November 9, 2021
I am privileged to contribute a short article to the Vellore Foundation’s digital newsletter “Passages”. The article can be found in page 5 in https://vellorecmc.org/passages-issue/passages-newsletter-edition-2/
It is my amazing privilege to learn about the rich culture of, and to interact with so many Indian friends of different social backgrounds in my almost 30 years of India ministry. It is an equal honor for me to walk in the path of Christian Medical College Vellore and the American Baptist partnership journey. I am deeply touched by the beautiful spirit and professional excellence of both local leaders and medical personnel and missionaries from other countries.
Among the saints is Dr. Carol Jameson, an American Baptist missionary from Southern California and a graduate of Stanford University. She was a blessed one, who worked closely with Dr. Ida Scudder in the early days of CMC, and she paid special attention to the medical care for women and children. Dr. Jameson was the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of CMC in the 1920s and she wrote a book called “Be Thou my Vision” (Memoirs of Dr. Carol of Vellore). The title of the book is named after Dr. Scudder’s favorite hymn. Dr. Jameson’s story continues till today via her family foundation to support the healing ministry of CMC.
Dr. Robert and Lucile Carman are two other saints from the American Baptist family. I witnessed how joyful they were in the CMC community when I visited and stayed with them in Vellore. Songs, and prayers, and friendship! Yes, in addition to their commitment and outstanding professional work in CMC, they told me many times, “No, do not misunderstand us saying we are suffering in our missionary service. We are enjoying the people and the culture. God has put us in a great nation to serve.” In returning to the US, with no hesitation, Bob accepted the invitation to serve as the Director of the New York-based Vellore Board (the current Vellore Foundation) to continue another arena of service for CMC.
Many times when we promote Christian missions from the west to the east, we only pay attention to bringing in western knowledge and technology, and unintentionally put down the local people we are called to serve, and ignore the wisdom, traditions, and rich resources already there. Fortunately, the real mission story is God’s impossible love through Christ breaks down the cultural and ethnic barriers. The local and the foreign enrich each other’s humanity, and together we restore the human dignity and harmony in the original design of God’s creation. CMC Vellore is the living witness of this mission and beauty.