Champa Christian Hospital
At 19 years of age Sonu had no friends, had never been accepted by his peers or neighbors, had been forced to drop out of school, and had been unable to work.
It all began when Sonu was born with an open bladder; he struggled with constant incontinence. His parents took him to a government hospital, but realized that while they waited for their turn for his treatment, their crops would not get planted or tended to. Without crops, they would have no food or money, so they took Sonu home.
When he started school, the other boys would not sit with him because he always smelled of urine. One day his teacher called and said that he could no longer attend school because the other students couldn’t study around him. He left school, never to return. His parents had no use for him because he couldn’t help in the fields.
Dismayed and depressed, Sonu heard about Champa Christian Hospital and the caring team that worked there. He convinced his brother to take him to Champa, and in God’s providence, he arrived just as a surgical camp was underway with several visiting doctors. After four hours of surgery, Sonu’s bladder was closed and his urethra reconstructed. When he heard the good news, the smile on his face was huge.
As Sonu recovered and went through follow-up treatment at CMC Vellore, the Champa staff spent time with him and encouraged him. As they shared the good news with him, he saw the love of God in action in these people. When all of his treatment was completed, he returned to Champa to testify what God had done in his life.
Complications of Tuberculosis
One hot summer evening a young girl was rolled into the emergency department at Champa Christian Hospital. Pari was emaciated and dehydrated. Her brother told the medical staff that she hadn’t eaten for two weeks, causing them to run from one village quack to another for answers. Her relatives all looked worried; they knew they had exhausted their money.
Champa’s staff reassured Pari’s family that the costs would be reduced, and then they ran bloodwork and did some x-rays. Pari was hydrated and her electrolytes were corrected as the emergency staff struggled to stabilize her. After examining Pari, the doctors told her family that her prognosis was bleak; she needed emergency surgery to save her life and get her intestines working again. Even though the staff were hesitant to take on the surgery, Pari’s relatives said that they could not take her to another hospital; if they left, they would just have to take her home to die.
Once she was stabilized, she was taken into the operating room. The surgeon found that her intestines were adhered together, forming a mass. This condition is very typical of tuberculosis (TB). A portion of her gut had also become gangrenous, which had made her very ill. The doctors removed the gangrenous mass, and prayed for the best. After a rough recovery, Pari was released. But soon she was back, suffering from an infection. She was distraught; her family was disappointed. Back she went for a second surgery. By now Pari was showing signs of the aggressive progression of the tuberculosis, even in her brain. One by one her relatives stopped coming to see her. Only her brother remained faithful. Pari began to sink into depression. Even the medical team was beginning to lose hope.
The only bright spot was the incessant prayers on behalf of Pari. The hospital staff began to stop by to keep her company and encourage her; some brought food she liked to tempt her appetite. They shared the love of God with her, and she saw His care in their actions. Pari showed extraordinary inner strength to endure all she was going through, and she began to improve. With her nutrition issues taken care of and the infection under control, anti-tubercular treatment was begun. Finally, there was a smile on Pari’s face. She could see that the God of the people treating her was indeed great and He could heal.
Bringing Hope to the Hopeless
She came to the outpatient department at Champa Christian Hospital complaining of breathlessness, weakness, and fatigue. In her early twenties, Ganga was suffering from severe anemia and was also found to be HIV positive.
When the Champa doctor asked her where she got the blood transfusion with HIV, she burst into tears. She was amazed by the doctor’s faith in her because everyone else around her doubted and accused her of becoming infected with HIV via sexual promiscuity. She had recently gotten married, but her husband left her when he discovered that she was HIV positive, even though he had been with her when she had the blood transfusion.
Initially, Ganga had less than four grams of hemoglobin (12-15 is normal). She was admitted for a blood transfusion and her condition improved. But even more important, in the course of her treatment, Ganga heard about God’s love for her. She completed the two-and-a- half month Bible course at Champa through All People Church. Her relationship with God has grown stronger and she is now full of peace, joy, and satisfaction.
The staff at Champa encouraged Ganga to continue her studies, and she has finished a professional course in order to serve among those suffering from HIV/AIDS. She now works in a community outreach program, identifying and visiting HIV/AIDS patients, and encouraging them to continue taking their medications. Many of these patients have suffered greatly with their illness and have lost hope in life. Ganga is thrilled to be able to share with them about God and bring hope and healing back into their lives.
Taking Care of the Needs: Babies and Cataracts
Opened 90 years ago by Mennonite missionaries from the US, Champa Christian Hospital is now a 75-bed facility serving the people of Janjgir District. In a typical year, they care for 30,000 outpatients and 7,000 inpatients.
They are well known for their obstetric and gynecological care, delivering about 1,600 babies each year. The care that these mothers and babies receive gets them off to a healthy start right from the beginning.
Another area they specialize in is cataract surgery. Approximately 850 people are delivered from the blurry vision of cataracts each year via free eye camps. Champa sends out vehicles to transport people to the hospital and back to their homes, as well as providing them with food and an attendant during their hospital stay. In this way, they meet the practical needs of many people and make a huge improvement in their quality of life.
The focus at Champa Christian Hospital is on outreach as well as on providing quality medical care. The staff are constantly seeking new ways to share love with the patients who come to them. They seek to meet felt needs such as offering counseling to patients who have attempted suicide by taking poison, or by handing out blankets purchased with their own money to elderly widows. Buying clothing, fruit, and other items with their own money, the staff give sacrificially to those in need.
One man who has been directly affected by the staff’s efforts is Lal Chand. He was a teacher in the town of Champa, but he had to give up his job due to sickness. Suffering for many months from an oedema (excess fluid) in his brain, his family took him to various hospitals, including Appollo Hospital, the corporate hospital of the city of Balaspur. His condition worsened. Finally, he was brought to Champa Christian Hospital.
By this point, his condition was so serious that he was unable to speak and was in and out of consciousness. His family lost all hope. He was in the hospital for 15 days while the staff cared for him.
Finally, Lal Chand began to show improvement. In the end, his healing was complete. He and his family members believe that God healed him along with the care of the staff at Champa. They have opened their home to reach out to others in need.
Release From Idol Spirit Worship
She was well educated, but she had missed the most important knowledge of all. Trapped in worship of idol spirits and black magic, Nirmala Yadav knew her heart was empty. Knowing there must be something more, she decided to visit a house fellowship that she heard about from her brother-in-law.
Champa’s outreach team had been visiting the village of Sonaidih for a year and a half. Patiently sharing and teaching with those who attended, the staff met in a house fellowship. Nirmala began attending regularly and often asked for prayer. Slowly, it changed her life.
Since then, she left worshiping idols and believing in black magic and is encouraging her family to do the same. She has now opened her own home for a house fellowship. Transformation is happening, one soul at a time.
About Champa Christian Hospital
Started by the United States Mennonite Mission in 1926, Champa Christian Hospital serves the tribal-dominated district of Chhattisgarh. Situated in Champa in central India, the hospital serves the people through both hospital-based and community-based services. This 50-bed hospital offers services in surgery, urology, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics, dentistry, and eyecare. They partner with the government to offer free mega health camps where they conduct cataract and other surgeries. They also work with the government health insurance to be able to treat families who live below the poverty line.
Striving to provide the best care possible for their patients, Champa staff provide nurse training, grief counseling, and specific protocols for various procedures. In response to an increase in diabetes cases, they offer test camps with support from other organizations, lifestyle counseling services, and general health awareness programs. They have developed public health facilities for nearby slums to increase immunizations and improve care. Setting up a high dependence care unit for newborns, they are able to care for infants in critical condition. They offer free clinics in villages to make sure everyone receives the health care they need, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Champa Community Health Development Project forms self-help groups to assist families in learning income-generating skills such as farming, fishing, brick making, and vegetable cultivating. Many of the self-help groups have become eligible to carry out the mid-day meal program.
Through all of these programs and services, Champa Christian Hospital seeks to reach out to the district of Chhattisgarh with the love of God, changing lives for eternity.