, understanding the times and what God is doing with His Chosen People, Israel
According to the promises of God, we are focused on the future and seeing what is not yet become a glorious reality. We invite you to join us on this journey as together we live out the ancient words of Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3). Together, we will bring the Good News to those who have never heard it before. Together, we will reach out to the Jewish people and the Nations and declare that Yeshua has come to bind up wounds, restore hope, and tell you of a glorious destiny and future. This is our mission...this is our calling...this is our moment.