Balwant thought death would take away his shame, that death would relieve his family members of the burden of caring for him, that death would resolve all his problems. He wanted to hang himself, but the leprosy had riddled away his muscles, leaving him without strength in his hands or leg to carry out his self-imposed death sentence.
Balwant was one of tens of thousands of people in South Asia suffering from leprosy and the humiliation and ostracism that comes along with it. For centuries, leprosy patients have been barred from accessing common wells or participating in festivals, because people believe their presence increases the risk of contagion. They’re often rejected, even by family members who fear they, too, will “catch” the disease or have to endure social rejection because of them.
Your blogging assignment for this month is World Leprosy Day, observed on January 31st. Come along side us in spreading awareness of the rejection, shame, and pain many leprosy patients, like Balwant, face.
Every year, there are nearly 230,000 new cases of people diagnosed with leprosy. About 60 percent of those cases concern people living in India alone. While leprosy is a curable disease, many men, women and even children find themselves abandoned and scorned because of it. Like Balwant, they live with shame and hopelessness as their constant companions. But there is hope for these leprosy patients. When Balwant was at his lowest, Gospel for Asia-supported pastor, Daha, reached out to Balwant and offered him hope and acceptance in Christ. Many leprosy patients like Balwant are also finding healing, love , and acceptance in Christ through Gospel for Asia’s leprosy ministry! You can read more about our leprosy ministry at www.gfa.org/leprosy.
Blog about It
We want to enable you to help create awareness of the hopelessness and rejection many leprosy patients face from society, and the hope and acceptance they are receiving through Christ and Gospel for Asia’s leprosy ministry. Here are several ways:
At Just the Right Time
Praise the Lord! Balwant received hope and encouragement in Christ before it was too late. Read more of Balwant’s story and share it in your own words.
Lift the leprosy patients up in prayer and ask your readers to join you. Some ways that you can pray are:
For more specific ways that you can pray for leprosy patients and our ministry to them, go to: www.gfa.org/pray/leprosy/.
World Leprosy Day Outreach
Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries are doing special outreaches on World Leprosy Day to show Christ’s love to the leprosy patients.
Share this infographic showing several ways they are doing outreach.
Many leprosy patients are finding love and acceptance within the body of believers in South Asia even when many others reject them. As World Leprosy Day approaches on January 31st, we would like to thank you for helping us create awareness of the hopelessness and rejection many leprosy patients face, and the hope, love, and acceptance they are finding in Christ.