India still needs Christian Medical Mission

Oct 23, 2020 by

India still needs Christian Medical Mission.

Vinay Samuel, Divya Shanthi Christian Ministries continues his weekly diary under COVID lockdown

India has reached a thousand deaths from Covid a day. Our State continues to post high numbers of cases. The total number of deaths countrywide has crossed  100,000 and the number of infections to 7.5 million. There is much political turmoil over the handling the pandemic. The federal/central government has finally accepted that community transmission is growing even in rural areas. Infections in our State show no signs of decline.

We had a very challenging week. Our Senior Pastor’s mother came to visit her daughter a fortnight ago. Her daughter, granddaughter and she tested positive last week and all are hospitalized. Our male teacher, admitted to a private hospital at his insistence ten days ago, became dangerously ill after showing signs of improvement for three days. He recognized that he was not getting the care he needed and pleaded to be moved to another hospital. We were able to get him into a Christian hospital last Friday. He has since rallied and is now out of danger. There is still a serious shortage of beds for Covid patients in the City, It is only because of our good relations with Christian hospitals we are able to find beds.

In health crises the lower income salaried “middle class” in our cities is the most vulnerable. Though called middle class, their monthly income ranges only between £250 to £500 per month with many at the lower end of the scale. They have few assets, hardly any savings, often no medical insurance and no property. When State medical facilities are not available they have to turn to private medical institutions with their extortionate costs. The five large Christian hospitals in Bangalore are an oasis of good care and low costs. Christian medical services continue to provide ethical and caring services which cannot be said of many private, profit driven corporate hospitals. This pandemic has proved the continuing need for Christian medical services in India.

Death Visits Divya Shanthi

M was a 73-year-old single woman who retired from decades of Christian ministry five years ago and died suddenly with a massive heart attack yesterday morning.  She lived in a facility on our compound which we provide for retired Christian workers who are single and have no family in the city. It is the first death in our community for many years and I am encouraged that the children in the community are processing it well. Aunty M looked fine as she spoke to them Saturday evening and one of the senior girls who took her morning tea at 7am on Sunday found her collapsed. It is the first funeral in our church this year.

Divya Shanthi also hosts the former head of Scripture Union India who served SU for over 50 years. He is 96, a British citizen and hopes to reach 100. Retirement benefits for those who work in independent ministries are often very inadequate. M received £2500 to take care for herself for the rest of her life in a city like Bangalore with its high costs and galloping inflation. Retired ministers from historic main line churches receive much better benefits. We hope that more ministries will take care of such faithful servants of Christ who struggle with meager incomes in their retirement.






The Resilience of Children


The 35 children in our community have endured a seven-month lock down. Some of us were very concerned about the effects of such confinement on the children. It is heartening to see the children continue to look and act “normal”. Morning and evening worship continues with the same noisy singing and prayers. As online classes begin a little late their morning fellowship is leisurely. Board games are neglected in favor of rough outdoor sport. We have looked for signs of depression but have found nothing out of the ordinary. Even their studies have improved.


Simpler Life Style


The pandemic has forced a simpler life style on us all. We realize that we can do without a number of things that we used to buy without a second thought. The situation makes us focus on the dangers faced by others and drives us to frequent prayer. Our life is shaped by a sense of bearing the cross and ensuring care for the suffering. It seems that when you bear the cross as Christ enjoined there is not much room in your life for the things of the world. If the cross sits properly on your back life gets simpler.








Related Posts


Share This