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From Paralysis To Praise

March 02, 2017

She heard there was a medical clinic taking place in Tach Gayint and walked for nearly six hours that morning to seek help. Her limp right arm was wrapped in strips of yellow cloth.

Her arm had been of no use to her for two years. Two years of struggling one-handed to care for her family and do the hard physical labor required to survive in a region where people eke out a meager living from the rocky soil. Her arm was paralyzed after surgery to remove a goiter from her neck had gone terribly wrong.

She and a cousin rose before dawn to make the trek to a place where they hoped she’d be able to receive help after they heard about our JVMI clinic the day before. It was the kind of journey only a desperate person chooses to make. God answered her cry for help, and He used our outreach team to do so.

After a doctor saw her, the women stopped by our prayer tent. As some of our outreach team members prayed for her, the woman with the paralyzed arm discovered she could move it. In fact, she could raise her arm over her head!

Amazed laughter poured from her as she circled both arms in the air and clapped her hands together for the first time in two years.

Right after the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for the first Shavuot (Pentecost) after the resurrection of Yeshua, God used Peter to heal a lame beggar who used to ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate outside of Jerusalem’s Temple. Acts 3 details the story.

Peter’s dramatic words were ours as our prayer teams ministered to many just like this woman: “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give to you—in the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha- Natzrati, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6).

As Peter helped the beggar to his feet, the man’s legs became instantly strong and vital. Scripture tells us, “Then grabbing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately the man’s feet and ankles were made strong” (Acts 3:7).

The young woman with the paralyzed arm was overflowing with unfiltered, unfettered praise to God for her healing, too. We knew that when she and her cousin returned to their town, all those who knew her as the one with the limp arm would be filled with the same kind of awe the lame beggar encountered as he jumped for joy in the temple courts.

This woman reminded our outreach team that sometimes God heals an arm in order to help someone see Him more clearly and set the person free to respond to Him in faith.

Prior to our visit, local health officials had told us one of the greatest medical needs in this remote area was eye care. Because of this information, we doubled the number of optometrists and surgeons on our outreach team. We saw twice as many patients (a total of 1,934) and performed twice as many eye surgeries (more than 260 cataract and trachoma surgeries) compared to clinics we had done in other locations.

Our medical outreach partners facilitated more than 4,500 general medical visits, as well as doing over 100 on-site minor surgeries. They provided dental care, handed out over 2,300 pairs of eyeglasses, and specialists including pediatricians, gynecologists, and dermatologists provided care to many other patients.

This care was given in the name of Yeshua, and we offered prayer to any who were interested. Our prayer room outreach partners saw 202 patients profess faith in Yeshua from both the Beta Israel people as well as the surrounding community. Locals were so alarmed by the reports of healing and new faith coming from the prayer tent that they insisted the tent be shut down partway through our clinic week. We had never had a prayer tent shut down before, but the effort was just another chapter in the spiritual opposition our outreach teams had faced every step of the journey.

Our prayer partners from around the world had been saturating this outreach in 24/7 prayer before and during the trip. We simply switched gears, and our prayer teams ministered to people waiting in line and saw God move to touch and heal just as He had within the four walls of the tent.

There were so many crying out for help. So many had traveled great distances with the hope of seeing a doctor. We were heartbroken on the last day of the clinic when we looked out at the crowds, and knew we wouldn’t be able to serve all of them on this visit.

We also know that when another JVMI team returns to the area in the future, many more will come because of the testimonies like the woman who could now raise her arms in praise to God. We are praising Him, too, and we cannot wait to go back to Tach Gayint to be a part of the next chapter of JVMI ministry in the area.

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