Last week I stayed at Schoonhoven. It refers to itself as ‘A Cured Lepers Village’. Personally I disagree with the use of this ‘L’ word. Apart from the fact that it’s tied up with a history of stigma and segregation, I also have a great many friends who have had leprosy or Hansen’s Disease as some of them prefer to call it. They have been called this word and they hate it. By calling them that, it’s not just (in may cases) a hateful reminder, but also labelling them by a disease that could not be helped.
However, those who have founded Schoonhoven clearly have good intentions, and there is no doubt that for probably all the residents they have had their lives improved vastly. I’ll try not to digress much more from the point of this blog – there’s much to be said about the surrounding area and those who have had leprosy living in Ho, Ghana.
Residents at Schoonhoven gather in the skills training centre, awaiting the arrival of a storm and some English Pastors on ‘an Open-Air Healing Crusade’. Ho, Ghana 2012.
I’ve not had a huge amount of experience with spiritual healing I must admit. But I thought I’d share my observations from the above visit.
English Pastors lay their hands on some of Schoonhoven’s residence and pray for them to be healed, shouting “I command you to see in the name of Jesus Christ”. Ho, Ghana 2012.
Meanwhile, over near the infirmary a group of volunteer nurses from Canada and the US changed a few dressings on some of the patients requiring more urgent attention to their infected ulcers. However, due to the crusade there wasn’t enough time to see all the patients they were supposed to.
Patients waiting for wound changes mess around with each other, away from the crusade. Ho, Ghana 2012.
However one patient decided to forego either event, opting to have a rolled cigarette with his own herbal concoction outside…
One Schoonhoven resident goes outside to have a smoke while other former leprosy patients are spiritually healed, and others receive wound care and dressing changes. Ho, Ghana 2012.
So there we go, a storm, some spiritual healers, a couple of patients messing around waiting for some foreign nurses to care for their feet, and a man who would rather get away from it all and have a quick puff on something erm… homemade.