A Day with Ex-Lepers

Breaking the barriers

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Christmas season offers us opportunities to show love and remind ourselves that we are all humans, no matter our situations in life. In the midst of prevalent obnoxious consumerist tendencies, the bright lights and funfairs, there are many among us that cannot find a reason to celebrate except that they are alive. And to some, being alive can be a heavy burden if they do not know where the next meal would come from. And there are many who are forced to walk barefooted on the rough roads of life with no shirt on their backs.

Every Christmas, over the past 15 years or so, I with brothers and sisters from church, have endeavoured to spend a day with some folks that are so helpless and someone must help them with virtually everything. Some of them are blind and have lost their limbs to an easily treatable but dreaded bacterial disease, leprosy. Seeing them rejoice and celebrate life should puts political leaders, and others who could help but don’t, to shame.

A Day…everyday

Spending a day with men and women who once suffered from leprosy – but now live with related injuries and are virtually outcasts in society, often rejected by families –  never fails to remind me of the severe erosion of our very humanity. Beholding their lovely, healthy children, raises the question of what would be the case if these youths are supported to receive the best education and are aided to escape the cycle of pain, rejection and poverty they were born into.

Spending time away from the hustle and bustle of life, embedded in the dusts of struggle for survival, prepares me on the eve of every new year to stand with the oppressed in the fights to break the shackles of wickedness, injustice and rejection. Everywhere and every time.

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