Monday, June 10, 2013

No Such thing as Leprosy -India

(currently in a cyber cafe in India, which is a tiny room that you come in off the street and it costs 15 Rupees (30 cents for an hour), so I'd say a good deal.)  

"There are no lepers, only leprosy and its curable."

A few days ago we went to the leprosy shelter that Mother Teresa built while in India and it was amazing to see the work that she did and what she has built for these people with this disease. Most people with leprosy get abandoned by their family and are looked at as if they are not even human.  I can't even imagine being dumped on the side of the road by those who love you the most, your husbands, brothers, children; because you have a disease that everyone is scared of, even though it is curable.  Those stranded are left to die a long slow lonely death. 

It took a woman like Mother Teresa to set up and give these people their basic human dignity and spread the word that it is wrong to treat others this way.  She took them in off of the streets to show them that people deserve respect and love.  It is amazing to see what this place has grown into since she first opened it.

When we first got there we walked past some of the patients and it hurt to look at them; seeing the missing arms and legs and many were missing eyesight because of the leprosy slowly eating away at their body.  Stranger than seeing this however, was the fact that they would all smile as you went by and bow and tell you hello in Bengali.  They all seemed so happy and it was hard to imagine being in that state and yet being filled with joy. It's amazing what simply giving someone their dignity back to them and treating them with love will do.

As we continued to walk  we went to a different area and saw the jobs that they supplied for the patients while they were getting treated and even for some who have recovered and just are so thankful for the place that they continue to work there and help out.  One of the jobs that they have for them is to make all of the bedding and clothing for the patients in their other homes as well as make the white and blue saris that all of the sisters wear.  One of the girls pointed out something that really made me stop to think; that these people are the ones left to die by society, they aren't even looked at as humans, and yet they are clothing the women who go out on the streets every day and care for all the sick and dying.  It is amazing to think that they are gaining back their human dignity and by clothing the sisters, they are also feeding the hungry and caring for the wounded.  They are doing more good for the world than many of us are capable of doing in our lifetime.

We also got to see the school that was there for the children of the patients and they sung us a bunch of songs in English and Bengali, it was adorable.  These are children that probably wouldn't have gotten an education if their parents hadn't gotten leprosy and been brought here.  They would definitely not be learning English, which is a necessity if you don't want to live in poverty for the rest of your life. 

 God doesn't create suffering, He allows it to happen.  He is like any father, He hates to see his children suffer.  While he doesn't take away all of the anger and pain in the world, he does make it so good can come from it.  These people were abandoned by society, but through God's love they have been taken in and given human dignity and now have incredible hope for their children's futures.  This is true for all of our lives; if we turn to God, even the hardest parts of our lives can be used for good.

--(This trip has been amazing so far and I have so much more to share!  P.S. my spelling doesn't get any better in any country, so sorry if there were errors)

"You will only be scared of the future if you are not using the present correctly" -Mother Teresa