Left alone in her home almost every day, our friend’s young adult years were spent in fear and deep loneliness.
Priyadarshini is a 23-year-old caring woman living with her husband and one-year-old daughter. Her story is like too many others, she never imagined she would develop the stealing disease that is leprosy. At the tender age of 15, Priyadarshini first notices patches on her face. Leprosy never even crossed her mind, so the patches went untreated, and she began to experience deformities.
Teenage years are already filled with big emotions, we can’t understand the additional emotional and mental pain this caused our friend. Unfortunately, her parents didn’t want to do anything with her, and she was left alone in her house most of the time. This is a common treatment for those with leprosy, the loneliness can become unbearable.
Priyadarshini shared, “Most of the nights, for many years, I could only cry and cry, and finally, there were no tears coming out of her eyes.”
She could not play with her friends anymore because they were afraid that the sickness would spread to them too. Her childhood was simply gone, seemingly overnight. During these years, she did meet a man who was willing to marry her, even knowing her circumstance. But her new husband didn’t have a regular income, and they were surviving on very little.
One day news reached Priyadarshini that changed her life. She met an elderly woman also suffering from leprosy who had been receiving benefits from Embrace a Village for many years. She introduced Priyadarshini to us, and a turning point began! By this time, they also had a child, and they were struggling financially not only due to Priyadarshini’s illness but also the added pressure of the pandemic. Embrace a Village was able to come and meet so many of their needs!
Overcome with gratitude, she asked, “Will you come and give me the bandages next week also?” Our staff then had the opportunity to really encourage her and said as long as the Lord gives us the ability to give these things, we will continue to give them. She was so happy and thanked all of us!
Thanks to the Lord’s grace and your support, we can go back and continue to meet the needs of Priyadarshini and others like her. May this example of life-changing care be an encouragement to you and serve as a reminder of your connection to God’s people in India!