Earlier in 2009, Leena was notified she had been selected by the Baptist World Alliance to receive one of its most prestigious awards – 2009 recipient of the BWA Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award. She received this award at the Annual BWA meeting in the Netherlands in July. Although Leena is deeply humbled by this honor, the IAB wants donors to know the world is increasingly recognizing Leena’s example and impact. We are thankful several private donors sponsored Leena’s transportation to the event along with her parents.
Below are excerpts (interpreted) from her acceptance speech …
“This award is a great honor and I thank God with all my heart for the opportunities for ministry to the oppressed people of India. I sincerely thank BWA leaders and other responsible for nominating me for this prestigious award.
I would like to dedicate this award to all the women, men and children who have enriched my life, even as I have been privileged to serve them; the street children; the lepers; victims of HIV/AIDS; sex workers; prisoners; old people thrown onto the garbage tips of life and orphans, men suffer from AIDS and are abandoned and vulnerable.
Everyday I see the human rights of people trampled upon by unworthy forces. Therefore, my prayer is, that in a small way, I may be used to help marginalized people find a new life of peace and wholesomeness. If this is so, my life will not be in vain.
So many have assisted me to persist in my work, not least being my parents and my other family members and dear friends in India, the US, Australia and other places.
My parents have loved and supported me all my life and helped me in so many ways in my work. Thank you so much Mum and Dad. In India, often parents would kill a newborn baby girl believing a boy child was always better than a baby girl. Thanks Mum and Dad that you did not kill me!
I am deeply humbled to receive this award and devote myself to serve God and oppressed people until I breathe my last breath. Thank you!”