In Papua New Guinea, Emanuel, aged 30, and Renagi, aged 28, are proud parents of four children. They are both affected by leprosy and so are two of their children.
“I was ten years old. I first noticed that there was swelling on my arm and leg,” Emanuel told us.
“I was only six years old at the time”, Renagi said, “I began to notice white patches. My skin was also very sensitive to sunlight.”
Fortunately the family hasn’t experienced any direct stigma or discrimination to date. But they feel this is only because people don’t know they have leprosy.
However, the fact they are affected by leprosy has caused much concern for Renagi. She has been anxious for her family and their future.
“I was worried about my leprosy. I wondered who would take care of my children and family. I have been very worried about my daughter and son’s health since they were both diagnosed.”
Although Emanuel received treatment as a child, his leprosy relapsed in 2016.
The Leprosy Mission began coming to their village in 2016 and now visits regularly.
“When I see The Leprosy Mission staff and volunteers visiting, I know it is the plan of God. I am always happy for them to visit,” Renagi told us.
The Leprosy Mission staff encourage them to take their free medication, maintain a healthy diet and to use the local drop toilet. They have also helped them to manage their money by teaching them how to use a budget table.
“Now I know how to save and budget. I have learned how to use my money,” said Emanuel.
“I want to open a bank account so I can save money and start a chicken business. I want to use the money I will make to educate my children and improve our home.”
“I want to say thank you to Australian supporters of The Leprosy Mission and pass on my blessings.
“Thank you, because this mission has opened my life and empowered us.”
Emanuel and his family have renewed hope, but still need your support. They are keen to receive more training in farming.
Please pray The Leprosy Mission Papua New Guinea will be able to continue to visit their village.
Please pray for families affected by leprosy in Papua New Guinea. To give financial support please FREECALL 1800 LEPROSY (1800 537 767) or go to: www.leprosymission.org.au/PNG