Tapan’s community is remarkably diverse for being so unified. Some people were born in lush farm country, others in desert lands. Some may have been carpenters or teachers, others were farmers. They likely grew up speaking a different language than their neighbors. Yet despite their differences, they understand each other more than most people might. They all ended up in this poor community after a few fateful words were spoken to them: “You have leprosy.”
Tapan heard those words more than 12 years ago. Soon his wife, Manita, also discovered the disease lurking in her body. As leprosy destroyed their nerves, their hands and feet gradually grew distorted and infected. Their bodies bore the disfigurement so characteristic of the disease, and Tapan and his wife fled in shame to seclusion. They moved to another area and joined hundreds of other families living in a cluster of leprosy colonies.
Sisters of Compassion Extend Love to Leprosy Patients
Four young women also found themselves in Tapan’s community, but not because they had leprosy. Some years before, they individually told God they would dedicate their lives to demonstrating His love toward the suffering. After equipping themselves for ministry, these four Sisters of Compassion moved to the leprosy colonies.
Once there, they put their training into action. They cleaned oozing wounds, taught leprosy patients how to protect themselves from injury, and administered medical treatment.
Although leprosy still produces fear toward any who are infected, these women held only love and sympathy for the hurting. They comforted the residents with words about the Great Physician, and they eagerly prayed for any who confided in them.
Tapan is just one of the residents who benefited through their love and prayers. During one of their conversations, he told them he had heart problems in addition to his leprosy. The women prayed for him and gave him words of hope to cling to. They prayed and fasted for his healing many times, and as a result, Tapan no longer needed his heart medication!
“Jesus is the true God,” Tapan exclaimed. “He healed me from the heart problem.”
He began a relationship with Christ and even invited his neighbors to come to his home for prayer meetings. His wife’s wounds also healed because of prayer and faithful treatment.
Although their bodies bear the scars of leprosy, Tapan’s and Primila’s hearts are home to the One whose hands and feet are scarred from the cross. They—and other families in their community—found eternal hope and know of everlasting love.