Charities That Help Widows

GFA: One of the Charities that Help Widows

Among the various charities that help widows, GFA World has a particularly vital role for widows in Africa and Asia.[1] One in three widows worldwide are from either China or prominent country in South Asia.[2]

In many parts of the Asian continent, widows are ostracized and completely shunned because they are thought to be unlucky. The community blames the wife when her husband dies, and she carries the guilt and shame of his death as she is considered cursed by her neighbors, friends and family. Her children are now solely her responsibility, for no one else will help her and risk facing the curse and shame themselves.

Widows already face many challenges simply by the nature of their position, but this abandonment leads to many more obstacles:

  • Poverty: Abandoned by family and community, widows can be forced into street begging, hard labor or prostitution to earn money. One in seven widows globally lives in extreme poverty.[3]
  • Abuse: The lowly position of widows and the harsh jobs available to them means they are highly vulnerable to abuse, further ostracism and humiliation. They often experience physical and mental violence—even sexual abuse—related to inheritance, land and property disputes in the aftermath of their husbands’ deaths.[4]
  • Suicide: Little family support in raising children and the shame and hardship associated with widowhood may lead widows to think death is the only way out. They have no hope in this life.[5]

Who, then, is there to offer help for widows? Riya, along with many others, discovered the answer through the ministry of GFA World.

Riya was a devoted wife of many years, but her husband suddenly became ill. The unknown disease wreaked its havoc quickly and mercilessly, and Riya’s husband soon died, leaving her a widow at just 57 years old. Overcome by her grief and guilt, the weight of a judging society on her shoulders, Riya fell into a deep depression of sorrow and solitude. For three years, she could barely muster the strength to leave her bed, let alone make money to survive.

This darkness stretched on for Riya until some missionaries shared the Light of the World with her, and her life was transformed and healed. Riya read John 3:16 and realized that God loves her—a widow—when no one else would. She prayed: “Dear Father, I need You, I am so hurt and bitter and depressed. Please come into my life and forgive my sins and heal me. Fill me with Your love.” Riya’s life was lit up by the Father, who loves the whole world. She said, “I am no longer alone because Jesus is with me, and I trust him.”[6]

Organizations that help widows and orphans, like GFA, make sure this message of love and light keeps spreading in the darkest parts of Asia and Africa. The Bible is full of hope and promises for widows. It often speaks directly to and about widows, promising that God cares for them and ensuring that His people do too. One such Bible verse about helping orphans and widows is Isaiah 1:17, which says, “Defend the cause of the orphans, fight for the rights of widows.”

Commandments like this are repeated several times throughout the Bible, so charities that help widows are obeying God’s command in such an important way. GFA, for example, works to meet widows’ needs both physically and spiritually. Rather than just donate money to the widows, GFA gives them money-making tools—such as sewing machines or vocational training—so they can support themselves and their children in less demeaning and much safer ways than hard labor or prostitution. GFA also provides widows with clothing and other essentials that are difficult to obtain with their outcast position and lack of income. Most importantly, GFA missionaries work with widows to tell them about God, allowing the Holy Spirit to change their lives with the encouragement and comfort that only comes from the Father’s never-ending love.

Donations to GFA keep these ministries going. The money makes it possible to meet these widows’ basic needs, give them opportunities, and show them love and hope. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in their lives and lessen some of their major problems. Even without a monetary donation, it is still possible to help by raising awareness of the world’s widows and their plight, sharing about it through social media or among churches and friends. And, as always, prayer is a powerful way to impact God’s kingdom.

Learn more about how poverty affects education

[1] “Widows Ministry” GFA World. Accessed October 4, 2022.
[2] “Which Country has the Largest Number of Widows?” World Economic Forum. December 21, 2015.
[3] Ibid.
[4] “Widows in India: Invisible Women Facing Invisible Problems” Policy Circle. June 23, 2021.
[5] Suicide” World Health Organization. Accessed October 6, 2022.
[6] “Widows Ministry” GFA World. Accessed October 4, 2022.