I was introduced to Menno clinic from John Murray in high school, always paying attention to the growth through my medical education, and always being disappointed when my schedule would not allow me to join one of the trips. I have taken 3 trips thus far to India and joined the Board in 2016. Each trip has been transformative for me, and each time I have felt that God gets bigger and the world gets smaller.
On my first trip in 2013, I was overcome by the hospitality of the people in Chiluvuru. It was my first time really connecting with people outside of Christianity. I sat and talked about Hinduism with Ammama and Padma. We were invited to the home of our bus driver who is Muslim. His wife and sister took us into their home and removed their Birkas and I felt a sense of connection and love that has always been difficult for me to articulate. I was then and continue to be so impressed by the way in which Menno Clinic serves the needs of the entire community including all religions in Chiluvuru.
My second trip was with a much smaller group. On this trip the physicians took a holiday and I was charged with seeing all of the clinic patients one day. One of the nurses skillfully translated for me and guided me through the usual care of Typhoid and other diseases I had honestly never encountered in my training. This was a lesson in faith and trust for both the patients and myself. Caring for people through a language barrier comes from God’s love connecting us together – this is evident in the physician patient relationships but even more so through the strong bonds I have formed with the staff at Menno Clinic. Their generous hearts have transformed my view of hospitality.
I made my 3rd trip to India 2.5 years ago, with John and my husband, Stan. During that trip I was pregnant with my son Harvey, and Ammama hosted a baby shower for me. I still struggle to articulate how grateful I am for the outpouring of love from Ammama. It was an amazing experience to be blessed by the women of Chiluvuru.
After each of these trips, I have often felt like I got so much more than I gave and struggled with how I could do more for this organization that I hold so dear to my heart. On our way back to the States after the last trip, I was so honored to be asked to join the Board of Directors for Menno Clinic. Through this process I have come to know a wonderful group of people who have welcomed me into the process of how we continue to grow and make Menno Clinic India stronger.
Written by Kelli Krase, Board Member