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THE LEPROSY MISSION: Good News for leprosy sufferers

posted 17 Apr 2011, 05:30 by Mount Pleasant Church   [ updated 17 Apr 2011, 05:36 ]

By John White, The Leprosy Mission Area Coordinator for Wales

By the time you finish reading this short article another person somewhere in the world will have been diagnosed with leprosy. A quarter of a million people every year are given the bad news that they carry the disease and need urgent treatment. In fact, with the real possibility of many cases going undetected, the number of new infections could be – and probably is – much higher. The good news is, The Leprosy Mission (TLM) is there to help!

Working in around 30 countries, TLM provides compassionate and professional Christian care to hundreds of thousands of leprosy sufferers every year, both to the newly diagnosed and longer term patients. And its care can range from counselling, medication and surgery through to vocational training, livelihood development and nursing for the elderly. And of course, at the core of all we do is God’s love and the good news of Jesus Christ. Our aim is not just to treat disease but to see lives transformed.

I had the privilege last November of spending time in Nigeria to see a little of TLM’s work there, get to know our staff, and of course meet some of those affected by leprosy who are being helped by the Mission. It’s a hard and frustrating place to work, the sixth worst country for leprosy in the world and hampered by poverty, poor infrastructure and corruption. But TLM staff are doing some great work in difficult circumstances and they certainly won my admiration.

A good way that you could help TLM is by getting involved in our project for 2011 which is focussing on Nigeria. One place I visited was a leprosy community called Oyi in Kogi State. This small village also has a basic clinic and a school, but both are run down and need  substantial renovation. We want to try to raise £8000 for this work, as well as provide some house repairs in the village, a fresh water supply, equipment for the school, and fund some reconstructive surgery. If we can do all that it will make a huge difference! But if we work together we can do it, so please get involved.

There are two simple things you can do: Come along on one of our sponsored Walks of Hope (details and sponsor forms at www.walksofhope.org.uk). There’s one on 25 June at 11am starting from the Brecon Beacons Visitor Centre. Or second, talk to Pauline Garrett, your church’s TLM rep and she can give you more information – perhaps take a box to put your loose change in to pass on to TLM, or organise your own local fundraising event together.

Thanks for reading this, and I hope you’ll want to get more involved in the great work TLM is doing around the world. See you on the sponsored walk!

If you want to contact me, here are the details: John White, The Leprosy Mission, 29 Cilonen Road, Three Crosses, Swansea, SA4 3PH.  Phone 01792 872438, email johnw@TLMEW.org.uk.

 (John will be preaching with us on Palm Sunday, 17th. April, and be the guest speaker at the “Churches Together” meal on Wednesday 24th. April. Please look out for more details.)