In the fall of 2016, EHA's Broadwell Christian Hospital hosted a wheelchair distribution for Joni Eareckson Tada's Wheels for the World organization.
A total of 204 custom-fitted wheelchairs, 20 walkers, 18 canes, and 28 pairs of crutches were given to disabled people who needed them. Each of these people's lives were touched as they received training in the use of their appliance, and counseling that included sharing about Joni's accident and ministry. Here are the stories of two of the elated wheelchair recipients.
One of the grateful recipients was Chottu from Adharpur. His mother said that she had never seen him happier than after receiving his wheelchair. He now uses it to go everywhere and insists on caring for it himself.
Neha from Kaandhivillage became a double amputee following an accident six years ago. Hopeless and disinterested in life, she immediately identified with Joni's story and decided she too wanted to live an abundant life. She was thrilled to receive her custom-fit wheelchair.
Events like this allow EHA staff and partner ministry teams to show love in practical and encouraging ways to the disabled people around them. Lending a listening ear, the counselors gave the patients a chance share about their pain and frustration. A number of the patients expressed amazement at the love that was showered upon them as team members spent an hour or more to customize the wheelchairs for their comfort.
At Broadwell Christian Hospital...
Advocacy Brings Improvement
Jairampur is a village in North India. As with many of these places, it is a backward town with no roads and no electricity. Any new development in the village stopped in the 1960s.
Providing advocacy is one of the many functions of EHA's Community Health and Development Projects (CHDP). Often poor people in rural areas have no idea what programs or benefits they are eligible to take advantage of. The Broadwell Christian Hospital CHDP team met with a group in Jairampur that wanted to see some changes. They formed a Health Care Committee (pictured above) and determined to find some solutions, starting with the roadways and drainage systems.
During the rainy season, several areas in town became severely water logged and unsafe for travel. The CHDP staff suggested that they apply to the municipality for a road. When the committee had arranged a meeting with the municipality leaders, they asked the CHDP staff to participate with them. After the meeting, the committee was encouraged to put in an application for a road, which they did. After several more layers of bureaucracy, each requiring its own application, the committee finally got the government officials to come and approve their request for a road. Throughout this process, the CHDP staff walked the committee through the red tape and paperwork.
Beginning the work of road construction required tearing down a number of illegal walls and structures that had been built by the slum dwellers in the area. Once the committee members explained to these residents the benefits of the road and drainage systems, they cooperated fully. Now the community members understand that if they work together in unity, and persevere through the difficulties, they can achieve their goal of a better environment.
Through the Palliative Care Team...
Pain and Death Are Eased
Fifty-year-old Kalideen came to Broadwell Christian Hospital howling in pain. His family was in tears as they watched him struggle. As the story unfolded, the medical team learned that Kalideen had been a successful police officer wielding a lot of power and status. But wealth and prestige cannot keep cancer away.
Kalideen had been diagnosed with pancreatic and lung cancer which spread to his spine two years before. He was started on chemotherapy at one of the best institutes in the country. Eventually, he was told there was nothing more the doctors could do to stem the cancer's spread. He went home and began taking over-the-counter medications to deal with the pain, but eventually his agony was so great he asked to be taken to the hospital.
The Broadwell doctors immediately assessed his condition and administered morphine and some other medications to relieve his suffering. After ten days, his condition stabilized and he was discharged. Kalideen was exhausted and discouraged, and he wanted to die. His greatest concern was his three unmarried children, and he felt hopeless. So the Palliative Care Team visited him as often as they could. Over a period of time, they watched his countenance change. He went from being an angry, growling man to being remarkably calm and composed. The team often prayed with Kalideen and his family and read them verses of comfort from the Bible.
As the Palliative Care Team began to see changes in Kalideen indicating that he was nearing the end of his life, they gathered his family around him. The team encouraged them to speak to Kalideen and reassure him of their love. He soon peacefully breathed his last. The Palliative Care Team went to his house the next day and proceeded to the funeral as well. Kalideen's sons thanked the team for being there for them in the most difficult of times. The Palliative Care Team was glad that they were able to ease his suffering and hopelessness at the end of his life.
Working With the Community Health Team...
Tuberculosis Is Cured
Pyarelal was worried when he coughed up blood. He sought medical help and eventually tested positive for Tuberculosis. After his initial treatment, his condition worsened. His crying wife called up Broadwell Christian Hospital's Community Health Team and asked for help.
The key to successfully treating TB is consistency in taking the medications. The course of treatment lasts six months, and if the medicine is not taken consistently or not taken to completion, TB will return and often then be drug resistant. By the time the Community Health Team visited Pyarelal, he was wasting away and his family had lost all hope. The staff counselled the family about the importance of taking the medications consistently.
But Pyarelal did not want to take the medicines because of his discomfort, so he began hiding them, which caused fighting in his family. The Community Health Team continued to visit Pyarelal and impress upon him the need for medicine. Then the team noticed that the family was struggling financially due to spending too much on medical care. The staff of Broadwell Christian Hospital contributed money toward purchasing a month's worth of food for the family. After two months of continued visits, the team could see improvement. Pyarelal was eating more and gaining strength. First he was able to sit up by himself in bed, then walk around using a stick, and eventually his mental outlook improved as well. At the completion of his six months of treatment, Pyarelal was given a clean bill of health, and he now goes off daily to sell vegetables in the market to support his family. The life of this one man and his family was changed by the continuous care of one of EHA's Community Health Teams.
Through Charity for the Poor...
Helping Those Most in Need
All EHA hospitals, including Broadwell Christian Hospital, offer charity in the form of fee reduction for patients who need it. (The funding to do this comes from generous donors like you.)
The trick is in figuring out who deserves it. The truly poor who may have to sell an animal or other possession or borrow from a money-lender charging exorbitant interest in order to afford the 50 cents that a doctor's visit costs -- they will seldom ask for help. They just do what they have to do to pay the bill, and then live with the financial loss. Sometimes a family will even lose their home in order to pay a medical bill. There is just no surplus income to pay for anything beyond the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing.
BCH staff working with a patient
On the other hand, patients from the middle or upper class will often stridently demand a discount even when they don't need it. These patients often loudly claim that they must have a reduction in fees or they will not be able to pay. Yet they may be well dressed and arrive in nice vehicles. Dr. Sujith Varghese of BCH often has to stand up to these patients who threaten to bring in the press or government officials to get their way.
A hospital staff member must determine a family's financial ability to pay. He sits down with the family and assesses several factors to determine their need. Often the poor have very rough speech and ragged clothing when they come to the hospital. The kind of transportation they use to get there is another factor that is assessed. And their caste is still a factor as well. From all of this information, the staff member decides how much aid a family needs. Sometimes almost the whole bill is written off. Another issue is that entire families often come to the hospital with the patient, and they stay on the grounds, caring for and providing food for the patient. The nurses keep their ears open, and sometimes discover families who have nothing to eat while they stay and care for their loved one, and can offer them food assistance.
Great discernment is needed to make sure each patient pays a fair amount. Pray for the staff at BCH to have wisdom to help those who need it and for the resources to be able to do so.
At Broadwell Christian Hospital...
Community Health Projects Expand
Broadwell's Community Health and Development Program Department runs several projects to facilitate social and economic transformation in the communities by building capacity, by addressing gaps in the health system, and by providing advocacy.
One project they run involves training laypeople in basic healthcare skills. Since pastors are often out and about taking care of people's spiritual needs, BCH staff train them in basic healthcare so they can assess needs and help get those who need hospital care in to BCH's facility.
Another group trained in healthcare are women called Community Health Guide Volunteers, and they are chosen by their communities to serve as their point person for health and development issues. They are trained in basic health and disease prevention, and when they go back into their communities, they are able to help meet the basic healthcare needs of those who are unable or unwilling to go in to the hospital.
|Health volunteers being trained to take blood pressure measurements
They also have a rural project in the Teliyani block that covers 30 villages with a total population of 30,000. After four years of operation, they are starting to see real transformation in the lives of the villagers.
BCH has another project that operates in 15 slums around Fatehpur, focusing on the living conditions of the victims of the caste system. In three years this project has brought about remarkable changes in behavior and awareness, as well as in accessing rights. Often these people have no idea what benefits they are eligible for from the government, and CHDP staff work with them to help them obtain the things they are entitled to.
Through each of these projects, BCH staff are able to improve the living and health conditions of the poor who really need their help.
At Broadwell Christian Hospital...
Bringing God's Love to Women
There is nothing quite like the deep hunger one experiences when pregnant. In the US, a woman might experience this sensation for an hour or two, but then her hunger is satiated by the meal of her choice. In India, one pregnant young woman went to bed hungry every night, and not because there wasn't enough food in the house. You see, in India, when a young woman marries, she goes to live in her husband's parents' home. There is often a considerable amount of conflict in the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship.
This particular young woman was the youngest daughter-in-law in the home, so it was her responsibility to do all of the cooking and cleaning. However, she was only allowed to eat the leftovers once everyone else in the home had eaten. When she arrived for a prenatal checkup with Dr. Sunitha Varghese at Broadwell Christian Hospital in Fatehpur, it was obvious she was not getting enough nutrition for her baby. When Dr. Varghese questioned her about her diet, the young woman was hesitant to speak in front of her mother-in-law, so the doctor asked for a moment alone with the patient. Once she understood the problem, Dr. Varghese thought quickly. She met with the mother-in-law and explained that her grandchild was not getting enough nutrition. This convinced the woman to feed her daughter-in-law better out of concern for her grandchild. The doctor knew that she could never convince the woman to feed her daughter-in-law properly for her own sake, but only for the sake of the grandchild. EHA doctors know that every person is valued by God as His child. Working to improve the status of women is one of EHA's areas of ministry in India.
At the Broadwell Christian Hospital CHD Projects...
Children's Lunches See Improvement
The 55 villages and urban slums reached by BCH's Community Health and Development Projects receive help in many areas of life, from awareness of good health behavior to advocacy for accessing existing government programs. CHD staff encouraged one group of people to make a list of changes they would like to see, and then to pick one thing to work on. They chose to tackle the poor nutrition in their children's lunches. This meal is provided by the government, so they visited the district headquarters and asked for better food. Soon they saw changes, and felt empowered realizing that they had helped to make the difference. Occurrences like this help the poor to understand how they can contribute to a good result versus continue in a dependent mode with local authorities.
BCH Staff Are Thrilled to See...
Revival, Unity, and Bonding in Ministry
When Dr. Sujith Varghese Thomas and Dr. Sunitha Varghese came to Broadwell Christian Hospital in Fatehpur, near Lucknow, in 2008, they found extensive corruption and cheating. There was a severe lack of trust between people due to widespread deception. They found brothers and sisters in Christ toiling in various parts of the district, often discouraged by the lack of progress in their ministries. One fact became clear to them: Fatehpur District could not be reached by an individual, a group, an organization, or even a community. It had to be the body of Christ moving together to repair the damage caused by years of strife, distrust, and conflict.
As the staff of BCH began to pray, Sujith began to talk about united intercession with pastors, evangelists, and Christian leaders in the area. In October of 2008, 120 people from various organizations and denominations came together to intercede for each other and the land of Fatehpur. Five years later, they are still gathering every Sunday to pray together. God has used this time to bond them, to draw them closer to Him, and to allow them to share burdens and struggles. The result -- they are seeing God answer united prayer.
They can now see the big picture of ministry in the area and have a united sense of purpose and ownership. They have seen exponential church growth in the area, with one church expanding to 2,000 members and many village churches being planted. The beginnings of revival have spread through the area despite persecution, discrimination, and rejection. Broadwell Christian Hospital was able to get its statutory requirements met with no bribes being paid, which was thought to be impossible. The number of patients at the hospital has steadily increased, and the building has been used often as a meeting place for the body of Christ. Hospital staff have trained many area pastors in basic healthcare to enable them to help people to understand how to prevent and/or simply treat people with common illnesses. All of these changes have brought unity and effectiveness in ministry to the area of Fatehpur, and the staff at BCH is thrilled to see God's hand at work in their land.
About Broadwell Christian Hospital
Begun in 1909, Broadwell Christian Hospital was founded by the Women’s Union Missionary Society. Drs. Mary and Jemima Mackenzie were the first missionaries to serve at Fatehpur, and they initially began treating patients from a small dispensary as well as roadside clinics. The hospital came under EHA leadership in 1973, and Broadwell experienced a strong season in the 1970s and 80s under Drs. Lyall. Since that time the hospital has experienced many ups and downs, but in 2003 the formation of a new team strengthened the facility and its programs. Today Broadwell brings hope and help to the many poor and needy people it serves. The major services they offer include reproductive and child health, surgery, ophthalmology, pediatrics, orthopedics, community health and development, and dentistry.
Broadwell Christian’s mission statement expresses that they desire to provide holistic health care focused on the poor and marginalized of Fatehpur and its surrounding districts. They desire to do this for all people, regardless of race, caste, creed, or religion. To this end, Broadwell’s staff focuses on prayer. They have prayer in the ward every morning and a monthly all-Fatehpur prayer meeting.
The Fatehpur Community Health and Development Program has three components: the rural project, the urban project, and the CHASINI project. The rural project is designed to strengthen the government’s community health system. The project has trained the Accredited Social Health Activists to teach as well as to identify problems, prioritize and analyze them, and develop action plans. They conduct health awareness programs on HIV/AIDS and TB. The urban project conducts refresher training for the Community Health Volunteers on issues such as family planning. The CHASINI project works with adolescents and young couples on issues such as sexuality, marriage, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Through all these programs, Broadwell Christian Hospital seeks to reach out to those around them.