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Millions of widows like Najma (not pictured) face a desperate struggle to provide for their families.

June 2019 • Vol. 15, No. 5

Lifting a Widow’s Burden

Today, there are around 284 million widows globally.1 Some face prejudice and are blamed for their husband’s death. Others face extreme poverty. Najma, a mother of three, joined the millions of widows in their daily struggle for survival when her husband passed away.

Trouble After Trouble

When Najma’s husband died, their family’s source of income went with him. Najma had to find small labor jobs, like cleaning houses and cooking for events, to provide for her three sons.

Najma was able to get a third, more stable job at a grocery store, but could not work there for long. At that time, her younger sons were too little to leave for long lengths of time, and thus she had to quit. When he was old enough, her eldest, Aarnav, dropped out of school to work. His labor earned additional income, but three months after Aarnav started work, his job shut down.

If that weren’t enough, Najma’s middle son, Salal, battled a serious illness that weakened his immune system and gave him constant fevers and headaches. Three times a week, Najma had to take him to a local hospital.

A Ray of Hope

GFA-supported pastor Jafet leads a fellowship in Najma’s village. While visiting homes one day, the pastor spoke with Najma and learned of the struggles she and her sons faced. Filled with compassion for this family, Pastor Jafet prayed for Najma and her sons and invited them to Sunday services.

The next Sunday, the widow and her sons found themselves walking to the church. Having never visited before, they didn’t know what to expect. When the family entered the church, the believers welcomed them with open arms. Never before had Najma experienced such love and acceptance. She felt like she had found a new family.

Pastor Jafet continued to pray for this family, and a few weeks later, the Lord answered. Salal’s health improved drastically, and thanks to a believer at the church, Aarnav found a job! Najma also got a job in a garment factory. Then the church provided her with a sewing machine, so she could start her own business.

“I did not have a way to move forward and had no hope,” Najma said. “Through Pastor Jafet’s visit to our home, our lives changed totally, and now all our problems are vanishing one by one. I am able to work with my own hands and earn a living respectfully and also look after my children. I thank the Lord Jesus for healing my younger son.”

A GFA-supported pastor Jafet presents a life-changing sewing machine to Najma, empowering her to meet her family’s needs.

1https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-widows-factbox-idUSKBN19E04P

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