Eighty Six percent of the women deliver their babies at home. While “home birth” may seem like a romantic notion to those of us in the US, it is actually a critical health hazard in India. We are talking no pre-natal care, no sterile conditions. We are talking women with malnutrition and seriously compromised health delivering with the help of a mother in law, not a trained midwife. Women in this region, have the lowest rate of delivery in hospitals in all of India.
Enter the mobile clinic. Funded with individual contributions and a grant from the USAID, the mobile clinic now takes medical care to villages with no health services. Yesterday we treated a baby with lung and heart problems that had gone undetected. We treated an 80 year old woman stooped over with back pain walking with the aid of a homemade cane. We stopped into the local elementary school to teach hygiene. The children sit on bamboo mats on the floor because there are no desks. The mobile clinic not only treats illnesses but teaches rural villagers about how to care for their own families. The education leads to more hospital deliveries and early interventions on serious conditions.
Christian Hospital Mungeli brings hope and healing to one of the most under served group of God’s people on the planet. It is a privilege to just glimpse the work they do each day. But the chance to participate in this work brings a unique joy. So David teaches mental health to the nursing students in psychology class. And Greg enters data into spread sheets for research projects. And Sharon does intake at the mobile clinic. And Sandy teaches English. And Nancy sets up the new pharmacy. And Mary Linda presents scholarship opportunities. And Hannah coaches new mom’s on “kangaroo” care for newborns. And Carla fills scripts on the mobile clinic and offers morning devotional in daily chapel. And we enter into what is not just the pain but also the joy of life in this little corner of rural India. And we wonder. And we hope. And we pray for the living Christ to reveal God’s eternal love to all people.