Timor Leste Appeal

“A local healer wrapped my arms and legs in banana leaves and put my arms and legs over a fire…”

Your gift means children like Emiliana will not suffer due to the stigma and ignorance of a curable disease

When Emiliana from Timor Leste found white patches on her skin, she did not know it was leprosy. Nobody in her community was trained to recognise the disease. That’s why her friends told her to put coffee leaves on her legs. That’s why her mother spent all her money trying different treatments that didn’t work. And that’s why Emiliana allowed a local healer to wrap her arms and legs in banana leaves and put them over a fire.

“It was so hot and painful. I could feel it in my bones… My skin became black. I had little movement in my limbs… I was very sick. I thought I was going to die.”
—Emiliana

Emiliana was wrapped in banana leaves by a traditional healer and burned

Emiliana was wrapped in banana leaves by a traditional healer and burned.

Without you, children like Emiliana may not get treated for this completely curable disease. And in cases like hers, the physical side of the disease is not the worst part. Emiliana was shunned by her friends who thought they would catch leprosy.

“My friends told me I was cursed and received this disease because my father left us before I was born. I started to believe them… They would tease me at school and run away from me at lunch time. This made me very sad and lonely. I tried to laugh and make jokes to forget. But I do not forget.”

When Emiliana was burnt she thought she was going to die.

When Emiliana was burnt she thought she was going to die.

As her hand became clawed, Emiliana could not do basic chores like collecting firewood. She also found it harder and harder to write at school… but she was desperate to learn.

“I had to take my friend’s notes home and copy them out because I was so much slower than the other children. But even though writing is very difficult for me, I want to go to school and learn. It is better to try than to have regrets. I dream of going to university, getting a good job, and looking after my mum.”

Even though it's hard for Emiliana to write, she still wants to go to school and learn.

Even though it’s hard for Emiliana to write, she still wants to go to school and learn.

Thanks to supporters like you, Emiliana may well achieve that dream! Because when The Leprosy Mission workers visited Emiliana’s community…

“They told me about a clinic where I could get medications which treat leprosy. The staff massaged my hand and showed me exercises to help the movement of my limbs. They treated me like a human being. They encouraged me, prayed for me, and told me not to give up. I thought ‘God has sent someone to look after me’.”

The Leprosy Mission helped Emiliana get the right medicine, treatment and new hope! | Photo by Daniel Christiansz © 2016

The Leprosy Mission helped Emiliana get the right medicine, treatment and new hope! | Photo by Daniel Christiansz © 2016

That’s the heart of this ministry. To be the ones God sends to help children like Emiliana. And you’re a part of this work through your prayers and generosity!

You can give a new future to those like Emiliana with leprosy. And because nobody should have to suffer like she did. So instead of being shunned and teased, Emiliana received love and kindness. Instead of living with burns and disability, she received a proper diagnosis and medicine for leprosy. Plus, movement to her arm and hand has been restored! And instead of falling further and further behind in school, this determined young girl has special plans.

“Before The Leprosy Mission helped me, I had no dreams for the future. But now, because of Australian supporters like you, I have hope. One day I want to become a midwife so that I too can help others.”

Thanks to you, Emiliana has been given a new life. And one day, perhaps Emiliana will be bringing new life into the world for the first time! But so many others like Emiliana need to be reached… in fact, every 2 minutes a new case of leprosy is diagnosed.

Please GIVE NOW to help others like her with leprosy.

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