For I am the LORD who heals you – Exodus 15:26
I read this story and was so touched by this young woman’s love and compassion for others who were experiencing what she once experienced. When a leprosy patient cried out, “Don’t open my bandage!”, Sakshi revealed her own hands and feet which clearly showed traces of the disease. She assured the patient the disease was not as result of some sin. Many people who have leprosy believe that some sin in their lives is the cause. Sakshi once believed this too.
Sakshi was a teenager when she found out that she had the disease. As the eldest her younger siblings used to look up to her until she got leprosy. They abruptly withdrew from her and wanted nothing more to do with her. Friendless and rejected, Sakshi became depressed and hopelessness drove her to attempted suicide. Thankfully, her father saved her and encouraged her. He told her that she was a precious child and urged her to strengthen her heart through the pain and hardship.
“So my papa was becoming so much a comforter to me and he comforted me and even my brother and sister, they used to hate me, and they don’t want to talk with me, they were not in home at that time when I was doing all these things,” Sakshi shared. “So my father, he saw me and he pulled me from there, and he made me understand everything, and after that I became ok.”
After speaking to her father, she gave up trying to end her life but was still experiencing loneliness and it didn’t help that people were blaming her for contracting the disease. This is similar to what Job himself experienced when he lost his livestock, possessions, servants and children and was covered in painful boils. He was blamed for what happened to him. His friends offered him no comfort and told him that he must have committed some evil for all these things to have happened to him. He was all alone but he clung to his faith in God and God healed him and restored his losses.
Unlike Job, Sakshi had some support but it didn’t stop her from worrying or believing that she had done something to contract the disease. As time went by, her condition grew worse. One of her fingers bent in an awkward position and when she experienced terrible pain in one of her legs, the doctors encouraged her to amputate it but she was afraid to do so. And it was around this time that she met a few Gospel for Asia supported missionaries who encouraged her and prayed for her. They told her about the about the love of the Healer and Sakshi began to pray in faith and ask Jesus to heal her own body. And her prayer was answered. Jesus healed her!
After she experienced complete healing, Sakshi decided that she would dedicate her life to serving the Lord and helping others. She attended Bible college and served in leprosy ministry after graduation. She made it her mission to reach out to the shunned and the rejected. “Nobody is there to comfort [the leprosy patients] and to give any kind of encouragement. Nobody wants to love them, hug them or to come near to them to dress them.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God – 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4
“By seeing them, I am thinking that I will fill the gap,” Sakshi said. “I will give that love, which they are not getting from their grandchildren and daughters… I will become their daughter, I will become their grandchildren, and I will help them and encourage them and I will love them.” With the love of Christ flowing through her, Sakshi touched the untouchable and despised by doing simple things such as helping them with housework, giving them hugs, washing clothes and combing hair. She showed them the love of God and how precious they were in His sight. He has not forgotten them. God used her testimony to give them hope. He does not cast people aside because they have leprosy. When Sakshi cried out to Him in faith, He heard her and answered. He intervened when she wanted to end her life and through her father, He spoke “words of life into her weary soul”.
January 29 is World Leprosy Day. You can make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering from this disfiguring disease by helping the Leprosy Ministry to share the love of Christ and the Gospel. We hope to see more people like Sakshi dedicating their lives to serving Jesus and bringing others to Him. Be a part of the ministry which reaches out to people who will hear, perhaps for the first time, about a kind and compassionate Savior who is not afraid to touch and hold them. He loved the unloved.
Show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother – Zechariah 7:9
Source: Gospel for Asia