Ernawati: This Young Widow Thanks YOU for Saving Her from Leprosy

It was about four years ago when Ernawati first began to think she might have leprosy. The disease is common in her country of Indonesia. But at just 28 years old, she was terrified of what her family and her neighbors would think if it was true. “I was suspecting,” she said, “because I had white spots on my elbow. There was no itching, no pain. I didn’t even feel anything when I touched it.” Still, she didn’t know for sure that it was leprosy.

She Learns the Truth: Leprosy

One day, when she was feeling run-down because of a cold, she sought help. She went to the local clinic, and when the health worker saw the spots on Ernawati’s arm, he suggested that she see a doctor right away. Ernawati’s worst fears had come to pass. She had leprosy. But because of you, she was able to get medicine. She was grateful. But still afraid. While she was taking the medicine, she told no one that she had the disease.

“Thank God It Was Done”

Ernawati was lucky. Because of your support, she got early treatment. Without it, she would have faced a lifetime of crippling disabilities, and maybe even permanent disabilities. And she would have been banished from her village and probably disowned by her family, as many leprosy victims are. When the white spots on her arm disappeared and she was cured, she felt confident enough to tell her family what had happened. “Gladly, my family could accept my condition,” Ernawati said, relieved. “Thank God, it was done.”

New Life

A few months later, the clinic where Ernawati went for help created a new self-care program for people with leprosy, and they invited her to attend the monthly activities. Even though she wasn’t disabled, Ernawati still wanted to take part in the group.

“One day I was asked to give a testimony,” she said. “It was my first time speaking in front of so many people. I was trembling and nervous but feeling honored at the same time.”

Ernawati continues to be active in the group, grateful for the opportunity to help others as she was helped. She feels truly blessed for that. And for something else. After having been widowed, Ernawati has met someone special and remarried. Today her life is a hymn of happiness, and it’s because of your support. “May God always give me good health,” Ernawati said, “so I can serve and help others.”