World Challenge’s partners in Peru are reaching out to widows to share the gospel of a God who will never abandon them.
Benita’s husband was an alcoholic throughout their marriage. One day, he became very drunk and took a bad fall while walking down the twisting mountain paths near their home. When he passed away from the injuries, it was the third loss Benita had sustained. She is a mother of four children, two of whom passed away as babies. Her remaining children grew up and moved away to find work, and she is now living alone.
Not long afterward, Benita noticed that the dull pain in her hands was becoming worse and worse. Her fingers were swelling and in so much pain that she could hardly move them. She reluctantly went at last to a doctor and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Despite her pain, she continued to work, but the rough farming was very hard on her already suffering hands.
Weaving Together a Community
Benita came to World Challenge’s partners, Iglesia Calvary La Semilla, in search of prayer for her illness. She had heard a group of women were meeting there to read the Bible and pray. “She found our ministry and began to participate,” one of the team shared with us. “We are so glad that she joined us, and we are enjoying watching her get to know more and more about God.”
Many of the widows in this community have not only lost their husbands but also, functionally, their children who have moved to distant cities in search of work. This leaves many of them vulnerable and lonely, especially as they struggle with health issues and try to provide for themselves.
Our partners provide the widows in their program with two food baskets a month, each filled with eggs, rice, sugar, oil, oatmeal, milk and other basic necessities. This along with the companionship makes a great difference.
Thanks to this ministry, these lovely women have found a place where they can meet together, fellowship, laugh and encourage one another. They gather to work on crafts, all the while building their own special community. They are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to work in the self-sufficiency program and enjoy the time when they meet to weave together.
A Word in Your Language
The most valuable thing that our partners give these widows is the gospel, though. While almost all of these ladies know Spanish since it’s the official language, most of them speak Quechua as their mother tongue.
There is a unique power in hearing God’s Word in your primary language, so the team made an extra effort to find Bibles translated into Quechua. Now, they read scripture in both Spanish and Quechua to the delight of the women assembled. It has increased the understanding and joy in the group.
“It is a joy to provide for these ladies that have been abandoned by their families and society,” our partners said. “God is with them and cares for each of them. Thank you for your prayers and support for the ladies as well as for the people serving in this beautiful ministry.”