A widow’s child could starve without our help!
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27).
Jesus has a tender, caring heart for the widow. That heart was shown to all while He walked on this earth. He observed the struggles of His own mother after Joseph died. He continued to work as a carpenter in order to support His widowed mother and younger siblings prior to beginning His ministry. Even at the cross, He made sure that His widowed mother would be cared for after His death and resurrection.
“When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother,’” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household’” (John 19:26-27).
Plight of Widows in India…
In India, widows are considered to be a huge burden. Unless they are capable of earning some money, they are kicked out of the family home upon the death of their husbands. When a woman marries in India, she moves in with her new husband and his family. Once the son dies, the in-laws frequently do not want the responsibility of a woman and her children. If a widow is fairly young and still capable of working, the in-laws may allow her to remain in the home. Because she is frequently blamed for her husband’s death (superstition), she is often mistreated. But without a husband to care for her and her children, they are condemned to live on the streets and beg if they do not remain in the family home.
Look around! It seems that widows in nearly every culture are easily set aside; much like you would toss out an old chair. But that is not God’s way; all lives have value regardless of age, gender or circumstance. He has a plan and purpose for every person and that plan and purpose exists until death.
“Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).
A Woman’s Heart…
Many women never lose their desire to fill the needs of others. It’s a gift that God places in the hearts of women regardless of age or circumstance. Being needed gives them purpose, a reason to live. Who better to shower love on a motherless orphan than a widow who once was a mother? Who better to teach girls how to be little ladies, and boys to be gentlemen than a mother or grandmother who once taught those same life skills to her own children? With Christ in their hearts, the widows at Hopegivers not only bring a mother’s love to the orphaned, abandoned and at-risk children we care for, but they reflect the awesome, unfailing love of God as well.
The care of widows in the Bible is not a mere suggestion! We cannot “specialize” when it comes to caring for the needy, because the needy also includes the many widows left to die from starvation, loneliness and abuse. It does not matter on what street or in what country of the world; Scripture is very clear about those we are to extend our hearts and hands to.
“He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment” (Deuteronomy 10:18).
A Reason to Live…
At Hopegivers, we restore purpose to the widows who are physically able to help in our Hope Homes, medical clinics, churches and schools. We understand that God designed the human heart to thrive when life has a purpose. Widows still living with their in-laws are given an opportunity to earn a little money, maintain human dignity and remain in the family home so they can raise their children. Abandoned and destitute widows rescued from the streets are given shelter by our pastors and meaningful work to do in the ministry.
Widows who have been abandoned, abused and ignored know full well what it feels like to live hopeless lives and to be helpless to do anything about it. These women have been on both sides of family life. They have had the joy of raising a family and the heartbreak of abandonment by family members in old age. Hopegivers offers these women a chance to make a difference once again in the lives of others while He ministers to and makes a difference in their hearts. They enthusiastically pour their hearts, minds and bodies into others for the glory of God.
How to help…
We now ask that you follow the call of the Lord to “pure and undefiled” religion. As His church and a member of the Body of Christ in this world, won’t you please help us care for widows? Their cry is our call. Will you answer?
“A father to the fatherless and a Judge for the widows is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity” (Psalms 68:5-6).