Kelet Hospital (Java, Indonesia)

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Kelet is a hospital in Java located on the highway leading from Taju to Japara on the north side of Mt. Muria in the former province of Central Java. Kelet was established by the former Dutch Mennonite mission on Java, built under Dr. H. Bervoets and opened in 1915. In the mid-1950s it had beds for 142 patients, had a children's ward, a fully equipped surgery, laboratory, and electrotherapy. Dr. Bervoets was replaced in 1921 by Dr. K.P.C.A. Gramberg, who was assisted after 1930 by Dr. F.C. van der Horst; in addition there was always a government physician in service there. The first nurse was Helene Goossen of Russia, who served 1920-1922; she then married Dr. Gramberg. Other nurses (deaconesses) were Panman 1922-1925, Spannenburg 1927-1929, and Maria Klaassen 1931-1951.

The indigenous personnel, 40-50 nurses, some of whom had midwife certification, were with few exceptions  trained  at Kelet. The leper colony at Donorodjo (eight miles (13 km) north of Kelet) was also established by Dr. Bervoets and belonged to Kelet. The head physician of Kelet officiated at Donorodjo. Kelet also maintained two subsidiary hospitals, Taju with 22 beds and Bangsri with 10 beds, besides the dispensaries at Pati, Juvana, and Vedarijeska. Soon after the opening of the hospital a mission school was built at Kelet. The teachers were trained in the mission school in Margoredjo,

The extent of the hospital services is indicated by the following 1932 statistics: a total of 2,105 patients were admitted, with 117,142 days of nursing care; in Kelet alone, 1,481 patients with 48,481 days of care. The clinics gave 54,485 treatments to 9,769 patients. The total expenses were 112,820 guilders, of which the government contributed 78,586 guilders.

The development of the hospital also gave rise to a thriving congregation living in and around Kelet. The staff became the center of a lively youth group. Pastoral care from 1915 was in the hands of a native assistant, Pariman Martosentono (elder since 1950), directed by Hermann Schmitt in Kudus. At the end of 1932 the church had 92 members and 125 children. Average attendance at church was 128 adults. In 1930 a church was built; meetings had previously been held in a room of the hospital. Among the lepers in Donorodjo there was also a Christian group, with a leper preacher. The head of the colony, P. Bouwer, assisted with the preaching, and missionary N. Thiessen of Margoredjo had the spiritual oversight over the colony. In 1954 the Kelet congregation had 167 baptized members and 262 children. It had become fully independent on 24 November 1940.

Maria Klaassen, missionary nurse, was able to continue at Kelet throughout the vicissitudes of World War II, the Japanese occupation, and the guerrilla warfare afterwards. She operated the hospital successfully single-handedly until she left the field in 1951. The MCC relief program in this area, which had been begun in 1949 at Pati, moved its headquarters to Kelet in 1953.


Reports of the Dutch Mission Association.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 479.

Author(s) K. P. C. A. Gramberg
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gramberg, K. P. C. A. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Kelet Hospital (Java, Indonesia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 4 Jun 2020.,_Indonesia)&oldid=144220.

APA style

Gramberg, K. P. C. A. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1957). Kelet Hospital (Java, Indonesia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 June 2020, from,_Indonesia)&oldid=144220.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 161-162. All rights reserved.

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