Jesus told a story about the time He was traveling along the border of Samaria and Galilee. “Ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ When He saw them, He said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed.” (Luke 17:12–14)

You’d expect the entire group of ten to turn back and thank the Lord, but only one did. He “came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’” (Luke 17:15–18)  

When I traveled to India with Apple of His Eye Charity, two of my favorite sites to visit were the leprosy churches. In addition to handing out rice and other staples, we smiled at them, touched them, and made eye contact with them, treating them like worthwhile and valuable human beings. Not only had these dear people lost fingers and toes, but they had also been deprived of the warmth of normal human interaction. 

Two reasons explain why lepers in India have been marginalized. One, people are frightened that leprosy is contagious. Two, the people of India believe in Karma. The basis of this unbiblical philosophy is the false assumption that people live multiple lives. Therefore, it is assumed that lepers must have done something bad in a past life, and as a result, they deserve to have leprosy in this life and to be ostracized.

Karma teaches that you must behave to achieve whatever it is that its adherents consider Heaven. Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that right-standing with God is available to anyone who believes and receives Jesus Christ. That is the message our partners in India have shared, not only with widows and orphans, but also with lepers. That is why there are now churches among some of the leprosy communities.

Your generous donations will be rewarded when you are met in Heaven by some of these lepers, thankful and no longer plagued with any disease. 

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