travel bursary reports
My elective to India was mainly arranged through the mission company Serving in mission (SIM). I chose to work with SIM mainly because I wanted to combine my nursing elective with my faith. Arranging my elective to India with SIM also brought an element of security and safety. However my time in the children’s home was arranged personally over email after I found the home online – looking back, I now realise how potentially unsafe this was but I strongly felt God calling me to do this and He protected me on every part of the journey and I never came to any harm. I could write for days what I saw and experience out there and what God has taught me, but I will do my best be clear and concise about my trip.
"I could write for days about what I saw and experienced out there and what God has taught me..."
During my time in India I studied the book of Ephesians and God spoke to me so clearly through His word! Not only has He spiritually blessed me with every I need (Ephesians 1:4) but He also blessed me with the opportunity to go out to India and placed so many kind and loving people into my life in India - I now call Sanjeev and Rita my Indian parents and have made friends for life from my time at Duncan Hospital. Through reading Ephesians and all the things I experienced in India it also became clear how we are all brothers and sister in Christ, and have all been given different gifts and abilities here on earth and that we much use them to glorify God (Ephesians 4: 3, 11). God has placed in my heart a love for India and I cannot wait to go back and serve alongside my brothers and sisters and glorify His name!
I carried out my elective at Duncan Hospital, located in Raxaul, north east India bordering Nepal. It is part of the Emmanuel Hospital association – a Christian medical charity in north east India which has approximately 20 hospitals. Raxaul and the state of Bihar are one of the poorest areas in India and this was evident from the surroundings and it is described as dirty and disgusting in a travel book and this is very true to life. The local people are all so desperate from something better in this life and this is where Duncan Hospital can help.
Duncan Hospital has been well established in the local community for 85 years and is known for its compassionate care and charity work. I spent my 4 weeks at the hospital working in labour and delivery, neonatal, ICU and casualty but the hospital also offers general surgical and medical wards, paediatric wards, dentistry and a number of community health programmes. The hospital puts great emphasis on providing patients with the best physical care they can and will always find a way to help families cover the costs of medical bills but it puts even greater emphasis on spiritually caring for its patients and their families. There is chapel every morning which is open to any one of any faith, patients and relatives are daily asked if they would like the medical team to pray with and for them, there are signs of Christianity and bible verses located all around the hospital and there is weekly evangelism talks on the wards and bibles are given out daily! Getting to work alongside an all Christian medical team was a true privilege and it really showed me what a godly, working relationship should look like and emphasised that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
"Getting to work alongside an all Christian medical team was a true privilege and it really showed me what a godly, working relationship should look like..."
Even more amazing was being able to pray with and for patients and see their recovery, all thanks to the Grace of God! Although I saw some heart-breaking scenes such as a 2 year old child that only weighed 4kg, it was so clear to see how God is at work in Raxaul and so clear how all the staff at the hospital have a heart for the people of Raxaul. Not only did I learn a lot about God, I also learnt a lot medically, from the fantastically detailed teaching in ICU to the hands on experience in labour and delivery and casualty. Despite some unusual medical techniques and approaches I got to learn and practice skills I would normally never get the change to do here in the UK, all of which are very valuable and will stay with me throughout my career.
My time at the children’s home was very different to that in the hospital but just as valuable and even more enjoyable. The home is called “Our Home” and it for children affected by HIV – whether they have it, have lost family members because of it or are unable to be looked after because family members have it. There are currently 10 children at the home and 6 voluntary staff. Everyone is welcome at the home and it is happy and safe place for these children to grow and learn about God. It is an independent charity run by Sanjeev and Rita, a couple with a heart for these children and an even bigger heart for God. My time at the home mainly involved teaching the voluntary staff basic health care and HIV awareness, such as how to treat wounds, fevers, dehydration etc. I also had a role in teaching the children bible songs, leading Sunday school, and helping with manual labour to finishing building the home – from painting doors to tiling walls. I did some fundraising before I left for India and managed to raise £1000. I donated £300 of this to Duncan hospital and used the rest to help buy building material for Our Home, pay for school fees for the children, buy them new clothes and take them all out for dinner among many other things. Sanjeev and Rita are full time missionaries and they and the home have no permanent source of financial income. They rely fully on God each month to provide for their needs – and He always does. From some one local donating 3 months’ worth of rice to providing the money for land to build a beautiful, happy home for the children. My time at the home was exhausting but I grew so much in my faith. Sanjeev and Rita taught me what it meant to fully rely on God and to give everything in life to Him in prayer. I was so far away from all of my usual coping mechanism, comforts and distractions and this enabled me to spend time with God in deep prayer or through reading the bible. I also learnt a lot about God’s protection and His promises. I felt Him beside me every step of the journey and He never let any harm come to me.
Read our reports from those we have supported through bursaries!