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Andy’s 2020 End of Year Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supporters:

So, what's next?

Maybe this question has crossed your minds given what is going on these days since the Covid-19 virus first hit our shores.

The only answer that I can come up with is this: that it shouldn’t matter. As Christ’s betrothed, we know our citizenship is now in heaven where we are already seated with him in a heavenly realm. We are now strangers and aliens here, Ambassadors in chains, if you will. And whatever time remains for us as we race towards the finish line, our singular purpose is to demonstrate our love for God with all our hearts, minds and souls and to love our neighbors as ourselves” through offerings of thanksgiving in all things (Ephesians 5:20, I Thes. 5:18) and “as we have opportunity to do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10). Our purpose has always been one of a servant, to serve and not be served and to think more highly of others than we do ourselves.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 10, 2020 at 2:01 PM EST |
Andy’s 2020 Spring Newsletter

Dear Friends and Supporters:

This is a picture of a widow in Kenya that has just received provisions from Abigael Atieno, wife of Joshua, Director of Widows Harvest Africa. Abigael has organized some of her widow’s prayer team to take provisions to widows living out in more rural areas who literally have nothing.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: June 22, 2020 at 11:34 AM EDT |
Andy’s 2019 End of Year Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supporters:

If you will remember, at this time last year, I reported that we were running a negative balance of -$93,619.00. By the end of 2018, thanks to your prayers and generosity we were able to reduce this negative figure by 75%. Then, in the spring of 2019, I presented an opportunity to help us qualify for a $25,000.00 matching grant from a local foundation, and again, thanks to your prayers and generosity, we were able to raise the amount needed to receive this grant. Not only that, many of you also increased your giving in order to help us make up the shortfall in our monthly financial needs. Now, I am very thankful to report that as of this update we have a positive balance. Please continue to pray that we will be able to maintain this positive balance as we enter into the first quarter of the New Year, a time when giving typically falls way off.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 16, 2019 at 12:07 PM EST |
Special Request for Support

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Now that we are a full quarter into 2019 I wanted to give you an update where we are financially. As you know in the last quarter of 2018 we were behind -$93,619.00. Thanks to the generosity of so many of you our deficit was reduced to -$23,800.00 or by 75%. What is the most humbling for me is the confidence so many of you continue to have in this Ministry and the belief in what we have been called to do with and for widows. I am thankful to the Lord for this in ways that I cannot even begin to express. Being good stewards of what God has entrusted to us is ever present in my heart and on my mind. I am always assessing our ongoing expenses in order to see if there are ways that we can cut expenses.

Now that we are a full quarter into 2019 I can report where we stand financially in our monthly needs in order to cover our ongoing operating expenses. We have been currently falling short approximately $13,500 each month. So, this is the first ask for this update: Please consider either increasing what you are already giving, even if it is only an extra $10 a month, or donating if you are not already. No amount is really too small.

And the second ask for this update is: Please consider making a one time donation to help us qualify for the full amount of a matching grant we were recently awarded by the Maclellan Foundation here in Chattanooga. The grant is for $25,000.00 and they will match it dollar for dollar up to that amount. I am hopeful to raise this money as soon as possible. The sooner we raise it the sooner we will receive it. It is my hope that raising this money will also lead to more monthly giving as well.

There are several ways to give with the first being by mail. Our mailing address is Widows Harvest Ministries, PO Box 2307, Chattanooga, TN 37409. You can also give through our web site, At the top of our web site’s home page on the menu bar is the heading, “Engage” (4th from the left). When you put your cursor on this heading there will be a drop-down menu that says “Donate.” Scroll down and click on “Donate,” and it will take you to the donation page to fill out. It will allow you to make either a onetime donation or an ongoing (usually monthly) donation. Please consider if you will, also including in your donation an extra .015% (one and a half percent). That is how much is taken out of each donation that is made through this service. They also charge us an extra $.10 cents per donation, but this amount along with the percentage is still a lot less than most companies that provide this service.

Again, thank you so much for all you have already given through prayers and financial support to Widows Harvest Ministries,

Most Sincerely,

Andy Mendonsa

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: April 12, 2019 at 4:20 PM EDT |
Andy’s 2018 End of Year Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supporters:

It is hard to believe that another year is winding down. Seems like the older I get the faster time passes. I can still remember when this ministry first started 31 years ago how slowly time seemed to pass. Of course, there was so much uncertainty at that time in that this was a brand new ministry and there was very little support available. Back then I couldn’t look very far ahead, because each day literally had more than enough worries to focus on.

Today, it is really hard for me to believe that we now have 5 full-time employees and had 5 student interns serve with us (four over the summer and one this fall). Hopefully you will be as blessed as I am by their testimonies they have shared about their experiences as co-laborers with us serving widows.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 6, 2018 at 9:44 AM EST |
K. A. Ellis on The Gospel Coalition Podcast

"Loving the Widow in the 21st Century"

“The Bible has a much deeper, richer description for a widow than simply a woman whose husband has died. . . . [A widow], in the biblical context, is a woman bereft of the full provision and flourishing that could be provided by a husband or a family. It’s her condition that scripturally qualifies her as a widow, not the circumstance that led her to that condition.” — K. A. Ellis

To hear the full Gospel Coalition podcast with K. A. Ellis click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: September 20, 2018 at 2:43 PM EDT |
Andy’s Spring 2018 Newsletter

Pleading the Case

It’s hard to believe spring is winding down and we have almost reached the beginning of our summer work/mission’s schedule. The first group we work with is on May 30th and our last group ends on August 4th. Needless to say it will be a long, hot summer, but one that holds great promise for all that we will be able to do for widows and “causing their hearts to sing with joy” (Job 29:13).

June 1st will mark the end of our 30th year as a ministry and the beginning of our 31st year. It is still so hard for me to believe that this many years has passed and the care of widows as well as the recognition for their ministry calling is still mostly non-existent throughout the world.

In I Timothy 5:9-10 it says “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.”

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: June 8, 2018 at 4:53 PM EDT |
Andy’s Fall 2017 Newsletter

Home Harvest House Sale

On June 23rd, a little over 2 years after receiving the donation of a house from Wells Fargo Bank, this house was sold to a wonderful young couple who, not surprisingly, as it turned out was who we were preparing this house for all along. According to them, it was exactly what they were looking for. At closing they told me that they almost didn’t look at it. They had spent the day with a realtor looking at other houses and when the realtor told them they had one more house to show they said they were so tired they almost didn’t look at it. That is a lesson for all of us. Even when we are weary we shouldn’t give up, because what God has planned might be just around the corner, or in this case, one more house on the list to look at.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here. For the update on Widows Harvest in Africa click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 6, 2017 at 3:54 PM EST |
Citizenship In Heaven

When the 72 disciples returned after Jesus had sent them out, “they returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’”

Jesus’ immediate response was to acknowledge that he had, indeed, “given them authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all power of the enemy. “However,” he said,

"do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

The apostle Paul, who described himself as an “ambassador in chains,” also tells us that, “our Citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,” and that we have, in fact, already “been raised up by God and seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms.”

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: September 12, 2017 at 12:56 PM EDT |
Do Not Worry About Your Life

If one sentence could sum up what may be, perhaps, our greatest ongoing faith struggle, it would be the title of this entry taken from Matthew 6:25.

Jesus begins in verse one of this chapter, though, by first warning his disciples of the consequences for calling attention to their faith through public spectacles,

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Accordingly, areas of stated concern include giving to the needy and prayer, but apparently prayer is of such vital concern that Jesus finds it necessary to provide us with the specifically prescribed prayer we now refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. It would appear, however, that the heeding of these warnings, based on our present-day public practices, does not seem to be of much concern to us.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: July 31, 2017 at 10:23 AM EDT |
Our Telltale Heart

God tells Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart, ”(I Samuel 16:7)

Jesus, near the end of his ministry was in the Temple with his disciples, and according to Mark 12:38-40, “as he taught he said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour the widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

It is easy to forget when reading a passage like this one that the person saying it is both man and God.”

“Jesus is revealing to us, as God, some of the outward manifesting symptoms of an inner heart condition in the advanced stages of defilement.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: July 17, 2017 at 10:13 AM EDT |
Weapons Of Mass Restoration

During the first Gulf War,” Operation Desert Storm,” the United States along with coalition forces flew 65,000 sorties (air attacks) against Iraqi forces before ever sending in ground troops. It is a commonly held belief by many military historians that a war is never won by attacks from the air alone and the sending in of ground troops must follow.

“It has been my personal observation that a study of military warfare strategies can teach us much about how we approach our own spiritual warfare strategies. For instance, God’s purposes for older widows and the vital roles they are intended to fulfill in and through the church.

I Timothy 5:5 says, “Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusts in God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day”.  Widow’s being exhorted to live a life devoted to prayer, though, did not begin with the New Testament Church. In Luke 2:21-39 when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised on the 8th day they were met by 2 witnesses, Simeon and Anna the Prophetess. Anna, who had been a widow for 84 years, “had remained in the temple serving God through prayers and fasting night and day.” Equally remarkable to Anna’s faithful service to God is the provisions that had obviously been made for food, clothing and shelter that allowed her to fulfill this call.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: July 14, 2017 at 11:01 AM EDT |
From the website "And Who Is A Widow?"

30 years ago, I helped to start a ministry to older, low-income widows living in urban and inner city neighborhoods around Chattanooga, TN. with home repair needs as well as facilitating an ongoing widow’s prayer ministry. This ministry was founded on James 1:27

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, (in order) to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (DBY)

In those early years, though,

there seemed to be some confusion coming from many of the church leaders I approached about supporting this fledgling ministry as to who, according to scripture, we should consider to be a “widow indeed” and as such legitimately qualify her for our services.

The criteria for those qualifications that I was most frequently advised to rely upon were those found in I Timothy 5:9-10,

“No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” (NIV)

And although I did not believe, at the time, that the intent of the author of these passages was to provide the standard for what both defined a widow or qualified a widow to be helped, I had no scriptural basis for that belief. Thankfully, one day while listening to our local Moody radio station I heard John MacArthur teaching a Bible study on these same passages in I Timothy 5 about what scripturally defines a widow as well as what qualifies her for help. MacArthur, in this series, “Caring for Widows,” points out that

“the Greek word for widow in the New Testament is chēra, which means “bereft.” That it is, quite literally, the condition of a woman being ‘bereft’ of a husband, at any age, that scripturally qualifies her for being helped, and not the circumstance that caused this condition, i.e. divorce, abandonment, death, imprisonment, etc.”

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: June 15, 2017 at 3:37 PM EDT |
Now Available: Spiritual Widowhood

"In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 Paul writes, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (NIV).

When Paul expresses his concern for “the church,” that is, Christ’s bride, not to be deceived as Eve was by the Serpent, he is speaking to both men and women, because “the church” includes both. Yet historically it has been men who have been the appointed leaders of churches. And just as it was Adam’s responsibility not to allow deception to come into the garden, so it has been the same for men throughout the church age. If you do not recognize your own vulnerability as a man, and thus the vulnerability of the church, for being deceived as Eve was by the Serpent, then chances are you have already been deceived and may now have become a deceiver of others.

Spiritual Widowhood’s chief aim is, therefore, to present what I believe to be a crucial, if not the crucial litmus test for us, based on Scripture, for determining whether we have not only been deceived, but have now become the deceivers of others, and if found to be true what the consequences will then be for us as the church going forward."

"Spiritual Widowhood" is now available at Amazon. Widows Harvest is registered with Amazon Smile, so, if you register with Amazon Smile (and designate Widows Harvest as the charity you want to support), a percentage of anything you purchase through this site (including this book) will be donated to us. This is also available online through Barnes and Noble and WestBow Press (a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan).

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: March 13, 2017 at 10:13 AM EDT |
Andy’s Fall 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supporters:

It has been a truly great year of “causing widows hearts to sing with joy.” Adding 2 new employees last spring with the help of a grant awarded to us by the McClellan Family Foundation Funds, has made it possible to help even more widows than in years past. To date we have been able to serve 193 individual widows including those we help on a regular basis with lawn care and the widows who are part of the weekly widow’s prayer ministry. The number of actual projects that we have completed to date is 293 as compared to 226 for all of 2015. Also, to date, we have had 1443 volunteers serve, which is an increase of 18% from 2015.

By way of explanation as to why there are more projects completed than individual widows served is for the simple reason that we record the number of projects separately from the number of widows served. In other words, a single widow might receive help with completing several projects on her home throughout the year. For instance, we may start out painting her house and in the process learn of other needs she has that we will come back and undertake at a later date when we have the resources for purchasing construction materials and the volunteers to do the work.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 12, 2016 at 2:33 PM EST |
Andy’s Spring 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supports:

This has been one of the busiest first halves of a year that I can ever remember. The total number of new widows, widows that have never contacted us before, since January 1st, is 39. The number of days that we have had volunteers assisting with meeting home repair needs is over 55, for a total of 70 projects completed and 40 widows served (multiple projects done for individual widows). There are another 51 widow’s home repair projects waiting to be started, along with 30 widow’s yards that we regularly maintain and 4 yards with overgrowth clearing needs.

Our total income through May 18th is $117,770.00, with our total expenses being $137,706.00 for a deficit of -$19,936.00. So, how did we just hire 2 new, full-time employees? Thanks to the generosity of the Maclellan Family Foundation Funds, we were given a grant to hire one new employee in order to help with the growing requests from widows with home repair needs. Amazingly, we were actually able to hire 2 new employees with that single grant. It wasn’t because the amount of the grant was so large that we could do that, it was because God sent us 2 new employees who have a heart for serving God first, over the amount of their income.

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: June 10, 2016 at 10:06 AM EDT |
Widows Harvest, announces the launch of of Home Harvest St. Elmo

Through the generous donation by Wells Fargo Bank of a historic home in St. Elmo, Widows Harvest will soon begin the restoration process of this house that will be available for purchase upon completion. Proceeds from the sale of this completely restored home will help to fund the many ongoing home repair projects that Widows Harvest undertakes on widows’ homes throughout the year.

Over the course of the restoration, Widows Harvest invites the community to participate through volunteering, donating and following the progress of the innovative restoration of the St. Elmo home. 

The Contractor for the project is Stuart Bickley, Rain Dance Property Solutions; The Design Team is Laney Carter, Laney Carter Interior Designs and Widows Harvest Board Member, Arch Willingham, Executive Vice President T.U. Parks; and The Real Estate Partner is The Lea Team, Keller Williams Realty.

For more information please visit the Home Harvest website or the Home Harvest Facebook page.


Make a Donation

Would you like to support the Home Harvest project? Click here to make a donation:

Donate to Widows Harvest

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 18, 2015 at 3:28 PM EST |
Andy’s Fall 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends, Ministry Partners and Supports:

In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus tells his disciples how to pray beginning with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” and ending with “Lead us not into temptation, but Deliver us from the evil one.”

In the middle of the prayer, though, Jesus tells us to “ask forgiveness for our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Then he revisits our need to forgive in the next 2 verses, 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When I think about forgiveness, now, I find myself also thinking about I Corinthians chapter 13, telling us that the most important thing, above all else, even faith and hope, is love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

To read Andy’s newsletter in full, click here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 18, 2015 at 1:09 PM EST |
Under the Harvest Moon - Music Benefit

Celebrate Harvest and home with Chattanooga’s premier swing band at “Under the Harvest Moon” at the Camp House on October 2. The concert will launch Home Harvest St. Elmo, a home restoration project benefitting Widows Harvest, a Chattanooga faith-based non-profit organization meeting the needs of older, low income, urban and inner city widows.

Directed by Dan Dorrill and featuring the honeyed tones of soloist Michael A Smith, The Uptown Big Band plays the big band jazz classics and experiments with modern jazz. For more than 20 years, The Uptown band has entertained the Chattanooga regional area with 17 instrumentalists and 2 vocalists as well as performing with international jazz greats. “Under the Harvest Moon” will feature special guest, Esther Ellis.

The concert will launch Home Harvest St. Elmo. Through the generous donation of Wells Fargo, Widows Harvest is restoring a St. Elmo home available for purchase upon completion.

Over the course of the restoration, Widows Harvest invites the community to participate through volunteering, donating and following the progress of the innovative restoration of the St. Elmo home. Restoration will be featured here on our website.

 All proceeds from Under the Harvest Moon will launch the restoration of this home. For more information click here.

To purchase tickets to this event, click here.

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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: September 11, 2015 at 11:13 AM EDT |
Andy's Fall 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners:


This year has been amazing. Our thanks to all of those who pray for us, come out and serve with us, and support us financially. To date, through our home repair ministry, led by Dick Mason, 101 individual widows have been served which translates to 210 completed construction projects (some widows had multiple

projects done for them in the course of the year). In addition to these widows we also provided ongoing lawn care for another 38 widows. This number of completed projects represents 189 volunteer days with 1140 volunteers serving over 1100 hours. And this number does not even include the 60+ widows and volunteers that meet weekly from 11 am - 1:30 pm on Tuesdays for the Widow’s Bible Study and Prayer Ministry

To read Andy's newsletter in full, click here:



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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: December 1, 2014 at 12:39 PM EST |
Andy's Spring 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Partners:

This update was supposed to be written and mailed out by mid-May and here we already are in June and I am just now finally able to sit down and write this. We have been busy, and it is only getting busier. That’s not just a good thing, but it is truly a great thing. Our being so busy means that lots of widows are getting helped and we are getting lots of volunteers to do it. Just look at our facebook page sometime and you will see what has we have been up to. You don’t have to have a facebook account to see it either. Just scroll down to the bottom of the home page of our website and there is a link to our facebook page. Just click on it and it will take you right to it.

Here is our schedule of upcoming groups and workdays to date. Almost everyday, though, we get a new request from a group that wants to volunteer. You can go to the calendar on our website to see scheduling updates or click here for a list of dates.

Summer Supply Needs

Thankfully, 3 of the weeks we have scheduled this summer are with Son Servants. They have been partnering with us, now, for over 10 years and are one of the most well run short-term mission organizations we have ever had the privilege to work with.


From their web site: “Son Servants joins local agencies, pastors, and missionaries in providing labor and funds for work projects. Specific tasks vary from year to year and from trip to trip, ranging from helping a widow in Tennessee with routine upkeep of her home to working on a church building in Jamaica. The majority of our trips also provide some sort of outreach to area children.”


The reason I mention this is because of the equitable regard and treatment that they have with those they partner with. Over the years we have been asked by a number of ministries and mission agencies (both local and national) to partner with them by providing home repair projects on widow’s homes. In most of these instances they are receiving between $200 & $400 per youth that comes on the trip, with total number of youth in a week ranging from 15-400. Most youth, when they go on short-term mission trips like this, believe that the fees that they pay for the week are going to cover the cost of feeding and housing them as well as the cost of the construction materials where they will be serving.


Quite tragically, numerous mission agencies and local ministry hosts, use short-term mission opportunities for youth, primarily, as a fundraising mechanism in order to meet other financial objectives. Those who do this well are able to literally raise millions of dollars through the provision of these opportunities. 50% to upwards of 75% or more of funds generated through the individual fees is all used to fund yearly operating budgets.


That is why I say that have the privilege of partnering with Son Servants has been such a blessing. They have always been extremely fair in providing us with the financial support that we need in order to organize for them the home repair projects that we do on widow’s homes.


This summer, as is the case in most of our summer construction activities, most of the volunteers we get is not through mission teams partnering with us like Son Servants, or mission teams that we host ourselves, are from local individuals and groups. Their help is invaluable to us and especially the widow’s they serve, but they seldom are able to help us pay for the

construction materials being used by them on the projects they are serving on.


Here is the list of some of the construction projects and materials that we need for the summer and their cost:


Projects & Construction Material Costs Include:

4 Roofs Cost $4423.00

4 Exterior & 5 Interior House Painting Cost $2122.00

Deck Cleaning, Repair & Wheel Chair Ramp Cost $1568.00

Total Supplies and Materials Cost $8113.00


The arrival of May 1st of this year has proved to not be the exception when it comes to receiving donations. It is always like a water faucet that has been running wide open and is suddenly turned almost all the way off to the point where it is now just dripping intermittently. I don’t know of another way to describe it that could paint a clearer picture. It is not the first of the summer, though, where we typically find ourselves with financial shortfalls, it is usually around the middle of August when we begin to feel the effects of all of the increased construction and operating costs.

Any help, additional or otherwise, you might be able to give either now or in the fall will help us be able to continue to keep up with the continued demands for meeting the home repair needs of widows.

Just as a side note, beginning in 2012 a noticeable increase in the number of adult volunteers began to occur with us to the point where, now, in 2014, adult volunteer numbers are far exceeding that of teenage volunteers.




On July 4th and 5th Scenic City Multisport will be hosting the first competition of it’s kind here in Chattanooga, a 2-day functional fitness (crossfit) competition in Chattanooga, to benefit Widows Harvest. If you are interested in competing, or you can serve as a volunteer (we have been asked to recruit 30 volunteers to help out each day) for part of it please go to their website,, and either register for the competition or sign up to volunteer for either a 4 hour or 8 hour shift.

Thy Kingdom Come,



Andy Mendonsa

Servant Director









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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: June 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM EDT |
Volunteers Needed!

Funky Chicken


Dear Friends and Partners:


I wanted to share with you an opportunity to volunteer for an event that will benefit Widows Harvest.  Several months ago I was contacted by Scenic City Multisport and asked if our ministry would be interested in benefitting from a cross-fit competition that they were hosting this summer.  I said yes, of course.  In that the summer months are really low donation months this would really be an answer to prayer.  Then they asked me if I thought I would be able to recruit 60 volunteers for the event.  Sure, I said, I don't see why that should be a problem since this event is going to benefit Widows Harvest.  Then they said that the dates for the event will be on July 4th and 5th.  When they said the event dates that's when getting 60 volunteers started looking harder to get.

The event hours are from 7am-5pm on both days.  They need at least 30 volunteers all day both days.  If you can volunteer, though, you can do it for just half a day.  You don't have to do it for the whole day, unless you have the time to do it

They are hoping to make this a yearly event that would continue to benefit Widows Harvest.  They are hoping to get a jump on everyone else in the Southeast for hosting a cross-fit competition and make this a significant event in the next few years.  They will also give us complete freedom to promote our Ministry and the plight of widows through it.  They even want to name some of the event competition WODs to tie into the plight of widows.


Please pray that we will be able to get the number of volunteers that they have asked us to get.  These are going to be tough dates to get them for, I know.  Please consider volunteering yourself, or possibly coming out with a team to compete.  For more information visit the Funky Chicken Games web site.

By the way, the reason they approached us about this is because one of their employees had volunteered with us when he did his Eagle Scout service project and also through his youth group.  You never know what God is going to do next and who he will do it through.  

Thy Kingdom Come,

andy mendonsa

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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: June 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM EDT |

used pick up truck


Need For 2nd Pickup Truck

This is just a quick plea for a need we have in the ministry for getting an additional truck.  If you have a good used small pickup, and would be willing to either donate it, or sell it to us our need is really great.  We don't have a lot of money in our fund to spend, between 2k & 4k.  Of course, it is also ok to donate money to this fund, which would help us get a better truck.  With the summer coming up and all of the teams and subsequent work projects that are already on our schedule we have to have 2 trucks in the field.

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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: May 28, 2014 at 12:33 PM EDT |
Pick Up Truck, Mother's Day stories and Prayer Needed!

Dear Friends and Partners:

Need For 2nd Pickup Truck

This is just a quick plea for a need we have in the ministry for getting an additional truck.  If you have a good used small pickup, and would be willing to either donate it, or sell it to us our need is really great.  We don't have a lot of money in our fund to spend, between 2k & 4k.  Of course, it is also ok to donate money to this fund, which would help us get a better truck.  With the summer coming up and all of the teams and subsequent work projects that are already on our schedule we have to have 2 trucks in the field.

Remembering Widows on "Mother's Day"

If you have a story about our church, group or individual that you know of that planned a special event in order to bless mothers who are also widows on "Mother's Day," please share it with us. 

I want to share one such event that I was able to go and personally witness myself.  Pastor Roger Kittle, St. Elmo Ave. Baptist Church, in response to the e-mail I sent out, hosted a dinner at the church on "Mother's Day" for any widowed mothers (or not) who had no place to be on "Mother's Day."  He put the invitation out to the whole St Elmo Neighborhood, his congregation and the widows in Widows Harvest's prayer ministry.  About 20 widows, who had no place to be, were blessed beyond measure by this event.  I myself, who was also blessed to get to personally witness it, was moved beyond words.

Bless you Pastor Kittle for "causing these widows heart's to sing with joy!

Tennessee Special Day of Prayer for Widows

Just wanted to remind everyone to pray for the plight of widows throughout the world on May 15th.  If you are on facebook and have friended us then you received an invitation to pray for widows on May 15.  You can click on this link to see this on our facebook page.  We are not hosting an event in a specific location for prayer, instead, we are asking you to join us in praying wherever you are on May 15th, at 9 am, 12 pm and 3 pm.  You can pray for as long as you want at these times. 

Why 9, 12 and 3?  These are the prayer hours of the day that were being observed by the Jews at the time Jesus was on earth.  All though, they may not hold any significance for us today, on the day that Jesus was put to death all of the events of the day coincided with these prayer hours.  Jesus was crucified at the 3rd hour of the day (9 am, the 1st prayer hour, Mark 15:25).  At the 6th hour (12 pm, the 2nd prayer hour, Mark 15:33), that is when God turned away from Jesus.  Finally, at the 9th hour (3 pm, the 3rd prayer hour, Mark 15:34), Jesus gives up his ghost and dies.

Attention is also called to these specific times of prayer in the Book of Acts.  It was at the time of the 1st prayer hour that "Pentecost" occurs (Acts 2:15).  At the time of the 2nd prayer hour (Acts 10:9) is when Peter goes up on the roof top to pray and God gives him a vision of sheet "let down to earth" and through this vision tells Peter that what had been considered to be unclean was now clean.  Meaning, of course, that the Gospel was now to be extended to the gentiles.  During the 3rd prayer hour there are actually 3 references to it in the book of Acts.  The first one is in Acts 3:1 where Peter and John are going to the Temple to gather with others for prayer and they encounter the beggar who was begging for alms.  The second and third reference both have to do with Peter and Cornelius.  In Acts 10:3 Cornelius, a gentile, is praying at the time of the 3rd prayer hour when an angel of God comes to him and tells him to send a messenger to bring Peter to him.  Finally, the third reference to this 3rd prayer hour is when Peter arrives at Cornelius's house and scripture tells us that it occurs at the same hour of the day that Cornelius had been praying when God told him to go and bring Peter to him (Acts 10:30).

If you will be joining us in prayer on this day (wherever you are) please send us an email and let us know.  Our specific prayer focus will be to pray James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, to keep oneself unspotted from the world," (Darby Translation).

Praying this, I believe serves the dual purpose of both praying that widows will be cared for by God's people and at the same time will give rise to the condition of the "Church" being the "pure and undefiled" bride that God desires her to be.  Win Win!

Thy Kingdom Come,

andy mendonsa



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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: May 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM EDT |
News from Andy: Mother's Day 2014

Dear Friends and Partners:


Mother's day is almost here and churches all over the country will be honoring mothers during the Sunday morning worship service.  Once again, my heart breaks for all those mothers who are also widows, young and old, who will be recognized with honor as mothers and at the same time overlooked in their plight as widows.

I wonder how many older widowed mothers will leave these worship services and return home to empty houses with no one to take them out to dinner or to even prepare a dinner for them.  Perhaps, they received a single stem rose as a token of honor as mothers in the worship service, but now they sit at their kitchen tables staring at it while they eat warmed up leftovers by themselves, as the token honor they received begins to sink in for being just that.

I wonder how many younger widowed mothers with young children will leave these worship services and return home to the mess that was left behind trying to get ready for the church services where they were honored as mothers.  The kids are still too young to help clean up all the mess themselves, and so, for the young widowed mother it is just another tough day like all other days. Where she woke up just as tired as she was the night before when she finally got the only break that ever comes to her at the end of each day, after all of the kids are in bed, as much cleaning as possible has been done, all of the lunches for school the next day have been prepared, clothes laid out, and she finally gets to collapse in bed and sleep.  And if it's an exceptional night, she might even get to sleep all the way through without any of her children waking her up.

And the rose the young widowed mother received as a token honoring her as a mother, she forgot all about it after one of her kids grabbed it from her when she returned to her seat.   And by the time the service was over if the rose had survived it never made it home to be placed in a vase on the dinner table where she and her children all sat around eating the mother's day meal that she prepared for them, because they are all still too young to honor her in this way themselves.

In 1 Timothy 5:3 it says to, "Honor widows that are widows indeed."  One of the meanings of this word "honor, " according to Strong's Concordance is, "to honour, to have in honour, to revere, venerate."  In Matthew 15:17-18, Jesus says:  "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 18) “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

It is easy to speak honor, whether it is to God or widowed mothers, but our actions will always give us away when it comes to whether our hearts are far or near.  If we only give honor in public places where we are being seen and heard giving it, but then when we come down off of the stage and the spot lights are no longer on us, the nearness of our hearts for the ones that we have spoken honor to with our lips will quickly know the truth.

May this "Mother's Day" be a day that also truly blesses and honors widowed mothers in the ways that God has clearly stated in his word that we should.

Thy Kingdom Come,

Andy Mendonsa

Director WHM

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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: May 7, 2014 at 6:41 PM EDT |
Before We Drink The Cup


Dear Friends and Partners:

As we approach Easter, just a few thoughts to consider, Before We Drink The Cup:

Matthew 20:20-28

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21.) “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22.) “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23.) Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24.) When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25.) Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26.) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27.) and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28.) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In this conversation that Jesus is having with the sons of Zebedee, he asks them if they can drink from the cup that he is going to drink from. Their answer, seemingly without hesitation, is yes. When I first read this passage my immediate thought was how arrogant they were to say “yes,” that they could drink from the same cup that Jesus was going to drink from.

Then I began to think about the cup that Jesus asked to be taken from him that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. As quickly as he asks this of his father he recants, saying, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

This cup is both the pouring out of his life as a “drink offering,” and the cup that he drinks when he gives up his life, conquers death and is resurrected on the 3rd day. This cup is the cup for our salvation that he is drinking. If there is any doubt that this is the cup that Jesus is speaking of in the garden all we have to do is look at what he says earlier that night when he is in the upper room with his disciples celebrating the Passover feast. Jesus, serving the meal does not drink from the cup of wine that follows the breaking of the bread and, in fact, he says to them “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25.

During the Passover feast there are typically 4 cups of wine that are drunk (Exodus 6:6-7). The first 2 are drunk before the meal, the third cup is drunk during the meal and the last cup is drunk after the meal.

The first 2 cups essentially are memorials to God’s deliverance of the Israelites by taking them out of the land of Egypt and delivering them from Egyptian slavery.

The 3rd cup (not the 4th cup), which represents redemption, is actually the cup that Jesus does not drink when he says to his disciples that he will not “drink from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

In John 19:28-30, at the end of Jesus’ life, just before he gives up his spirit, “….knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” “A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30.) When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

When Jesus says, “I am thirsty,” is his thirst really a physical thirst or a thirst to drink from the cup that his Father sent him to drink through the sacrifice of his own life? Is this not the cup of salvation that Jesus yearns to drink? Nothing of this earth can possibly satisfy that thirst. The spoiled wine that he is given surely speaks to this. And once Jesus has sacrificed his life for us, thus, drinking the cup of salvation, upon his resurrection that same cup that he has drunk he then offers it to us to drink from.

Surely this would explain why, when the brothers of Zebedee say that they can drink from the cup that Jesus is going to drink he says: “You will indeed drink from my cup.” What yet remains to be explained, though, is what it will mean for them, and for anyone who drinks from this cup for the loss of ones own life in exchange for eternal life in Christ.

By way of explanation Jesus says: Matt 20:25-30“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. . 26.) Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27.) and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28.) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Perhaps what Paul says in 2Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near,” explains it best. Paul, who has first drunk from the cup of salvation that has been extended to him by Jesus, then allows his own life to be poured out as a drink offering on behalf of others until the end of his physical life. He states this even more plainly in Philemon 2:17 “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.”

What Jesus is telling the sons of Zebedee is exactly the example that Paul has lived out based on Jesus’s own poured out life for us. “Yes,” Jesus says, “you will drink from my cup,” but if you do then there is a cost involved and that cost is the laying down of your own life by letting yourselves be poured out as a drink offering on behalf of others in accordance with my Father’s will. “Just as I came to serve and not be served,” and just as I modeled for you what it means to “Love God with your hearts minds and souls and your neighbors as yourselves,” those who will drink from my cup must be willing to, likewise, like Paul, abandon all that was our former selves.

It’s Good Friday, today. In 2 days Christians will gather together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. On that day the cup will be passed among us. Before we drink, though, are we as confident as the sons of Zebedee were, that they too could drink this same cup that Jesus drank? Are we equally as confident, that by drinking this cup we are, likewise, willing to allow our lives to be completely poured out like a drink offering on behalf of others? Because that is the other part of the equation that Jesus is presenting both to the sons of Zebedee and to us in this passage. Are we ?

Thy Kingdom come,

andy mendonsa


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Posted by: Lisa Eames
Posted on: April 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM EDT |
Summer News!

Home Repair Opportunities for Chattanooga Urban Widows
Widows Harvest Ministries (WHM) is accepting applications for assistance from older widows* (55 and above), who own their own homes and have home repair needs.  Of particular interest, but not exclusively, are widows who are in need of exterior house painting.
WHM provides home repair services throughout the year, but from mid-June to the end of July each year we have access to our greatest number of volunteers.  Because of this we won’t to let widows in Chattanooga’s urban neighborhoods know of the opportunities for receiving assistance that might be available to them.
There are never any charges for our home repair services and we are accessible year round for widows who have ongoing needs beyond what we might be able to assist them with over the summer.  Also, there is no limit on the number of times that a widow can contact us for help. 
All that a widow has to do in order to begin the application process is to either contact us by phone:  423-266-0260 or email us:  After receiving a request for home repair assistance by a widow our Administrator will then set up a time with the widow for an in home interview and construction assessment.
Be sure to check out our Facebook page (link at bottom of web site home page) to see many of the types of home repair projects we do on an ongoing basis as well as the volunteers who come out to serve.
* WHM defines a widow as any woman without a husband regardless of the circumstance (abandonment, divorce, death, nursing home, etc).
Click here to download a PDF of our guidelines.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: March 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM EST |
Fall Newsletter 2013

Dear Friends and Supporters:

After sending our last newsletter, which was in the spring of this year, I received a request from one donor to only send them 2 newsletters a year in order to save the expense of sending more. I took that request to heart, because it does cost quite a bit to send updates, and I decided then that I would not send out any more than 2 updates a year to anyone.

Hopefully, through our other avenues of sending out updates via email, web site, Facebook and You Tube, there will be many other opportunities for you to, not just read about all that is going on in this ministry, but perhaps most importantly, to be able to see the work as well as those who are coming out to volunteer to do the work.

This year we have been able to meet the home repair needs of approximately 78 widows, but the actual number of projects we have completed this year to date is 180. What this means is that multiple projects have been done for most of these 78 widows. Some of these projects were done at the same time and some of them were needs that came up later that we also took care of. The range of needs mostly included roofing, exterior house painting, plumbing, electrical, wheel chair ramps and yard work.

The total number of volunteers we had working on widow’s home repair projects was 1200 which was spread out over 184 days. The following is a list of many of those who either came out by themselves or with a larger group to minister with widows throughout the year:


Ashley Black CCS
Bill Bartlet
Adam Tetzlaff Level 2 Design
Alive in You
Bill Kent
Bridges Church, Gerry Warner Small Group
Calvary Chapel Saturday Serve
Camp Lookout
Chattanooga Christian School
Level 2 Design
Chris Robinson
Project 52
Chris Johnston Summer Intern
Covenant College Widows Group
Darryl Jones
Drain Right, Bill Burt
Fellowship Bible Church, Franklin TN, Cameron Banks
1st Centenary UMC
1st Presbyterian Columbus, GA
Frankie Ellis
GPS Amnesty International Group
GPS Key Club
Herm Bel
Hixson Presbyterian Middle School Youth
Hixson UMC
Patrick Falk
Hixson High School
Home Instead Senior Care
Hope for Inner City
Hunter Brock, Summer Intern
Jahn Family
John Shiraef
Karen Smoak, CCS
LMPC Senior High Youth/Aaron Tolson
LMPC Widow’s Food Pantry Susie Courtney Teresa Miller, Judy Pepper, Donna Wharton
McCallie School
McCallie /Missionary Committee/Josh Dietrick
McCallie TEPS
McCallie Summer Camp
Mission 2 Connect
Mission Chattanooga
New City Eastlake, Tom Horn
New City Fellowship Deacons, Cody Gaston
New City Fellowship Youth, Mike Hughes
New City Fellowship/Detroit Missions Team
New Life Student Group
Rock Creek Presbyterian Church Food Pantry worker Susan Bosworth
Rock Point Church
RUF Covenant College
Shelter Church
Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, Mike Coward
Silverdale Baptist Church Silverdale Baptist Church, Eric Schrader Small Group
Son Servants
Southland Conference
St. Elmo Avenue Baptist Church
St. Elmo Presbyterian Church Youth Group
Susie Fowlkes-Summer intern
Tim Morris-Covenant College
Travis Jones
UTC Graphic Art Students: Beth Congdon, Laura Flack
Wesleyan School, GA
Wil Davis
Wilberforce Class-Covenant College
William Rogers



Beginning the end of May of this year my nephew, Peter Mendonsa, began an internship with us that, initially was for the summer, but has now been extended to a year. Peter is doing a great job and it is obvious that God has given him a heart filled with passion for serving widows. I asked Peter to write out his story for this newsletter that I could share with all of you about the journey that God led him on to bring him here with us. This is what he wanted to share:


A Journey to Thanksgiving
“I heard a voice behind me saying, This is the way, walk in it.”


My Journey to Widows Harvest in Chattanooga began about a year ago outside of an Army recruiting office in Greenville SC. I had just been informed in no uncertain terms that I would not be able to have a job as a medic if I joined the military. As I got into my car and drove back to School the haphazard plans that had been forming over the previous months were evaporating like the morning mist. My future was now very uncertain. I was, at first, discouraged. I had given myself to pursuing this goal and the realization of it had now become impossible. That feeling subsided as it was replaced with something stronger. Hope. The only way I could interpret this turn of events was to see this as the Lord himself shutting that door, and in so doing, telling me that my path was not this way. That uncertain future was now ripe with unexplored possibilities.

I had just begun my second year at the Evangelical Institute (EI) School of Biblical Training and would be graduating in less than a year. I poured myself into life at school with one desire on my heart; to finish well. I knew I would have to do something after I graduated but had no idea what. I made no attempts to make specific plans, but rather thought in terms of localities. My first choice was to stay in Greenville. I liked the city, I was confident I could find work, and there was a strong community of believers centered at the school. I liked my church and felt like I could be useful there. Another possibility that I briefly entertained was that I could go to Chattanooga where I had family, stay with them and find work there. I offered up a few halfhearted prayers in this direction but did not seriously consider it. Chattanooga was unfamiliar to me and I really wanted to stay in Greenville.

I spent Christmas with my immediate family in Virginia and then a few of us drove to Chattanooga to stay over the New Year and spend time with relatives there. One night my Uncle, Andy Mendonsa, pulled me aside and said, “Hey, I’ve got a question for you, why don’t you come and do an internship with us at Widows Harvest over the summer?”

Those silent, halfhearted prayers, I realized could be a dangerous thing. I had never mentioned to anyone that I had even considered going to Chattanooga. It was somewhat unnerving to hear the thoughts whispered in the recesses of my mind spoken back to me from another’s mouth. I expressed definite interest but wanted to take some time to think about it.

As the school year progressed I allowed these possibilities to float in the back of my mind. Being unfamiliar with the world of Chattanooga and Widows Harvest I wasn’t completely ready to commit. Then one evening soon after, at a church event, I happened to mention to a man that I was considering going to Chattanooga and his response surprised me. “We love Chattanooga!” the words burst from a suddenly beaming face.

He and his wife had met there and loved the city. They waxed eloquent about its amazing outdoor opportunities, its multiplicity of coffee shops, and the great church that they had been attending there. That really helped put my mind at ease and I decided to spend the summer there, see how things went, and then, if things didn’t work out, move back to Greenville.

Graduation came and went. I packed two years worth of belongings into my ’94 Honda Accord and headed west to Chattanooga. Six months Later, I am still here with no intention of leaving anytime soon. I have found a home here, with family, a solid church, and meaningful work. I primarily work with Dick Mason, assisting him with projects, organizing materials, taking pictures, and writing Facebook posts about group projects. I help supervise, and interact with volunteers, talk to the widows, and try whenever possible to create opportunities for our volunteers to meet and visit with the widows while on a project site.

Like many others I have fallen in love with this city. There is something special about Chattanooga that is hard to define. Perhaps it is the ideal location, nestled in a valley between two mountains with a river running through its heart. Perhaps, it is the people who are so passionate about the city and community. Perhaps it is the diverse and vibrant Christian community. Somewhere In the long list, however, one might say, perhaps, it is Chattanooga’s Widows. Through discussions with Andy, learning about the theology behind a ministry to Widows, and through my interaction with the women themselves, I have caught something of the vision of Widows Harvest. I have come to see that these silver saints are some of God’s most special and overlooked treasures. These women who have been through so much are powerful spiritual resources in this city. Often pouring themselves into family, churches and communities in whatever ways they can, expecting little in return. These women know well what it means to depend on God and trust him for their daily needs. They faithfully lift up prayers for the city, the church and their loved ones. Many of these women whom I have had the privilege of getting to know personally have welcomed me in, showed me God’s love in a unique way and are praying for me as for their own family. It is in their nature to do so.

God’s mandate to care for the Widows in their distress is clear. There is the beginning of a movement in this city to care for these women as it is awakening to their needs. This movement crosses boundaries and unites people diverse in culture. I have worked alongside men and women of various denominations and what has stood out to me is not our fringe differences, but rather the unity of a common goal and the heart of compassion that flows out of Christ’s own love for these women.

The rhythms of life ebb and flow as one season moves seamlessly into another. It is easy to become engrossed in the details of life but as I step back and look over the last six months I am filled with a sense of gratitude. I know that had I planned my own way I would never have ended up where I am now. Many times in my journey I have made blind attempts to go in one direction or another, and our Lord has faithfully guided me in spite of myself. I can honestly say I am content with the green pastures before me. The “Defender of the Widows and Fatherless” knows me, and leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake and for that, I am sincerely grateful.

Peter Mendonsa


“O that men would give thanks to the Lord, For his steadfast love and his wonderful works to the children of men”


Gertrude Gaston, Our Co-Founder, Her Legacy Continues On

As many of you may remember the late Gertrude Gaston became my prayer partner back in 1986 in praying for God’s leading for starting a ministry to widows. In January 1987 Mrs. Gaston hosted the first widow’s prayer luncheon in her home. That prayer luncheon became a monthly event that eventually led to the widow’s prayer ministry that has now been meeting weekly for over 25 years.

Soon after the widows ministry was “officially” begun Mrs. Gaston would send her young teenaged grandsons, Charlie and Cody Gaston, to work with me doing different projects for widows while they were in town visiting with her.

A number of months ago Widows Harvest partnered with the deacons from New City Fellowship to jointly work on a widow’s home. Cody Gaston, a deacon and the contact person for us at his church came out with his whole family to serve. I know that his grandmother was rejoicing in heaven.


“I Will Not Leave You Comfortless”

These are Jesus’s words to his disciples in John 14:18, meant to be words of comfort, knowing that he will not be with them long. In many translations the word in the original Greek translated as the word “comfortless” in the King James version of the Bible, has been more commonly translated as the word “orphans.”

The actual Greek word translated as “comfortless or orphans” is, “orphanos,” and means, according to Strong’s concordance: 1.) “bereft (of a father, of parents), a.) of those bereft of a teacher, guide, guardian b.) orphaned. Interestingly, this Greek word, “orphanos” is only used one other time in the whole of the New Testament and it is in James 1:27, our founding scripture: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction (and) to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This version, which is from the King James, is about the only one that translates this word as “fatherless.” Almost all the other translations translate it as “orphans.”

There is much that could be said here, but what I have been most struck by recently is the idea of our need for comfort and to be comforted. Jesus, in John 14:18, is trying to speak words of comfort to his disciples, both for that moment as well as for what lies ahead for them when he is no longer walking with them on this earth. James 1:27, speaks to those who, likewise, need to be comforted.

Apart from Jesus there is no possibility for truly being comforted, both in this physical life as well as our eternal one. Even in Jesus, all though we have the same comforter, who is the holy spirit, and who was promised by Jesus, in John 14:16, to his disciples that he would be sent in his absence, much of our lives are spent in the perpetual pursuit of comfort.

Perhaps, it is because of our own neediness for being comforted, that we fail to realize that we who have been given eternal comfort through Jesus, have all essentially been given the task for being comforters as well. Doesn’t everything about our lives really boil down to our own idea of what it means for us to be comforted. Don’t most of the decisions that we make, though, throughout our lives really have more to do with fulfilling our own want of comfort over the actual needs of others that God has intended for us to bring comfort to?

In Luke 12:22 Jesus tells his disciples to “not worry about their life, what they will eat, or their body what they will wear. For life is more than food,” he says, “and the body more than clothes.” Then, in Luke 12:29-31 he says “do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

Confessing Jesus and following Jesus are two entirely different things I have come to realize. One is a reflection of the way we want to be perceived by others and the other is the way that we want Jesus to be reflected by us to others. If Jesus is truly our comfort then it would seem that pursuing God’s kingdom first would mean that our lives are purposed on bringing comfort to others. Perhaps, one of the best examples of this might be the widow at the altar that Jesus points out to his disciple in Mark 12:43. Jesus tells them that she, “out of her poverty gave all that she had (2 mites), as if to say, she is someone who truly seeks the kingdom of God first. By contrast, the others who are there also putting money into the treasury, he points out that even though they are giving large sums of money the amounts they are giving are out of the surplus of their wealth. In other words, they are like the pagans, in that they seek to insure their own comfort first and God’s kingdom is their secondary concern.

To have had the privilege of being around so many widows over the years that truly do seek the kingdom of God first, it is to my shame that all too often I, myself, am guilty of seeking it second.


May Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven,

Andy Mendonsa Director


Download PDF version of this newsletter here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 4, 2013 at 9:49 AM EST |
Area Association Of Realtors Annual Food Drive for Widows Harvest


Dear Friends and Partners:

The Greater Chattanooga Realtors Association, for over 15 years, has had an annual food drive for Widows Harvest to go towards Thanksgiving food baskets for widows.  This year they are trying something a little different.  Instead of collecting food they are raising money to buy food for these baskets.  This is from their web site:

"Support our annual drive for Widows Harvest with a $20 donation and be entered into a drawing for an iPad Mini, provided by Ben Phillips of Hometown Lenders. Contributions will be accepted at the Association up until 5 pm on Friday, November 8, with the winner announced the following week."

For anyone interested in making a donation to help us provide food baskets for widows please visit the Realtors Association website by clicking here.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: November 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM EST |
Andy's Fall 2012 Newsletter. Wishing You All A Merry Christmas!

It should come as no surprise to you that we have had another wonderful year in the Lord. This time last year we were in serious financial straits, but God was still good and remains good all the time even in difficult trials such as those. Thankfully, due to significant cuts in our budget and the increased giving by so many of our donors, we have not found ourselves in the financial predicament of last year. Either way, as I have already said, God remains good and he alone is worthy of our offerings of thanksgiving in all things.

In addition to the many construction projects that we have been able to start and complete, with the help of hundreds of volunteers who have come out to serve throughout the year, we have also had an exciting year of growth and maturity in the widow’s prayer ministry. Not only have our numbers increased to almost 60 participating each week, but their desire to love God with their hearts, minds and souls has been exemplified in ways...

Download the PDF to read more.

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: December 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM EST |
Planet Altered Silent Auction Mainx24 December 1, 2012

Planet Altered Silent Auction Mainx24 December 1, 2012, to benefit Widows Harvest Ministries Press Release:

"Of all the gifts given this season, you can bring the gift of hope and health to a family in need. During MAINx24, one of Chattanooga's largest community events of the year, Planet Altered is providing a unique opportunity through "Gifts that Keep on Giving".

Planet Altered is the Southside's Community Creative Arts Center.  From 9 am to 4 pm during MAINx24, we will be offering alternative holiday gift options by promoting a wide variety of non-profit charities, both local and global.  Buy a camel, water buffalo, goat, chicken or bed net!  All proceeds go to local and global charities:  Widows Harvest, charity: water, World Vision, Heifer International, ADRA and Nothing But Nets, to name a few.

Donors will receive a token gift representing the living gift as well as a beautiful card which describes in detail the gift they have sent to a family in need in the recipients honor.  100% of their donation is tax-deductible.

  The sixth annual event will be Saturday, Dec. 1. Planet Altered is in the heart of the parade route at 48 East Main Street. With the support of community and especially our community of faith, we hope you will join us in bringing hope and health to a family in need.

For more information on Planet Altered and the charities benefiting from "Gifts that Keep on Giving" go to and call Jean at 423-400-4100 if your church, organization or school would like to volunteer at Planet Altered during this event."

Click Here For Details

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: November 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM EDT |
Annual Widow's Prayer March to the Sea

Dear Friends and Partners:

The widows left yesterday morning a little after 8 a.m. for their annual "Widow's Prayer March to the Sea." I can't remember when I have seen so much excitement among the widows going. As I said in my last update, this is the largest group that we have ever had make this trip, which required not only getting a larger bus, but also hiring a driver. Wouldn't you know it, the driver turned out to be a Christian. What a blessing. Also, they sent him with a larger bus (which was almost brand new) than what we expected at no additional cost, which means that there was more than enough room for all the widows and their luggage (which has never been the case in years past).

As many of you know it has not been possible for me to take this trip in a number of years and this year I thought that I was going to be able to finally work it out so that I could go. After the lesson that we studied this past Tuesday in the widow's Bible study I realized that there was just too much need at home for me to go, once again. We were studying I Timothy 5, particularly the 8th verse, where it talks about "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever," and I realized, as I was trying to cover all the bases for my family while I was away, that it just could not be done. Often times, it is easy to confuse what we think is "our high calling" with what God really wants us to see as his priority for us. It became abundantly clear after this lesson that what I would have liked to believe was my first priority, "my high calling," which in this case was to accompany the widows to Savannah, was not God's priority for me at all. His priority was for me to be an obedient servant, and if I was unwilling to do that, then whatever it was that I pursued, instead, as my "high calling," would be nothing more than an exercise in my own self-glory. What a tough pill to swallow.

The prayer conference starts this evening (and has already begun), so please pray for all the widows and conferences speakers that will be participating. Pray especially for Pastor Alfred Johnson, who will be speaking at 10 a.m. in the morning (Saturday). What a blessing Alfred and his wife, Dorothy, felt led to travel to Savannah this year to participate with the widows in this years prayer gathering and conference.

Thy Kingdom Come,

andy mendonsa

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Posted by: Andy Mendonsa
Posted on: October 1, 2012 at 4:15 PM EDT |
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