APBC has a growing cross culture interest in Bangladesh and have adopted the Bengali people.
This means we have made a commitment:
- To learn as much as possible about the Bengali people.
- To pray for the people of Bangladesh regularly and in an informed way.
- To do everything we can to demonstrate and communicate God’s message of love for them.
As a church we support Monoj, a national pastor who works as a full time chaplain at the Joyramkura Hospital in Bangladesh. He ministers to patients every day as well as the staff. Each workday at the hospital begins with a devotional service for the staff that Monoj leads.
Our teams who have gone to Bangladesh have had the privilege of visiting the hospital and meeting Monoj and his wife Sriti.
Sriti has significant health issues and we as a church provide support for her care which allows Monoj to continue in his pastoral role.
Joyramkura Christian Hospital can be found along a narrow road 6km outside of Haluaghat, Bangladesh. It seems to be ‘in the middle of nowhere’, residing 170km from the country’s capital, Dhaka, with the northern border of India only a short walk away. The road to get there winds through rice paddies, village homes huddled together and a small local bazaar. The building is shaded by pretty trees and clumps of bamboo surrounded by the green hills, which provide a welcome relief from the flat plains of the Bangladesh delta.
The high walls and iron gates of the hospital are a little foreboding at first but the gates open to an unexpected vision. Many a first-time visitor has exclaimed in amazement at what they discover inside these walls. This view includes the main Hospital building which houses 40 inpatient beds (although usually many more than that number are accommodated!), treatment rooms, x-ray and pathology clinics, two operating theatres, a maternity ward, chaplain’s office and administrative services. Staff quarters are available for senior nursing and medical staff along with a 3-storey Nurses’ Training School recently built with the help of grants from the Direct Assistance Program of the Australian High Commission.
Another hostel building can be found which houses nearly 90 students being trained each year to graduate with government- recognised diplomas. The central office of the Primary Health Care Project (PHCP) resides on the property and it works as an extension of the hospital to surrounding villages by taking literacy, health and economic education to thousands. A midwifery training centre exists, housing hospital staff who have been contracted by an outside agency to provide short-course training for batches of 30 village midwives at a time. Ancillary buildings trace the property, used for maintenance, a garage for vehicles, an electricity back-up generator, water supply tanks and pump, along with some vacant land under vegetable cultivation.
A large corner of the compound is also leased to another non-government organisation for a fisheries project.
Dr Justin Lee, a former Australian High Commissioner, was amazed to find this Australian-run hospital providing such comprehensive medical services to poor rural people in such a remote location. And few Australians know it is there!
Of course, a hospital like this takes years to develop to this size and level of service. In fact, it has been 50 years since it first commenced providing medical services to the local community.. The vision of those who founded the hospital was to provide medical service to all in the name of Christ, regardless of economic situation, race, creed or caste.