EHA USA Executive Director Robb Hansen had the opportunity to travel to India and visit several EHA locations in July. In the coming months, in a series of articles, he will share his first-hand impressions of EHA's work.
As my eyes drift across the green fields of crops that line the country road, I almost feel I could be in rural Iowa. Instead, I am in Maharashtra, a state in west central India, about two hours from the Arabian Sea. The fields are a mix of sugar cane, beans, and some corn. Rather than a big John Deere tractor, the farming implement of choice is pulled by a bullock. Much of the work is being done by hand and the farm-to-market process involves a stream of women bearing piled loads atop their heads.
The jeep slows and we turn off the narrow paved road onto a dirt track. My head rocks from side to side as we bounce along what is best described as a wide foot path. Riding with me are Ashita and Danny, a doctor and a community health worker from Chinchpada Christian Hospital. This is the second stop on an afternoon round of calls into the community to visit palliative care patients in their homes. The rain has stopped and the sun has come out. Soon we abandon the vehicle. It cannot take us where we need to go, and we continue on foot.
In India, particularly among the poor, medical care to alleviate the suffering of dying patients is relatively rare. Scarce family resources hardly seem well-used when spent on someone who will soon die no matter what is done. There are mouths to feed. Education to pay for. Tools to buy. Still EHA manages an expanding effort at eight of its locations to alleviate suffering and demonstrate compassion for terminally ill patients who otherwise would be more or less left to die in pain and silence. This care underscores the values that drive EHA which reflect the worth of every individual.
On this stop Dr. Ashita, a gifted internal medicine doctor, gently examines her elderly patient. The woman lies on a rope bed on the "front porch" of the family's simple hut adjacent to their fields. A thin mattress beneath her provides some comfort, and was a gift from the community health team wanting to show Christian love to the woman and ease her last days. She is protected from the relentless assault of insects by a suspended mesh netting. It is oppressively hot and humid now. Sweat runs down the back of my neck as I watch the tender care EHA's team provides for this family. After quickly retrieving a second bed from inside the hut for me to sit on, the woman's husband stands nearby watching over her, quietly listening to the instructions of the doctor.
There is very little that can be done. Now the woman is complaining of the tension in her abdomen and requests that the team drain the fluid from her to reduce the pressure. Unsure if it is necessary, the doctor decides that it is a simple enough step to take to demonstrate the reality that the team cares for the woman. Using a syringe and a bottle, the woman's belly is drained of the infected fluid that permeates her body. When the procedure is done, the doctor instructs the family (others have drifted nearby since our arrival) on how to administer the medicine that will provide relief in the coming days. Later Ashita told me that she only expected the woman to live another ten days.
As we walk away from the dwelling, I am struck by the vast need here in India. In spite of the sophisticated government plans for medical care to reach into every corner of the country, the system all too often breaks down. The work of EHA is absolutely critical in places like Chinchpada where our hospital is the most sophisticated medical treatment facility for miles in every direction. Quite literally there would be no resources available to families like the one we have just visited if EHA was not here.
And through innovative programs such as the palliative care effort that combines education and compassion, EHA is reaching out into the community. Each home visit in the palliative care program costs EHA approximately $5.00 including personnel, the vehicle, medicine, and other miscellaneous expenses. If you are moved to give to support the palliative care program
for terminally ill patients, we would be grateful for your partnership. Your ongoing gift of $50 per month would fund 10 home visits. Thank you for your interest and help!
July 8-24, 2016
EHA USA Director Travels to India
Nothing so inspires and informs as face-to-face connection for our EHA USA team members with colleagues in India. That is why the USA Executive Director will travel to India this month, from July 8 to 24. On the trip he will have the opportunity to visit several hospital locations and attend the annual conference which assembles the entire leadership team from all locations across North India.
Stops on the trip will include Herbertpur Christian Hospital, Landour Community Hospital, and Chinchpada Christian Hospital. "I look forward to interacting face to face on the ground at the hospitals, and rubbing shoulders with senior leaders," Mr. Hansen commented. "I hope those interested will follow our Facebook account to receive regular updates on our experiences."
May 19, 2016
EHA USA President Receives Award
Congratulations to EHA USA President Dr. Howard Searle, who was honored with the 2016 INMED Cross-Cultural Leadership Award!
Dr. Searle served in medical missions in India from 1965 to 1977. He helped establish and direct the Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA), eventually transitioning the orgranization to Indian leadership.
Since 1996 he has been the volunteer executive director and then the president of EHA USA, supporting the Emmanuel Hospital Association in India. He remains committed to the ministries of indigenous medical missionaries as they seek more effective ways to care for the underserved in rural North India.
May 17-19, 2016
Dr. Howard Searle Attends INMED
EHA USA President Dr. Howard Searle recently represented EHA at the 2016 INMED (Institute for International Medicine) "Exploring Medical Missions Conference" (EMMC) in Kansas City. "The Evidence Behind Medical Missions" was this year's theme. Medical missions has a rich history of compassionate risk-takers who have sought to serve the most forgotten people of our world. The 2016 conference sought to continue this work by equipping compassionate individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to address the needs of the world's most vulnerable peoples. Session topics included maternal/newborn care, community development, disease mitigation, and global health education.
February 24, 2016
Read EHA's Shalom Delhi Partner Report
EHA's Dr. Savita Duomai was interviewed on the Worldview program on Chicago's WBEZ on February 24, 2016. She shared the work and vision of the Shalom Project in Delhi, which works among the poor and marginalized populations to care for people living with HIV/AIDS and those with other life-limiting illnesses such as cancer.
You can learn more about the Shalom Project by downloading the PDF from the website. Just click on the link. Read the full summary of Dr. Savita's interview here.
November 2, 2015
Wheels for the World... Showing Brotherly Love
In the Wheels for the World program, run by Joni and Friends (JAF), wheelchairs are made available in different parts of the world, and a team of volunteers travels to assess, modify, and fit wheelchairs for people with disabilities. In October, 2015, the first Wheels for the World program in India took place. JAF worked with their Indian partner, Operation Equip India, the Community Health Global Network (Uttarakhand chapter), as well as the Engage Disability team including EHA members. EHA's Herbertpur Christian Hospital was chosen as the venue because it was near Dehradun, a state capital in North India, was central to access, and had the appropriate facilities. Overall, 210 wheelchairs, 46 sets of crutches, 42 walkers, and 32 canes were distributed. To read the full article about this wheelchair distribution by Anneliese Petersen, a Wheaton College biology student and HNGR intern at EHA's Landour Community Hospital, click here.
June 9, 2015
Read About EHA's Updated Action Plan for Earthquake Relief in Nepal
(click image below)
May 12, 2015
EHA Responds to Second Earthquake in Nepal
Nepal has suffered yet another severe earthquake, this one having a magnitude of 7.3 and an epicenter 47 miles east of Kathmandu in a rural area. At least 65 Nepali people have died as well as 17 Indians in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Over 1,900 have been injured as many more buildings collapsed.
Those near the first earthquake site have been hesitant to enter their homes and other buildings, fearing that earthquake damage would cause them to fall during an aftershock. This problem was only intensified after this new earthquake. Since almost 300,000 homes were destroyed and another 234,000 damaged in the first quake, many people are living outside with little shelter or food in cold temperatures with monsoon season right around the corner.
The death toll of the April 25 quake has risen to 7,900 and the number of injured is over 16,000. About 8 million of the 28 million people living in Nepal have been affected by this earthquake. Emergency medical care needs are declining, but there are at least 2 million people who will need tents, water, food, and medicine over the next 3 months.
EHA is planning a 6-month relief effort to meet the long-term needs as well as the short-term ones in Nepal. We have years of experience working in natural disaster situations and we know how to help with all of the recovery issues that come up once the immediate medical needs are cared for. Our budget for all of these areas of care is $325,000. If you would like to give to help EHA relief efforts, click the button below.
EHA's Current Relief Efforts
EHA's first medical team reached Nepal on April 27 with the twin objectives of assessing the needs and exploring partnerships with local organizations to provide the best medical response possible. Since then, EHA has mobilized 15-member teams to go in and set up medical camps that served about 100 villages in ten different districts. Over 2,000 people have benefited from these camps. EHA along with its partners is now looking at the possibility of having Satellite Rural Clinics with medical teams positioned at central locations in highly affected districts.
EHA medical camps have been set up in these red border districts
The needs for food, shelter, and clean water are staggering. EHA has distributed 30,000 water purifying tablets, which is particularly important because of the likelihood of waterborne diseases after a disaster. We have sent in 250 packets of food and basic hygiene kits for villages affected in the Dhading district. We are targeting another 750 more packets for villages in the Sindhupalchowk district. EHA has begun distributing tarpaulins for temporary shelter with the goal of procuring 5,000 for numerous villages. They have also purchased 2,000 tents which are being prioritized for families with leprosy.
Another area EHA is working to help is in psychosocial care for those traumatized by the earthquakes and aftershocks. We are training 40 to 50 leaders who will form at least 10 groups, and train 10 to 15 local volunteers each as care providers across target districts. These follow-up programs should serve at least 500 earthquake victims.
Over 4,300 schools have been damaged in 41 affected districts, including 12,483 classrooms. This means 950,000 children will not be able to return to school until the government provides temporary learning spaces. EHA plans to work with partners to start play centers for the children in relief shelters, organizing fun materials for children including drawing and painting kits, toys, game kits, and snacks.
EHA will be in these relief efforts for the long haul. We are in a unique position to cross the Nepali border and reach out with the love of Christ, both with our medical expertise and our disaster management experience.
Read about EHA's Updated Action Plan for Nepal Relief (Click the image below):
May 12, 2015
What We Are Doing to Help After the Nepal Earthquakes...
EHA's Relief Actions To-Date
EHA has a well prepared Disaster Management Team, so they immediately sent in two vehicles to two different destinations in Nepal last week. They are distributing supplies, giving medical care, and assessing the needs. Three volunteer doctors are being sent to help the team at Anandaban Hospital at their request.
Two other doctors and another staff member are working with partners setting up a medical camp supported from Duncan Hospital that will reach out to many villages in the Dhading area. Camp staff will identify patients who may be able to make the journey southward to Duncan Hospital in Raxaul, Bihar, North India, if adequate treatment is unavailable locally. A number of quake victims have already arrived at Duncan for treatment.
Supplies are essential, and EHA is sending in tents, tarps, dry food, and blankets in the coming week. Volvo is donating the use of two buses to transport in supplies and bring back patients. Staff at Duncan are working with the recommendations of those in Nepal to purchase the needed medical supplies to send in to the camp where survivors are located.
EHA is also formulating a plan for psychosocial support by training volunteers who will be able to go in and help. They are also planning for a medium-term (six to nine month) intervention for rehabilitation.
Whom We Are Teaming Up With
A group of Nepali doctors and representatives from Christian churches have formed the Disaster Response Christian Committee (DRCC) to coordinate relief activities in Kathmandu and other nearby disaster-hit areas of Nepal. The DRCC is working with the Nepal Christian Relief Services, which is formally registered with the government of Nepal. EHA is communicating with DRCC's contact to determine the best ways to help. EHA is building a database of Indian volunteers who can go to Nepal to help according to qualification, availability, and duration.
Should you have the flexibility in your schedule and the proper skills, and if you sense the Lord directing you to go to India/Nepal to assist EHA's efforts, please contact us. Only those with emergency medical skills are needed at this time.
EHA is also working with Engineering Ministries International (EMI), a Christian organization that mobilizes teams of civil engineers to help with water and sanitation, and teams of structural engineers to assess and develop repair details for damaged buildings.
If You Feel Led to Give...
Funds Needed for Team and Supplies
Thanks to the generous donations received so far, EHA USA sent $5,000 to EHA to help purchase supplies and support the team members heading in to serve. As more funds are made available, they will be sent directly to those coordinating relief efforts. If you feel led to give, click here to donate online. If you'd rather write a check, please make your contributions payable to "Emmanuel Hospital Association" or "EHA USA" and mail them to:
215 N. Arlington Heights Rd. #102
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
April 28, 2015
After the Nepal Earthquake...
EHA's Disaster Response Team Acts Swiftly
Patients are already arriving at EHA's facility in Raxaul, Bihar on the Nepali border.
EHA dispatched a disaster response team to Nepal from Delhi on Monday morning, April 27, local time (Sunday evening in the U.S.). Your immediate prayer and financial support to undergird EHA's rapid response will be appreciated.
As is clear from the media, the situation in Nepal is serious and will likely require significant resources to adequately respond to immediate and long-term needs. Current efforts are focused on emergency medical care, shelter, food, and clean water. Longer term needs will be assessed as the situation unfolds. To this point, more than 4,600 people have died and another 9,000 are injured. Over 8 million have been affected across Nepal.
EHA's Duncan Hospital in Raxaul, Bihar, is located only 200 km (125 miles) from the epicenter. The buildings are undamaged and the staff unharmed, but patients from Nepal have begun arriving for medical care because the Nepal hospitals are overwhelmed and often without water or electricity.
Dr. Christo Philip serves at Duncan Hospital and was working when the earthquake hit. He says, "There was chaos in the hospital as patients ran outside, and that included having to move a patient who was in the operating room out of the building where we completed the surgery. So far we think there have been about 6 deaths in our district and about 35 confirmed dead in Bihar. We had several patients brought in immediately after the earthquake to our emergency department including several fractures and a head injury.
Unfortunately the devastation farther north of us in Katmandu is tremendous. Please pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and for how we can help. The first of the victims from Kathmandu have arrived at Duncan Hospital tonight. Two construction workers came with lower extremity fractures sustained when buildings collapsed on them. Their families report multiple people dying all around them and that very limited medical care is available, which is why they made the 200 km journey to reach Duncan. Please pray that many more patients who need help would find their way to Duncan in the next few days since many of the hospitals in Nepal are overflowing with patients and they are without electricity and water in many regions."
Many have asked what can be done. First, please pray for EHA's team in Nepal. Pray for their safety as well as wisdom to compassionately demonstrate the love of Christ to those they encounter. Second, significant resources will be needed to finance the relief efforts EHA has initiated. Your response in this tangible way will be much appreciated.
To give immediately to the designated Nepal Earthquake Fund, click here. Your gift will be processed immediately and the interface is completely secure.
Should you prefer to donate by check, please make your contributions payable to "Emmanuel Hospital Association" or "EHA USA" and mail them to:
Thank you for your partnership. We will update our Facebook page and website regularly with additional information as it becomes available, and will distribute news via email as well as the situation warrants.
215 N. Arlington Heights Rd. #102
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
April 1. 2015
EHA India Welcomes New Exective Director
As of April 1, EHA India has a new Executive Director -- Dr. Sunil Gokavi. We are excited to see what his leadership will bring to EHA. The following is his autobiography that gives us a glimpse into Dr. Sunil's background and testimony.
|Dr. Sunil Gokavi and Dr. Joanna
My name is Sunil Gokavi, and I was born and bred in Bangalore before embarking on my medical studies at Christian Medical College, Vellore, in 1983. I met Joanna, my wife-to-be, at medical school (she was a classmate), and we were married soon after our internship. Our first exposure to missions was in Nadiad, Gujarat, in the Methodist hospital, and after a year we moved to EHA's Chhatarpur Christian Hospital, both as part of our service obligation for sponsorship to CMC Vellore.
Our experiences, though varied, impressed upon us the necessity for doctors in the mission field, given the seemingly endless need. So it was natural for us, on completion of our post-graduation residency also at CMC - my wife as a biochemist and I as a general surgeon - to serve at a mission hospital, initially to once again fulfill a service obligation, and then to carry on in the same field.
As a young family we were posted to EHA's Lakhnadon Christian Hospital in Madhya Pradesh -- a small hospital in a tribal belt. Since our first two children were small, and the town lacked an English school, my wife elected to homeschool them in the initial years while I often single-handedly managed the 30-bed unit, building up its surgical services as well as catering to every sort of patient who came to us in need. Due to lack of adequately trained personnel, I was by default the administrator, as well as the head of the community health project, which we developed and successfully ran in the nearby villages.
Thus began our practical education in a life of faith and dependence on the Lord - most of the time it was tough going, but what we experienced of the Lord in terms of His provision and protection is too difficult to adequately describe in words. We faced personal issues, family difficulties, staff unrest, financial obstacles, and opposition from many quarters (including physical assault), besides the perennial shortage of doctors - but on looking back, we could say from the heart that "His Grace was sufficient for us." What I could achieve professionally was also fairly remarkable, given that I had no anesthetist, no proper modern equipment, nor any form of support, save the Presence of the Lord. Toward the latter part of our stay of nearly seven years there, my wife Joanna joined in the work by learning ultrasonography and medical ophthalmology, enabling her to start the latter department.
Then we had the opportunity to go to Sydney, Australia, for a couple of years, where I worked as a surgical registrar, gaining experience in laproscopic surgery and endoscopy, which has since stood me in good stead on my return to the mission setting. Many people did not expect us to return, but even as we experienced the abundance of all the West had to offer, it strangely cemented the fact in both our hearts that mission hospitals in India were the place we ought to be - so it was no great effort to make the decision to return, our hearts full of gratefulness to the Lord for the wonderful break He had afforded us!
We most recently worked in the largest of EHA hospitals - the 220-bed Duncan Hospital, situated in one of the most underdeveloped districts of India - East Champaran, in the neglected state of Bihar. Joanna has honed her sonographic skills to be able to single-handedly man the department, while she also contributes to the monitoring of the laboratory work. I am one of two surgeons, involved in the strategic development of the flagship hospital of EHA, as well as overseeing the community health work through the hospital.
In recent times, I also took on the additional responsibility of being one of the Regional Directors for EHA, overseeing four hospitals. This also involves praying over and planning the direction the organization needs to take, along with others on the central office team, based in Delhi. A major part of that effort is directed at recruitment-- the challenging of Christian medical professionals to either directly or indirectly contribute to the furtherance of medical missions in our country.
Most recently I have been asked to take on the mantle of Executive Director of EHA from Dr. Santosh Mathew - a role that I approach with 'fear and trembling,' yet in the quiet confidence and trust that emanates from our dependence on a sovereign God who knows the beginning from the end. At this point of political uncertainty as far as Christians in India go, I still do strongly believe that we in EHA have a tremendous opportunity to impact our nation for Christ, by initiating and implementing programs and services that stay focused on the poor and marginalized, who form a major proportion of our teeming population. The success achieved by steps taken in the recent years in interacting with the government and larger partners spur us to strive even more in this direction, as we are able to be the 'salt and light' where God has placed us.
We see our work through EHA as a great opportunity for the Gospel in largely unreached areas, which is the primary purpose of our labor, even as we seek to develop the services offered through our hospitals and community programs. While it may seem a lot to 'give up,' we have in truth gained so much experiential knowledge of the Lord that we would never want to exchange this privilege He has given us for anything else in the world!
February 17. 2015
EHA Appoints New Exective Director
The Emmanuel Hospital Association USA board of directors has appointed Robb Hansen as executive director of US operations. Dr. Howard Searle has been named president of EHA USA.
Mr. Hansen has served EHA as an outside consultant for several years. His assumption of a formal role will allow him to shoulder some of the leadership responsibilities which Dr. Searle has carried alone. Mr. Hansen said, "Ever since I began supporting EHA's efforts to serve the poor of North India I have been impressed with the staff's diligence and compassion in the name of Christ. I am honored to take a larger role and pray that the exposure and support EHA receives from its US partners will continue to expand."
As Mr. Hansen assumes greater responsibilities for fundraising efforts in the US, Dr. Searle will continue to represent the organization domestically and internationally, and will focus on developing professional partnerships which will enhance EHA's professional development efforts.
December 1. 2014
Engage Disability Conference is Successful
Praise God for a successful conference, Engage Disability, at the end of September. Over 400 people participated from hospitals, Christian health organizations, churches, and non-governmental organizations. The emphasis was on turning the conference into a movement toward including the disabled in India.
|Conference Banner With Handprints
The conference opened with the leaders praying for the conference and then signing the conference banner with a handprint. Later, all the delegates added their handprints to the banner, making it a beautiful representation of all Christians giving a hand to work toward the declaration: to see those with disability accompanied, loved, and included in the body of Christ.
The four sessions focused on looking up at God, looking into our church, looking around us at our families, and looking out to the world -- all with a focus on those with disabilities. They discussed topics such as "How can the church be more inclusive?" and "How does including the most marginalized people transform communities and make society a better place?"
A petition was formed for the Indian government demanding that they fully enshrine the UN Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities into Indian law. Two well-known disability advocates are arranging to present this to the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi.
Thirteen regional sub-groups were also set up to create a platform for unity, prayer, and synergy in their areas. Pray for success as they move toward these goals.
September 1. 2014
Dr. Mark Kniss Passes Away
Dr. Mark Kniss, who contributed significantly in the early years of EHA, passed away on June 10, 2014. His legacy with EHA goes back to 1960, when he started a clinic in India that became Nav Jivan Hospital, which was a 60-bed facility by the time he left in 1973.
|Dr. Mark Kniss
Dr. Kniss was instrumental, along with others, in the development of EHA in India when several doctors requested a Christian organization to handle the management of their hospitals.
Back in the US in 1996, he worked with several others to found EHA USA to support EHA in India. He sensed that an American presence could be very helpful for EHA. He served on the EHA USA board for many years.
After his retirement in the US, he made five trips back to India to assist at Nav Jivan Hospital, and his 2011 trip was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hospital.
Dr. Kniss was a gracious, caring man and a committed follower of Jesus Christ. He was a quiet person, so people listened when he had something to say. He will be missed by EHA and by all who knew him. Well done, good and faithful servant of the Lord.
July 30, 2014
ICMDA World Congress in The Netherlands
The International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) connects Christians in medicine and dentistry from all around the world. Uniting 69 national movements in fellowship, witness, and service, they apply biblical principles to their practices day in and day out. In addition, senior personnel reach out to Christian medical and dental students and graduates around the globe.
Every four years the ICMDA hosts a World Congress. This summer more than 1,000 delegates gathered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from July 22 to 26. Featuring the theme SERVE SHARE SHINE, sessions focused on the nature of our identities – both as Christians and as medical professionals, and explored how these can be integrated.
A student pre-congress focused on helping young people catch the vision of Christian witness and service in the healthcare fields. The goal was to assist, encourage, and equip those who are called and appointed to share this vision with upcoming generations. These sessions began with teaching on our identity in Christ, answering the question, “What does it mean to serve and follow Christ in our daily lives, either as students or as we begin to work as medical and dental professionals?” The second day focused on spiritual competencies – how to develop our own and encourage others to do so – and how the spiritual aspects affect competency in other areas. The final day looked at how to face the challenges in medical and dental practices and still be a living testimony for the Lord.
The main Congress was inaugurated with a gala dinner and an opening meeting on Tuesday evening. The keynote lecture on Wednesday was given by Gisela Schneider, a veteran female medical missionary who served many years in West Africa. She currently directs the German Institute for Medical Missions. Acknowledging the impact of current events on those gathered, Dr. Schneider facilitated a moment of silence in memory of the 193 Dutch citizens whose bodies were being returned from the Ukrainian crash site of the Malaysian airliner, shot down by rebel separatists just days before. The delegates united in prayer for the grieving families.
Wednesday evening an International Food and Games night was held. Each national delegation served food and drinks from their country, giving attendees an opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world and learn about cultural differences and habits, as well as try a few unfamiliar games.
Thursday’s keynote lecture, “Sharing in Practice,” was given by John Wyatt, a Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College in London. His current work focuses on the ethical issues raised by advances in reproductive and medical technology at the beginning of life.
The final keynote on Friday focused on “Shining in Society at Large,” and was given by Issam Raad, the Chairman of the Infectious Diseases Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Prof. Raad is also the president of an organization that helps bring physical, psychological, and spiritual healing to hurting people in the Middle East. In addition, he pastors the Arabic Evangelical Church of Houston.
Dr. Howard Searle, EHA USA Executive Director, noted, “The 15th Congress of the ICMDA concluded with a challenging message from a local Dutch pastor and great hymns of the faith sung by a combined choir assembled from members of his church, as well as doctors, medical students, residents, and junior doctors from the 69 countries represented. The closing service concluded with communion, once again reminding participants of our oneness and fellowship in Christ as we scattered to return to our diverse responsibilities.”
The best part of the Congress for Dr. Searle involved the people. “The great privilege for me attending such a Congress is the joy of seeing old friends, sometimes after a hiatus of many years, plus the many mixing opportunities to make new friends. I am reminded of how small the world is when meeting folks and realizing we have friends or circumstances in common.” As an older, experienced physician who has been privileged to observe God in action throughout his life, Searle often finds opportunities to encourage younger medical professionals as they seek to learn God’s direction for their lives. “It always seems to be a small foretaste of heaven to sing God's praises and also interact in breakout sessions and over meals with committed believers from around the world - literally! Including China!”
Dr. Searle found opportunities to mentor young people at the Congress. “Becky and I were also impressed with the openness of the young doctors and medical students from a wide array of backgrounds. We had numerous enjoyable opportunities to interact, to share something of God's faithfulness in our lives, and then to encourage and reassure them that they are special to the Lord Jesus and are loved by Him.” Dr. Searle shared promises from God's Word which have been very helpful to him: Ps. 16:11, Ps. 32:8, and Prov. 3:5, 6. He also encouraged them with the idea that their availability to serve is more important than their ability to serve. “We covenanted with several to pray with them on an ongoing basis and to keep in touch,” he added.
This year’s Congress witnessed EHA leaders in various roles. Dr. Vinod Shah, the Chair of EHA's Board in India, and a member of EHA USA’s board, is also the current CEO and the first 'non-western' leader of the ICMDA. Dr. Santhosh Mathew, EHA's Executive Director, and Dr. Anil Cherian led break-out sessions. Cherian is implementing ICMDA's initiative to train medical officers in the strife-torn nation of South Sudan. God is working through these men and women who have chosen to make themselves available to God.
July 29. 2014
Doctor Reminisces About Furthering the Kingdom
Dr. Howard Searle, a retired surgeon living in the Chicago area, helped found EHA in India more than 40 years ago and now serves as volunteer Executive Director of the organization's US operations. Read on for a Q&A to learn more of his story.
|Dr. Howard Searle
How were you first moved as a young man to serve those in need without access to care? I sensed God's call on my life at the age of 13 when I heard the challenge of Christian missions in our church in a small town in Ontario, Canada. That call of God motivated me through high school, premed studies, medical school, my internship, my surgical residency, and my nine-month fellowship in anesthesia (I was curious to learn what happened on the other side of the curtain). During the latter I learned through longtime friends that my denomination (Fellowship Baptist) had established a link with the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society in the US. As part of the British Commonwealth (which included India), they were being granted visas unlike those from the US. Within three months from the end of my anesthesia fellowship, we were in India as a family of 4 ¾, fully supported and with visas in hand. God was very good to us. As the only doctor, within two weeks I became the medical superintendent, but I knew so little of the culture and less of the local languages.
Was there something about India that captured your interest and called you to serve there?
No, I knew very little about India -- I guess I learned 'on the run.' I had been actively recruited by a mission organization with ministries in Zambia and Zimbabwe, but I sensed so many of the arrangements were just too ideal. While in the midst of exploring opportunities worldwide, we were advised of the medical ministry in Central India, and God clearly took care of the rest. After five years in that mission hospital, I was invited to become part of the formative team involved in what God brought forth into the Emmanuel Hospital Association.
What struck you the most when you began serving in India?
The friendliness, openness, and hospitality of the people, plus an awareness that God was at work, through His Church and His people in India, through whom He is continuing to do much.
October 1, 2013
Shalom Delhi 2013
Annual Report Available
The Shalom Delhi Project provides care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. They offer home-based and palliative care, work with transgenders and adolescents, and help those with TB. Learn more about the many aspects of their program. Support these relief efforts with a donation.
September 10, 2013
Bihar Floods Devastate Northeast India
Record flooding along the Ganges River has displaced thousands in villages in remote areas of the state of Bihar. Learn more about EHA's efforts to assist those affected. Support these relief efforts with a donation.
March 1, 2013
Former EHA Executive Director Honored
He served for 23 years, beginning in 1973. The first Indian Executive Director of EHA, Mr. Lalchuangliana, was honored by Dr. Howard Searle, EHA-USA's Executive Director. Dr. Searle had the privilege in the early 70s of recruiting Mr. Lalchuangliana away from his secure senior government job to serve with EHA. Dr. Searle was very happy to pay tribute to him for all he had done in leading EHA with humility and integrity for over two decades. Attending the celebration commemorating the 15th anniversary of Shalom-Mizoram's ministry were EHA staff and other dignitaries, including the Chief Minister of the State of Mizoram. EHA thanks God for faithful servants who have given much of their lives working for our cause in serving the poor.
February 26, 2013
Interested in medical missions? Want to learn more? Join us at INMED's "Exploring Medical Missions... The Road Less Traveled" Conference from May 31 to June 1 in Kansas City, MO. This event is for healthcare professionals and students, globally-minded people (including non-healthcare professionals), undergraduates, and high school students who want to progress from good intentions toward genuine service on behalf of those people most in need.
December 10, 2012
Three EHA Doctors Win ICMDA Award
Congratulations go out to three EHA doctors who won the 2012 Dignity and Right to Health Award from the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA). This international award was established to address health and development issues including HIV/AIDS.
Drs. Isac and Vijila David of Prem Jyoti Community Hospital have served in the remote and neglected area of Jharkhand, India, ever since they graduated as Family Physicians fifteen years ago. They work with the Malto tribals, focusing on health education, endemic diseases, immunization, and reproductive and child health.
Dr. Saira Paulose leads the SHALOM-Delhi HIV/AIDS unit of EHA. She has put together a team that significantly impacts many HIV-affected individuals and families. In addition to clinical care, the project’s home-based care ministers to those in poverty-stricken communities and others of migrant origin. Helping with the stigma and discrimination of the disease is an important aspect of their work.
July 9, 2012
Early Monsoon Floodwaters Hit Near Tezpur
Villagers in Assam are accustomed to the Brahamputra River overflowing its banks each year during monsoon season. But in the last two weeks, more than 2,000 villages in 27 districts have been inundated in the worst flood in a decade. At least 124 people have died in the flooding and 16 more in resulting landslides. Around 2 million people have been affected, with many having lost their homes and livestock.
Would you help EHA respond to this disaster? You can easily and safely make a donation online by clicking here. Read on to learn how EHA is responding in the name of Christ to this emergency.
May 5, 2012
Dedicated doctor to get more training...
After twelve years of faithful service at EHA hospitals, Dr. Chering Tenzing has the opportunity to go to the UK for a year of fellowship in Acute Care Medicine.
February 15, 2012
Amputee finds hope!
27-year-old Dara Singh has found hope and strength in the excellent care he received at Herbertpur Christian Hospital. [more]
January 27, 2012
Founding doctor visits India...
Dr. Howard Searle, a retired surgeon living in the Chicago area, is visiting EHA facilities across north India. Dr. Searle helped found EHA more than 40 years ago and serves as volunteer executive director of the organization's US operations.
and health care systems in countries like India provide key support
in the days and weeks immediately following a disaster. Find out
how EHA approaches these ministry opportunities.