CONVERSATIONS ON THE SERANGO
Myrtle Macdonald reconnects with friends in India where she was a missionary nurse for many years
MYRTLE MACDONALD, B.SC., U OF ALBERTA, M.SC.A MCGILL UNIVERSITY—VOICE FILE PHOTO
om, I'm John Calvin Mandal from Soura Baptist Association son of Pastor Essaw Kumar Mandal from Tarava village. Thank you for your suggestions regarding the management of the Christian hospital Seranga, as per my knowledge from Soura Baptist Association there are some MBBS graduate and many nurses have been doing the service in different places. Our soura Baptist Association we are ready to run the hospital with best equipments and staff but the present committee should allow us either handed over it.
There are Christian nurses trained in Berhampur. There are Christian Nurses trained at Chattisgar. Ribika Limma was the first Serango born Registered Nurse, trained in Pithapuram, Andhra. She married a lab technician and her son Rajesh Sehgal has an M.Sc. in Nursing and is Director of the school of nursing.
Rajesh Sehgal: Hello Myrtle. I am the only son of the late. smt Rebecka Sehgal. My father's name is Mr. Om Prakash Sehgal. I am now living at Jagdalpur (chhattisgar) along with my wife Suman and daughter Khushi. My father and we are so much happy and excited to know that you remember our family and still having concerns for us. Thank you a lot and God bless you.
Abh Beero: Many of the grandchildren of people we worked with in Serango and surrounding villages are now middle class. Many are pastors and evangelists and some have a B.Com. but it is very sad that none are MBBS doctors or Engineers.
High school teachers should have a B.Sc, and a B.Ed degree so that children will get a better education.
Anyone who has taken two years of the B.Sc. program can apply to study at Vellore or Ludhiana Christian Medical College. The standards and ethics are better than in government universities.
The students should have part time jobs for experience of life and to help pay their own way. In Canada students work part time to help pay their own way, and they also borrow money. If they get high marks they sometimes get a scholarship for a term, but not for the 5 years in medical college.
Myrtle: It is time for several of you to join together to register a loan fund. Name it in honor of someone you respect, such as Sutika Limma or Matthew Limma [or a Soura Bible translator]. Someone with a B.Com and a good bank can help get it properly designed. Rich and poor should give part of their tithe into the Loan Fund monthly or several times a year.
When a student has fees to pay he or she should sign that they will start to repay the debt three years after they graduate with the MBBS. In this way the Loan fund will be sustainable, and never be empty. This is my prayer for my beloved Oriya and Soura grandchildren.
There should be three Soura or Oriya MBBS (MD) Christian doctors in Serango village hospital, two or more in Gumma area, two or more in Udayagiri and Rayagada, five or more in Parlakhemundi and one or more in every village. It is dedicated people who are the body of Christ.
The large guest house and chapel built at Serango were not needed.
To expect to staff the hospital as we had it built up by 1963, with Telugu and foreign doctors was not sustainable.
Only self support makes the healing and gospel ministry grow. Only you can fill the need for 50 men and women doctors in Utkal Baptist Samilani [and Soura Association]. One loan fund is not enough. There should be several.
Santilata Bardhan: Myrtle, I'm so surprised by all your amazing hard work and the legacy you have left at Serango. You should really rejoice that the population is increased and growing in the Lord. I just want to take a minute and thank you a lot from my heart. You and your team are superb. I believe God is very pleased and content for all of your efforts. Praying for you all. You guys were the superb army of Christ. Praise the lord.
Could this be the 50 bed Inpatient block completed in 1963? I think so. I helped design it. Dr Eva Daniell was on leave for a year to upgrade her Medical Licence, so I was Nurse Practitioner. We had 50 to 100 out patients every day, and 7 inpatients. Dr. Macdonald often went to Chhattrapur for permits to quarry stones for foundations, buy iron rods and cement to make reinforced concrete; and to get permits for special wood from the reserve forest to burn bricks for it.
He and the local masons and carpenters went to a famous wood market and bought teak logs and had them cut into beams, door and window frames and panels. They learned how to make accurate doors. Ten years earlier the houses in Serango were built of sticks and mud. Lime was carried from Nuagoda. There were no jeepable roads.
Our road from Gumma washed apart during rains every year.
I left my heart in Serango with staff we trained and upgraded, and with friends in church where we often preached in Oriya.
[my Soura was less]. We had morning prayer on the outpatient veranda every morning. The relatives and some of the inpatients joined us. Sabes, daughter of a blind beggar became a good staff member and was taught to read by the staff. What a thrill when she did at morning prayers!
Did you say there are some Soura Christian MBBS doctors? Please give me their names and addresses.
Perhaps a prayer and planning group can be formed.
To cooperate with the COCH (Council of Christian Hospitals) should be easy because it consists only of former Canadian Baptist hospitals, all of them in Andhra except Serango. Who are the Hospital Board members from the Soura Baptist Association? They should be attending board meetings at least once a year, preferably 4 times a year. On google I found that the chair person is:
Dr. Sheila Grace Thangaraj,
Christian Medical Centre
Pithapuram, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh 533450.
The Eye Hospital and Women and Children Hospital near Parlakhemundi at Ranipet, Gajapati. is managed as part of Serango hospital. I was told that the doctors from Parlakhemundi go to Serango nearly every day, but live in Parlakhemundi. Is that true? They should live in Serango, and be born in Gajapati.
For every 3000 to 5000 Soura population there should be one MBBS Soura doctor, living in towns among the people. There should also be many Community Health Nurses with a B.Sc, RN.,RM. (Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife.) They should be teaching village women as Community Health Workers in every village.. That is what I did when I was in Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, in 1978-80, and in Berhampur 1980-81.
In 1981 the Trained Nurses Assocation of India, Odisha Branch elected me Director of Public Health Nursing for Odisha Pradesh but my visa was revoked. The government at that time revoked all missionary Visas.
Dear brothers and sisters the Lord will guide and encourage you.
PS: I am 97 so my time is running out. God is good.
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