Grateful Words

Grateful Words

 Most people livingin the modern world experience progress. Yet, I was a human being who — because of my terrible, pitiful disease — did not belong to this world. I was born and raised in a leprosy camp because my parents were lepers. When I was young, I did not have leprosy yet; I went to normal school. Shortly after, my schoolmates found out I lived in a leprosy camp, so I was then alienated and despised. I was very lonely.

Sometimes, I secretly blamed the Lord for making me my parents’ child. And because of that, I hated my parents and didn’t want to go home anymore. Sometimes I even had harsh attitudes toward my parents, with no sympathy and love, making them heartbroken.

When I got to high school, I met a boy named Kien on the street. At that time, my face was very beautiful, even though I had not used makeup once. My friends always complimented me. Kien wanted to be acquainted. I was very shy, but he was very sincere. We had dated for more than 2 years when Kien found out about my circumstances and my parents. He automatically broke up with me. I was very sad but not angry with him because I knew that it was my fate.

In a short time after that, I felt a pain inside my bone joints. I knew it was time. Gradually,my fingers and toes fell off; my face was disfigured. Since then, I’ve been scared to meet people. My bed smelt from pus ulcers. My skin was red and puffy in some places. My body ached, and my inside hurt many times more, especially when there was a moon and the pain multiplies.

Then I felt empathy for my parents. In the past, despite their pains, my parents had to plow the front and back land of our camp’s house in hopes of earning something more for our food and clothes. Sometimes they had to drag themselves to the temple gate or market to beg for food, rain or sunshine, hoping to find sympathy from passersby, while I only ate, studied, and relaxed.

I thought my life was over once infected with this disease. There was no hope because I had no strength to work; no one hired me. When I was a beggar, most people avoided me. Sometimes only a few people had compassion and gave me a few pennies; it was not enough to live one day. If I didn’t have faith, I would have committed suicide a long time ago.

Fortunately, Friends of the Lepers sent me a loving message. The Association helped me and other people in our camp a lot. It is true that God loves. If He closes one door,He will surely open another.

Although we don’t often experience it, through the sisters, the Association has given us a beautiful impression of human love. It’s a source of life surging from the bottom of my heart. I am very grateful to the Association and our benefactors for helping me, both materially and spiritually. I live more joyfully, happily, and think about life more brightly. 

Mai Ca

Soc Trang leprosy camp- Can Tho