This has been my third trip to Chiluvuru. The first being for the dedication of the Medical Clinic in January 2002 and the second being for the dedication of the Eye and Dental Clinic in January 2007. As was my experience before, I found the people to be friendly and generous. I share an observation and a highlight from my trip.
First, the observation. It seems that the standard of living in the village has increased quite dramatically in the last thirteen years. When I was last in Chiluvuru, thatch-roofed huts with dirt floors were common family living quarters. This time I saw very few of those type of dwellings. There were some, but not many.
Instead, I saw beautiful concrete buildings, some that were two or three stories tall with ornate doors. Dirt roads had been replaced with concrete streets. I saw many more automobiles traveling on those narrow streets. While I am certain that not everyone is enjoying the economic improvement, it appeared that the village is doing better financially. Much of this may be attributed to the possibility that the new state capitol will be located close to Chiluvuru.
The highlight from this trip is that I was able to observe, first-hand, a cataract surgery performed. I was actually in the operating room with the doctor, not three feet from the surgery being done. Eight cataract surgeries are performed at the Eye Clinic each Tuesday morning. As I was watching and considering what was being done, Luke 4:18-19 came to mind, where Jesus defines His ministry as follows…
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
What a privilege it is for us to be a part of Jesus’ ministry in the village of Chiluvuru, India!
Gene Hartman, Pastor, Emma Church: An Anabaptist Fellowship; Board Member