If you doubt the power of God to transform even the worst situations, then read on!
Things don’t get much tougher than the situation in India at present. Around 26.75 million people have been infected with Covid19. Well over 300,000 people have died from the disease. India’s health care systems and services are buckling under the strain with medical teams working around the clock. Lack of ventilators, oxygen and medications have led to an increase in deaths. Desperately sick patients are gasping for breath in makeshift tents in carparks and many are dying untreated at home or on the streets. Cremation services are overwhelmed. A vaccine shortage means that multiple millions are still vulnerable. On the face of things, there seems little to give thanks to God for.
But worshipping and giving thanks to God, even in the toughest circumstances is part of the DNA of Dr Deepak Singh and his wife, Dr Ashita Singh. This inspiring and deeply faithful Christian couple run Chinchpada Hospital, a small, 50-bedded rural mission hospital in Chinchpada, a remote, impoverished tribal region in the Maharashtra state. The hospital exists to serve the most marginalised and destitute in the name of Jesus and to share his love and truth with all who come through its doors. It’s no wonder that the presence of God and his divine grace and power are manifestly, magnificently at work in this outpost of heaven. Dr Ashita’s face shines as she shares what God is doing at Chinchpada Hospital:
‘Many of those we have cared for have hungrily received salvation through faith and declared Jesus Christ as Lord even minutes before they died. Long conversations with people of other faiths have prodded them to search their own scriptures and beliefs in the light of the Truth that we proclaimed to them. Some of them could not deny that despite all their efforts to reach God, they saw that we had something that they did not yet have. We have had testimonies of people having seen Jesus. One lady deteriorated in the ward. We had shared Jesus with her over the two days before she went downhill. She was put on a ventilator, but we had little hope that she would make it. She required ventilation for a week and made a remarkable recovery. Later she told us that while she was in the Intensive Care Unit, she had a vision of Jesus. He stood in the middle of a river, calling her to come to him and saying he would help her cross over. Taking her by the hand, he brought her safe to the other side. She said that she now surrenders her life completely to this God who reached out to her with his forgiveness, love and healing.’
Not everyone makes it through though and caring for people who are desperately sick and dying takes its toll on the hospital staff who are working without respite. Many members of staff fell ill with Covid despite having had vaccinations because of the high and repeated exposure to the virus. But by God’s grace, no one was critically ill. However, despite being hard-pressed, the team are not crushed. They count it pure joy to serve Christ in this way. Explains Dr Ashita, ‘He gives us the joy and privilege of sharing the good news of his redeeming, forgiving love through His finished work on the cross with countless people who are in their sick beds. These conversations will continue as these patients return for review to the outpatient department.’
She continues to share examples of God’s faithful provision of oxygen cylinders, food for the patients and other resources. It’s obvious that there is open heaven over Chinchpada Hospital and its faith-filled, faithful team.
Let’s allow God to challenge and speak to us through the testimony of Dr Deepak and Dr Ashita. What does he want us to learn through their story? What can we apply to our own situation? How does he want us to respond?
One thing is for sure: God is advancing his kingdom – particularly amongst the most marginalised. Let’s align our hearts with his, keep in step with him and be ready to respond to the opportunities he will put our way to bring his life-to-the-full to those on the margins.
Please pray that:
- the Chinchpada Hospital team will be able to grieve healthily after the unspeakable suffering and countless deaths they have witnessed over the past few weeks and that God will restore them.
- they will be able to begin to care for the many non-Covid patients who have suffered during the overwhelming second surge, because of a lack of services for them.
- as the palliative care team begins to return to the community, they will be empowered to speak the words of Jesus to a grieving community that has been devastated by the pandemic in countless ways. That streams of living water would flow in this dry and barren land.
To find out more about the work of Chinchpada Hospital, visit https://www.medicassistinternational.org/india/