Minister of the parish churches of St Leonard’s in St Andrews and Cameron, the Very Rev Dr Alan McDonald, is gearing up to take part in a mercy mission to Nepal.
The trip is designed to enhance the lives of leprosy sufferers in Nepal, which is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world.
The former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, is to participate in the Trek for Treatment initiative being spearheaded by the charity, Leprosy Mission Scotland.
He will be accompanied by his wife, Judith, a general practitioner, on the trip to Nepal from October 13-27, which will include visits to Bhaktapur, a world heritage site, Kathmandu, and a four-day trek through the famous Annapurna Range in the Himalayas.
The trip will also include a visit to the Anandaban and Green Pasture Leprosy Hospitals, to experience first hand the kind of work which will benefit from the funds raised.
Those taking part in the charity effort are being asked to raise or donate a minimum of £1000 (£800 if gift aided) for Leprosy Mission Scotland.
Dr McDonald told the Citizen:”From our jobs as a minister and a doctor we have been active supporters of the Leprosy Mission Scotland for many years.
“Also, the congregations of Cameron and St Leonard’s both have a long and proud history of supporting the work of the Leprosy Mission Scotland. The children of the Sunday Schools and many members in the congregations have faithfully collected money in the distinctive Leprosy Mission collecting tubes.
“We hope that our participation in this trek will bring a new awareness of the issue for many people in St Andrews. Judith and I are thrilled to have this opportunity to visit Nepal. We both really enjoy walking in the hills, and hills don’t come any more exciting than the Himalayas.”
The Leprosy Mission’s hospital is in the hills at Anandaban, 12km outside Kathmandu, and is a lifeline to people affected by leprosy and the wider community living in the scattered rural mountain areas all over Nepal. Many patients come to the hospital after having travelled for days.