How it all started
The Indian Christian Mission Centre (ICMC) in Salem, South India came into being in 1988 when The Reverend Dr Jayaraj Krishnan (Pastor Jay) and his wife Christy, took in 12 orphans to add to their family of three children. Pastor Jay was trained as a Church of the Nazarene Minister, served as a missionary in the Philippines, gained his doctorate in Manila and Pastored a church near Mumbai for 12 years. However, Christy and Jayaraj had both been brought up in Indian orphanages, and had determined to dedicate their lives to helping orphaned and abandoned children. Since 1988, their compassion and Christian ethos has become the framework for the love and nurturing of thousands of children at the ICMC orphanages in Salem. Jayaraj and Christy are now helped by their adult children and spouses; Dr Neva, Rev.David and Dr Sophia, Rev.Bright and Dr Joy.
Teams from Ireland have been visiting and supporting the work of the ICMC since 1998. The Mission centre is also supported by churches, schools and individuals from around the world, including Australia, England, Holland and the USA.
In 2008 a team from Belvoir Parish visited ICMC. Inspired by their programme of care and education for some of the world’s poorest people, and wanting to help further the work of the Mission, a vision for building a hospital was born. Belvoir began its Jubilee India Project to celebrate the church’s fiftieth anniversary in 2012.
“Mindful of God’s grace to us, we felt it was right to mark this special occasion by showing God’s love to some of the world’s most marginalized people.” Canon Tom Keightley
In 2011 a team from Swanlinbar Kildallon Parishes paid their first visit to ICMC and they too are now working with the Mission Centre to see the vision for a hospital become reality.
The aim was to raise £100,000 in three years. That target has been met. The foundations and ground floor of the hospital have been built. It is estimated that another £210,000 is needed to complete and equip a 350 bed hospital.
St Patrick’s Mission Hospital is being built at the ICMC’s Promised Land Orphanage complex outside Salem in Tamil Nadu, South India.
ICMC has a number of schools, day-care centres, Further Education Colleges, and 3 orphanages ( House of Peace c 100 boys and girls in 2 hostels in Salem City- Eden Garden c 100 boys and Promised Land c 600 boys and girls in the countryside outside Salem)
To build and support a Christian run hospital that will provide free healthcare to the poorest in society, regardless of caste or creed.
‘Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25: 34-36
Why a hospital?
- Poverty is still prevalent in much of India. 30% of the population live below the international poverty line. 50% live on less than $2 a day. 68% make a living working the land. Crop failure, illness or accident can result in un-repayable debt leading farmers to abandon their children, flee to the cities and even take their own lives.
- There is a great need in the local area for free or affordable health care. There are many villages and hill tribes in the vicinity who have no choice but to make the journey into Salem city and pay for hospital treatment.
- The orphanage at the Promised Land complex has 600 resident children who all need medical care and sometimes emergency assistance.
- The ICMC has a Nursing College at the Promised Land complex as part of its provision of Further Education but in order for its students to be fully accredited they have to gain work experience in a Government Licensed hospital. At the moment they have to travel quite a distance. Having a hospital on the doorstep will make the college a very popular choice and benefit the whole orphanage.
- There has been hostility and opposition from some of the local villagers to the Christian witness in this area. It is hoped that a hospital offering treatment and care to local people will help break down barriers and soften hearts towards the work of ICMC and the Gospel.
- This hospital will be a vital part of the overall strategy to provide the orphans with opportunities for training and future employment and will play a hugely important role in the future of the Mission.
Will you PARTNER with the ICMC to finish the project?
What seemed an almost impossible target (£100,000) has been met already. Will you help raise the £220,000 needed to finish building and fitting the hospital? “You can be confident that your part in this venture will bless the lives of countless people for years to come.” Canon Tom Keightley
St Patrick’s Mission Hospital Steering Group
The aim of this group is to increase support for the Hospital across Ireland.
Rev Jeremy Mould (Chairman)
Mr Andrew Young (Hon Secretary)
Dr Damian Chandler
Miss Avril Graham
Miss Gail Lovet
Mr Neill Thompson FRCS
As Churches become partners with us and the ICMC to build, equip and support the Mission Hospital we plan to add a representative from each Church to the Steering Group.
Rev Nicholas Wainwright is the International President of ICMC and his website is http://www.shiningfaces.org. There are many individuals and a few churches in Australia, England, The Netherlands and the USA that support many aspects of the work of the ICMC.
St Patrick’s Mission Hospital is a project that relies on the support of individuals and churches in Ireland.
Current Partner Churches
Belvoir Parish C of I
Swanlinbar Kildallon Group of Parishes