Wedding Bells Ring!
Rejoicing over one woman’s incredible victory over the stigma of leprosy
I always love visiting the children each time I travel to India! As I look into their faces—each one sponsored so they can attend a private Christian school because, as the offspring of parents with leprosy, they are ostracized at public schools—I’m filled with joy knowing that we are giving them a future they would otherwise never know.
And in the midst of all the children has been my faithful friend Divya, who has served the younger ones with such devotion over the years. Coaxing a smile onto her face was always my challenge, but I think it was because she was always too exhausted from running after her charges all day (all you parents can identify!).
Divya had her own schooling to look after, too. After persevering in her studies, she finally graduated high school two years ago. She then enrolled in college—another amazing achievement for a child from the leprosy community—and began studying civics and engineering last fall. Divya was firmly on track to break the cycle of poverty that has bound her family—no more begging to survive!
Then came the big news during my visit last November: Divya had met a young man and they were engaged to be married! I had wondered why she walked differently that day, lighter on her feet, and possessing a glow that could only mean one thing: love! I was happy to hear that her fiancé was urging her to continue her studies—not the typical male response in India. They both agree that in order to do her best, however, she needed to curtail her care of the children, at least for this season in her life.
This month I received pictures of her wedding! I’m so happy for Divya—this event is the latest in what has become an incredible journey for a young woman who has given of herself for others, and who now has such a bright and promising future ahead of her.
This is one of the most rewarding aspects of being able to sow into the lives of young people who are being given the tools to rise above the circumstances in which they have had the misfortune to be born. I hope that, as a principle ingredient of this happy story, you can also feel like a “proud parent” and rejoice in such successes! May the Lord bless you for your generous heart.
Together with Him,
Director, Leprosy Ministry