A flame of determination shines in his eyes. Bahhalu is determined to share the love of Christ with the people of Nepal. His goal is to start a church in his home village. But behind his shining eyes and hopeful spirit is a story of rejection, pain, and disfigurement, a story not uncommon in Nepal and surrounding countries, where the disease of Leprosy has not yet been eradicated.
The World Health Organization is promoting their Final Push strategy for elimination of Leprosy in today’s world. But this tragic disease remains a common condition in some of the world’s most impoverished countries. The World Health Organization states that, pockets of high endemicity remain in several countries around the world, including Nepal, leaving thousands of untreated victims in countries where medical attention and awareness of the disease is dangerously low.
Bahhalu Rajbanshi himself felt the effects of Leprosy for ten years before finding medical attention at a Christian hospital. He is 49 years old, and comes from Lakhanpur, in eastern Nepal.
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast, rod-shaped bacillus, the World Health Program documents on their website, The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes, apart from some other structures.
Bahhalu’s hands have been most affected by the disease. Leprosy has eaten away all of his fingers making it challenging to hold on to anything. It’s difficult for him to write, or even open his Bible. But despite these challenges, Bahhalu remains undaunted. Now a ServLife church planter, he is motivated to share the gospel in his home village and beyond.
On his recent trip to Nepal, Joel Vestal had the opportunity to visit with this courageous church leader, as he graduated from the ServLife Leadership Institute in Kathmandu, Nepal. For me, the really touching moment was handing a graduation certificate to this man, probably 50 years old, who had Leprosy for so many years and found healing. Just watching his determination to take notes in spite of his disability moved me many times.
Please pray for Bahhalu and the other 43 ServLife workers in Nepal that are sharing Christ and working to start churches in their communities. Your help is vital in prayer and support for these workers.
(Posted: April 23, 2009)