SOME time ago I suddenly found myself face to face with the world of leprosy for the first time. when I was shown reports and photographs from people working with leprosy sufferers.
The story that the reports and pictures told was almost unbelievable.
One picture was taken on a Wednesday morning in a village in Burundi. Every Wednesday morning the leprosy sufferers leave their isolated settlement and make their way up a hill to a mission station in the village. At the mission station they receive their ration of food for the week.
Many have worked the land but the ravages of leprosy have made even walking difficult. It was easy to see why. There were pictures of feet when leprosy had done with them — broken and ulcerated — and hands that were just stumps. Leprosy, quite simply, is a destroyer.
Above all, leprosy means the loss of all dignity for the sufferer. No wonder the leprosy sufferer is so often an outcast — helpless, useless and destitute.
But there is another side to this sad picture. For there are organisations, like the Si. Francis