How would you describe the mission of our partner in India?
Christian Hospital, Mungeli, is a hospital belonging to the Church of North India. The hospital serves the rural and urban population that come from a radius of about 50 miles around Mungeli, a small town situated in the state of Chattisgarh. The hospital also runs the Rambo Memorial English School – an English language school for the common people at a subsidized rate, with classes from nursery to grade 10. It has about 650 children and brings in about 400 village children from the surrounding villages within a radius of 25 miles. The hospital also started a nursing school which is now ready to take in the third batch and focuses on training young girls from the local state at a very low cost while subsidizing the rest from the hospital. To know more about the Christian Hospital, Mungeli, please visit the website at www.chmungeli.org
How do you fit into their mission?
I work as the Director and surgeon in the hospital. My wife, Teresa, works as a Senior Medical officer and anesthesiologist at the hospital and also fulfills the position of Manager of the Rambo school. The role of both our jobs is to support the mission of the Church of North India through service and witness in the way Christ taught us.
What led you to engage in this calling?
Mission work has been a passion in our lives and the challenge that it brings through its fulfillment makes life truly special. Since there is a scarcity of medical professionals in the rural population, we realized that working for the poor and marginalized in these areas was one way we could serve the Lord. The mission hospital in Mungeli was one such medical facility which was on the brink of closure due to the lack of leadership and doctors and we saw this as our calling. We took on the challenge of this hospital which had a legacy of over 100 years (est. 1896) but had been at a state of disrepair for over 35 years. To bring this up and full of life not only for thousands of people here in this region but to also share this joy with many who come from around the world has truly been a fulfillment of how God has used us richly.
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
Mathew 25:35-40, Romans 12
What are some of the challenges facing Chrsitian Hospital, Mungeli?
In a changing world where there is privatization and materialism, it gets harder and harder to find people of commitment to serve and give their lives to such a cause. We continue to pray that God will speak to people to come forward in faith to take up the challenge of serving in the hospital or school, to bring about change through education in order to give the people of this region hope for a better tomorrow.
What is a lesson you have learned working with the Church of North India that you feel should be shared with churches in the U.S. ?
Our partner is a shining example of how to keep your hope and faith in times of adversity. The hospital had come to a point of near-closure, and it would have, but for the continued support of the Rambo Committee (set up by the friends and relatives of Dr. V. Rambo, one of the founding members of this hospital) from where they got monthly funds enough to pay the staff salaries and thus they survived. They had hope that the hospital would see better days again and were steadfast in their faith in the Lord. The partner is also a strong advocate for equality. In a country that is so deep rooted in the caste system, it is admirable to see the stand the partner has taken to advocate equality.
What is a common phrase used in the local churches?
In our church here they greet with “Jai Masih ki” which means “Praise be to God”
Are there books that have shaped your understanding of your work?
Which movies have shaped your understanding of your work?
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I have a recipe for Tandoori Chicken in the Global Ministries cookbook that is quite easy to prepare.