Giving Love and Relief to Leprosy Patients
WILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan — Discussing the difficulties of people afflicted with leprosy, the rejection and isolation, and the GFA leprosy ministry and the GFA Compassion Services that helps leprosy patients understand how much God loves them and values their lives.
Serving others in Jesus’ Name takes on many different forms. For many of our workers, their ministry is focused on bringing God’s love to people afflicted with leprosy.
One national missionary, Sakshi, experienced firsthand the difficulties of leprosy. She contracted the disease as a teenager, and although she eventually was cured of leprosy, Sakshi didn’t forget the rejection she experienced from her community.
Later serving as among leprosy patients, Sakshi noticed, “Nobody is there to comfort the leprosy patients and to give any kind of encouragement. Nobody wants to love them, hug them, or to come near to them to dress them.”
“I will become their daughter,” Sakshi decided. “I will become their grandchildren, and I will help them and encourage them, and I will love them.”
Leprosy imposes an extremely heavy burden on its victims. News sources share story after story of the struggles people face after contracting leprosy.
Here are just a few stories of what some have had to go through as a result of their disease:
“Basha is 65 years old and told me he was thrown out of his family home when at 20 he started to develop small patches of numbness on his skin. This can be a symptom of leprosy and is what brought Basha to the colony, where he’s lived ever since, and although he told me he has several brothers and sisters, he said he’s never seen them again.”
“Anjana is 45 years old, but easily looks a decade older with deformed hands, feet, and eyes, due to late diagnosis and treatment. She was abandoned by her own family, and now counts the community as her family. ‘I need bandages for my hands and eyes, but the government clinic keeps running out of them, so I have to buy them. Where will I get money to buy them?’ she asks.” Adding insult to injury (which, in itself, is the story of what it is like to live with leprosy), Anjana has difficulty withdrawing her monthly pension ($4.21US) because her government requires a fingerprint verification — and her fingers are too marred to provide a fingerprint.
Ashok contracted leprosy when he was 10 years old. Cured of the disease but permanently deformed by it, Ashok, now 52, was forced into more than 40 years of begging to sustain himself.
“Nagama is in her 20s. She does not have leprosy, but her mother and grandmother do. Because they are blind and incapacitated, Nagama could not care for them in her own home without raising the rejection of family and friends. So, she moved to the leper colony to look after them.”
Nagama’s story is significant because she has demonstrated compassion toward her mother and grandmother — something too few leprosy patients receive.
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