By Jessie R. Box
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Jan Ledsome, of Madison, traveled with Jewish Voice Ministries International to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 24 until May 6. She is a member of the First Baptist Church of Madison.
Jewish Voice Ministries International offers a platform to share their faith through eye and dental treatment to proclaim the Gospel of Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew). Ledsome is a retired optometrist of 45 years and was asked by doctors in Valdosta to join them on this mission trip.
The group was assigned to the Gefat Tribe, one of Israel’s lost tribes, and is one of three lost tribes residing in Addis Ababa. The other two tribes are Yiber Tribe and Beta Tribe.
Ledsome and the others in the group would wake every morning at 5:15 a.m., eat breakfast and board a bus to the clinic. They would arrive at 7:30 a.m. and people were lined up waiting for the clinic to open. Three clinics were offered: dental, eyeglasses and surgery.
The clinics treated a total of 6,572 people. When the patients were done with treatment, they were offered a chance to receive counseling about Yeshua, the one true Messiah. Of those treated, 1,573 received counseling and 902 accepted Yeshua as their one true Messiah.
Ledsome’s most touching moment during her trip was when a 105-year-old man received eyeglasses and could see again to read the Bible. She tested him reading the Bible and he did not want to let it go. The joy could be seen on his face. He shook her hand out of appreciation.
Most of the people treated were elderly people who had never been to a doctor before. Ledsome observed that the children were very respectful to their elders and would bring them to the clinic for treatment. Very few children were treated in the eyeglass clinic.
Ledsome would work in the clinic from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. or later and had very little time to see and explore Ethiopia but she enjoyed bringing sight to those who had thought it was gone forever.
“People don’t care what you know, until they know you care,” is a saying that Ledsome loves and equates to her trip to Ethiopia.
Ledsome wants everyone to know that if they have been considering going on a mission trip but cannot travel, there are missions everywhere that require no travel. Simply helping others out is a mission of its own.