From begging on the street to renewed purpose!
It is too often that we meet people forced into a life they never imagined or wanted because of leprosy and the terrible stigma that comes along with it. Our dear friend Abdul Rehim experienced the life-altering effects of the disease at the early age of 25. While he was able to receive treatment at a local leprosy hospital, it wasn’t able to prevent severe loss of mobility in his hands and feet.
Leprosy does not cause limbs and digits to simply “fall off”. Instead, the disease attacks the nerves, resulting in loss of sensation and the inability to feel pain. Patients are then more prone to repeated injury and infections. Leading to the deterioration of skin tissue and, in many cases, loss of fingers, toes, and limbs. Amputation is also a much too frequent outcome. After his treatment, Abdul was unable to find work. His lack of mobility seemed to limit what he had to offer the world, so he and his wife ended up turning to begging on the streets. They could barely get enough for food and Abdul’s necessary bandages.
Thankfully, God was not done with their story! When Abdul learned about Embrace a Village’s hospice center in Coimbatore, he came to stay with us for six months. He was able to heal and be encouraged! Our staff poured into Abdul and helped him see all the potential he had. He came to believe and embrace the fact that he didn’t have to be defined by his disease. Abdul went back to his home equipped to live a more purposeful life through our micro-enterprise opportunities!
A few years later, while living alone, he made the decision to return to live at Embrace a Village. His words were “for the rest of my life.” He said the family here is all he has left in the world. Now at the age of 65, Abdul is very involved with the various projects around the rehab center property. He helps teach and share his wisdom about the chicken and goat micro-enterprise opportunities. Abdul is always a joyful addition to our prayer meetings and Bible studies. He has found his home for the final part of his life, and we are beyond honored to be a family to him!
Without a place like EAV, it is tough to imagine where Abdul might be in his life. There are so few people willing to love and care for those who have been completely cast out by society.
Generous giving and support from people like you allow us to serve Abdul and so many like him!
Thank you for coming along on this beautiful mission God is doing in India – there are countless other lives transformed because of your compassion, these amazing people will not go forgotten or ignored.