The man who had the mind of Christ; whose heart was broken by the things that broke the heart of God:
WELLESLEY COSBY BAILEY (1846-1937)
A young man lured by the gold mines of Australia set out on a voyage from Dublin, in Ireland, in the 1860s. He imagined making it big in life, but God had other plans. God wanted the young man to make it big in life – but in His own way. So, when the ship anchored in Gravesend, England, unable to sail further because of a blinding fog, God led this man, who had not taken the Christian faith seriously, to Sunday worship. He remembered his childhood girlfriend’s request to him to attend church service whenever he could. The young man went to Gravesend Parish church where God spoke to him:
“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them” – Isaiah 42:16.
This was a turning point in his life. He committed his life to Jesus. History records this as the beginning of a new era of manifestation of Christian love and compassion.
A single unconditional act of obedience of Wellesley Cosby Bailey resulted in God using him in a big way to bring hope and healing into the lives of millions of people affected by leprosy.
Presently, The Leprosy Mission (TLM) is the largest leprosy-focussed organisation in the world. TLM implements or supports around 150 leprosy projects in more than 20 countries directly or through partners.
In 2011, The Leprosy Mission in various countries signed a fellowship charter, committing to certain principles and ways of working. Today, The Leprosy Mission Global Fellowship has 29 Leprosy Mission national organisations, with TLM International as a central ‘hub’ for coordination.
For further reading:
LEPERS, THIRTY-SIX YEARS’ WORK AMONG THEM, being the history of the Mission to Lepers in India and the East 1874-1910, by John Jackson: https://archive.org/stream/cu31924006550598#page/n0/mode/1up
He walked solitarily, amidst hordes of humanity,
flesh rotting and stumps for fingers and toes
and lifeless eyes,
herded into ‘colonies’ like sick sheep to contain
the contagious corruption they carry.
There was no trail where he trod,
for no one ever dared!
Like an infatuated,
he tagged on to his Master’s feet
when His love poured fire on his soul.
His Master challenged him
to figure out those ‘rotting’ faces –
intently, he looked around
till the images came fair and clear.
He saw the contour of his Master’s
blood-stained, broken face
on all those hurting faces,
the cruel scratch of nails that pierced
His hands and feet
on all those fingerless palms and toeless feet.
all those palms with stumps for fingers,
gaping wounds and oozing blood,
cried out for mercy.
Crushed and contrite, he slumped at his Master’s feet.
His Master held him close
and whispered, “Feed my Sheep”.