A publication of Jewish Voice Ministries International
Into the 2014 Woliso Outreach
Jewish Voice Connections
Through the Lens of Compassion
hey wait in line with clouded eyes. Sensitive to light and glare, they block the Ethiopian sun with their hands. The bands on their wrists read EYE, but they might as well say HOPE.
Returning another day, patients wait in chairs for the exciting moment when Dr. Yemi will remove the bandages and check their eyes. “How many fingers am I holding up?” she asks. They can see again!
Cataracts in an eye’s lens blur and dull vision, making everyday life seem like looking through a frosted window. Left untreated, cataracts can take over a lens and cause blindness. Without care, these precious people will stumble through their days seeing blurred images of the difficult life they must navigate, until the clouds in their eyes grow so dense that light can no longer enter. Only darkness. Their lives were challenging before. Add blindness to their poverty, and it becomes unbearable to imagine.
Jewish Voice performed 71 cataract surgeries in Woliso in just a few days. We also performed 87 trachoma surgeries. Trachoma is an infectious bacterial disease spread through direct contact, flies, poor sanitation, and unclean water supplies. It is a painful disease that, left untreated, often leads to blindness. JVMI held hygiene and water education classes for nearly 5,000 people in Woliso. Each one received a personal water purification device, a LifeStraw® that will give them a year’s worth of clean, safe drinking water.
Through the lens of these outreach compassions, lives are dramatically improved and hearts are opening to the Giver of eternal life, Messiah Yeshua.
Enter a logistical whirlwind of tents and generators, doctors and nurses, medical supplies and compassion. Enter Jewish Voice. Enter Yeshua ( Jesus). Enter hope. “I am so happy to do it,” beams Dr. Yemi (Yemisrach Hailu). The bright and cheery woman is an ophthalmologist, an Ethiopian eye doctor who loves helping her countrymen alongside JVMI on our outreaches. “I am excited because many people can’t see. After the surgery they can!” “We remove the lens that has the cataract, implant an artificial lens, and they can see.” Artificial lenses come in a variety of specifications for custom selection according to each patient’s need.
Photos by Rusty Clarke
Jewish Voice Connections
Highlights of the Woliso Mission Trip by Khalida Wukawitz I knew that we were going to reach out to needy peoples, but didn’t really understand the depth of that need. I was shocked when I saw the physical neglect, poor hygiene, lack of proper clothing and nutrition of the people we served. They were basically starving, thirsty and hadn’t bathed for months, due to lack of water. What water they had was filthy and contaminated, causing many ailments to their skin and eyes. They wore rags for clothing and most of them had no shoes. They were sick from malnutrition, malaria and AIDS. They were also outcasts, shunned from their countrymen. At first, I admit, I felt repulsion and it was hard for me to pray over them. I kept my distance afraid of catching an illness instead of loving them unconditionally. That first night I stayed up all night weeping because I was ashamed. I had traveled all the way from America and felt paralyzed to help. I asked God to transform my heart and help me show love and compassion for the Ethiopian people. He answered my prayer. The next day the Holy Spirit loved the people through me as I touched, hugged, and kissed them with the love of Yeshua ( Jesus). I felt joy and the Lord’s presence with me as we ministered to the people. Our team of Jews and Gentiles was united in the “one new man” of Ephesians 2:15 and we had the favor of God. Many came to salvation in Yeshua HaMashiach ( Jesus the Messiah). Muslims were coming to the clinic with prepared hearts—ready to accept His love. Because of my background as a Palestinian and former Muslim, I was able to stand alongside Jews and share Yeshua with them. Over 200 Muslims gave their lives to Messiah. I witnessed many miracles, particularly two women who were demon-possessed. Through prayer and supplication, they were delivered! Many witchcraft trinkets were surrendered by the people. Blind eyes were opened. Deaf ears could hear! I felt honored and blessed to be able to pray a blessing over the Jewish People in Woliso in the prayer tent. I came home with renewed appreciation and thankfulness of how much God has blessed my family and country with wealth. I now know firsthand the meaning of the word “nothingness” as experienced by the people of Woliso.
From the heart of
Jonathan Bernis Shalom, Dear Friend! There are some powerful, prophetic words of Yeshua (Jesus) that rise up in my heart every time we enter a Lost Tribes village like Woliso, Ethiopia. As we extend compassionate care, comfort, and prayer to some of the most desperately poor Jewish People on earth, I am reminded of Yeshua’s parable of the sheep and goats in the 25th chapter of Matthew: “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’” (vs. 37–40) My prayer is that as you read the reports you now hold in your hands, you will be stirred by Yeshua’s words as well. Please remember, your gracious gifts of support make you a part of blessing and healing “the least of these” in key places such as Woliso. And the King takes notice. Thank you for being a part of every blessing.
Connections Jewish Voice Ministries International P.O. Box 31998 | Phoenix, AZ 85046-1998 www.jewishvoice.org | 800-299-YESHUA Jewish Voice Ministries Canada P.O. Box 476 | Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3P2 www.jewishvoice.ca | 1-855-7-YESHUA Jewish Voice Ministries UK Admail 4224 | London W2 4UN www.jvmi.co.uk | 1-855-9-YESHUA
Jonathan Bernis, President & CEO Jewish Voice Ministries International
2014 Outreach Stats Woliso, Ethiopia Clinic Dates: March 3-7
7,067 Patients Treated 1,265 Salvations
About the Cover Patients wait for the exciting moment when Dr. Yemi will remove the bandages and check their eyes. “How many fingers am I holding up?” she asks. They can see again!
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