Leprosy is a "Death Sentence" in the lives of many people in Odisha. India is one of a handful of countries where leprosy is still prevalent. This dreadful and debilitating disease carries an enormous social and religious stigma. Most people are immune to the leprosy bacteria, which is both fluid and air borne. It is a disease that attacks the nerves at the tips of our extremities - fingers, toes, face, etc. Much of the disfigurement comes from secondary infections due to loss of feelings. Leprosy is fully curable in the early stages, but fear of total ostracism forces people to deny or hide their symptoms until the signs are obvious. Lepers and their families are driven out of their communities and must find a "Leper Colony" in order to live out the rest of their pitiless existence.
Jesus commanded his disciples in Matthew 10:8 to “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers…” Good News India is doing just that. Six of our Dream Centers are reaching out to nearby lepers. We are feeding almost 600 lepers each day. We also take care of all the medical and personal needs.
Our "City of Refuge" Leper Colony at Ashroi Kendra cares for about 50 adults and their 150+ children. In 2010, a school was built especially for these darling children because the local community Schools would not enroll them due to fear and loathing. We continue to build more housing, toilets, bathing facilities etc, for the 200+ lepers that we want to help in the near future. We have six full-time staff that tend to the physical, spiritual and medical needs of these dear people in this one colony. Among the 700 million destitute people of India, this group is truly at the bottom... far below even the untouchables and low-caste tribes. People refuse to come near them due to fear and prejudice. But Lepers are often mentioned in the New Testament, and Jesus touched many of them as he walked the dusty roads of Israel. Now you and I have an opportunity to bring His touch of hope and healing into the many Leper colonies scattered across Eastern India. The voice that once said...."I will; be thou clean" is still speaking through His people today. Your gift will enable us to bring love, hope, and healing into their lives.