Insights from the Field

Cheryl Jereb, Jocelyn’s mother, takes a moment to prepare her anatomy and physiology class for an exam, while the students nervously review their notes. Photo by Robert Johnson/TEAM

David and Cheryl Jereb are TEAM missionaries at Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe. Their daughter, Jocelyn, recently spent some time with them in the field, and we have asked her to share with us about her time at Karanda.

Hello all! This is Dave and Cheryl’s daughter, Jocelyn. As some of you may know I was blessed with an opportunity to spend the month of August with my parents seeing their life at Karanda Mission Hospital firsthand. I wanted to take some time to share what this is like from my perspective.

First let me say that the country is absolutely beautiful and the people quickly steal one’s heart. It reminds me so much of how glorious and truly grand our God is that He knows each person’s story. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my mom and stepdad have been written into the lives of so many. Only God knew that this couple from Wisconsin would be placed in Zimbabwe to love and train the locals.

I have been able to witness this so often in the last month. The ministry goes far beyond projects, but rather is an act of living life alongside God’s children. That was the biggest thing I was desiring while here and it is exactly what fell into place. Whether it is going up onto a hilltop to watch Dave train men on maintaining the hospital grounds, or watching a young nursing student come into the home to pour her heart out to my mom, I’ve been able to witness love walking among the locals here. Such an amazing thing to watch!

During this time I had multiple opportunities to do the same thing in my own unique way. The needs appear to be endless at Karanda. I came here knowing that I would be working with the Kid’s Club for local orphans and teaching at Bible studies. Both of these left me changed. How humbling it is to see that God does not see locations in life, experiences, or languages as barriers. He unites His children at His feet in whatever way He sees fit and shows them that all may fall at His throne together. How beautiful!

I was able to see this through the nursing students as they explained their struggles to me. I saw this as the orphans and young pregnant women played outside together. I saw this while going into the wards with the chaplains. I was able to see this as men and women gathered to welcome me with open arms.

It’s a wonderful place here, but I see that prayer is desperately needed. That is the one place God directed me more than anywhere else; to prayer. The darkness is just as evident as the light as the moments pass in Karanda. While you may hear worship songs in Shona, you may seconds later hear moaning from the hospital. There are moments of laughter and there are moments when I see that satan is trying to divide so many. It leaves an ache in your heart and a rejoicing at the same time.

The greatest of all my moments here (besides seeing my parents) have been spent praying in the wards with patients. I was able to watch my mother take her students and pray for a situation that appeared hopeless. As a result, each day I longed for the moment when I got to see my sweet ladies who were lying in the wards in pain. I learned the names of their friends back home, the struggles with their kids, the life they live outside of the hospital walls. At the same time I was able to feed them and, more importantly, pray with them. The biggest impact of all was to see that I needed to do it in person so that I could remember it through the distance. Even as their daughter I would go weeks without praying for the missionaries, staff, students, and patients. It took holding their hands to remember their pain.

So, I ask you to take from my experience and pray for this place. I needed the reminder of how much of an honor it is. Pray for: the discouraged nursing students who desperately long to retain knowledge, the men who want to do their best so they can make a living on the hospital grounds, the staff as they witness many painful things and the missionaries as they tackle the darkness while always seeing the cross as their focus. Please pray for my mom as she takes these students under her wing to bring them up as strong nurses and mainly as strong men and women of God. Please pray for Dave as he pioneers Fish for Life, that he would have wisdom from the Lord in the project, clarity through daily conversations with the men, and that hearts would be impacted as he strives to live a life that shines Christ.

I’ve grown to love the locals here and the ministry all around. It is definitely a place I don’t want to leave.

There’s a great need in Zimbabwe for workers in all areas of ministry, including medical, creation care, education and more. Find out more about the country of Zimbabwe and how you can get involved here.

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About the author

Jocelyn Stigler

Jocelyn Stigler is a recent graduate from Bethel University, with a background in behavioral health case management. She has a strong passion for reaching those both overseas and in her backyard, specifically encouraging brothers and sisters on the battlefield each day. She currently resides in Munford, Tennessee.

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