Leprosy. It is a word that holds a different meaning for different people. For most, it’s the “unclean” disease of the Bible. For others, it’s a modern-day curse that slowly destroys the bodies of its victims, as well as the futures of their families. That word represents the enduring stigma carried by leprosy communities—warning others that they are about to enter a “pariah” area.
The truth—that the disease has been eradicated for years, or even decades, ago with modern medicines, and that it is not passed on to the victim’s children—does not reach the inner recesses of the public’s prejudice.
As a result, fear and superstition still grip the minds of many in countries such as India and China. Adding to this misconception is the fact that victims of Hansen’s Disease (as leprosy is now called) continue to display lingering symptoms such as fevers, loss of nerve function, as well as decomposition of fingers, toes, and other extremities when treatment comes late in the progression of the disease.
Thanks to our generous donors, however, Heaven’s Family provided $6,000 worth of food, $6,000 worth of medical supplies and salaries to wound care nurses, $2,400 for sewing instruction, and $14,160 for school, college and vocational training sponsorships in 2015. Thanks to a special donation, the Leprosy Ministry also purchased land where homes will be built for homeless patients.
In China, we supplied monthly provisions of food, medical supplies, clothing and blankets totaling $6,000. We have also raised $5,500 for a communal shower. We visited Anandaban Hospital for leprosy patients in Kathmandu, Nepal, a month before the devastating earthquake. We later raised $5,000 to begin rebuilding the homes of leprosy-afflicted patients. We are also working to hire a teacher for young patients in the hospital to continue their education.
We are only as effective as the “love-link” you—our faithful supporters—enable us to be. And you have indeed displayed generous hearts of compassion for those who yearn to be restored to a place of dignity and acceptance.
Thank you for listening to the Lord’s heart for those marginalized by leprosy.