Dr. Ida Scudder (1870–1960) courageously and compassionately took on the challenge of treating women who were dying in India. She pioneered a first-rate medical school and hospital, brought life-saving health care to rural people, and left and inspiring legacy that still touches millions of people each year with healing and hope.
One of our readers, Rufus Rajaratnam, brought to our attention some interesting history about Ida Scudder’s grandfather, John Scudder. Rufus writes:
I read the story of Dr. Ida Scudder and was very blessed. . . . Dr. John Scudder her grandfather . . . was the pioneering doctor to India. It was his sacrifice that laid the foundation stone for Dr. Ida to go to India. I was born in a rural hospital attached to CMC Vellore and my dad worked as a doctor there. . . . I have been so touched by [Dr. John Scudder’s] life and sacrifice. In one year after they reached India, he lost two of his daughters, but did not turn back but unwaveringly continued the mission work for which God had called him. Later forty-two of his descendants in the next four generations went on to be missionaries in the southern part of India.
After the death of his second child, Dr. John Scudder wrote the following in a letter:
Perhaps our dear parents may be ready to say that we are sorry, and repent of our coming to this heathen land; that if we had remained at home we should have been less afflicted. You may rest assured we do not repent of our coming. No; we rejoice, and thank the great Head of the Church for putting it into our hearts to leave America and come and live among this people. I would not exchange situations for a world. No; blessed be God, I hope to be the unworthy instrument of bringing souls to the dear Redeemer.
Rufus concludes: “I believe that the success of CMC was God using this sacrifice of Dr. John Scudder in and through the life of Dr. Ida Scudder.”
Read more about the Scudder family legacy on Wikipedia.
Listen to a speech by Dr. Ida Scudder on YouTube.
Visit our website to learn more about Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts by Janet & Geoff Benge, part of our best-selling Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.