A disease accompanied by centuries of stereotype and fear, leprosy hits approximately a quarter of a million people, although it is easily treatable.
Often, leprosy patients are forced to isolate themselves in villages. Although many do get the medicine to cure the disease, it often ravages the body first, leaving the survivors disfigured and disabled.
On top of that, the discrimination often means that villages do not have access to clean water or electricity, and many ex-leprosy patients live in very difficult conditions.
Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries serve in dozens of leper colonies throughout South Asia, bringing hope to hundreds.
In one colony, a group of women missionaries visit four days a week. Two of those days are dedicated entirely to looking after the leprosy patients' practical needs, such as chores. The team also distributes food and medicine to the patients. Other times, the needs extend to practical grooming, such as personal hygiene and haircuts.
Beyond their practical service, the missionaries conduct weekly prayer meetings and share the love of Jesus with the patients.
In many of the colonies, fellowship groups of new believers have sprung up, and some of these have already become churches. The believers of one church recently had the joy of sending the first young man from their colony to a GFA Bible college to prepare for full-time ministry.
Please pray for them, along with all the missionaries involved with Gospel for Asia's leprosy ministry. Ask the Lord to give them strength each day to carry out their calling and to be fruitful for His Kingdom.