While 400 Christian Mission hospitals have closed down in the last 40 years in India, Benny Hinn Ministries through Calcutta Mercy Hospital is taking the saving, healing power of Jesus Christ to the world. Benny Hinn Ministries works along with Calcutta Mercy Ministries (www.buntain.org) and with Missionary Huldah Buntain and Bonnie Buntain-Long to provide free health care to 40,000 children and the poor of India every year. Mark & Huldah Buntain, along with their daughter Bonnie, arrived in Calcutta (India) in October, 1954. The first time the Buntain’s mentioned their interest in the medical needs of the poor was when a little girl fainted in their first school. The Buntain’s rushed her to one of the Calcutta local hospital. Seeing the congested condition broke their heart. It was then they committed themselves “not only to educate and feed these children but also medically treat them." The first Christian Mission hospital was opened in Calcutta in the year 1977. Today, this is a 173 bed hospital and a School of Nursing which treats over 100,000 patients every year. Every month, thanks to the faithful support of Benny Hinn Ministries, 40% are provided free treatment. In the city of Calcutta (India), where the population exceeds 18 million people, there are many children who are victims of poverty and disease and have no place to go to. Touching children and the poor with the love of Christ remains the focus of this Christian hospital. The most recent free cleft surgery camp for children was held at the hospital from November 13th to 18th, 2005. Cleft lip and cleft palate are not as rare as people think they are. Together they constitute the fourth most common birth defect. One out of every 700 newborns is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate. In 45% of cases they occur together. Children born with cleft lips or cleft palates have been operated free at the hospital. This small operation is making a huge difference in the lives of children and their family.
Free Cleft Palate Surgeries Transform Lives
From one-year old girl Asmina Khatoon to sixteen- year old young lady Saraswati Sardar, thirteen lovely children were provided with free surgery and post-operative care at the Calcutta hospital in November 2005. Saraswati was sixteen year old when she came to the hospital. Before coming to us she would look at the mirror and be tempted to take a needle and stitch up her marred upper lip. Her family members would watch her and shake their head in disbelief. Poverty prevented her from getting operated. However, if she did not get help, the reality would be that no one would want to marry her. All that nine-year old boy Swaranil Dev wanted to do was to pronounce his name loudly and clearly. He wanted his friends to stop teasing and making fun of him. It takes only $250 to operate on a poor child and yet there are many family who do not have that kind of money.It is not surprising to see children staying at home rather then going to school. Children with cleft and lip problem do not want to go out of their home as they have such a low self esteem. Children suffering with cleft lip problem and their family members feel that they are cursed. “Bachua ke honth mein grahan lag gaya” (“The eclipse has left its mark on the child’s lip”). Many do nothing about this problem as they feel that rectifying a child’s lip will make the curse shift onto the entire family. Many cannot because they are poor. In such a challenging context, things are changing as doctors at the Calcutta Mercy Hospital are able to repair the cleft lips and cleft palates of poor children and work through the superstitions of the people. These beautiful children whose faces and smiles are marred and disfigured since birth are treated free of charge and return home with beautiful smiles.
The Bible puts it so clearly: “Let the little children come to me and stop keeping them away. For the kingdom of God belongs to people like these.” (Mark 10:14)In November, when poor little Amina came to us, she had serious chest congestion and cold. The nurses at the hospital took care of her. In the meantime bad news arrived that the grandmother of Amina had died in her village. Anima’s mother (Alewara Bibi) left Amina with us at the hospital. Alewara asked us to "take care of her daughter as one of our own". The need is so great and the cry for help is so loud. The hospital in India is committed to taking care of beautiful Amina and with your help many others like Amina. The next free surgery camp is scheduled for February 2006. Please pray that these events bring healing to babies and children and we are be able to touch them with the love of Christ. We love the poor children of India. We feel that in helping, praying and healing the poor and the children, we are fulfilling God's call on their life. We thank you for all your love, support and interest in the work of Benny Hinn Ministries in India.