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The Upside Down Kingdom Part 4

The Leprosy Mission produces an internal daily devotional guide, The Bridge, for use in offices, hospitals, clinics and projects around the world. Current and former staff and trustees from many countries contribute to the guide. We will share with you contributions made by one of our team.

Norman Lazonby, a member of our board, has written this series of thoughts on the Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:6

Wellesley Bailey grew up during the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s. He dreamed of finding a new, more promising life and set out to find his fortune in the goldfields of Australia in 1866. Three years later he returned home to Dublin with his ambitions unfulfilled. One of his brothers was serving in the police force in India and invited Wellesley to join him there which he did in 1869.

Whilst in India, Wellesley Bailey witnessed the severe consequences of leprosy. He was shocked by what he saw: some had clawed hands, some were blind and some had disfigured faces. Wellesley wrote: I almost shuddered, yet I was at the same time fascinated, and I felt that if there was ever a Christ-like work in the world it was to go amongst these poor sufferers and bring them the consolation of the gospel. Wellesley vowed to make caring for those with leprosy his life’s work.

Since then more than fifteen million people have been cured of leprosy.

So would Wellesley Bailey be satisfied?

I doubt it! I like to think that he would be pleased with what the Leprosy Mission he founded has achieved so far. But there is still more to do – we won’t be satisfied until we live in a world free of leprosy.

Today around 5 million people are still living with the effects of leprosy and each year 250,000 more people are diagnosed with this ancient disease. And leprosy is still most prevalent in India where the Leprosy Mission started all those years ago!

We desire to do God’s will; God’s law is written on our hearts. (Ps 40:8)

We will not be satisfied until we ‘finish what Jesus started’.We will only be satisfied when ‘leprosy has become a thing of the past’.

Prayer: Almighty God, we recall the words of the prophet Amos and want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living in this world. Help us not to be satisfied with the status quo but give us the desire and the energy to seek change for the better. Enable us to speak up for those without a voice: the marginalised and those who are discriminated against. Help us to make leprosy a thing of the past.

Question: What wrong things in this world make you angry?

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6th Aug 2020

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Opinions are the authors own and not necessarily those of The Leprosy Mission Scotland.