When His disciples were trying to shuttle some young children away so they wouldn’t bother him, in Matthew 19:14, He responded:
“Let the little children come to Me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
That is the heart behind an exciting new program within Jewish Voice Medical Outreach Clinics. Called “Zehra Kids Program,” it debuted at the 2017 Outreaches in Zimbabwe.
Zehra (pronounced, Zehrah) is a Hebrew word meaning “seed,” and the Zehra Kids Program is designed to bless, minister to, and plant the seeds of the Gospel in children who attend Jewish Voice Medical Outreaches.
From a practical perspective, the idea grew up in part as a way to occupy and even entertain children enduring a long day of waiting in Clinic lines.
But it was quickly decided that it could be much more, explained Alfius Matandu, National Overseer of Congregational Development for the Lemba tribe in Zimbabwe.
“We wanted to give the children something to do that wouldn’t just occupy their time,” said Matandu. “In addition to having fun, Zehra gives them the chance to hear about the love of Yeshua!”
After receiving medical care and any needed prescriptions, adults are given an opportunity to visit the counseling and prayer tent, while children can choose to take part in songs, games, and teaching that are part of the Zehra Kids Program.
“We believe that every child is a gift from God and can make a difference in the world,” said Aviva Goodman, International Logistics Manager at Jewish Voice and founder of the Zehra Kids Program.
“Most importantly, we believe God places great value on the salvation of children.”
That, she says, is why the Zehra Kids Program is biblicallybased, emphasizing the love, hope, healing, and salvation found only in Yeshua. “It’s a Messianic Jewish program sowing into their identity in Messiah,” she added.
Through games, songs, and activities, the children learn about their life-long calling and purpose to love God and others.
And even though this is a brand-new program, we’re already seeing great results!
THE ZEHRA KIDS PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
- Create a short-term program area for kids to attend while waiting to receive medical treatment at our clinic Outreaches
- Provide an avenue for every child to hear the Good News of Messiah that fosters their identity, purpose, and calling
- Teach and administer a kid-centered curriculum that celebrates Yeshua and our shared Messianic Jewish identity through creative arts
- Facilitate recreational activities that encourage community building and trust
- Deepen the level of care we provide for children in the communities we serve
RESULTS FROM THE 2017 ZEHRA KIDS PROGRAM IN ZIMBABWE:
- Masvingo Clinic 561
- Buhera Clinic 624
- Mberengwa Clinic 699
- 1 Buhera School 500+
- 4 Mberengwa Schools 2,000+
- Buhera School 30 *Family Units (EA. Department)
- Through Zehra Kids Program Mberengwa School 16 *Family Units (EA. Department)