In Jesus’ time, Jewish men and women who contracted Hansen’s disease (more popularly known as leprosy) were completely cut off from society, to the point where they had to live outside of towns and villages, make noise anytime they came close to those not afflicted by the disease, and were unable to attend the synagogue or offer sacrifices at the Temple. This was in part due to the fact that leprosy is highly contagious (and at the time, had no cure), and partly to do with the belief that all disease was a form of punishment from God.
While much has changed in 2,000 years in terms of our understanding of the causes and treatment of Hansen’s disease, the fact remains that it is a debilitating and isolating condition that takes years to recover from. That is why we have Missionhurst priests working at the Dr. José Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (formerly and still referred to as The Tala Leprosarium) in Caloocan City in Luzon. Our missionaries don’t provide medical care in the Philippines, per se, but instead accompany those who are sick so that they do not lose hope as they recover.
In order to continue bringing Christ’s love and healing to those afflicted with leprosy in the Philippines, we need your help! Please prayerfully consider doing one of the following:
1. Pray for the young people currently in recovery at The Tala Leprosarium.
Recovery from Hansen’s disease can be as long as five years in the most extreme cases. This is especially difficult for young patients, whose lives and dreams come to a standstill when they are diagnosed. Please pray for these men and women, that their recovery may go smoothly and that they receive consolation and hope from their faith in Christ.
2. Give a financial gift to our mission in the Philippines.
If you have the means, please consider sponsoring our mission in the Philippines so that we can provide more leprosy patients with one-on-one spiritual and emotional care.
3. Write a letter of encouragement to a leprosy patient.
One of the most difficult things about extended stays in the hospital, especially when suffering from an infectious and debilitating disease, is the loneliness. Receiving a letter from someone, even a stranger, can brighten a patient’s day and relieve their sense of isolation. If you’d like to write a letter to a patient at the Tala Leprosarium, please contact Missionhurst at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how.
If you can only do one thing for those suffering from Hansen’s disease in the Philippines, please pray for them, and for the priests, sisters, and medical professionals who serve them.
Will you help us provide prayer and support to those who are suffering in the Filipino community?