Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts by Janet Benge & Geoff Benge

Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts by Janet Benge & Geoff Benge

Author:Janet Benge & Geoff Benge [Benge, Janet & Benge, Geoff]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Biography, Childrens
ISBN: 9781576582855
Google: 8kz5ngEACAAJ
Amazon: 157658285X
Barnesnoble: 157658285X
Goodreads: 273628
Publisher: YWAM Publishing
Published: 2003-06-01T00:00:00+00:00

Chapter 10

An Animal-less Carriage

The voyage to India gave the six women plenty of time to plan, and by the time they reached Madras, preparations were well under way for the Vellore Nursing School. Ida had anticipated some problems getting the school up and running, and she was right. The women had decided to accept only high-school graduates into the program, but few females in India met this requirement. And of the few who met the requirement, most were married as soon as they finished high school or went into the teaching profession. Ida sent word to all of the missions in the area, asking them to find suitable young women to apply for the nursing school.

Slowly applications began to trickle in. About half of them came from Christians, and the rest were from Hindus and Muslims. This suited Ida fine. She wanted the college to be open to women of all faiths. By the end of 1908, the nursing school was fully operating, with fifteen students enrolled.

Eventually Gertrude and Katharine returned to the United States as planned, but they left with a new determination to spread the word about the good work going on at Vellore. Meanwhile Delia, after completing a Tamil language course, turned out to be a capable nursing school director.

Soon Ida was able to turn her attention back to the Roadsides. While Ida had been away in the United States, two of the Roadside stops had evolved into regular clinics, one at Gudiyattam, twenty-three miles away, and one even farther away, at Punganur.

Ida loved this work, but the bumpy bandy ride was a grueling experience, and Ida often prayed for a more efficient way to reach the people. Her answer came in the form of a letter from someone who had heard her speak in the United States. When she opened the letter, Ida read the most amazing news. The writer was sending her an automobile, a Peugeot, so that she could visit the more remote villages with ease.

A Peugeot! It took a while for the idea of getting a motorcar to sink in. While she had been in the United States, Ida had been driven in several of them, but they were new and unknown things to her. She had never seen one in or around Vellore, and she wondered how the local people would take to an “animal-less carriage.”

On September 23, 1909, a huge wooden crate was unloaded at Ida’s door. Inside it was the motorcar—or rather all the parts to construct the motorcar, if someone could be found who knew how to go about putting it together.

Ida wrote to missionaries in Madras, and they found a mechanic who assured everyone that he was capable of putting the Peugeot together. Ida, along with half the town, watched eagerly as the mechanic assembled the car. When it was finished, it had a folding top, hard leather seats, a loud horn, and a one-cylinder engine.

A week later, on September 30, the Peugeot was tested and ready for its first Roadside visit.


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