To say that this weighed heavily on Ida's heart would be an understatement. She did not have the skills to help these young women. What they needed there were women doctors and nurses who could treat the ladies. Think of the help that one woman doctor could provide! Think of the doors for ministry that could be opened! Think of the opportunities to reach the lost that could be pursued!
Ida's mind was made up: the Lord had made her -- her, personally -- aware of a terrible need. She was in a position to fill that need, already working on a medical education and part of long line of missionaries. She went back to the United States and enrolled in Cornell University Medical College's first class that was open to women. She graduated in 1899.
Immediately upon graduation, Ida didn't head off to India right away but began to work to raise funds in the US for a hospital in Vellore. When she did return to India, trouble was waiting. Her father died after just a few months of her arrival, leaving his patients very wary of this young lady who claimed to be a doctor. She pressed forward, with her mother as her assistant.
TO BE CONTINUED
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.