I have recently been accepted to go to India this summer to serve and teach through a humanitarian organization called Rising Star Outreach. I will be working in the Leper colonies; bathing the feet and bodies of those afflicted, cleaning and painting homes, bringing water to the villages, and most important, loving the people. I will also be teaching and tutoring children in English one-on-one.
For those unfamiliar with Leprosy, it is a skin bacterium that affects more than 1 million people in India. The word leprosy comes from the Latin word Lepros and means defilement. These people are shunned from their communities because of their disease and are forced to live out their lives together in colonies with no access to treatment. The disease cripples the body by loss of feeling, digits, paralysis of the feet (why artistic renditions of the ten lepers are seen with bandages and crutches), and other skin pigmentation and ulcers. In the area I will be, colonies have come to be made up of families, with members who are not infected but are shunned by association.
I truly feel a deep pull in my heart that one of my purposes here on this earth is to meet Heavenly Father's children around the world and see them for who they are, eternal spirit sons and daughters of God. I have been so blessed with opportunities to fulfill this role I feel drawn to. I am excited beyond words to meet my brothers and sisters in India. Like with Africa, I have felt, for no obvious reason, a pull to go to India since I can remember. I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Africa and now India while still so young. My experience in Ghana was life changing and I am forever grateful for those I met and loved. I pray that my time in India will be a humbling and amazing experience as well.