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Widowed but Rejoicing

It was rainy season in India as CAM staff and contacts sloshed through the mud to reach Indira,* standing on the doorstep of her newly built house. She was excited to move to this small, sturdy house from her tarp shelter on someone else’s property. Her new home was made possible by supporters’ donations to the Widows Care Fund.

Indira wept as she told her visitors about her husband, who was killed 20 years ago by a Bengal tiger. In this part of India, tigers, snakes, and crocodiles have killed numerous men, leaving women like Indira to endure the hardships of widowhood.

About 15 years ago, Indira found Jesus. Because of her faith in Christ, her sons refuse to care for her. But
Indira remains faithful despite loneliness and rejection and gathers with other widows to rejoice in the Lord.

To help support the Widows Care Fund program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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A Brighter Future for Widows

Widowhood is never easy. A woman loses a protector and provider when her husband passes away, and the grief that follows can crush the life she knew into unrecognizable pieces. Losing a husband is even more painful when a woman’s value in society is based on marriage.

In South Asia, widows often find life to be a struggle for survival. Frequently blamed for their husband’s death, many are despised by society, forsaken by family, and shunned by friends. Finding a source of income is hard, and some widows resort to begging on the street or scavenging through trash for food scraps.

Chetana* used to live a comfortable life in Nepal. While her husband worked to provide for the family, she cared for their two children. Everything changed after a heart attack claimed the life of Chetana’s husband. Burdened with the responsibility of providing for her children, she started raising vegetables and crops to sell. But after buying basic necessities, she did not have enough money to cover the cost of her children’s schooling.

Your support of the Widows Care Fund enabled Chetana to receive a goat for an additional source of income. Gifts like animals, sewing machines, and food help brighten a difficult future for Chetana and other widows. As our contacts distribute these items, they strive to also share Jesus’ love with each recipient. After receiving aid, one widow remarked, “Living as a widow in the society is hard. . . . We are not recognized and helped in our needs. But today, here the widows were shown love.”

To help support the Widows Care Fund program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Restoring hope to widows in Asia

widows in Asia, Christian Aid Ministries

It is difficult to grasp the trials many women face they lose their husbands. In South Asia, women are often identified by the men in their lives, first their father and then their husband. When a woman’s husband dies, she becomes an outcast in her own homeland. Widows in Asia are often considered a curse, not only by general society but also by her close family, friends, and neighbors.

Everything that once belonged to a widow’s husband can be taken away from her. She may be evicted from her home without notice. Often blamed for her husband’s death, she is left with nothing.

Other women may face abandonment from their husbands. It is generally considered acceptable in parts of Asia for a man to leave his family, remarry, and begin a new household, leaving his first family uncared for. This forces his abandoned wife to become the bread­winner of her family. Since many women have few chances to receive a proper education, illiteracy is high and opportunities are limited. Some widows and abandoned wives beg on the streets to earn an income. This leaves them vulnerable to harassment and abuse, with little protection from local authorities.

Your support of the Widows Care Fund reflects the heart of God, the “father of the fatherless and . . . judge of the widows.” This program reaches out to widowed and abandoned women in Asia and other parts of the world by providing food, shelter, self-help resources, and other assistance. Above all, our goal is to encourage these often ­forgotten women and guide them to the One who will never leave or forsake them.

To help support the Widows Care Fund, please click the button below to give a gift.


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A widow’s new strength—Jesus 

with Jesus, Christian Aid Ministries

Darika* grew up in an impoverished Indian family and was forced to marry at a young age. Then her husband died. In a country where widows are despised, she faced severe poverty. On top of her struggles, she became seriously ill.

One afternoon, two believers came to Darika’s home. Near despair, she told them, “I have lost my hope and have started counting my days on earth.”

“Make your heart strong,” one of the believers encouraged. “Nothing is impossible with Jesus.” They  prayed for her and invited her to church.

As days passed and Darika pondered these words, she believed in Jesus and chose to follow Him. Her  poor health also began to improve.

Darika was overjoyed to receive a piglet from believers who saw her struggle in poverty. This gift was an answer to her prayers! Darika made plans to raise the pig and sell it so she could then buy more pigs to boost her income. She thanks God for His work in her life.

*Name is changed to protect identity.

To help support the Widows Care Fund program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Jesus answers a widow’s cry

Jesus answers, Christian Aid Ministries

Diya* is familiar with hunger and pain. She has leprosy and is an outcast. In India’s culture, widows and lepers are despised and abandoned by their family, friends, and the rest of society. Most lepers are forced to leave their homes and fend for themselves.

Facts about India’s culture:

WIDOWHOOD is considered a curse or bad luck.

WIDOWS AND LEPERS are often found begging on the streets.

MANY LEPERS live in leper colonies, since they are often rejected by family and friends.

INDIA’S MAJOR religions are Hinduism, Buddhis , and Sikhism.

One night Diya had a vision. She saw a person in white who told her He would provide! Soon after Diya’s dream, CAM contacts gave her a food parcel and offered her monthly support. She is sure Jesus answers her cry.

For most of her life, Diya worshiped the idols she kept in her hut. Now the idols are gone and she  believes in Jesus. Her cheerfulness and infectious laugh spill out to others, in spite of her leprosy. Although her monthly parcel is the only food she receives, she wants to share it with others.

*Name changed to protect identity.

To help support the Widows Care Fund program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Visiting widows in their affliction

widow in India, Christian Aid Ministries

“Your husband is dead.” To millions of women these words are a curse, a lifelong sentence of disgrace and struggle. In many countries, society regards  widows as signs of bad luck. “Even our own family considers us burdens,” shared a widow in India. Labeled and abandoned, these women face a lonely life of suffering.

India alone is home to more than 40 million widows. Because of arranged marriages, teenaged girls are sometimes married to men twice their age or older. This leaves large numbers of women widowed at a young age.

In past centuries, a husband’s death in India meant that his wife would be burned alive along with his body. It was believed that she could then join and assist her husband in the afterlife. Some women, realizing the difficult life they would face as a widow, voluntarily jumped into the fire.

India’s government has outlawed this practice, but the stigma surrounding widowhood remains embedded in the culture. Relatives often cast out a widow when her husband dies to avoid disgrace and bad luck. Family and friends frequently accuse her for her husband’s death and confiscate her home and possessions. She is no longer referred to as a woman but as a thing.

Widows Care Fund

Destitute and abandoned by their own families, many widows resort to begging to survive. Some leave their communities to live with other rejected widows. Nearly 20,000 widowed women make their home in the city of Vrindavan, India, earning it the name of “the city of many widows.”

“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.” James 1:27

Behind the facts and numbers are individual widows with stories of heartache. Kashvi* in India shares, “I lost my husband long ago. I live alone and no one cares for me or helps with my daily needs. I used to go for some work but now due to the pandemic, I am unable to get any work.”

Another Indian widow says, “I have two sons but they do not even think of me.”

These challenges are not unique to India. Many elderly widows in Eastern Europe live alone, forsaken by their children who travel to find jobs abroad. Widows in some Kenyan tribes are forced to marry one of their deceased husband’s brothers, although he may already have at least one wife. In Liberia, a civil war and an Ebola outbreak left hundreds of widows in deplorable situations.

Widows Care Fund
Widows in Kenya

Over the years, our faithful supporters have enabled us to provide food parcels to needy widows around the world. But in seeing other needs of widows—such as housing or self-help aid—we are launching a new program: Widows Care Fund. This program will provide food, shelter, self-help resources like sewing machines and animals, or other aid as needs and opportunities arise. In some cases, help is also given to widowers and abandoned wives.

Perhaps the most important and valued gift we seek to provide is Christ’s compassion, which is denied to so many of these women. After believers in India reached out to widows in one community, a bystander remarked, “As a neighbor, I have never seen anybody from this area taking time to visit these widows, but you never fail to show God’s love to them.”

*Name changed to protect identity.