Positive And Negative Influence Of Ida Scudder

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Dr. Ida Scudder

The Scudder family is the most renowned medical missionary family. They served for generations in India and elsewhere. In 1819 John Scudder left his growing practice in New York City and sailed for Ceylon, Sri Lanka with his wife and child. They served for thirty-six years in Ceylon and India, and during that time thirteen more children were born. Of the nine who survived to adulthood, seven became missionaries, most of them specializing in medicine like their father. In four generations, forty-two members of the Scudder family became missionaries, contributing well over one thousand combined years of missionary service. Among those forty-two was Ida, the daughter of John Scudder’s youngest son, also named John and also a medical missionary to India.
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The rain outside had been as wild as her own fourteen-year-old helpless grief. She had not even been allowed to go to the station to see her mother off for India. When her clinging arms had been finally, regretfully, unloosed, she had rushed upstairs and sobbed all night into her mother’s empty pillow.… With the passing weeks and months the aching loneliness had never ceased, merely subsided.” [Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Dr. Ida: The Story of Dr. Ida Scudder of Vellore (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959), 5.]
Scudder initially had no intention of joining her family tradition and becoming a missionary. After high school, she stayed back in the United States to attend a “young ladies’ seminary” in Northfield, Massachusetts, founded by D. L. Moody. Fate however, brought her back to India shortly after her graduation in 1890. Her mother was seriously ill. Her purpose was to care for her mother, and when that obligation was met she would return to America to pursue her own dreams. Within weeks she was on her way to India, as she describes as the “horrible country, with its heat, dust, noise, and
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