A Light to the Oppressed
After visiting India on 11 different missions’ trips, Jim said, “Serving the victims of leprosy is always my best experience.”
Fifty five percent of leprosy cases in the world are in India, with around 127,000 new cases reported each year. Once a person with leprosy receives medication, it only takes two weeks until that person is no longer contagious. But in India, when someone finds they have leprosy, their own family members disown them, consider them cursed and send them away from their homes. Sometimes their children will even be excluded from school because a parent has or has had leprosy.
Besides medical care and health education, there are many areas in which leprosy victims need help. Food is the most important, since it is difficult for lepers to find work to earn a living. As part of IGL’s goal to reach the lost and care for the sick, IGL reaches out to these victims to help care for them, as well as cure their disease.
In doing so, the victims are struck by the acceptance and love they receive, which is in stark contrast to the earlier rejection by friends and family. Both IGL staff and travelers to India get the wonderful opportunity to be a Light to those who are oppressed and share the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV)