“The Woman Who Couldn’t Say No”
As Dr. Suranjan welcomed us that night he reminded us of the beginnings of the Christian Medical College and the Hospital as he told the story of Dr. Ida Scudder, “the woman who couldn’t say no.” Ida Scudder was the daughter of an American missionary couple in Tindivanam, India. In school and in America, enjoying a full and active life filled with activities with her friends, Ida had no desire to spend her life as a missionary. Visiting her parents in India, Ida was busily writing letters to her friends back home when she was interrupted by a knock on the door.
Ida began to hear the voice of God calling here to become a missionary doctor in India. She couldn’t say no. She had to serve the women of India. Graduating from medical school she moved to Vellore where she began her work in a one room clinic where she lived. With the determination that only comes from God, she met challenge after challenge and with God’s help overcame them all. Today, the CMC Hospital serves an average of 1,900 in patients and more than 5,000 outpatients a day. It is an incredible site as people come from all over the country to be treated at this great place. It shows what can be done when we don’t say “no” to God.
Dr. Scudder expressed the vision of the hospital like this: “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” For the CMC Hospital it is a true today as it was at its beginning. By sharing this vision, it becomes possible for we United Methodists to achieve our goal to significantly improve the health of the poor and the most vulnerable through the Global Health Initiative.
By the Rev. Sam Dixon, Deputy General Secretary for UMCOR