A ministry to widows is seeing the fruit of souls saved as well as great dedication and service by the very women they have come to help.
World Challenge’s partners in Peru faithfully work to serve widows in their community, despite pressure in the neighborhood to leave because the community leaders are afraid that Christianity will efface local traditions.
These widows have expressed tremendous gratitude to the team for continuing to offer food during the lockdown. Three of these dear ladies usually either sell vegetables in the market or beg in the street. The marketplace closed for the duration of the lockdown, however, and they lost their main source of income. The extreme difficulty of the quarantine combined with our partner’s faithfulness to care for them was a combination that brought one of the widows named Eufrosina to the Lord.
The continued difficulty of life does not stop these women from joyfully serving and participating in the ministry. They are willing to work alongside the team to clean up and prepare meals with a happy heart. Their attitudes spur us on as we work to better serve them.
Meeting the God Who Provides
Eufrosina has been a participant in the ministry from the very beginning. She works farming potatoes and lima beans for her food; but in 2020, the weather conditions and hardships of COVID lockdowns made her lose her harvest. It became impossible for her to sustain herself.
During that time, she cried out to the “true God” whom she had heard about in our studies. She asked him to care for her and to provide for her needs.
When the team met with her, she described how God had sustained her each day, sometimes in the smallest ways, all year long. When Pastor Darwin shared the gospel with her again, he explained, “God is not just interested in sustaining you here on earth. He is also interested in your eternal wellbeing.”
It was that moment when God won her heart, and she knew he was calling her. She accepted Jesus as her Savior! She did so even as the watchful eyes of the neighbors condemned her for leaving traditional culture to follow Christ.
Fearlessly Traveling the Rocky Road
Another widow in the group that our partners serve also gave her life to the Lord. When Modesta heard the gospel this year, she decided to take a step of faith. She was struggling with alcoholism and supported herself by working as a street vendor selling small trinkets. She knew that only God could make the changes in her life that needed to be made.
Daily, Modesta asks that God would give her the power to overcome her weaknesses and strength to know God more. She has the heart of an evangelist with an awakening desire to share Jesus with everyone she can.
Every life that comes to Christ in this ministry is one we celebrate with great joy!
It is no small feat for many of these ladies to meet with our partners. Some of them are so frail that they are unable to walk. One of the eldest widows is so determined to come to each meeting anyway that she pays a young person to carry her in a wheelbarrow to and from the meeting. Her journey is 20 minutes each way over a bumpy dirt road, but she is indominable and unwilling to miss even one meeting.
These ladies’ dedication to the church, to fellowship and blessing one another is a constant encouragement to us and our partners and, we hope, for you as well.