Yunnan Churches Combine Efforts to Care for Leper Survivors

By Yi Yang, December 01, 2016 01:12 AM

The leprosy survivors and the church staff(Photo Provided to CCD)

Leprosy, which people used to fear, is now controllable and preventable, and lepers are cared by the outside.  Christians are often found helping these patients to the best of their abilities. This includes material support as well as showing the love of Christ through interacting and embracing them.

Recently, believers from Xiaohongpo Church, Tianyu Church, and Gejiu Tian'en Church of Yunnan Honghe Prefecture drove to Hongxi County in Mi'le City. They brought 80 blankets, 80 bags of rice, bread, laundry detergent, and more, and visited the lepers there.  It was learned that there are more than 70 lepers there, and most of them have already become Christians. 

According to Elder He of Xiaohongpo Church, in the first half of 2014, church fellow workers visited a leper recovery village in Shiping County and they saw that some lepers couldn't take care of themselves, and those who could help them to cook. They recovered a long time ago, except for body parts lost to the disease. There are three nuns serving there all the year round.  Some nuns said that right now the lepers have a 200 CNY welfare subsidy from the central government, but their lives are still difficult.  Some people begrudge spending money, so they save the welfare money.

Moreover, Elder He went to a leper recovery village in Yiliang Kunming City.  There were 13 households of believers, and He went to preach.

When asked if he had worries visiting, He said that he took his little granddaughter with him.  "They have long been cured.  Now they are recovering and retiring.  We also hug them and tap them on the shoulders.  Since some of them have no hands, we make jiaozi for them." He said gladly.

The leper recovery village of Yunnan lies in a remote area with inconvenient transportation.  Brother Lin from Mi'le Church once visited a leper recovery village.  He said that the lepers are cut off from the rest of the world year round. They often live in a mountainous area for decades, and because of the missing body parts and decades-long seclusion, it is difficult for cured lepers to reintegrate into society.

Brother Lin himself was once afraid of interacting with the lepers due to a fear of contamination.  "The lepers used to have no sense of touch and they wouldn't know if their fingers or toes were hurt.  Now, with developments in medical technology, some people born in leper villages, even over 30, have had immunizations.  It may be difficult, but they may live their lives like normal people."

Brother Lin said that his first interaction with lepers was in 2015.  After seeing them, his only thought was how to help them.  "They were so pitiable, so the believers from Mi'le Church are trying to help, and they've donated thousands."

Translated BY: Grace Hubl

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