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widows

Kenyan Widow Finding Freedom

Rachel Chimits
May 7, 2019

One woman refused to allow tradition to separate her and her grandchildren, and God made a way for them.

A woman in Kenya who has just lost her husband is immediately faced with a terrible choice: To be “cleansed” or not.

A widow in Kenya is generally considered to be at best cursed and at worst a witch. “Cleansing” supposedly frees them from evil magic, or at least from their neighbors’ suspicion and vitriol.

This process can range anywhere from being forced to sleep beside their husband’s dead body for three days all the way to being forced to have sex with a strange man and having their clothes burned.

The Widows of Guatemala

Rachel Chimits
April 18, 2019

Those who have lost loved ones need extra compassion, and sometimes that love can take very practical forms.

In the United States, there are nearly 14 million widows and widowers, and over 11 million of these are women.

Beatrice Schwartz, a healthcare professional and widow, commented to The Guardian, “The world is not sympathetic to what you’re going through. They don’t give you any time to grieve properly.”

Guardian writer Carla Stockton points out, “The moment a woman is at her most vulnerable, she must make choices that will have an enduring impact on her wellbeing.” Piles of paperwork and legal action face a new widow to make sure assets are taken care of or properly put in her name.

Building for Burundi’s Mothers

Rachel Chimits
April 23, 2019

A group of churches in Bujumbura are working to help widowed women achieve economic independence and a new life in Christ.

The Baptist Union of Churches was founded in 1928 and is the oldest evangelic and one of the most respected groups in Burundi. 

In 1972, during a surge of tribal conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi, churches’ pastors were either killed or fled the country. Despite the terrible devastation, the church has recovered. 

Today, there are 97 main churches and 147 satellite churches across the country with about 75,000 members. The fallout of Burundi’s civil war has led to a widespread struggle with poverty for many of the country’s people, so the church has set up programs to help many of the local widows. 

Secret Muslim to Freed Christian

Rachel Chimits
April 4, 2019

After growing up Muslim under Albania’s Communist government, a widow found spiritual and economic freedom in Christ.

In 1953, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a sermon where he stated, “…the methods of communism are diametrically opposed to Christianity.”

That same year Stalin died, and the Soviet Union’s hold on many of its Eastern European holdings, including Albania, began to slip. However, it would not be until 1990 that communism would collapse in Albania, and its isolationist policies and rigid anti-religion laws would be abolished. 

Even today, the long wake of communism’s devastation is still being felt by many people in Albania’s rural towns and villages. 

A Village Much Like Many Others

Ibë is a small village about 12 miles south of Albania’s capital. 

Uganda’s Steadfast Mother

Rachel Chimits
March 8, 2019

After twelve years of suffering, one women's life was redeemed and renovated by God, and she became a community leader.

The Second Congo War was one of the deadliest conflicts worldwide since World War II, and its impact has rippled through Africa long after its official end in 2003.

Although the war was technically centered around the Democratic Republic of the Congo, many other east African countries felt the shock waves in the forms of desperate famine and economic depression, including Uganda.

Unseen in the Middle East

Rachel Chimits
March 19, 2019

God is reaching out and caring for those who are considered a burden by their society.

You are driving down a rural backroad in the Middle East. To pass through a check-point on the road, you must have cigarettes and spare change.

The soldiers are friendly, smiling and waving through the car windows. They’ll accept the cigarettes and coins as ‘gifts’ and not ask too many questions as you drive through, especially if your car has a license plate from the right countries. 

In town there are no sidewalks, no traffic signs, no lanes or parking rules. A faded yellow cab barrels down your side of the road as the driver lays on the horn and swerves around a donkey-drawn cart. Children dart between the cars like dragonflies. 

Heart Revival Among India’s Widows

Rachel Chimits
December 12, 2018

God is setting India’s widows free from the weight of prejudice.

To lose a spouse is a hard blow to the heart; but in India, the social ramifications can make it even harsher.

One young Indian woman explains how widows are treated: “She is stigmatised as a woman who has failed to safeguard her husband’s life. Traditional beliefs hold that her husband is God and when he dies, she is expected to be grief-stricken, everlastingly, for the rest of her life.”

Widows are viewed by India’s society as those who have lost what gives them value, not a view that God takes as the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows...” —Psalms 68:5a ESV

Meet the Most Forgotten...

Mark Buzzetta
November 16, 2018

Who falls through the cracks most? Would you believe it is widows? World Challenge finds that widows around the globe are incredibly vulnerable—and heartbreakingly neglected. But not by us. And not by your caring gifts of support.

Picture cold rain pouring down like ice needles and fog, masking the view of the mountains, as a woman, her daughter, and her grandson sit in their one-room cardboard shack. The little structure is riddled with gaps. Through them, the rain is turning this woman’s dirt floor into sticky mud. The small fire inside barely warms them even as it spews black smoke, adding to the quarter-inch-thick soot stains on the ceilings and walls.

Hope and Light in the Ukraine

Roger Jonker
October 6, 2016

Bruce and Deborah Crowe along with their 8 children are full time missionaries to the Ukraine but also minister in Belarus and Russia, regularly. They have lived in the Ukraine for 8 years and feel called to bring the gospel to the former Soviet Union.

They live in an extremely poor area and with the major upheaval of the past few years most continue to suffer economically. Pensioners are somehow expected to survive on less than $40 a month. The winter months are very hard for Ukrainians, especially widowers.