MY TESTIMONY, By Dr Asha Masseya
“For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord , plans not to hurt you but give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29 :11.
I believe God has guided and chosen me to be part of The Leprosy Mission.
I have been brought up in a Christian mission environment. My father was a social worker and professor who worked for the uplifting of the rural poor and marginalized. After he retired he adopted a leprosy colony where there were children of leprosy affected parents who had to take up begging to support their families.
My father set up a learning centre in the colony to rehabilitate the parents of these children by teaching them tailoring and the children were given per school education and sent out to various schools.
By becoming a doctor I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps to serve in the rural areas…
But God had other plans for me…
After I got married to Stephen who is also a doctor from the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, both of us were sponsored by the hospital for Masters in Public Health to the University of Leeds. But the call of family duty took us to our hometown in West Bengal, where we set up a private hospital. During our 20 years there, we were connected to various missions. We were the official doctors of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and other Catholic schools around.
But there was always a feeling that something was missing…
In 2007 we decided to give up private practice and join a mission hospital closer to home in Maharashtra. We were told by some friends that there was a need for good committed Christian doctors in The Leprosy Mission Trust India at Kothara. At that point of time, the plan was to put in a couple of years at Kothara and start looking at other mission hospitals. But as time went by we realized that working here gave so much meaning to our lives. And we experienced a joy and satisfaction like we never had.
A turning point in our lives came in 2011 when Stephen got severe necrotizing pancreatitis and had to be put onto life support. The doctors told us that there were only 30% chance that he would survive. During this time of crisis the whole Mission stood by us and chain prayers took place across India. It was just amazing how the patients went down on their knees and prayed for his health.
Today Stephen is with us and doing well and is contributing significantly to the hospital, a living testimony of God’s goodness and mercies. A living miracle in our midst.
We firmly believe that had it not been for us serving God’s people and those affected by leprosy we would never have got our loved one back.
Looking back now we realize that it was not by our will we came to Kothara but it was God’s purpose and plan for us, that we were plucked up from a private practice and placed in Kothara to serve the needy.
Today both of us are closer to God than we have ever been and acknowledge Him for all the blessings in our life.
I also feel that I bring a great background through both my upbringing and my parents’ service to mankind which has guided the career path I have taken over the last 11 years. This is what makes me so passionate and motivated to make a small difference in the lives of those affected by leprosy.
To see the children smile and the elders in the ward bless you, gives an immense satisfaction and a feeling of doing God’s work.
I feel very fortunate that I am a part of an institution that has founded itself in the values taught by Jesus Christ.
I am guided by a spiritual belief that everyone has a purpose on this earth and we are called to serve in some capacity. I also believe in the power of gratitude both in prayer and motivation to serve.
Thank you for your prayers.
Dr Asha will be coming to Australia in January and February to help us mark World Leprosy Sunday at events around the country. Please pray for her preparation and safe travel. And also for her husband and the leprosy hospital she is leaving behind temporarily in order to come visit with us! Thank you.