A Note from the Organising Team :
The theme for this year is …
“Transformed for Transformation”
2 Cor 3:18 and John 14:12
What is the purpose of my life? What is God’s mission for me?
Jesus calls us to follow him so that we may bear fruit and continue the work He started (John 14:12), to be involved in His mission. This awesome work that we are called to, begins with our own inner transformation..
The work of Christ is to transform us, moulding and shaping us into His image (2 Cor 3:18), to produce His character in us. We are now called to be agents of transformation wherever we go, so that Christ may bring His life to the world around through us.
The story of medical missions has been one of transformation – of people, of places and situations, but the process first begins within us.
Transformed into His image … to be agents of His Transformation.
What does it mean to be transformed into the image of Christ?
Come let us explore!
Exploring the theme – Transformed for transformation. These sessions are open to all participants.
Sam Thomas, trained as a surgeon and leadership consultant, served in missions for more than 35 years. Currently Sam is the Executive Director for DAI-India and is also an adjunct professor at the New Theological College. Sam has passion to see ‘His Kingdom come’.
Shashi Thomas, Sam’s wife, trained as a nurse, served with EHA for more than two decades in nursing administration and now involved in teaching and mentoring many young people. Sam and Shashi together mentors many couples to grow into Christ likeness. Shashi’s passion is intercession.
Sujith, an alumnus of Christian Medical College, trained as a surgeon and along with his wife Sunitha work in Broadwell Christian Hospital, Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh. His passion for the Lord and His work was evident right from his time in medical college and he went on to fulfil his calling in North India, faithfully serving in Fatehpur for the last decade. The hospital, a unit of EHA, serves the urban community around as well as the communities in the villages around Fatehpur. The hospital has been bringing about a transformation in the lives of people, not just through clinical services, but also through social initiatives, vocational training for young adults, advocacy for community rights, marriage counselling, education, agriculture and a host of other initiatives.
More importantly, Sujith is a person who has been profoundly transformed within himself through the work he has been involved in. A passionate individual, he has a natural inclination towards ministering to the youth and mentoring young men and women. He lives with his wife Sunitha and two children, Sowmya and Saral and two dogs in a vibrant community in Fatehpur.
Medical Mission presentations
Presentations by individuals and families from the mission field; inspiring stories of how God has been transforming individuals and places.
Joydeepa and Famkima have worked in various mission hospitals in Orissa for more than two decades and are currently based at The Leprosy Mission Hospital, Purulia. Joydeepa has completed her Family Medicine and Fam is an ophthalmologist.
The Leprosy Mission Hospital in Purulia is a 128 year old institution and the couple have been involved in medical, surgical and rehabilitative services to people affected by leprosy and their communities in and around Purulia District. They are also involved in research studies related to leprosy.
Purulia is a small farming town, a six-hour train journey from Kolkata. There have been working in this hospital for the last 17 years, despite the opportunities for a better salary in a big city. The district is prone to drought and poverty is rampant. Health facilities are limited to the District Hospital and few small nursing homes; one has to travel about 80-120 kms for other services. Some of the challenges they face include providing services to our patients which is affordable to free for the very poor, getting the skilled staff and the greatest challenge is to get DEDICATED DOCTORS.
They are blessed with one daughter, Abigail who is doing her Advertising and Marketing in Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai.
Links and other details:
Learn more about them at
Purulia is a district headquarters in South of Bengal. The nearest airport is Ranchi ( 120 kms) and Kolkata (350 kms) The nearest railway station is Purulia Station ( about 6 kms from the campus). The nearest cities around are Bokaro (45kms) Jamshedpur (88ms) and Dhanbad (80 kms).
Drs. Mary and Rajkumar work in KC Patty primary health centre providing health care to 15000 people in a remote area of the Palani hills in Tamil Nadu. Mary completed her undergraduate training and MD in obstetrics and gynaecology in CMC Vellore. Having worked in the Kalrayan hills and the Christian Fellowship Hospital in Oddanchatram, she shifted to the practice of family medicine in the hills in 2008. Dr Rajkumar completed his undergraduate and postgraduate study in general medicine in the UK before moving to the Christian Fellowship Hospital in Oddanchatram. He has worked in KCpatty as a family physician since 2001 and does some locum work in remote Australian communities as a GP.
Dr. Rajkumar and Dr. Mary Ramasamy will be facilitating a breakout session focusing on Family medicine and primary care in India. The breakout session will include case histories to discuss and demonstrate the challenging and rewarding scope of family medicine and the desperate need for trained family physicians in India so that we can have a fairer and inclusive health care system. It will include the range of medical conditions managed, the integration of emergency, acute medicine and preventive care and the challenges of coping with undifferentiated problems with limited resources but still being able to provide the best evidence based health care that is tailored to an individual’s unique social economic and personal circumstances and wishes
A lover of music, the arts and good food, Johan is also a physiotherapist. He competed his undergraduate training at CMC Vellore, a place which God used to change his life in the most wonderful ways.
He went on to work with Broadwell Christian Hospital, Fatehpur – a unit part of the EHA group of hospitals, where he served for 2 years as a physiotherapist. In the time spent there, he had the task of starting a new department which turned out to be a great therapy centre for children with disabilities, helping start off the Community Based Rehab program. Besides this, he was an all round live-wire, involving himself in various other initiatives, helping out in music among other things. In his words, “Many lessons were learnt, some the easy way, some the hard way but like steel on steel God used these experiences to sharpen and transform me for the better.”
Johan now works with a Trust that is dedicated for the betterment of persons with Spinal Cord Injury across India and is most excited about the new adventures God has in store for him.
Vijay Anand Ismavel and Ann are doctors at Makunda Christian Hospital, Assam. Theirs is an inspiring story of commitment and perseverance in a needy and remote region, serving faithfully in the hospital and transforming it from near-closure to a growing, vibrant community.
Vijay Anand is a pediatric surgeon who is also an avid photographer of wildlife in and around the hospital campus. His wife, Ann is an anesthetist who also oversees the obstetric work. They work with a team of young doctors, nurses and other staff who manage the clinical and administrative work of the hospital. Seeing the dire need for education among the local population, a primary school was started with residential facilities, which is now a well-recognised and popular institution in the region. Besides these, they have started farming, animal rearing and other income generating initiatives for the locals and the hospital. The hospital is situated on a vast stretch of forested land and the biodiversity programme of the hospital and school is another highlight of this institution.
Vijayanand and Ann were recipients of the Paul Harrison award in 2016 – given by CMC Vellore to those who have spent a lifetime in medical missions. They live in Makunda with their two daughters and an assortment of creatures domestic and wild.
Learn more about the hospital at http://www.makunda.in
Dr Nibedita Pramanik is the Director of Evangelical Hospital at Khariar, Odisha. A surgeon by profession, she completed her MBBS and MS in General Surgery from CMC, Vellore.
Evangelical Hospital, Khariar is a 110 bedded rural mission hospital located in Nuapada, Odisha – one of the most remote districts of India. During her service obligation at Khariar (after MBBS), she was challenged by the tremendous needs of the people of the area.
Her heroes were women missionaries from various countries who came to serve the poor and needy in India. This led to a question within her – Why can’t Indians serve their own suffering fellow-people in India. Convinced of God’s calling she committed herself to serve the poor and downtrodden in this region and went back to Khariar after her post-graduation.
She has been associated with the hospital for the past 7 years and has stayed beyond her obligatory period, continuing to serve joyfully to the glory of God. It is her dream to build up the hospital to be a tertiary level centre, providing the best possible care to all irrespective of economic status.
Read more about the hospital at – http://cmcvelloremissions.org/index.php/mission-network/item/44-evangelical-hospital-khariar-odisha
Dr. Oby Cherian grew up in a drought-hit area between Dindigul & Palani called Oddanchatram. His parents Drs. Jacob & Mary Cherian (Mary – batch of 1946) were part of the pioneering team along with Dr. A. K Tharien and others.
He joined CMC in the year 1975 and on completion of MBBS he went to serve in the Inter-ashram hospital at Ambilikkai. He returned to CMC for both MS and MCh. He along with his wife Sheila (Batch of 1975), a dermatologist stayed on till date serving through Christian Fellowship Community Health Center, Ambilikai.
Although a trained Urologist, he continues to do other surgical procedures depending on the need in the hospital. He has a passion for missionary service and holds membership in various Christian organizations. He is also a writer; having authored several books and is a regular columnist in the Light of Life Magazine. Oby is gifted with a characteristic laugh that keeps him going in all situations.
Charles Premkumar Joseph is Speaker and Writer with RZIM Life Focus Society. An alumnus of the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, he trained, practised and taught Physiotherapy there for 15 years.
He has served in multiple capacities including Training, Research, Curricular Design and Youth Apologetics. He is currently the Editor of our Apologetics Quarterly, Engage. He has spoken in various academic settings including JNU-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, NEHU-Shillong, Acharya Bangalore B School, on topics ranging from Humanities to Science and Business Management. He enjoys public and private Q&A sessions and delights in discussing faith one-on-one with both seekers and skeptics. Charles, his wife Priscilla and their young daughter Mishaelle, make their home in Mumbai.
Charles will be introducing the field of apologetics as well as answering questions that may act as ‘mind-blocks’ to faith.
Dr.Rabin trained in GDC, Mumbai where he did his BDS and MDS in maxillofacial surgery. He went on to do his fellowship in UK where he further trained in General Dentistry. On returning to India he settled into CMC where he has helped build up post graduate training fellowships in Advanced General Dentistry and Advanced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
His wife Dr.Shirley works as an ophthalmologst in Karigiri mission hospital, near Vellore. They have 2 sons.
The dental department at CMC provides an opportunity for dentists to learn and practice their profession in the Spirit of Christ through excellence in service, education and clinical research ( in line with the motto of the institution). It collaborates with the distance education department to assist mission hospital dental departments become post graduate training centres in general and hospital dentistry.
Dr Balamugesh, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, CMC Vellore, was born into a traditional Hindu family. During his school years God decided to call his family into a loving relationship in a miraculous way. He did his undergraduate studies in Govt. Medical College, Trivandrum, before doing MD in General medicine and DM in Pulmonary & Critical care from PGI, Chandigarh. He has been serving in CMC, Vellore for the past 11 years. His wife, Jenifer, works in CMC, Vellore as a palliative care physician. They are blessed with two sons, Abdiel and Reuel.
1. Transformation in rural medical missions
Famkima and Joydeepa
Andi and Sheba Eicher
Medical missions is a healing ministry of which the core is the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ. Fruitful medical missions see people who receiving healing and wholeness, individuals and families becoming disciples of Jesus Christ and new worshipping groups being established among communities groups where Jesus was not experienced before.
Medical missions in India have historically started in underserved and marginalised communities – many of whom were in rural areas. Rapid changes in our country mean many previously rural areas have now become semi-urban or ‘rurban’ – but large portions of our country continue to be underserved despite 70 years of independence. We continue to have people who are living on the margins – both in terms of living lives of barely being able to survive due to poverty and debt as well as people who are living in various forms of bondages, far from the freedom and joy God has made them for.
God’s call for his children is to make declare the good news to all – and to make disciples of each group – which includes the many underserved, unseen people who live in our rural and periurban parts of our country. Medical missions have unique opportunities to be participants in God’s big plan of reconciling all to Himself – of changing us from darkness to light
How do we see transformation take place in rural medical missions?
We are looking for the transformation of individuals, the transformation of communities, and our own transformation as healing servants of Jesus Christ.
In this ‘break-out’ session, we will explore these transformations, looking at practical examples and challenges and learnings that we experience serving through a mission hospital in a North Indian district which is 85% rural. We will look at what God has been doing and which ways we see as the most potential possibilities to move forward and fulfil the transforming mandate in our times.
We will especially focus on the challenges of running a small mission hospital in a changing medical environment, examine the wonderful potentials of partnering with church planting movements, look at new areas of engagement with the marginalised through palliative care and helping people prevent and manage non-communicable diseases, and ask questions about how to keep on serving in places which can be lonely and hard.
2. Transformation in overseas medical mission
This session describes the setting up of a rural health programme in 28 scattered villages in a remote, high mountain valley in Central Asia there were no medical services at all. The project trained community health workers, promoting community engagement, and sought to bring hope and transformation to a very poor group of people.
3. Overcoming mind-blocks to faith – RZIM faculty, Charles Joseph
Who is God? Is there really a God? Is Jesus the only way? But what about science? Why is there evil if God is love?
The Christian faith is not a leap in the dark. It is not a ‘blind faith’ as some assume it to be. It is a faith that is not shy of reasoning; rather, it is indeed a time-tested and rational faith, open to questioning and unafraid of dealing with difficult intellectual issues. It is also surprisingly full of answers to some of our deepest questions about life, meaning and purpose.
This session equips the ‘questioning Christian’ and the ‘thinking Christian’ find logical and winsome answers to mind blocks against his faith. An interactive session with time devoted to answering questions from the participants.
4. Transformation in Indian health-care through primary health
Rajkumar and Mary Ramasamy
What is the need of the hour in India today – more super-specialists or more physicians who practice holistic family medicine and provide primary care?
This breakout session will use case histories to demonstrate the challenging and rewarding scope of family medicine and the desperate need for trained family physicians in India so that we can have a fairer and inclusive health care system. It will include the range of medical conditions managed in primary care and how there is the integration of emergency care, acute care and preventive care. We will discuss the challenges of coping with undifferentiated problems with limited resources while still being able to provide the best evidence-based health care tailored to an individual’s unique social economic and personal circumstances and wishes. This holistic care and deeper involvement in the lives of patients and their struggles in family medicine allows a natural way in which we can show God’s love through the care given.
5. Transformation in Allied Health –
As an allied health professional, you have the tremendous opportunity to bring about transformation in the places you work. The objectives of this breakout session are as follows:
Day 1: Have you been transformed? If not, what’s stopping you? If you have been, are you living it out? Are you being an agent of change or are you happy in your own little bubble? Is it possible to be an agent of change with the work we do?
Day 2: A practical look at working in a hospital set-up as a transformed person of God
- Work ethic of a person who loves God
- Role of a transformed person in a team – Are you a team player – working as a leader and under a leader.
- Treating people from Gods perspective
- Having fun during and after work – Is it possible to have fun doing God’s work?
6. Personal life, challenges and opportunities of a Christian nurse – Sashi Thomas
The personal life of a nurse: As a committed child of God, paying attention to personal growth in relationship with the Lord and into Christ likeness is key to any service. Any service is only as good as the service provider. To be an agent of change where God has placed, it is important to abide in Him and out of this life in Christ, we serve. Spiritual disciplines pay an important role to function with clarity from our identity. Passionately loving Him is vital to service which brings glory to God.
The nursing profession is a great opportunity to understand those whom we are serving as people created in God’s image and have body soul and spirit and we are not just attending to the needs of the body. This understanding will radically change the way we serve. This is where compassion will become an overflow of passion.
Challenges: Personal, professional and political: We are living in stressful times in all these areas. Is it not for such a time as this that God has placed us where we are. Godly Kingdom values, ethical values and personal values guide us in making choices and determine the quality of our service.
What a way to extend God’s Kingdom through our service! Come and explore this together and be blessed.
7. Purity and holiness – Oby Cherian
Modern day Idols.
Our God is a holy God and he wants us to be transformed from deep within to be holy and useful in His mission. We are in a war zone and the decisions we make every day can help one side or the other. What are the things that keep us from holiness and purity? This breakout session will look at the battle for our minds, hearts and our soul’s destiny and explore our modern day idols.
- God and Money – How money can keep us from holiness and purity. A. money and missions. B. security and missions. Jesus 2nd temptation.
- Jesus and Pleasure – How pleasure can keep us from holiness and purity. Jesus 1st temptation. How the body is different from the flesh.
- The Holy Spirit versus Self – How desire for name, fame and glory can take us away from the Lord. Jesus’s last temptation.
8. Finding your life partner – Vijayanand and Ann
A well-chosen life partner is an important asset for fruitful medical missionary work for those who choose to marry. This decision can be a great blessing or a great burden and therefore must be made with great care. Let us consider the factors that are at play as this decision-making process is played out and prayerfully take steps asking God for wisdom so that the best decision is made.
Should I marry? What are the factors to consider when choosing? What are the dangers? Let us explore the answers to these questions for each of our lives.
Those interested may read more about this at the following link: https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2012/05/22/wisely-choosing-a-life-partner-for-an-aspiring-medical-missionary/
9. Christian Dental Practice
Dr. Rabin Chacko, Professor, and Head -Dental and oral surgery unit 1. CMC Vellore
As Christian dentists/ dental students do we see dentistry as a calling or as a job/career? Do we believe that we are in the center of God ‘s will and that He has made no mistake?
Are we Christians who practice dentistry or are we Dentists/dental students who also happen to be “Christian”?
A Christian dentist can be defined as one who answers God’s call to be a dentist and who displays competence, character and ethical values practicing dentistry for the glory of God.
To explore the reality of Christian Dentistry and meet up with other dentists/dental students in God’s family we have planned a breakout session during Shiloh.
We will have the opportunity to discuss with senior dentists the avenues available for Christian dentists to fulfill God’s purposes and calling.
So come, see, listen to testimonies and reason through the questions “How do I know my options (what is God’s will for me) when I finish BDS/MDS ?” and “What are the opportunities for Christian ministry /mission as a dentist?”
Besides the above seminars and breakout sessions, there will be the usual programmes that we have every year as well as some new surprises…
Bible quiz – Win prizes and share in the excitement of competing with others…
Music concert – An evening of worship and singing led by the NLAG worship band from Chennai. This is a time of celebration in the presence of the Lord.
Meet the leaders – An opportunity to meet and talk to the leaders and facilitators