News Story

ORU Gives Ambulance to Special Needs Children

For a severely-ill child, quickly providing them with proper medical attention is crucial to their continued life. Through chapel missions offerings, ORU donated a much-needed ambulance for the special needs children of Sarah’s Covenant Homes in Andhra Pradesh, India.

ORU international community development alumna Sarah Rebbavarapu and her husband James began a ministry to India’s abandoned youth with special needs.

After graduating from ORU in 2000, James with an M.Div., the young couple founded Sarah’s Covenant Homes as a safe place to care for the infants, children, Sarah's Covenant homesand young adults whom no one else would love.

The 106 children whom they care for have serious neurological and physical handicaps requiring frequent medical attention.

Rebbavarapu said that all too often, they were unable to deliver a fragile child to the hospital in time due to inadequate equipment and transportation.

“After the loss of a dear ten year old boy with cerebral palsy named Noah in an ill-equipped rented ambulance, I dreamed of having a mini-ambulance of our own,” said Rebbavarapu. “It could weave through traffic to get our children to hospitals quickly, and we could keep it stocked with the emergency equipment we found ourselves needing most.”

In February of 2011, Rebbavarapu heard about the ORU missions offering and sought help from her alma mater. Half a year later, they received word that their application had been chosen.

“In November of 2011, Dr. Rutland sent an acceptance letter, and we had the ambulance within the month,” said Rebbavarapu. “Since then we have used it several times to transport ill children from our small city of Andhra Pradesh to Hyderabad for time-sensitive, advanced care.”

Rebbavarapu expressed her gratitude for ORU’s continued support of her and other alumni through the missions giving.

“Getting behind alumni through the chapel offering means so much to us,” she said. “Everyone knows that the Founder's vision was to send students to where Jesus' light is seen dim and His voice heard small, but this fundraiser really shows that ORU walks the talk.”