“Advocacy For Widows!”(Acts6:1-7).
My people say, “no matter what you give to a widow she’ll only think of her late husband.” The marginalization of widows cut across African countries. Widowers do not experience the same harsh treatment like widows. The ordeals of widows through the long period of mourning is further aggravated by seizure of their inheritances by inconsiderate family members of their late husbands.
There is need for a paradigm shift towards an intentional ministry to the widows.
I just finished reading this interesting book by Mirabelle Jato Karawa titled, “Widowhood And Conflict Management – Resolving Widow and Orphan Crises.” It is a useful handbook for those who are concerned about widows and orphans. These marginalized and stigmatized groups need our attention. They need advocacy and empowerment.
May I take this opportunity to thank the Presbyterian Social Women (PSW), USA for the soap they gave to the widows of PCC Bali sub division. Your gesture is worth emulating by other groups for widows of other communities.
The care of widows must be the responsibility of us the members of the body of Christ. The early Church set the example for the ministry to the widows. In those days the believers shared every thing in common, from each according to their means and to each according to their needs(Acts4:32-35). They however singled out the widows for special attention. Unfortunately there was lack of fairness in the distribution of food. The Grecian widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food, in favour of Hebraic widows. All of them were Jews. The Greek-speaking Jews were those born in lands other than the Holy Land, meanwhile the Hebraic Jews were those who spoke Palestinian Aramaic and/or Hebrew. They also preserved Jewish culture and customs.
It is not like the discrimination was intentional. It is most likely that the language barrier may have been a factor for the negligence. A major reason was that the apostles did not make a separation between responsibilities and wanted to do all the things.
The Grecian Jews saw this discrimination and advocated for their widows. This is a lesson for advocacy on behalf of the widows of our communities when we see that they are being overlooked in the distribution of food from humanitarian organizations, etc.
The apostles surmounted this problem by proposing that the Grecian Jews choose from among themselves seven men “known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” to whom was given the responsibility of food distribution so that the Apostles could concentrate “on prayer and the ministry of the word.” This was a welcome proposal, and so it was done.
Dear friend, this week the PCC lectionary that we follow focused on being one another’s keeper. Do not consider yourself to be only on the receiving end. You have something unique to offer which can mean so much to some body. Do not let that slip through.
Once upon a time a beggar stretched his hand towards a passerby begging for alms. The stranger patted him on the shoulder as he said, “Brother, I have nothing to give you.” But the beggar was so elated and said, “You have given me more than I’ve ever received. You touched me and called me ‘brother.'”
Yes, sometimes a mere touch or a kind word is more than anything. Let us try to advocate for the underprivileged and marginalized people – notwithstanding our own marginalized conditions.
We thank you for the good that you have done for Ba Nelson G. Between yesterday morning and now we have received an additional 123,000 francs CFA. May the good LORD continue to replenish you abundantly.
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit give me discerning eyes of faith to see those who are being overlooked and to advocate for them. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Prayer point: Pray for improved ministry to the widows.
Rev Babila Fochang.