Returning the Lost Smiles: One Man's Fight Against Leprosy
From a small boy who wanted to end his life, through to a man who knows his Saviour and wants to change the world. From a village in the back of beyond through to speaking at the United Nations. From...
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From a small boy who wanted to end his life, through to a man who knows his Saviour and wants to change the world. From a village in the back of beyond through to speaking at the United Nations. From stigma and suicide attempts through to healing and salvation. This is a story that will return smiles and raise hope.
Ralph Turner is an elder of Peterborough Community Church, a fast growing, multi-cultural, community-focused church that began in 1998 with just 9 members and now has a congregation approaching 2,000. In addition to his responsibilities on the church leadership team, he is also a director of ICI PLC and works in the City of London.
- Foreword – Pam Rhodes
- Chapter One – The Game
- Chapter Two – The Journey
- Chapter Three – The Loneliness
- Chapter Four – The Rescue
- Chapter Five – The Shame
- Chapter Six – The Deception
- Chapter Seven – The Hope
- Chapter Eight – The Sadness
- Chapter Nine – The Earthquake
- Chapter Ten – The Light
- Chapter Eleven – The Voice
- About The Authors
- About The Leprosy Mission
1869 in India On the edge of the Punjab lies the city of Ambala. Take a ride out to the south, go past the mango trees, and then walk the well-worn paths. Eventually you come to a sprinkling of huts on the edge of some scrubland. And that is where, in 1869, you would have found the leprosy colony that was to change the world. The wind was blowing in from the Thar Desert, the grit of the sand causing Wellesley Bailey to wrap a scarf around his mouth and nose. The edge of the Punjab was a hard place to live. There was little vegetation beyond the common thorn scrub. A small herd of blackbuck could be seen in the distance and Bailey was on the lookout for the infrequent bird life, especially the handsome peacock. But today there was just the wind. The straw and mud huts could be seen ahead of them. Led by his missionary friend Dr Morrison, this was Bailey’s first visit to the colony. In fact he had not really known of the plight of those with leprosy before his friend had spoken of it. To Bailey, up until this moment, it had been a disease limited to Bible characters. That was about to change. As they entered the village, Bailey’s gaze was arrested by an old lady to his left, sitting outside her dwelling. What was apparent was that she had no fingers, just stubs where they once had been. A young girl joined her – already displaying signs of leprosy with claw-like hands and walking with a limp. A man was walking towards them, smiling with his eyes but with a twisted and disfigured mouth; his nose almost gone. His chest showed clear patches of discoloured skin. Bailey was already in shock. A whole village ravaged by leprosy. Ostracised from society, having to beg to survive at all. The leprosy of biblical times screamed out from the bodies of the people beginning to gather around him. It may have partially been the effect of the sand storm, but Bailey knew the real reason for the tears beginning to stream down his face. Surely, he thought, something could be done. Something should be done. Bailey later wrote: ‘I almost shuddered, yet I was at the same time fascinated, and I felt that if there was ever a Christlike work in the world it was to go amongst these poor sufferers and bring them the consolation of the gospel.’ His work had begun. Over 150 years from Wellesley Bailey’s encounter of 1869, The Leprosy Mission continues its work.