In 1950 the Champa Mission Station (General Conference Mennonite), Madhya Pradesh, India, could be described in three parts: (1) the Champa station or compound; (2) the Leprosy Home and Hospital; (3) the medical station.
The Champa compound comprised 8.8 acres of land registered 20 October 1901. The station was opened by P. A. Penner, who arrived in India on 9 December 1900, and retired from the India service in April 1941. Others who worked at this station were: the P. J. Wienses, F. J. Isaacs, O. A. Waltners, P. W. Penners, and Miss C. L. Kuehny. Besides two missionary bungalows, there was also a primary school, a church, and a Christian suburb for Indian Christians and widows.
The Bethesda Leprosy Home and Hospital was situated on the east bank of the Hasdeo River. It comprised three walled compounds for women, men, and school respectively. There were over 40 wards for the patients. There were two hospital wards with an attached operating theater. A dispensary, church, quarters for the healthy staff, and observation ward were other buildings. The Home also owned some land outside of these compounds for cultivation. This land was in seven sections. The homes for the healthy children of leprous patients were connected with the Champa compound. Leprosy work began in April 1902. The following acted as superintendents of the home: P. A. Penner, E. B. Steiner, H. R. Bauman, P. W. Penner, O. A. Waltner, A. E. Jantzen. Eva Pauls served here as a nurse for a number of years.
The medical station occupied a centrally located tract of 16 acres, registered 26 October 1925. Dispensary work was started in July 1926 by Miss Loretta Lehman and Dr. Caroline Banwar. The medical station in 1950 had two missionary bungalows, an Indian nurses' bungalow, dispensary building, operating suite, six wards, kitchen and grain storeroom, barn, two garages (double), warehouse for missionary personal effects when on furlough, power house, and Indian staff quarters. The hospital had 50 beds. There was an X ray. The following missionaries served here: Misses Loretta Lehman, Alida Schrag, Elenore Schmidt, Eva Pauls, Dr. and Mrs. H. R. Bauman, and Rev. and Mrs. H. C. Ratzlaff. Mrs. Menno Diener and Miss Leona Cressman did secretarial work.
Two churches served the area. The Bethesda Church was on the grounds of the leprosy home and had a membership of over 300. The Champa Church also had a membership of more than 300.
In the above article Harvey R. Bauman described the Champa Mission Station in three parts: the mission compound, the leprosy home and hospital, and the medical station. In 1987 the original bungalows, constructed by P. A. Penner, had been sold. The first church building was a part of the school complex. The primary school was upgraded to a middle school and was housed in a new building since 1982. The Menno Christian Education Society, organized in 1987, replaced the General Conference Mennonite Mission as sponsor. The medical station—hospital, bungalow, and property—was turned over to a recognized nondenominational Christian organization (Emmanuel Hospital Association) in 1975. Under this association the hospital continued to uphold Christian principles upon which it was founded. The Leprosy Mission, based in London, England, administered the Bethesda Leprosy Home and Hospital.
Many employees of these institutions were Mennonites, and a large Mennonite community continued to reside in the Champa area. In 1987 two congregations, the Bethesda church (200 members) and the Champa church (350 members), were affiliated with the Bharatiya General Conference Mennonite Conference and continue to provide a church home for these Christians.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 547-548; v. 5, p. 134. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Bauman, Harvey R., Harold Ratzlaff and Ruth Ratzlaff. "Champa (India)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C46016.html.
APA style: Bauman, Harvey R., Harold Ratzlaff and Ruth Ratzlaff. (1987). Champa (India). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C46016.html.