St. Andrew’s Kirk Chennai – Bicentenary Sermon on Medical Missions

4 Apr

When I did my undergraduate medical studies in Madras (present-day Chennai) in the early 1980s, I had the privilege of attending the St. Andrew’s Church (The Kirk). There, I met Pastor David Singh with whom I had many long talks over several years. He was one of my early mentors and introduced me to community health work at the church’s community health program at Thirupalaivanam village. Many years later (in 2007), Ann and me met him again in Richmond, Virginia where he was pastoring a church. This resulted in him visiting us in Makunda and to several years of partnership between his church and organization in the USA with our hospital – yearly staff and student retreats as well as financial support to the expansion of the hospital’s work in obstetrics and paediatrics.

The St. Andrew’s Church (fondly called the Kirk) was built by Scottish missionaries and has a rich legacy over 200 years. Its building and architecture are unique and many great men and women were associated with it over the two centuries of its existence. A brief account of its work has been presented as a documentary here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=780_668IGG0 – further details of the church and its ministry can be found on its website: https://www.thekirk.in/index.php

As part of the Bicentenary Celebrations of the church, March 2021 was dedicated as “Healing Month” with sermons centered around the healing ministry of the church. Ann and me were privileged to be invited to sing/speak at the morning service (with the theme verse John 15:16) on the 14th of March 2021. I used this opportunity to talk about my association with the church, share a personal testimony and challenge healthcare professionals and the church to missionary service. Ann and me thank the pastor and the church committee for inviting us to speak at this great church on “Medical Missions – Journeys in Faith”.

Mission hospitals were established by the church in remote and needy parts of the world where they transformed healthcare, bringing life and healing to numerous poor people who had no other options. Unfortunately, a large number are sick today and many have closed. We need a new impetus to healing sick hospitals and starting new ones in areas of need. May God place this vital burden on the hearts of church elders and the congregation so that the medical ministry of the church is a blessing to many. May young men and women in our churches today consider medical missionary work as a part of their career when God puts them into healthcare courses.

This video is made by the media team of the church and starts with organ prelude, worship led by my college junior Dr. Anita Chelliah and welcome by the Pastor, Rev. Isaac Johnson with announcements and introduction at 24:27 by the Secretary of the church and my school classmate, Mr. Dulip Singh. A short documentary on the “Healing Ministry in Chennai” is shown from 32:20 and my sermon starts at 52:47 with Ann singing the song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” at 1:43:50. This is followed by intercessory prayer and the closing part of the program. You may listen to the entire program or parts of it by clicking on the link below:

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