God's umbrella

15 Jan, 2016 :: Toamasina, Madagascar

“Here is your umbrella,” said Nino Narozauli (Georgia) as she handed out an imaginary umbrella to a woman suffering from leprosy, who took it in both of her deformed hands, with a shy smile.

The umbrella was no ordinary umbrella; it was “God’s umbrella” as Nino put it, meant for protecting against life’s storms. “The umbrella is only useful when you hold on to it. Don’t face life’s storms without holding on to God’s umbrella!” warned Nino, lovingly.

A Logos Hope team was privileged to connect with leprosy survivors in Madagascar and show them love for who they are. Each person they met had their own painful story. One woman, Pwetty, had been found by volunteers, hiding alone in her tiny house, overcome by grief.

“Despite her deformed hands and feet, Pwetty walks 5km into town every morning to beg,” explained Kim Radford, the co-founder of HELP Madagascar. HELP is a non-profit Christian charity which extends practical help to people who have been rejected by society, and aims to empower them to make changes in their life. “It’s no wonder they would give up on life because it is so, so hard,” Kim told the team from the ship. At HELP Madagascar, leprosy survivors have somewhere they can get a meal and receive basic necessities.

The volunteers from Logos Hope shared their stories and prayed with each survivor. They found it a special experience to come together before God and to offer the encouragement that, despite the damage leprosy has done to their bodies, each person is beautiful and precious in God’s eyes.