Is Breaking the Cycle of Poverty for Widows Possible?
In some parts of the world, breaking the cycle of poverty for widows can be one of the most difficult issues to uproot. For centuries, widows have been one of the most vulnerable groups for a variety of reasons, including cultural norms, lack of marketable skills and routine marginalization of the unrepresented.
For instance, even a young mother in South Asia who is widowed is likely to be shunned by the general community. There is a common belief that she is responsible for her husband’s death, and she is often viewed as cursed.1 If her family was already living near the poverty line prior to her husband’s death, a widow’s circumstances become immediately more difficult without the support of others. She is most likely not educated or skilled as while her husband was living, she likely would have been focused on caring for the children at home rather than on earning an income.
Widows are at a serious disadvantage to finding a way forward in these circumstances. Their immediate, though certainly not only, need is to have a source of income. This is where organizations like GFA World can help change the trajectory of a widow’s life.
Through GFA World’s widows’ ministry, local missionaries care for and support widows, who are often on the outskirts of their communities. They also empower widows to support themselves and their children through resources such as vocational training and income-generating gifts such as sewing machines or farm animals.
One of the most important things a GFA missionary can do for a widow is to bring the love and grace of Jesus Christ into her life, to tell her she is valued and cared for by the God of heaven. She is welcomed into the local congregation of believers, where she can once again have community, an essential part of our human existence.
Your sponsorship of a GFA missionary is one of the best ways to reach outcast widows with no means to support themselves and no hope for the future. For $30 a month, or just $360 a year, you can help equip a missionary to be right in the midst of some of the most vulnerable places in the world. They will be there to see that the widow has the means to meet her needs, provide a path toward independence and, most importantly, a loving community to call her own.
Meet the GFA missionaries at https://www.gfa.org/sponsor/. They are specifically trained and equipped to effectively serve their communities. Their hearts are aligned with Christ’s and are driven by the goal to bring His love to as many people as possible, including some of the most marginalized widows in the world.
1 Damon, Arwa. “Shunned from Society, Widows Flock to City to Die.” CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/07/05/damon.india.widows/. Accessed February 2, 2022.