Beginning of Herbertpur Christian Hospital
1934 Dr. Geoffrey Lehmann a young British Missionary doctor, recently married, came to India with his wife, Monica (who was born in Nainital and grew up in Kanpur) and joined Kachhwa Christian Hospital, near Varanasi.
1936 with newly acquired Hindustani language and experience in tropical medicine, Dr. & Mrs. Lehmann were praying where God would lead them. Their vision was to start a pioneer work where the Gospel would be preached along with medical mission work.
While praying over a railway map they discovered a place called “Herbertpur” even though it was 40 km from the nearest railway line. Convinced by the Holy Spirit, they visited Herbertpur in the Western Doon Valley and quickly concluded that this was the place God was calling them to, for pioneer mission. Herbertpur was reached by a 35 km dirt road, along the valley from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. In the vicinity of Herbertpur there was not a single allopathic doctor. Only some Veds and Hakims practiced their traditional healing arts. Similarly the Gospel of Jesus Christ had not been preached.
1936 – 1938 The Lehmanns quickly got to work in a tea planter’s bungalow and held a clinic each morning on the verandah. At the same time Dr.Lehmann discovered a plot of land where three tea estates met. He bought the land and began to build what has become known for hundreds of kilometers around as “Lehmann Hospital”.
1938-1946 The passion of the Lehmanns was to serve the poor and marginalized and to see the Kingdom of God established in the Doon, the surrounding Districts and hill areas. Their concern was encapsulated in the Bible text they placed on the front of the hospital, from the Gospel of Luke, Ch 9 verse 2 “Preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick”.
The fame of the hospital grew even though Dr. Lehmann was away serving in the Indian Army during World War II. Dr. Lehmann was concerned that so many patients with eye disease went untreated, so he qualified as an Ophthalmologist and began his well known program of Eye Camps as well as the eye program at the hospital. Along with the great numbers of eye patients seeking new sight, came those TB patients who often traveled many miles across the mountains from the villages of Tehri Garhwal and Uttarkashi.
1946-1973 As the Lehmanns got older they continually prayed for missionaries from the west to come and take up the work. The medical mission grew and treated more and more patients. Patients came from Delhi, Chandigarh and beyond especially for Ophthalmology, for TB treatment and maternity cases. Dr. Lehmann served for most of 40 years as the only doctor, in the 120 bedded hospital.
1973-to date – God had other plans, exciting plans. Emmanuel Hospital Association was formed as an Indian Medical Mission and the future of Herbertpur became secure. On 1st July 1973 Dr. Lehmann joyfully handed our “Lehmann Hospital” to EHA’s management and leadership.
His last request to his successors was “that no patient be turned away because they cannot afford the treatment and no patient should leave the hospital without hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.