Latha is one of the long-term members of our staff. She enjoys her work in the clinic as custodian and takes pride in her work, keeping the buildings clean and attractive. As a Christian, the beauty of character is evidenced in her hospitality to guests to the clinic, and as a gracious hostess by inviting guests to visit in her home. She loves to be of service to Ammamma (Olga’s mother).
Latha has dealt with immense tragedy in her life. As is typical in Indian society, she was married at the young age of 14, by arrangement of her parents and those of the groom. Very likely she did not go to live with her husband, Nagewara Rao, until several years later, and their daughter, Jyothirmayi, was born when Latha was 19.
Five years later she was widowed when her husband died of suicide. It is not uncommon for young men to become caught in debt, which they are unable to repay, coupled with gambling losses and addiction to alcohol. Interest rates are exorbitant and moneylenders are merciless. Suicide appears to be the only way out.
At age 24 Latha was faced with raising her daughter alone. She is now age 38 and her employment at Menno Clinic for the past 7 or 8 years has enabled her to support herself and provide an education for Jyothirmayi who is in her third year of college. It is unusual for widows to remarry, and presently Latha remains with her husband’s family and is involved in the care of her aging father-in-law.
With no government plan for social security, one depends on family to provide for them as they age, and so it is that Latha’s hope lies in her daughter being able to get a good job and marriage so she in turn can be cared for.
The ministry at Menno Clinic come full circle in Latha’s story. Not only does she serve the clinic by using her gifts through hospitality, care taking and making the grounds beautiful, but the clinic gives Latha confidence as a woman, mother, and widow. Jesus calls us to minister to orphans and widows, and Menno Clinic is a place which reciprocally gives back to Latha, her daughter, and hope for their future by giving her independence and value in her God-given gifts as a woman.
Your investment in Menno Clinic provides in many ways the casual onlooker may not see. Latha’s story in one of them.
Thank you for investing in the vision of Menno-Clinic, India.