A Journey of Faith

30 Sep

My wife Ann and me were privileged to speak last year at the LEADTalks 2019 conference (1) in Bangalore – a forum that challenges and encourages young Christian people to live lives of purpose, integrity and excellence – we thank the organizers for the opportunity and pray that God would continue to bless their initiative in the years to come.

In 1992, within a year of our marriage we set out from Tamil Nadu in South India to Assam in northeast India (2,3). We were searching for a place that would provide us with an opportunity to be of the greatest transformational impact with the time, talents and treasure that God had blessed us with. For this, I had developed a simple formula to choose a location – the potential for the greatest transformational impact by an individual = the total population (in that location) that could avail his/her services divided by the total number of other people with his/her qualifications / skills etc. So, we were looking for a place that was thickly populated with few healthcare institutions which meant somewhere far away from home in urban Tamil Nadu.

28 years have passed since our first visit to Makunda, God took us by our hands and blessed us with wisdom, strength and encouragement. A small start in 1993 (4) has become a thriving institution today, providing services to many (5). It was all due to God’s grace and the hard work of many highly committed co-workers who laboured with us. Mission institutions provide transformational impact across the world in areas of great need and are key to ‘closing the gap’ in access to services to the poor and marginalized (6). Unfortunately, many are sick and the story of Makunda is an example of how God can revive and rebuild one of His institutions if we are willing to go with Him on a “Journey of Faith”. This is a short video of our talk:


  1. https://www.leadtalks.org/
  2. https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2016/02/19/short-video-of-our-work-made-by-emmanuel-hospital-association/
  3. https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2017/09/13/obeying-a-call-to-medical-missions-a-testimony/
  4. https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2018/05/12/early-days-at-makunda/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342551561_The_Makunda_Model_An_observational_study_of_high_quality_accessible_healthcare_in_low-resource_settings
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322476512_’Closing_the_Gap’_-_Using_Global_Health_Doctors

9 Responses to “A Journey of Faith”


  1. Dr. Vijay Anand Ismavel - ICMDA South Asia Regional Conference, 2020 - October 21, 2020

    […] Dr. Vijay Anand Ismavel is a paediatric surgeon working at the Makunda Christian Leprosy and General Hospital, a remote rural hospital in Assam (northeast India). Along with his wife Dr. Ann Miriam, an anesthesiologist, he restarted the closed down-hospital in 1993 and has been working there till the present. They did their postgraduate training (M.Ch and MD) at the Christian Medical College, Vellore and were awarded the "Paul Harrison Award" for lifetime achievement by the college in 2016. He is interested in global health, strategic planning, high quality healthcare in low-resource settings, challenging people to consider mission hospital work as a career and in biodiversity documentation. He has over 20 articles and short chapters in journals and books. In 2019, Drs. Vijay and Ann spoke at the LeadTalks 2019 conference in Bangalore, a short video of their testimony is here: https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  2. Medical Missionary Work – Introduction, Attitudes and Promise | The Sparrow's Nest - January 31, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  3. Medical Missionary Work – for the Allied Health Professional | The Sparrow's Nest - February 2, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  4. Medical Missionary Work – Strategic Planning and Stock-taking | The Sparrow's Nest - February 3, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  5. Medical Missionary Work – Leadership and Human Resource Management | The Sparrow's Nest - February 7, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  6. Medical Missions – Nurturing and Motivating Students and Staff | The Sparrow's Nest - February 18, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  7. Medical Missionary Work – Poor-centric Strategies | The Sparrow's Nest - February 19, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  8. Medical Missionary Work – Non-medical Work and Concluding Thoughts | The Sparrow's Nest - February 22, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

  9. Chat with Eby | The Sparrow's Nest - March 8, 2021

    […] https://the-sparrowsnest.net/2020/09/30/a-journey-of-faith/ […]

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