“What shall I do?” Ranjini wondered aloud. Ranjini powerlessly watched her hands and feet deteriorating before her eyes. As a widow and a person afflicted with leprosy, Ranjini needed help. But so many people in her society turned a blind eye to widows and leprosy patients, and she was both; who would trouble themselves about her? Happy Life Gives Way to Grief
Ranjini had known happy days years earlier when family surrounded her, when she had money to buy sweets and flowers to give to her deities in worship, when her life felt normal. She had smiled at her daughter’s wedding, an event she had anticipated since her girl’s birth. Ranjini felt pleased with the new life her daughter held as a wife, even though it meant the new bride now lived with her in-laws in a distant place. But despite the once happy life, tragedy crept in when she contracted leprosy and, later, when her husband died. With her daughter married and gone, Ranjini lived alone and impoverished.
For centuries, leprosy patients have suffered extreme ostracism in addition to the devastating physical effects of their disease. Annually, around 200,000 people, young and old, discover they’ve contracted leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) , and many are subsequently abandoned by their families and by society.
Learn more about the GFA-supported leprosy ministry, or the Reaching Friends Ministry, helping remind people affected by leprosy that, despite the stigma of leprosy, they have dignity and are valued by God.
Read the GFA special report update on the leprosy problem where global leprosy-elimination leaders are making exciting advances both medically and socially that are worth noting: Progress in the Fight Against Leprosy: Leprosy Prevention is Key to Elimination
Go here to know more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Fight Against Leprosy | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response