Greetings from Tilda and Diptipur, India. Yes, the Henry’s have finally moved out of their home of 30 years in Bissamcuttack. 30 years which saw Christian Hospital Bissamcuttack develop from a small rural hospital of 40 beds to a multi-specialty centre of 150 beds, nursing school with ANM and later GNM training totaling 80 seats, community health project with school for tribal children, and English Medium School up to High School level, while the CHB family grew from 30 to 250 members. The community also developed including the establishment of the Community College. Over these years the blessings of God have met need after need increasing the facilities and conveniences, and bringing un-ending challenges and joys. This has been a home we take with us in our hearts.
December 3rd and 4th the celebration of the hospital’s Golden Jubilee provided a mountain-top experience for the CHB family who carried out every detail including Thanksgiving service, Cultural program, Reunion with former colleagues and students who came back for the occasion, fellowship meals, and a Public Meeting with honored guests, Dr. George Chandy, Director of C.M.C. Vellore and Dr. Pramod Meherda, Rayagada District Collector, adding their meaningful participation. It has been a wonderful opportunity for all to not only share in the preparations and activities, but to reflect on the past and the present, and together go into future with the Jubilee theme, “A Common Hope for Tomorrow”.
After almost a month of sorting, discarding and packing, on 10th March the departure came with much affection and tears, preceded by farewell dinners, gifts to help remember, a CHB family photo album, etc. We will never forget on that last day, our walk from the bungalow down to the main entrance of the hospital complex, both sides of the road lined with the CHB family, including staff and their families, student nurses, friends from the community, patients, and particularly the children of our New Life School waving goodbye.
It simply was time, though very difficult, for the Henry’s to move on to new challenges. But we left with the satisfaction that our next generation leadership, chosen from above, will carry on the torch and bring this hospital to even greater heights.
Of course the real joke of the matter was our April Fool’s Day return to Bissamcuttack!
After our tearful departure, we were back in B.C. on April lst, at the request of the Collector whose wife was having an April 2nd Caesarian Section Delivery of their second son to be born at CHB! At least our CHB family knows that we are not so far away.
In the meantime we are having opportunities as consultants and mentors in our CNI group of hospitals where we had met, married, and worked before leaving for further studies in surgery at CMC, Ludhiana. Viru, with the help and support of Global Ministries and ERBHS/C.N.I. Synodical Board, re-opened Christian Hospital, Diptipur, bringing back light to the “village of light” after almost 3 yrs of silence and darkness. The Grace of God has brought Dr. Rajneesh Samal, M.D. in OB-Gynae to be the new leader followed by Dr. Diptiman James, M.B.B.S., both from C.M.C. Vellore. Dr. V.K. Henry will also be available as honorary Surgeon Consultant to round off the team. It is a matter of joy that the people of this area can again look to this hospital for help in time of suffering and need.
Evangelical Hospital Tilda has invited us to make our base there. The School of Nursing can use our services as well as the hospital. We look back on our almost four years of service in this hospital before going to Ludhiana and will work with the children of our staff of those days! We are of course pleased that Mungeli (with Anil, Teresa, and children) is only 1 1/2 hour away!
Finding ourselves at a crossroad, we look forward to new opportunities of sharing our experience of more than 40 years building up the mission hospital in the spirit of Christian love and fellowship. Please keep in touch as we are eager to have news of you also.
God bless and keep you in His Peace,
Virendra and Nancy Henry
Nancy Lott Henry serves as a Long-term volunteer. She serves with the Church of North India as a teacher of nurses for hospitals in their eastern region.