Ethiopia Spring 2013
Thank you so much for visiting our site. My name is Rachel and I'm so glad you took time to join me and our mission team on a quick trip to Africa to see what miracles God is working in and through His people. We left Valdosta at 1:30am on 4/26/13 and drove to Jacksonville, FL for the first leg of our flight. We flew to New York and met up with the rest of the medical team and headed to Dubai, then onward to Addis Ababa landing in country at 6:30am EST on 4/27/13. Then a five hour bus ride took us to Hosanna, Ethiopia where our team sponsor, Jewish Voice, already had our clinic organized and ready to begin a week of ministry. Our sponsor is a Messianic Jewish Organization that seeks to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations, to the Jew first and also the Greek. They sponsor medical outreach events and provide humanitarian aid to countries with known Jewish communities in need. They also disciple new believers by directing them to local churches and working to provide support and training for pastors and leaders.
There is a substantial population of Jews in Ethiopia. Jewish Voice seeks to serve these groups as well as the surrounding communities, which takes me back to Hosanna, where we were asked to provide our services on a medical outreach. This project consists of a medical team, dental team and eye team. People come to the clinic and are evaluated and then directed to one of the three areas based on greatest need. My team (eye) consisted of two optometrists, one optician, one opthamologist, two RN's and one college student bound for medical school. The optometrists perform eye exams then refer patients to either the optician for glasses or the surgeon for cataract removal or other surgery and this is where I am involved. I had the wonderful privilege of assisting in the operating room and watching God work His miracles of healing through surgery. People who once were blind are given vision and this allows opportunity to talk to people about their need for spiritual sight. God gives new life and vision spiritually when a person's heart is ready and moved by His Spirit.
On the first day of the clinic, the lines were amazing and Oh so long! They stretched for blocks and 1000's waited to be evaluated and treated. Once inside the clinic gate, patients were triaged then sent to the appropriate area for the needed treatment.
This gentleman is waiting on the OR table to have a cataract removed from his right eye.
Here is our surgery team in action.
This young man is having his eye examined by the opthamologist. He had a scar on his eye that developed from a previous injury that hindered his vision. Once the scar was removed his vision improved and he was happy to receive improved sight and a new pair of shoes.
Here is a woman who had a cataract removed and praised God for His provision.
Another successful surgery and obvious joy from cataract removal.
This young woman was seen in the medical clinic and had a tumor removed from the side of her head. She then revealed the story that she dreamed God told her a man and woman would come and help her. The Dr and assistant that took care of her were the same two people she saw in her dream. She stated that she recognized that God is very real and she desired to know Him. She prayed and received Christ in that moment.
This boy was brought to the clinic carried on the back of his cousin. His eye had recently been removed at a local hospital possibly due to a tumor. The eye socket was infected and the boy was in pain. The opthamologist gently treated the eye, cleaning it carefully and applying ointment to treat the pain and infection. He shared Christ's love with the boy and his family. A local Christian physician and others gathered around and prayed for this boy and his family. Who knows what God will do in this child's life? The beauty of that moment is that we had the privilege to minister to him in Jesus' name.
The clinic ran for four days and in that time the three teams saw 9,402 people. Of that 9,402 people, 6,416 requested prayer and 3,324 people indicated that they had trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior. This trip, or any other mission trip, is not about the statistics. People are more than just numbers. It's not even about how many people were treated or healed. It's about the God of the universe regenerating hearts to glorify and live for Him. Many professed faith in Christ and only time will tell who truly had a heart change. Thankfully, it's not our job to change hearts. We are commanded to go, tell and make disciples. The Holy Spirit will do His work as He chooses. Praise God that He allows us to be a part!
Thank you for your interest in God's work. I pray these short story miracles will inspire you to use your gifts to serve our glorious Lord. May God richly bless you as you seek to honor Him in the mission field where you have been placed.