India Immunizations Trip: September 5-18
Students and Professors Serving Others
By: Rachel Wood
In September, the Walla Walla University School of Nursing organized the fourth mission trip to India to provide vaccinations for children.
Led by nursing faculty, Rosemarie Buck Khng, Everly Batuik, Fred Troutman, and Karen Tetz, 15 students assisted with the distribution of Hep A and B, typhoid, DtAP, and meningococcal vaccines to more than 1,000 people in and around two Seventh-day Adventist schools in the states of Assam and Meghalaya in northeast India.
The group visited Irvine School, which has 150 students, and provided vaccines, facilitated church programs, and educated the students in habits of good hygiene such as hand washing. This school was established in the 1960s by an Australian woman named Moira Irvine for the purpose of educating the children of tea estate workers. Even today, she is still actively involved in the school’s operations and success.
From there, the group traveled to Riverside Adventist School, which has more than 800 students, where the team continued its work in immunizations and health education. This school was built by Maranatha Volunteers International about six years ago.
“I want to report that the trip was a resounding success,” Rosemarie Buck Khng says. “The highlight of the trip is to see the children we sponsor and to be reassured that they are doing well and are happy.” She also mentioned the creation of strong friendships between the students, faculty, and staff of the schools as being positive aspects of the trip.
Many of the trip participants sponsor one or more children from disadvantaged circumstances to provide them with the opportunity to attend school through Adventist Child India. (More information about sponsoring a child through this organization at www.acichild.com/.)
Buck Khng says she witnessed the Lord at work in a young man’s life during their mission trip. “During previous India Immunization trips, this young professional Hindu gentleman assisted with the logistical needs of the trip. Over time, he has become a personal friend of the team leaders. As he became more involved in helping to make the mission trip possible, he began to ask many questions about Christianity and was interested in finding out why we would travel so far from home to serve others. While riding in the back of his car to gather supplies, the team leaders noticed some Adventist literature in his car. He told them that he was curious about the Adventist religion and went to the SDA headquarters for more information about the church.”
Reflecting on her experiences on these mission trips, Buck Khng says, “On some of the previous trips we have encountered difficult circumstances in which we saw the hand of God at work, such as in the collapse of a bridge or a potentially disastrous car accident. Each time God intervened and there was no loss of life. This time we wondered what might be thrown at us.”
“Fortunately this time there were no life threatening situations,” Buck Khng continues. “However, we learned that there would be a strike for the two days following our arrival at the second school, in which all roads are blocked and people are not allowed to be out and about. The timing allowed us just the right window of opportunity to arrive safely at the second school.”
For more information about the India Immunizations Trip or how to become a part of next year’s trip, please visit https://www.facebook.com/india.immunizations.
Published October 28, 2013.