Miss Judith Carson was our speaker on Wednesday 6th November. Judith is a missionary rep for Leprosy Mission Northern Ireland. She is a Social Worker in her 9-5 job but has been to India in 2010 and 2014 as a volunteer for Leprosy Mission NI who work in India, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Judith shared with us a PowerPoint presentation portraying the great need of those affected by leprosy in India where it is a much misunderstood condition. Sufferers are often shunned or at worst driven from their homes. If you have leprosy, employers are often unwilling to offer you employment and as a result many are destitute. Leprosy Mission NI funds and supports various projects, these include housing, hospitals, education, community health care, vocational training and rehabilitation.
Leprosy still exists and over 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year. In most cases if detected early it can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. If untreated the nerves in the hands and feet are attacked by the bacteria causing loss of sensation, resulting in disability. Leprosy Mission seeks to monitor the patient’s condition as they attend the Clinic on a regular basis for drug treatment. They are also involved in assisting sufferers gain employment, wheelbarrows, sewing machines etc. provide outlets and training is provided. On occasions Volunteer teams are involved in rebuilding a home for an affected family, this gives them back their self-esteem.
Jesus gave us a pattern to help these people. Luke 5 verse 12 -13, Jesus put forth his hand and touched him making him whole. Many of these dear people have not felt a human touch for months because of the fear and stigma attached to leprosy. We can put forth our hand to help, by prayer and financial support. Leprosy Mission has a used stamp appeal. £2,300 has been raised in NI so far in 2019. Please don’t throw away your stamps especially over this Christmas time. Give them to Jimmy or Elsie who will see they are passed on to the Mission.