Tuesday, June 23, 2015

International Widows Day 2015

Did you know that today is International Widows Day?

What's it all about?
It was originally launched at the House of Lords in London in 2005. The June 23rd date was chosen to honor an woman, Shrimati Pushpa Wati Loomba, who became a widow on June 23, 1954 at the age of 37 and single-handledly raised and educated her 7 children. In 2010 the United Nations recognised 23rd June as International Widows Day." (from the Loomba Foundation website)

The Loomba Foundation is a charity recognized by the United Kingdom and has sister charities in the US and India. It's not a Christian missionary organization, but according to their website the purpose is "Education of children of poor widows and socio-economic empowerment of their mothers is at the heart of the Loomba Foundation." They also "actively advocate to promote the fundamental freedoms and human rights of widows and their children around the world."

How can Christians be involved?
Every day is International Widows Day for many Christian missions! From the inceptions of Israel in the Old Testament to the beginning of the church in the New Testament, God made it clear that widows were to be cared for in their times of need. Listed below are a few Christian organizations that I personally know of who reach out to widows. Feel free to add others you know of in the comments today. Do not send any money to me for widows, as I am just a private citizen and not set up to handle or distribute donations. My policy is to always refer people to their local church for aid.

Gospel for Asia has a Widows for Widows ministry in South Asia The are collecting donations for International Widows Day, and 100% goes to relief, nothing is taken out for Western administration costs. "Your donation will help GFA give widows a means of renewable income, like a sewing machine or farm animals. You'll also help with daily essentials, like blankets and water filters," it says on their linked page. I have a friend with GFA, and it's a wonderful mission that supports national missionaries who already live in the culture, thus cutting the costs of educating, transporting and acclimating Western workers. Your dollars are maximized.

Widow Connection, led by Miriam Neff nurtures widows groups here in the US with Miriam's books, including From One Widow to Another and her DVD series for widows. But she's also helping widows in several countries of Africa and other places too! Please visit her website and see if the Lord would have you join her. She writes on the website that
Widow Connection is blessed that we can sponsor small projects to meet needs in a village, or larger ones. While being a new organization has challenges, we are blessed with flexibility to serve where others may not. This is all possible because of your generosity. Widow Connection provides treadle sewing machines, initial supplies and fabric, and pays trainers. Widows select what products they will make based on what is needed and what will sell in their community or village. As they create and sell products, the proceeds are divided between the widows with a portion going back into the project. No funds come back to this organization. Eventually, we trust these projects will be self sustaining. Widows will be trained and move on to be self supporting, and new widows are welcomed to learn.
International widows benefit also from large organizations like Samaritans Purse. Visit their website, type widows in the search box and read the stories of what your sisters around the world go through as their counties are overrun by armies or natural disasters. I'm so thankful for disaster relief organizations, and for the time I myself spent with a Southern Baptist disaster relief team. If you need to shake off your grief---you will not only be blessed by joining a disaster relief team, but you'll also be a blessing to the widows you meet!

She Is Safe ministers exclusively to women and girls, because they are the poorest of the poor throughout the world. I first met the leader of this organization in 2004 or 2005, and have followed their growth and compassion ever since. Please explore their website and get involved. "She Is Safe works to prevent, rescue and restore women and girls from abuse and exploitation in high risk places around the world, equipping them to build a life of freedom, faith and a strong future."

Thanks for checking out these groups with me today. I hope you'll be moved to look into them further and reach out to widows around the world. If you end up helping out in any way please write and tell me about it!
Be sure to add a comment today so you'll be in the drawing I mentioned yesterday!
ferree

13 comments:

  1. Thanks, Ferree. I didn't know about She is Safe. I'll check it out...

    Maria Lister Lyons

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  2. Ferree, Seeing the plight, persecution and sorrow in so many countries at this time, has brought me to a place of compassion I have never felt before. When I watch the BBC news every night I am overwhelmed to the point of tears. Thank you for telling us some of the stories of these women of our world. Cheryl H.

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  3. The Lord blesses us so that we can be a blessing. Norma K

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  4. Good morning from Sunny Washington State Ferree! Really looking forward to reading about the different organizations helping widows.

    Blessings on your day, Cathy

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  5. ...moving forward...the journey continues...Vanessa


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  6. Thanks for the summary of these organizations. I will check out the websites of the ones that I never heard of before. ~Shirley P.

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  7. Thank you for sharing Ferree. Many widows struggle, even in the US, to have the basic needs. Often having to chose between necessities. Here in US elderly widow struggle on $1000 or less per month. It breaks my heart to see elderly women at feeding programs because there is no money left to buy food. If they live in states like Florida they can forget food stamps and medical help. My mother receives SS of $1000 and gets a whopping $16 a month in food stamps. How sad for our widows. Debbie Halcomb

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  8. I am a widow who loves nature and color.
    G Jarratt

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  9. God painted a beautiful sunset last night in Ohio.
    G Jarratt

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  10. Ferree and friends,

    Thank you so much for all the emails I receive. The loss of my husband has been hard on me. During my low times, I open I all the emails from WC I have saved that are a tremendous encouragement to me. It brings life to me. Don't know where I would be today, if I didn't come in contact from some many others in my footsteps. Thank you again and again.
    Blessings,
    Olga

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  11. Hi, Ferree!

    I enjoy reading your messages and seeing the gifts that you offer. The Solitude Mat is very attractive and Elmer seems to agree in the photo you posted. This mat reminded me of my late husband Tony, because of the colors. Tony and I were married on the Fourth of July and I am always looking for something in remembrance more unique than the usual July 4th decorations.
    The book offerings are interesting as well. Even if my name does not get drawn this go-around, I will want to add them to my reading wish list.
    I hope your back can relax enough to bring you some comfort. Tight back muscles and spinal problems can be so troublesome for an active person. Thank you for all you do for us in the groups and the opportunity to share our thoughts with one another. I was wondering about all the many prayer requests in Going Ashore and whether a separate space could be created for them. It seems it might offer an easier way to follow up on the outcomes.
    Sincerely, Sheila

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  12. Thank you for the love everyone and we keep our international widows in prayer and help from those who are able!

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  13. I can't imagine the struggles of so many of the widows around the world. It is bad enough losing your husband, never mind not being able to put food on your table or clothes on your back. With 245 million widows worldwide you would think there would be better awareness, but it seems a great deal fall into a forgotten society. Thank you Ferree for giving of your time. I would love to win one of your give a ways! Darlene T.

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