So this post comes at the end of a three-day stay at a rural Christian hospital outside of Varanasi (names and places have been avoided at the request of our hosts). The hospital’s director and his wife are old friends of the Sigworth’s and were eager to hear from Jon, Vicky, Karen, and Joy to see how they might expand their facilities and outreach to engage with disabled people in the area.
Currently the hospital aims to care for a rural population of 100,000 in about a 100 km radius. In the last seven years they have started several hundred village schools (leasing land, training teachers, encouraging families to send their kids, etc), dozens of home churches, and offer vocational training for individuals below the poverty line. All these programs are in addition to the health services offered by the hospital complex and their traveling clinics.
Needless to say the director and his staff are incredibly busy with good work but also surprisingly eager to add disability advocacy to their radar. During our time at the hospital we showed Jon’s film and discussed possibilities with many different groups in the complex (directors, eye technicians, nurses, visiting teachers, electrical students, etc).
The experience of Joy and Karen working in hospitals and the networking capabilities of Jon and Vicky (connecting needs in Varanasi to contacts all throughout India) were fully in use in each of these meetings. With less practical work to be done (assisting, filming), I felt much less engaged and took the role of quiet observer during most of this trip. Additionally, I was completely out of commission on the first day due to a 24-hour food poisoning bug. Everyone reminded me that this stomach sickness was part of my initiation to India and where better to be sick than at a hospital?
More photos coming as soon as we’re settled in Delhi again!
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near, says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
(this verse was given to me this week and seems particularly suited for the patients we met at the hospital and in the surrounding villages who are in need of healing, medical and otherwise)
1. train compartment before bed
2. visiting villagers dine during hospital training