WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the stigma of leprosy and the experiences of Balan and his family in the span of generations – loneliness, isolation, desperation, and by God’s grace – hope.
Balan was only around 7 years old but already thinking about suicide. He spent his days sitting alone in a corner of his parents’ home, a shawl wrapped around him to cover his body. After being diagnosed with leprosy, his mother, father, siblings and the rest of his community excommunicated him.
“I was all alone,” Balan says.
“I was not allowed to take a bath in a common water pond. I was not allowed to attend any festivals or any event or any celebration, so life was all lonely. I was very sad, and I used to feel rejected.”
He’d entertain thoughts of standing in front of an oncoming train to end his life. The pain of rejection and the loneliness, the stigma of leprosy, was too much for the young boy to handle on his own . . . until his brother-in-law heard about Balan’s situation.
“You don’t have to think like that,” he consoled.
“You will be alright. … You will see the world once again.”
Those words gave Balan hope…
Learn more about theGFA-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 more in Gospel for Asia’s Special Report:Leprosy—Misunderstandings and Stigma Keep it Alive – Although It’s a Curable Worldwide Problem.
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