Monday, December 22, 2014

Volunteers In Mission help rebuild church in India

By Curt Knouse, VIM Coordinator, SUSUMC

From October 29 to November 8 a Volunteers in Mission team of twelve people served on a three-fold mission team to the Northern India Conference. The team consisted of Curt Knouse, Wendy Knouse, R.N., Ron Thomas, Donna Thomas, Rev. Jim Thomas, Lori Vogt, Nancy Lerch, Staci Moist, Dr. Gene Ver, Claudia Halstead, P.A., Rev. Bruce Woolever, and Ryan Woolever.

The group traveled from Washington Dulles International Airport via Amsterdam to New Dehli, India. It took about thirty-one hours from the time of departure to reach our base of operations, the Warne Baby Fold Orphanage in Bareilly, India. The Baby Fold is a Methodist owned and operated orphanage currently housing about 65 children. (See

The team took part in three projects. Dr. Ver, together with Physician Assistant Claudia Halstead, Registered Nurse Wendy Knouse, and rotating fourth team members, worked in cooperation with the Clara Swain Rural Health and Community Development Program to conduct two health clinics in villages, and the third day they gave all the children at the orphanage physicals. The clinics saw about 500 people. (See

A painting team helped finish the reconstruction of the Methodist church in Ujhani. The reconstruction was funded in partnership by the VIM team, the central church of Badaun, India, and donations from teachers at a Methodist school in the area. This church had been closed for many years, but there was a small core of believers asking for someone to bring them the “Word.”

Lastly, we were able to spend some time sharing the love of Christ with the children at the orphanage. One evening we did crafts and shared the Christmas story, read by Rev. Bruce Woolever in their own language, Hindi. (Bruce grew up in northern India until age 15 as the child of missionaries.) The children also put on a program for us where they sang and danced.

Other highlights included the Ujhani Church dedication and worship service. The service included communion using a communion set donated from a Catawissa area church via Chad Carter. Also, the children’s program for us.

We received news that there were 45 in worship on Sunday, November 23. Praise God!

Visit to see many more photos of the trip to India.

For more information about VIM opportunities, training, or speakers, contact Curt Knouse at or 717-994-6294.

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