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Heaven's Family Magazine
September 2015 Issue

A Beautiful Investment

Could leprosy's curse be reversed?

Carole Collins, Leprosy Ministry


Premalatha proudly holds her beautician certificate

For Premalatha, the prospects of a brighter future were non-existent. She and her siblings were abandoned by their impoverished parents. So they found themselves being raised by grandparents who were afflicted with leprosy and whose only means of survival was begging. Consequently, the children were consigned to India’s lowest level of poverty. Living in a leprous community shut all educational doors for them, extinguished any future hopes for marriage, and sealed their tragic fates. Worse, Premalatha was taught by her Hindu culture that they were all suffering for sins committed in their former lives. There was no sense even dreaming.

Amidst such hopelessness, God opened a door of opportunity for Heaven’s Family in 2010. Through investments in our Leprosy Ministry Fund, we initiated monthly food distributions to the leprosy community where Premalatha lived. As we learned more about the plight of the leprosy-free children (and grandchildren) of infected adults, we began a child sponsorship program that paid for the tuition, book fees and other expenses so that 35 such children—including Premalatha and her siblings—could attend a private Christian academy. Hope was born in the hearts of 35 precious children.

As Premalatha’s grandparents became too ill to even walk to our food distribution location, she and her siblings were advancing in school and securing a new lease on their futures. In the spring of 2014, I was blessed to visit their community. Premalatha’s grandfather was near death, and he in fact passed away not long after my visit. It was encouraging, however, to see his grandchildren flourishing due to the twin benefits of good nutrition and good, godly schooling.

I learned during that visit that Premalatha would soon be graduating from high school, and so we made plans to equip her with a marketable skill by sending her for training in cosmetology. In addition, investments in our Leprosy Ministry Fund paid for 15 other graduates to receive vocational training. Some students also studied cosmetology, while others pursued skills in culinary arts, hotel management, computer training, taxi-driving, farming and livestock management.

I returned for another visit in March of this year, and I had the privilege of presenting Premalatha with her cosmetology certificate and congratulating her on her new job in a beauty shop. She’s now earning enough money to provide for her small family’s basic needs, and her siblings are pursuing their high school diplomas with hopes of vocational training as well. Premalatha is a beautiful young woman with a beautiful mind—and a beautiful heart that loves Jesus. And for us, she has also been a beautiful investment!

A Note From Carole:

Carole Collins

Carole Collins

Our Leprosy Ministry Fund is bringing hope to leprosy communities in India by serving children, like Premalatha, of leprous parents. Through education, skills training, and spiritual nurture, lives and families are being changed (for more information about education and training sponsorships click here). The plight of leprous parents, however, still remains precarious, as they have no choice but to beg until they can be supported by their children. This summer’s severe heat wave in India added even more hardship to beggars who could not endure going out onto the sizzling streets. Thank you for your compassion and support as we serve those who truly are the “least of these.”

Help those whose lives have been devastated by leprosy:


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Have You Visited Our "Pressing Needs" Webpage?


All of Heaven’s Family’s Focused Funds’ directors regularly receive requests from our many trusted partners who live in more than 50 of the world’s poorest nations.

It isn’t always easy for our fund directors to choose which needs to meet and which ones to decline due to limited funds. And that is one reason we created the Pressing Needs page on our website. It’s a place for you to become personally involved in meeting the needs of our spiritual family members, like Ann Alugunat pictured above. To view the current collection of fund director-approved requests, click here.