Gospel for Asia-supported Workers Touch Leprosy Patients Longing for Love

GFA-supported workers serving in Asia have long recognized the pitiful plight of people affected with leprosy. Pastors and Sisters of Compassion regularly reach visit leprosy colonies, offering food, supplies and medical care in the name of Jesus who loves them just as He loves those who have not contracted leprosy.

SOUTH ASIA – World Leprosy Day was observed on 27 January to raise awareness of the truth about what may be the most misunderstood disease on the planet. Having the disease is compounded by the indignities the infected must suffer. People with leprosy who have obvious deformities are relegated to isolated colonies where they are often abandoned as social outcasts by family and friends. Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers serving in 14 Asian countries have long recognized the pitiful plight of these people. Pastors and Sisters of Compassion regularly visit leprosy patients and colonies, offering food, supplies and medical care in the name of Jesus who loves them just as He loves those who have not contracted leprosy.

The ostracization of people with leprosy is doubly compounded by draconian laws in some regions that prohibit leprosy patients from holding jobs, having a driver’s license or riding in public vehicles. In addition, global agency standards declare regions as “leprosy-free” once the percentage of cases reaches less than one person in 10,000. Applied on a global basis, the entire world could be declared leprosy-free and still have 7,200,000 people affected with leprosy remaining.

Help and Hope for the Hurting

Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers visited numerous leprosy patients and colonies throughout Asia as part of their World Leprosy Day celebrations.

One group met with villagers, many of whom are not followers of Jesus. The Sisters of Compassion encouraged them by saying:

“Though we may have different kinds of sickness, yet we need to maintain our health and hygiene. When we keep our body clean, people will not hesitate to come near and talk to us. We should never discriminate between our brothers and sisters because they are also God’s creation. We are all same in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

After helping them to better understand their disease, the workers cleaned their wounds and gifted leprosy-afflicted people blankets, T-shirts and saris.

In another observance, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers supplied new sandals and explained that, “Leprosy is a simple disease, easily treated and of no consequence, if detected early. There is no need for a person affected to be ostracized from mainstream society.”

The Impact of Godly Love and Kindness

These are only two of the many endeavors held specifically in connection with World Leprosy Day. Not only are they examples of the compassion the Church offers continuously, but they also provide examples of the many responses to the love and kindness given freely in the name of Jesus. Here are what a few leprosy patients had to say:

• “I had a pair of sandals, but they are torn, and I cannot wear them anymore. I am happy to receive new sandals today, which are precious to me. Thank you for providing the sandals to me.”

• “I am happy and thankful to [the church] for giving me a T-shirt. I have no money to buy new clothes for myself as I am unable to work and earn due to the problem in my hand.”

• “Since the last 10 years, I have been suffering from leg pain. I have been taking medicines but found no relief till now. I thank the Christian people for praying for my health.”

Perhaps the appreciation was best summed up by one of the village leaders who attended the gatherings. He declared that he was greatly encouraged by the work of the church “because when others hate the lepers, Christian people love them. It is amazing and a great encouragement.”

To read more news on the plight of leprosy patients on Missions Box, go here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Exit mobile version