Philip Yancey is coming to the UK on a rare speaking tour to shine a light on leprosy.
The bestselling author of The Jesus I Never Knew and What's So Amazing About Grace? has five speaking dates across England, with London and Birmingham among the stops.
The tour this September coincides with the forthcoming publication of his new book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: The Marvel of Bearing God's Image, which goes on sale in the UK on August 6 from Hodder & Stoughton.
The book brings together revised and updated editions of two earlier books he wrote together with the late Dr Paul Brand CBE, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, and In His Image.
Dr Brand was a pioneering orthopedic surgeon, having trained during the Blitz in London. But it was his work in India with sufferers of leprosy that was to define his medical career.
At one time, he was the only orthopedic surgeon in the world working among 15 million victims of leprosy. He was instrumental in the realisation that leprosy does not cause the flesh to rot away, as had previously been thought, but rather cause a loss of sensation that makes sufferers of the disease prone to injuring themselves.
He pioneered the tendon transfer techniques still used in the treatment of leprosy today that restores function to the hands and feet of sufferers, and he later served as President of The Leprosy Mission International between 1993 and 1996.
On his speaking tour, Yancey will speak about the impact Dr Brand had on him personally and the insights into God they discovered as they worked together on their books.
"Paul Brand was both a good and a great man, and I am forever grateful for the time we spent together," said Yancey.
"My faith grew as I observed with a journalist's critical eye a person enhanced in every way by his faith. No one has affected me more, and I know no one who better illustrates Jesus' most-quoted statement in the Gospels, that 'Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it'.
"From the perspective of a success-obsessed culture, an orthopedic surgeon devoting his career to some of the poorest and most oppressed people on the planet is an example of 'losing his life'.
"Yet Dr Brand lived as full and rich a life as anyone I know, one that combined professional achievement with enduring qualities of humility and a grand sense of adventure."
National Director of The Leprosy Mission England and Wales, Peter Waddup, said he was delighted to partner with Yancey in his forthcoming UK tour.
"I have seen first-hand how the tendon transfer techniques pioneered by Dr Paul Brand continue to truly transform the lives of leprosy patients today, enabling them to work again, support their families and begin a fresh start in life," he said.
"Dr Brand has an amazing legacy and it is fascinating to hear of his work, faith and friendship from Philip Yancey, a phenomenal Christian author who worked so closely with Dr Brand for many years.
"I will never forget reading how Dr Brand was examining a leprosy patient in India and put his hand on his shoulder, just to show some kindness.
"The patient broke down in tears and Dr Brand wondered if he had offended him through his communication in broken Tamil.
"But it emerged that the patient was crying because someone had touched him, nobody had touched him for so many years because of the stigma surrounding leprosy which, tragically, remains so prevalent today."
Fearfully and Wonderfully: the Philip Yancey Tour with The Leprosy Mission will take place on the following dates:
Monday 23 September – West London
Tuesday 24 September – Birmingham
Wednesday 25 September – Solihull
Friday 27 September – Bournemouth
Saturday 28 September – Torquay
Tickets are priced at £7 each. More details can be found and tickets purchased via The Leprosy Mission's Facebook page: facebook.com/TheLeprosyMissionEnglandandWales or by ringing 01733 370505.