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Providing Assistance to Widows

According to James 1:27, “visiting the widow and the fatherless in their distress” is considered by God to be “pure and undefiled worship.”  In fact, the last line of this passage, which says “and to keep oneself unpolluted (or unstained) by the world, actually does not have the word “and” in the original Greek text.  When this passage is read in its entirety without the word “and” it tells us that the care of the widow and the fatherless keeps us from being unpolluted by the world.  In other words, it is a significant measure of our faithfulness to our bridegroom, Jesus.  In essence, the implications for not caring for the widows and the fatherless, is, that we, as the church, are living in an adulterous relationship with the world.

It should be noted that the 2 things that Jesus does for us when we accept his proposal of marriage (the Gospel) is take away our eternal widowhood and fatherlessness.  According to Jewish tradition when a woman agrees to marry a man she is considered to be his wife even before the wedding ceremony takes place.  This also means that she immediately comes under the authority of her father-in-law rather than her own father, even though she will remain in his physical house until the wedding ceremony takes place.   Therefore, James 1:27 speaks both of the literal widows and fatherless as well as those who are spiritual widows and fatherless.  This is the only possible explanation for the outcome recorded in Acts 6:1-7.  That the outcomes through caring for the widows and the fatherless will be that of deliverance and redemption for those separated from God.

One of the greatest areas of need, on a global scale, for widows today is housing and home maintenance. Beginning in 1986, while I was working in one of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s inner city neighborhoods this critical need of widows was made plain to me as God began to bring the home repair needs of older, low income, African American widows my way.  Since that time, Widows Harvest Ministries has made both major and minor repairs on thousands of widow’s homes in Chattanooga as well as building homes for homeless widows near Kisumu, Kenya through Widows Harvest Africa under the direction of Servant Joshua Atieno.

Most of the work we do locally on widow’s homes is done by volunteers under the supervision of our full-time, Home, Repair, Projects Coordinator, Dick Mason.  Of these volunteers, 75-80% are teenagers.

Spiritual Widowhood

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