Pray with India, June 2, 2024

Pray with India, June 2, 2024

Lectionary Selection:  Mark 2:23-3:6

Prayers for India 

Dear heavenly God, to whom all glory, honor, power, and reverence belong, we come before You in humility and fear and lift this great nation of India with diverse cultures, religions, and languages to Your throne of grace. We request Your presence, guidance, leading, and admonition over this land divided today in the name of religion, tribe, and caste.

There continue to be conflicts between religious communities, resulting in multitudes being killed and many thousands being displaced from their homes over the last year. Many Christians are being harassed, and many churches have been burnt down and closed. Muslim communities, too, face intimidation in the name of their religious practice. We pray, O God, that you intervene and cause Your justice, peace, and righteousness to flow in this land like rivers, making this country a beautiful and safe place for all its people. We pray for your transforming power to touch the proponents of violence and harassment so that they will experience a change of heart and learn to dwell in harmony.

We remember the poor, sick, the downtrodden, and the neglected people, who constitute the majority of the population, and we pray for relief from their suffering and pain. We pray for all the mission hospitals across India involved in the healing ministry that serves these less privileged people. Despite many trying situations, they continue to be a beacon of light and hope. We especially remember Evangelical Hospital, Khariar, a Global Ministries partner, who commits its work to Your loving hands. We pray that You will continue to guide, strengthen, and build up this feeble health institution in rural Odisha, which strives to serve people in Your name. We pray that You remove all obstacles hindering this institution’s progress and growth. According to Your Word in Mark 2:23 – 3:6, we pray that You will enable these people to continue to do good and save lives at all times in the healing ministry they are involved in, just as You have shown by example. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Mission Moment from India

Evangelical Hospital Khariar, Odisha, India

The Evangelical Hospital, Khariar, was started by Rev. Herman A. Feierabend and his wife, Sister Marie Feierabend, a trained nurse commissioned by the Evangelical Synod Board of Foreign Missions in 1912. The couple started the Mukti Marg Church, Khariar (at present, a congregation of the Church of North India) in 1923, thereupon a hostel and an Upper Primary School in the later years. We celebrated 100 years of the life of Mukti Marg Church last year, 2023. The necessity of a health care facility was realized as the missionary couple lost two of their young children to preventable diseases during their ministry in Khariar. This hospital started as a humble four-bedded clinic in 1930, and today, it has grown to be a 110-bedded secondary level multispecialty and referral hospital. This is a mission partner of Global Ministries and works in close collaboration through the generosity and love extended by various churches of UCC and the Disciples of Christ through their giving for healing ministries. We do not always know these churches personally, but they have faithfully served the Lord through their donations, which have helped many poor people access health, hope, and healing.

Khariar Hospital’s Dr. Nibedita with
Dr. Ajit Singh and Dr. R. P. Singh

The Evangelical Hospital, Khariar, is in Odisha, one of the most rural areas in India. It serves a largely rural population of nearly two hundred thousand people, for whom this is the referral center. The hospital has been renowned for its services in surgery, obstetrics, and gynecology for more than 50 years as a committed Indian doctor couple, Dr. Ajit Singh and his wife, Dr. Pushpa Singh, have spent more than 52 years in this hospital and continue to support it as they are able. Other specialties have recently developed in internal medicine, orthopedics, anesthesia, radiology, and pediatrics. Global Ministries has rendered support through their partners to build the Intensive Care Unit ( ICU ) in Khariar in 2019. It is a 10-bed unit with modern equipment and utilities for critically ill patients. This endowment, too, was born out of a tragedy. A fire at Marco Polo in Honolulu took the lives of the late Brit Reller and his mother, Melba Dilley. The ICU was built in their memory. The ICU is the only such unit in the Nuapada district, which has a population of six hundred thousand. The unit has been instrumental in saving many lives before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, Global Ministries is supporting us in building a 14-bed pediatric ward with two HDU (High Dependency Unit) beds for very sick children. We had been praying fervently for a pediatrician for many years. God answered our prayers by providing us a senior pediatrician with over 30 years of clinical experience in October 2023. She happens to be the mother of a young surgeon, the late Dr. Prerit Thomas, who passed away in an unfortunate drowning accident while serving the Evangelical Hospital, Khariar, in 2017. This pediatrician has committed the rest of her life to the Evangelical Hospital, Khariar. Amazed at God’s ways and plans for this institution, knowing that a pediatric facility is a deep need and the skills and expertise of a senior pediatrician are available, we started planning a pediatric unit in faith. Finances are always a challenge, as we work with very poor people. Many can barely pay for the actual cost of their treatment, and there is only a negligible profit from our services. We kept the faith and started the construction in October 2023. We were pleasantly surprised by the generous people supporting the cause. Global Ministries, our mission partner, supported us generously to aid the construction of this much-needed facility for sick children. We are in the final phase of the construction and hope to inaugurate the ward by June 2024. There have been some unprecedented delays due to a lack of manpower and funds, but overall, we could see God work in and through people to transform this vision into a reality. We thank our partners, the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ, for their generosity through Global Ministries. kindly uphold us in your prayers as we strive to spread Christ’s aroma through our service to the downtrodden and sick in India.

Written by Dr. Nibedita Pramanik, Director, Evangelical Hospital Society Khariar, Odisha, India

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