Simpson University Nursing Students to Serve in India
For Immediate Release
REDDING, Calif. - Seven Simpson University nursing students and two leaders will make history by going on Simpson University’s first official School of Nursing and WorldSERVE mission trip on June 2-18.
They will travel to Mori, India, to work with Project India Compassion Trust, a ministry of Hope for People International, which is headquartered in Los Angeles.
It will be the first medically focused student mission trip in Hope for People’s history, board chairman Matt Sanders said. “We’re thrilled that SU is coming alongside what we’re doing,” he said.
Kristie Stephens, dean of the School of Nursing, said they are starting with a small group this year. “The ultimate goal is to be invited back and take larger groups,” she said.
Rachel Hinrichsen, a senior from Redding, is one of the students going on the trip. “When an opportunity came up to combine my passion for missions with my passion for nursing, I could not pass it up,” she said.
While in India, the Simpson team will help with community health screenings and health education seminars and clinics. The team also will be helping with the day-to-day activities at Subbamma Christian Hospital, including assisting the surgeon during normal births and with C-sections, as well as other surgeries in the operating theater. In addition, the team will put on training for local nursing students from local nursing schools from the surrounding region.
“My main anticipation for this trip is to be a light in a dark place and to share the love of Jesus with people who may have never heard His name,” Hinrichsen said. “I am excited to bring the gospel into a predominantly Hindu culture, to be Christ's hands and feet in the medical field, and to serve those less fortunate who lack quality medical care.”
The Simpson team will partner with students and faculty members from Azusa Pacific University (APU) in putting on Vacation Bible School for local villages and Riverside Christian School.
“I am very excited about Simpson coming and the coordination with APU,” said Sanders, who is also a biology professor at Azusa Pacific. “We are hoping for many more years of cooperation.”
Dean Stephens is also hoping the team can bring one of Simpson’s high-tech simulation manikins on the trip and provide training to nursing students from area colleges in India.
“It’s an amazing piece of technology the students in India would never have access to,” Sanders said. “It will be a great experience for the Simpson students to teach others.”
The Simpson team hopes to also conduct a relationship seminar for Riverside Christian School students, focusing on the treatment of women and untouchables in India.
Before leaving for the trip, the nine-person team will participate in intensive preparations, including cultural preparations, and receive training on the programs they will be implementing while in India.
Project India Compassion Trust was founded by Dr. Solomon Raju, who was a science professor at Simpson College in San Francisco for 12 years. Dr. Raju started the organization to continue the work of his mother in providing educational, medical, and spiritual services to the lower classes in Southeast India. Dr. Raju’s son, Dr. Solomon Darwin, now oversees the organization.
Dr. Darwin reached out to Dean Stephens and invited Simpson nursing students to serve at Subbamma Christian Hospital.
“As a Christian mission hospital in India, we are looking for nursing schools to partner with for training our nurses and staff,” Dr. Darwin said. “This was a good match.”
In the past, Simpson nursing professors and students have formed their own mission trips and served in Mexicali, Mexico, where they set up medical clinics and cared for the people who came to see them.
Nursing students have also gone on trips through WorldSERVE. Last summer, Rachel spent three weeks in Bangkok, Thailand, working with a missionary couple who ministers to university students.
“This trip changed my life and really opened my eyes to missions and serving Christ overseas,” she said.
-By Elise Wilson / This article first ran in the spring/summer 2015 Transform newsletter
Photo: From left, Dr. Solomon Raju, his wife, Jessy Raju, and their son, Dr. Solomon Darwin stand in front of an office dedicated to Dr. Raju inside Simpson University's new Science and Nursing Center.
Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.
Contact: SU Public Relations