We welcomed back Dr Ruth Butlin who brought us an update on the reconstruction work at Anandaban Research Centre in Nepal.

If you remember, the old research laboratory suffered significant damage in the 2015 earthquakes and yet somehow it managed to cling on to the mountainside. It was in danger of failing the government inspection which would have resulted in its closure.

Our gifts last year along with other supporters have made the reconstruction work on the centre a reality and the team are seeing the works progress with completion due in 2025.

This is so exciting and such a huge step in the journey to ridding the world of leprosy.  It means that existing ground-breaking research can come to fruition and bring hope and health to so many for a better and brighter future, living the lives God intended for them.

Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind! Since Biblical times, people with leprosy have been excluded from society, The sad truth today is that there are places in the world (generally in the more under-developed countries like Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) where leprosy is a big problem and many people suffer greatly from damaged limbs, disfigurements and disabilities and even physical and metal cruelty because of the disease.

With quick diagnosis and the right treatment whether it be physiotherapy to improve the functioning of limbs or reconstructive surgery, literally, thousands of people are having their lives transformed meaning they can work and support their families and participate in their communities.

Ruth said that “Jesus challenges us to see all people as our neighbours”, especially those who are cut off from society or marginalised through no fault of their own. We need to see people how God sees them, people to be valued and drawn into the family of God.  This task remains unfinished but we all have a part to play.