Menno Clinic has a board of directors that is committed to staff and clients of Menno Clinic, India. We’re excited to feature the President of the Board of Directors, John C. Murray.
John is married to Krista Murray and they have three children: John N. is married to Denay (St. Paul, MN); Joel (Washington, DC); and Meghana (Hesston, KS).
After serving in congregational pastoral ministry for more than 30 years at three congregations (Holdeman Mennonite Church, Wakarusa, IN; Emma Mennonite Church, Emma, IN; Hesston Mennonite Church; Hesston, KS) John is now the Director of International Admissions at Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas, where he and Krista live.
When and how did you become connected with Menno Clinic?
Subbarao and Olga invited me to be involved with Menno Clinic, India when it was simply a passionate vision in their hearts and minds. I was pastor at Emma Mennonite Church at the time. They came to me after church one Sunday morning and said, “We want to live our faith in Christ back in our home community and we want you to help. I said, “Yeah, right.” Fortunately my skeptical response did not dissuade their passion or their invitation for my involvement.
When have you been to Menno Clinic?
I was among the group who made the first trip to Chiluvuru in January of 1997 to ask permission of the village elders to establish a medical clinic in their community. We wanted to be clear that it was our faith in Christ that called us to engaged in this project and that we would welcome others to join us in following the way of Jesus. We also wanted to be clear that we would serve all, regardless of caste or religion; we would respect all, regardless of caste or religion; we would hire anyone, regardless of caste or religion. We would express Christ’s love by serving all. That was the first of what is now about 13 or 14 trips to India in the last 21 years.
How has the ministry at Menno Clinic impacted you?
Without being involved in the ministry of Menno Clinic India we likely would not have adopted our third child, Meghana. We are grateful that she is a part of our family.
My involvement in Menno Clinic has helped me to see that when believing that all people are created in the image of God, I should not be surprised when I discover the image of God in someone who is different than I am. It has led me to understand the importance of developing relationships with people from other countries, cultures, and religions, not only so that they can see God in new ways through me, but so that I can see God in new ways through them. I have learned that love is the most transformative power in the universe. The love with which I have been embraced in Chiluvuru has transformed me. I am in awe of stories I have heard how the love that others (villagers and visitors alike) have experienced at Menno Clinic India has been transformative to them.
My involvement at Menno Clinic has filled me with passion for building connections between people of different nationalities, cultures, and religions—which has led me to my new role at Hesston College as Director of International Admissions.
What’s a favorite memory of your time at Menno Clinic?
What comes to mind first is not favorite events but people: Ammama, Koti, Revathi, Bahsu, Rahamon, Latha, Nagesh, Krishna, Radha Krishna, Sharukh, Salman, Sameer, Avinash, Mariama, Epsiba, Srinu, Mani, Nagamani, Renuka… the list could go on and on.
The dedication ceremony for the clinic when it first opened in 2002 was a big highlight. Accompanying a grieving father to the Hindu cemetery on Easter Sunday morning to remember and honor the brief life of daughter. Praying with another grieving father beside the grave of his son in the Muslim cemetery. Going to visit friends in the village and being invited in for tea and cookies by strangers when we went to the wrong house.
What are your hobbies?
Riding motorcycle, watching baseball (especially the Chicago Cubs), gardening, working on cars, home repair/remodeling projects.