Mina’s Story: Joy in the Face of Suffering
When I was on a vision tour in Asia a few years ago, I met a woman named Mina, who was affected by leprosy. Mina told me her story.
This visit to the leprosy colony was one of the hardest parts of the trip. Most of society has shunned these people, and there was so much suffering, so much despair. But we met a group of missionaries who loved and cared for the leprosy patients. They ministered to their needs in both practical and spiritual ways, like cleaning their wounds and praying for them. We saw a glimpse of hope being poured out.
Hope in this place of suffering is almost a paradox.
World Leprosy Day is observed on January 29, 2017. Although leprosy is foreign to daily life for many of us, thousands still suffer from the disfigurement and devastating social stigma caused by this disease. In 2015, more than 200,000 new cases of leprosy were diagnosed globally. More than half of these were in India.1
Dedicated missionaries like Pastor Jiva are reaching out to people afflicted by leprosy in Asia, touching their lives with the love and care of Christ. This ministry takes place not only on World Leprosy Day, but also on every other day of the year. We can be part of impacting their lives with hope, too!
I’d like to leave you with this quote from Pastor Jiva, a missionary who pioneered leprosy ministry in another region of Asia.
1World Health Organization, 2017. http://www.who.int/lep/en/
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.