After yesterday’s post on Jesus’ healing of a leper, a friend who serves in Nepal wrote to me about her recent visit to a leprosy hospital. She shared three stories of people with leprosy being ministered to by present-day followers of Jesus:
A young woman, aged 26, lives in a very remote part of hill country. She has grossly deformed hands and feet and has been aware of changes in her limbs for 13 years but did not know where to go for help. She heard on FM radio a description of her disease and a phone number to contact. Not having learned to write, she recorded the number on her phone and later contacted the number and learned of a mobile medical camp being held. She was helped to this camp where she was told about this disease and her need of long term medication and care of her limbs to avoid further damage. Leaving her family and all that was familiar she travelled hours and hours by bus to reach the leprosy hospital. That was just a few day ago. Since then, along with the medical treatment and care this beautiful young woman has taken the opportunity to begin to learn to read and write, her pencil held in a stump of a finger. Sometimes a teacher is able to visit the ward. Other times, fellow patients use their spare hours reading to those who cannot read or also helping them to learn to write the alphabet and their name. She also is enjoying the fellowship meetings, held for patients.
Another young woman was seated on a wooden stool on wheels from which she was carefully spreading the sheet and folding the quilt as she made her bed. Her leg had been recently amputated below the knee as the wounds and damage occurred because she had no sensation of pain due to the leprosy disease, could not be healed. She was missing her 3 year old daughter, who is being cared for by her sister. How would she cope when she returned to her home town? It is hot and very wet at this time of monsoon. Her home is a small room, and water floods in during storms. Although the family has lived there for a long time, they do not have any paper of ownership. She uses a neighbour’s toilet that is some distance away, and the nearest tap is another neighbour’s. Her husband, also a leprosy suffer, earns a meagre salary as a rickshaw driver and she tended a very small vegetable patch. She related that through all these struggles she has a growing faith in God that gives her great peace. One of the staff gently placed her hand on the bandaged stump of her leg and prayed for good healing and trust in God to provide for her future.
The third patient, a 53 year old man, also came from a very remote area. He also had a below the knee amputation due to leprosy disease. His 3 daughters are all married and have left his home, only his wife is waiting for him there. He came seeking help as he realised that although he had only a “sore” on his foot that he continually damaged – that it could be leprosy disease. Even now, in phone calls to his wife, explaining that he had an amputation he did not speak the dreaded word “leprosy” so as to avoid the stigma and exclusion people with this disease still often experience. He smiled gently as he explained that he had some land that he could pay others to work now he was not able, and that he had a hand turn sewing machine and could earn some income that way. This mans face beamed as he was able to share all this with the counsellor this morning.
Please pray for this ongoing healing work being done in Jesus’ name.