Major humanitarian organization helping widows to overcome grief and poverty
STONEY CREEK, ON – In celebration of International Widows’ Day, GFA-supported workers ministered to widows and their children, demonstrating the Love of God through meaningful and life changing assistance.
The United Nations has designated June 23 as International Widows’ Day. According to the UN, “It has been estimated that there are some 258 million widows around the world, with over 115 million of them living in deep poverty and stigmatized by shame in some cultures.”
While the UN is working on long-term solutions to ease the plight of widows, GFA World (formerly: Gospel for Asia) is committed to helping minister to the widows on a continuing basis.
For example, in one area of Nepal, local churches delivered umbrellas to widows living in poverty. Umbrellas provide a significant benefit as they protect people year-round, not only against the torrential rains during monsoon season, but also provide protection from the exposure to the sun’s rays during intense heat. They also blessed the widows with personal cleaning products for washing and bathing.
In India, local churches delivered mosquito nets to many widows who were in desperate need but had no resources to acquire them. Mosquito nets are one of the most effective ways to protect people from the dangers of diseases such as malaria, dengue, encephalitis, and the chikungunya virus.
One widow thanked the GFA supported worker, saying, “Due to the hot weather, lots of mosquitoes are found in our localities these days. We cannot sleep peacefully at night. But we could not afford to buy a mosquito net. Small children in our families are struggling a lot. Now, we can use mosquito nets to protect ourselves.”
In one of the major cities of India, GFA-supported workers also gave income-producing goats to widows living there.
“I am extremely happy that I have received this goat as a wonderful gift through [the church],” one widow said. “I believe that I will be able to earn enough through this gift [to support] my family. My children will be happy to go to school for the development in their lives. I thank the church and its leadership from my heart.”
In one village inhabited by people afflicted with leprosy, GFA supported workers and Sisters of Compassion donated clothing and dressed wounds.
In another area, pastors blessed 30 widows with the unusual gift of sheets of corrugated galvanized iron roofing panels. The galvanized roofing panels will be used to replace thatch, bamboo, or plastic tarps. The CGI panels are significantly more durable, free from rust, and designed to allow rainwater to flow off the roof through the corrugated channels.
According to GFA founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan, “…there are many other ways that GFA-supported workers are reaching out to widows with the love of Christ. They provide clothing, literacy classes and income-generating gifts that help women support themselves and their children. There’s even a team that ministers on an island where the majority of the population is made up of widows, many of whom lost their husbands as a result of tiger attacks. Each of these events and the many others conducted throughout Asia helped to remind widows that there are people who love them and care about them.”
To learn more about GFA’s work amongst these precious widows, go to:
GFA World www.gfa.ca and its world-wide affiliates have—for more than 30 years—provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 70,000 children, free medical services in over 1,200 villages and remote communities, 4,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.
Photo cutline: Widows living in poverty in Asia receive umbrellas from GFA-supported workers to protect them from torrential rains and exposure to the sun.