Lives Saved – Overcoming Adversity
Lifting Up A Community and a Remarkable Woman
Using her God-given talents and a simple foot pump sewing machine, Rebecca (seen in the photo above) is known in her village for creating beautifully sewn garments. She uses her skills to teach other ladies in her community how to sew, and develop a means to support themselves.
But Rebecca is not your typical seamstress. She lives in the leper colony of Malo, which is situated on the outskirts of Rumbek, South Sudan. Rebecca has suffered from leprosy her whole life, which has left her with just one finger and no toes. Yet despite her handicap, she continues to transform brightly colored fabrics into attractive and useful apparel.
Adversity is nothing new to the residents of the leper colony. But overcoming their disease seemed like an impossible dream until recently. Families with leprosy are typically expelled from communities and driven forcibly away. They find themselves completely cast out and cut off from society. As a result, they end up with nothing and become destitute.
Just months ago, the people of this community were on the brink of death from starvation and illness. Driven from everywhere they went and unable to trade, they were homeless, sick, and ravaged by hunger. Their clothes were worn and ragged, and some had none left at all. They were eating leaves and waiting to die.
When Sudan Relief Fund partners discovered this group of people in their desperate state, their lives began to turn around. With generous support from our donors, Sudan Relief Fund delivered emergency food, medicine, and clothing. Homes were built, a health clinic and maternity ward were constructed, and now this community even has a church to celebrate their joy and thank the Lord for their blessings.
The loss of extremities from leprosy cannot be restored for people like Rebecca, but the progression of the illness can be stopped in its tracks with simple treatment. No longer is this community starving and homeless. Today, because of the generosity of donors, the village is slowly turning around.
You will see people working in planted fields, or like Rebecca, using their God-given talents in productive enterprises. Children have the chance to go to school. There is still much work to be done to cure the ill, to provide enough housing, and to rebuild a community. Medicines will always be needed. But hope has returned.
Sudan Relief Fund partners recently visited the leper community. What struck them most from their visit was the joy the people radiated in the midst of their circumstances. Their smiles were contagious and their gratitude immense. Some are still fighting leprosy, but now they have the hope of a better future. And their children are now spared from contracting the horrific disease.
There under a tree, surrounded by other ladies watching and learning, you’ll see Rebecca maneuvering her sewing machine and fabric with her one good finger and her foot without toes, singing while she works.
These stories are made possible by your support of Sudan Relief Fund. Thank you for partnering with us to save lives.
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