Afraid to go near leprosy patients, now he’s a compassionate friend


Reuben is a staff member who allowed God to break his heart for what breaks His.

Once afraid to touch them — now a dear brother and friend

Reuben David is a staff member that serves at our base in Coimbatore, India, whose heart is pure gold! Though he might say it took some buffing from the Lord to reveal the beauty underneath!

Reuben had never seen anyone with leprosy when he arrived at EAV. He was intimidated by the patients, and fear gripped him so tightly that he didn’t want to touch them for fear of getting leprosy himself. (This is a common fear, as you can probably imagine.) He said the ulcers, disfigured faces, and deformed fingers were hard to look at, and he questioned if he’d come to the right place. 

When prayer conquers all fears

Yet as he started praying, God put a real burden in his heart for this people group that society so quickly dismisses. As Reuben visited the leprosy villages with the medical team, slowly, all the fear disappeared. He realized this was a God-given opportunity and that he should continue to do ministry with EAV.

Reuben shared: “Since then I never even questioned myself, ‘Why do I do this or why am I here,’ not even a single time. In the initial days, I had fear, but now I am enjoying my time with these wonderful people. Now my prayer is that EAV should go and minister more and more wherever these people are, even to other states of India.” 

Dreaming Kingdom Dreams

Reuben says his heart rejoices when he hears how grateful people are for the food, bandages, and aid that the team brings and shares,

“I am so thrilled how God is using us to be a blessing not only to the people living in the leprosy colonies but even to the people living in the remote villages. God has given us the opportunity to touch many patients in the remote village of Tamil Nadu… 

They (leprosy patients) always say a big thank you to EAV for what we do. They always say, ‘We eat the rice that you give, the shoes you provide is a great blessing and some stories even bring us to tears.’ Some patients even say, ‘I never had even a single rupee to buy the bandages for my ulcers, but you came and gave me freely.’

But his heart is burdened, knowing so many still don’t have the necessary help they need to deal with their ulcers. He shared with us, 

“My prayer and desire is that EAV will reach out to many other states in India with our loving compassionate care for the people suffering with leprosy; even I want to be a part of that also, to reach out to new people in new places.” 

We thought you might enjoy hearing from Reuben in his own words. 

Before joining EAV, Reuben had some financial struggles and says that EAV has been a great blessing to him and his growing family. He believes God has given him this great blessing, and says, “I am so happy that God chose me to be a part of this blessed team.”

Thank you for journeying with us over the years.

Like Reuben, many of one of you has said a simple yes in answering God’s call to love those most vulnerable. Whether that was through a financial gift, helping us raise awareness, or praying over the teams and patients as they minister – we thank you.

Your generosity has allowed us to support families like Reuben’s and our beautiful patients and their families.